By Eileen Houlihan, ARTBA senior writer/editor 

The U.S. Department of Transportation Oct. 29 announced 39 projects will receive a portion of the $500 million 2015 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, grants. The agency said it received 627 eligible applications from all 50 states and several U.S. territories and tribal governments requesting $10.1 billion for transportation projects, or 20 times the available amount.

Projects in 34 states were selected, with some stretching across state lines. They range from $2.9 million for roads, sidewalks and ADA-compliant transit buses in the Native Village of Point Hope, Alaska, to $16 million to support the accelerated replacement of the century-old Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River in New Jersey. See a list of the selected projects, grant amounts and other details.

TIGER grants are used to fund capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and are awarded on a competitive basis to projects that “will have a significant impact on the nation, a region, or metropolitan area.” They allow sponsors to obtain funding for projects that are more difficult to support through traditional DOT programs, the agency said.

This year’s gap between project applications and available funds isn’t new. Since 2009, the TIGER program has received over 6,000 applications requesting more than $124 billion. About 400 projects have been funded for a total of $4.6 billion.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx noted on his Fast Lane Blog  that the agency’s legislative proposal to Congress earlier this year sought more robust funding for the program. TIGER levels for fiscal 2016 are still being negotiated.