Economic Development Research Group assisted with the economic impact analysis on two applications for the US Department of Transportation's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Grant (TIGER) that were both ultimately rewarded grants. The projects are the reconstruction on a breakwater at the Port of Eastport (Maine), and improvements to the Apponaug circulator in Warwick (Rhode Island). US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that 52 transportation projects across the nation will receive a total of approximately $474 million from the TIGER 2013 discretionary grant program.
For the Eastport Breakwater Replacement project, which will get funding through the TIGER program, EDR Group's economic impact analysis looked at the impact of the proposed project on international tourism in the area, and livability (including a walkable downtown, retaining traditional industries, maintaining competiveness in the fishing industry, and sustaining recreational boating). The also analyzed the project's impact on harbor safety (for fishing vessels and coastguard rescue vessels), and new technologies (such as the capacity to ship pelletized fuel for Europe.) .
The successful Apponaug bypass TIGER application in Warwick, Rhode Island documented both the traditional transportation benefits and impacts of a new bypass, as well as the effects on livability and economic vitality. In the case of the Apponaug bypass, the project not only saved travel time, mileage and transportation costs but also provided an opportunity to consolidate business operations into a new downtown facility, to more efficiently utilize downtown’s aesthetic and non-motorized amenities and retain a favorable business climate. When benefits of transportation projects go beyond traditional performance areas, as in the case of the Apponaug bypass, both the case for funding and overall buy-in to a project is enhanced.