BROWNSVILLE, Texas (August 1, 2016) – Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced that the City Brownsville will be receiving $10 million under the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant Program for the Connecting Communities project.
The City of Brownsville is one of 40 communities across the country, and the only community in Texas, to receive the highly competitive TIGER Grant VIII.
The Connecting Communities project is led by the City of Brownsville, in partnership with the City of McAllen, the City of South Padre Island, the City of Port Isabel, Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority (CCRMA), Cameron County, and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
The Connecting Communities project includes:
Component 1: comprised of three transit elements, including capital investments in facilities, vehicles, and bus stops to improve Brownsville Metro and METRO Connect;
o Component 1A: A three-phased improvement program for Brownsville Metro’s operations and maintenance facility
- Phase I: Rehabilitation of maintenance facility
- Phase II: Site safety and function improvements
- Phase III: Addition of a new eastside transfer station
Presently, Brownsville Metro’s maintenance facility maintains Brownsville Metro and METRO Connect vehicle fleets. The addition of a new eastside transfer station will expand services, including services to colonias, and offer rider amenities, such as bicycle parking.
o Component 1B: Includes the replacement of seven METRO Connect transit revenue vehicles and the procurement of one additional spare vehicle for sustainable growth rate (SGR) and capacity improvements; and
o Component 1C: Improvements to Brownsville Metro bus stops, including: ADA-compliant sidewalks, ADA-accessibility ramps, shelters with benches, and bike amenities.
Component 2: includes the widening of the Queen Isabella Causeway on SH 100 to create a 14-foot wide dedicated, barrier protected bike and pedestrian lane.
A summary of the City of Brownsville’s grant award was highlighted in Friday’s USDOT announcement.
“For the eighth year running, TIGER will inject critical infrastructure dollars into communities across the country,” said USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This unique program rewards innovative thinking and collaborative solutions to difficult and sometimes dangerous transportation problems. A great TIGER program doesn’t just improve transportation; it expands economic opportunity and transforms a community.”
U.S. Senator John Cornyn, U.S. Congressman Filemon Vela, State Representative Eddie Lucio, III, and State Representative Rene O. Oliveira were all instrumental in supporting the City of Brownsville’s Connecting Communities application.
"The U.S. Department of Transportation recognized that the City of Brownsville TIGER project, which will connect communities along the Rio Grande Valley through various modes of transportation, as one of the forty most feasible and important projects in the nation,” said U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela. “City of Brownsville employees, working with local municipalities across the Rio Grande Valley and state officials and agencies in the area were able to leverage our resources to secure $10 million in federal funds, which will help the City of Brownville acquire more buses that will help people commute throughout the Valley. The project will also expand the Queen Isabella Causeway to include a bike lane that will boost economic development and tourism. This project will add to the quality of life for people in the Rio Grande Valley and help create jobs across many industries in South Texas."
“I would like to thank the U.S. Department of Transportation for recognizing not only the need in this area, but the City’s determination to bring the very best resources to Brownsville residents,” said Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez. “As Brownsville stands at the forefront of progress and momentum continues to build, we must continue to aspire to reach the greatest heights in the quest for economic prosperity and first-rate quality of life.”
“It is a stunning accomplishment to be awarded a TIGER VIII grant this year,” said Brownsville City Commissioner At-Large “B” Rose M. Z. Gowen. “Not only because it represents substantial improvements to Brownsville Metro, but also because it will build an unprecedented bicycle and pedestrian protected connection between Port Isabel and South Padre Island. It was a pleasure to work with our partners on this one of a kind initiative.”
The Connecting Communities application was developed by the City of Brownsville Office of Grant Management & Community Development, Brownsville Metro, and Texas A&M Transportation Institute, in collaboration with application partners.
In addition, the Connecting Communities application received letters of support from: Texas Transit Association; Rails-To-Trails Conservancy; the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority; Brownsville Metropolitan Planning Organization; City of Brownsville; City of McAllen; City of South Padre Island; City of Port Isabel; City of Los Fresnos; Community Development Corporation of Brownsville; buildingcommunityWORKSHOP; United Brownsville; the University of Texas School of Public Health; the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Parking & Transportation Development; Lower Rio Grande Development Council – Valley Metro; and Valley Transit Company, Inc.
Visit https://www.transportation.gov/tiger-2016-project-fact-sheets for a complete summary of all TIGER 2016 award recipients.