Thursday, September 24, 2009


No, we're not using this post to cheer for the Missouri Tigers, although I'll have to admit that their 3-0 start has been impressive. Hope the Nevada game is not an ambush in the desert!

This entry is about MoDOT's submission last week of an application for a TIGER Discretionary Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. In this case, TIGER stands for "Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery" and it is a special program that is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The program was announced in the spring, giving states and local entities the opportunity to compete for $1.5 billion in stimulus funds to enable transportation projects that otherwise were not possible. Projects were to range from $20 million to $300 million in cost and able to be built by February of 2012. No state could receive more than $300 million total.

MoDOT's I-70 team worked hard all summer to develop its application to build up to 30 miles of truck-only lanes on Interstate 70 in Saline and Cooper Counties. The application was for $200 million. MoDOT would add $40 million to that for a $240 million project. If selected, this project would revolutionize interstate corridors that have heavy freight movements, separating cars from long-haul semis. It would demonstrate just how the concept would improve safety, reduce congestion and allow for efficiencies in freight flows.

The MoDOT application and all of its supporting information can be found at

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has indicated that projects will be selected by January 15, 2010. In the meantime, we'll be keeping our fingers crossed that this innovative project is chosen, and hoping that Coach Gary Pinkel's Tigers keep up their winning ways.