To secure funding for projects through the federal TIGER or FASTLANE grant programs, it is critical to demonstrate not only a great project in terms of benefit-cost ratio, but also why the project has economic consequences. Successful TIGER grants for highway or bridge projects have tended to go to applicants who can show community or regional benefits. The new FASTLANE grant program seeks applications that can demonstrate national freight significance and visible economic outcomes.
Rural and freight projects can easily be overlooked if the sources of benefits are not understood to go beyond the regular travel time, reliability and mileage savings. In rural areas, where traffic volumes are often low – a strong accessibility and livability case can be essential to a strong application. In 2014 EDR Group performed the Benefit-Cost analysis for the largest TIGER award given that year – the Kentucky Mountain Parkway Extension. Access to state parks, health care and other amenities supporting livability and quality of life was an important consideration that may have been overlooked without going beyond typical engineering measures. In writing other winning applications, such as the 2013 Rhode Island Apponaug Bypass and the 2015 Mississippi River Bridge in Missouri, we also relied on important considerations about how projects would affect business operations on the ground and community quality of life.
When it comes to freight projects where generalized models of travel demand tell only a sliver of the story, it becomes important to also demonstrate downstream supply chain effects or business productivity, using freight data.
The deadline for the newest round of TIGER Grant applications is April 29, 2016 (see: https://www.transportation.gov/tiger ). The deadline for the new FASTLANE grant program is April 14, 2016 (see https://www.transportation.gov/fastlanegrants/fastlane-nofo ). EDR Group provides consulting service support for both grant programs. Read more about these past awards on EDR Group’s web site at: www.edrgroup/TIGER .
To develop a grant application for your project, please contact Chandler Duncan (firstname.lastname@example.org ), tel +1.617.338.6775 x203