TIGER II Leaks Begin: New Haven’s Highway-to-Boulevard Project a Winner

New Haven was awarded $16 million to replace Route 34 with development and a connected street grid. ##http://blog.tstc.org/2010/02/03/new-haven-mayor-promises-a-first-stitch-towards-reconnecting-downtown/##TSTC##

New Haven was awarded $16 million to replace a limited-access section of Route 34 with development and a connected street grid. Image: TSTC

We reported earlier today that Ray LaHood is keeping mum about the TIGER II grant winners until the middle of next week, but the info is beginning to drip — and it’s members of Congress doing the leaking.

Word is out that New Haven, Connecticut has landed a $16 million TIGER II grant to convert part of Route 34 from a limited-access highway to an urban boulevard. That move will make the road more walkable and bikeable and restore 11 acres to the downtown.

The good news for livability goes on. The Peoria Journal Star is reporting that that city’s Warehouse District “got a significant boost Friday with the announcement of a $10 million federal grant supporting the narrowing of Washington Street.”

The street is going on a federally-funded diet, slated to shrink from five to two lanes in some parts and from seven to five in others. The TIGER money will help Peoria design and build “a complete street network that is safe, walkable and attractive” within the Warehouse District, according to Mayor Jim Ardis.

That information was leaked thanks to a news release from U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin.

Michigan Representative John Dingell did some leaking of his own, releasing news that the city of Ann Arbor is getting $13.9 million to reconstruct failing bridges on East Stadium Boulevard.

The two bridges, built in 1917 and 1928, carry more than 48,000 vehicles per day. According to AnnArbor.com, “Since January 2009, traffic has been reduced to one lane in each direction on the north side of the bridge after an inspection a small deflection in one of the beams under the eastbound traffic.”

Meanwhile, Maine and New Hampshire got news that they were green-lighted for a $20 million grant to replace the 87-year-old bridge between Kittery, Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. That one was announced by Maine’s two moderate Republican Senators and Democratic Congressmember Mike Michaud.

With the mid-term elections just a few short weeks away, it looks like the DOT is passing the information along to members of Congress and letting them be the bearers of good news.

In total, the DOT will be granting $600 million for infrastructure projects that “will have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area or a region.”