U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces a $12.8 Million TIGER Grant to Rebuild Philadelphia’s Wayne Junction Power Substation

7/11/2012
Contact: Justin Nisly
(202) 366-5581

PHILADELPHIA - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a $12.8 million TIGER 2012 discretionary grant to rebuild the Wayne Junction Power Substation at an event today in Philadelphia. He was joined by Congressman Chaka Fattah, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority’s (SEPTA) General Manager Joseph Casey. The project is one of 47 transportation projects in 34 states and the District of Columbia selected to receive funding under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s highly competitive $500 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery 2012 (TIGER 2012) grant program.

“This TIGER grant will improve the safety and reliability of the entire Philadelphia area commuter rail system that so many residents need to use every day,” said Secretary LaHood. “President Obama’s support for an America built to last is putting people back to work across the country building our roads and bridges and making sure our transit systems are safe and reliable for generations to come.”

The substation, which was originally constructed in 1931 and has been in continuous operation ever since. The substation continues to operate with the majority of the original components and is the central point, supplying power to SEPTA’s Main Line and northern branches which collectively carry over 17.5 million passengers annually.

“These federal funds will create good-paying jobs and improve the City's mass transit system - a double win for Philadelphia,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “I am grateful to President Obama, Secretary LaHood, Senator Casey and our entire Congressional delegation for their support. The U.S. Department of Transportation recognized the power of a multi-agency partnership to address the state of good repair challenges facing Philadelphia and the region. We are endowed with great transit and bridge infrastructure and this grant will ensure it works well for decades to come.”

Philadelphia identified the project as necessary to improving the reliability and safety of a critical transit substation in urgent need of repair. The Wayne Junction Power Substation serves a critical role in the Philadelphia region’s commuter network, powering much of SEPTA transit systems. If the Wayne Junction substation failed, commuters across the Philadelphia area and surrounding counties that rely on SEPTA’s Main Line and northern branches, including the Lansdale-Doylestown, Warminster, West Trenton, Fox Chase, Chestnut Hill East and Norristown Lines would be without regional rail. This TIGER grant will also replace 25 indoor and outdoor rail breakers, transformers, cut-out switches, relays, and control equipment. Maintaining the substation will ensure efficient, cost-effective, and safe commuter rail service for the City of Philadelphia and the region.

“A year ago, I toured Wayne Junction’s aging substation infrastructure and promised SEPTA’s riders we would get help. Today Secretary LaHood is in North Philadelphia delivering on that promise,” said Congressman Chaka Fattah, who represents the surrounding community. “These critical federal resources will create jobs, upgrade the transit grid and improve SEPTA’s service– a model for the Obama Administration approach to economic recovery and winning our nation’s future.”

“The modernization of the antiquated Wayne Junction substation, built during the Hoover Administration, is long overdue,” said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff. “The residents of Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia and Mercer Counties should be reassured by this Administration’s critical investment to bring 21st century reliability to their daily commutes.”

The highly competitive TIGER 2012 discretionary grant program awards grants to innovative projects that are difficult or impossible to fund through other federal programs. In many cases, these grants will serve as the final piece of funding for infrastructure investments totaling $1.7 billion in overall project costs. These federal funds are being leveraged with money from private sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies.

TIGER has enjoyed overwhelming demand since its creation, a trend continued by TIGER 2012. Applications for this most recent round of grants totaled $10.2 billion, far exceeding the $500 million set aside for the program. In all, the Department received over 700 applications from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

The grants will fund a wide range of innovative transportation projects in urban and rural areas across the country:

Over the next six months, 27 projects are expected to break ground from the previous three rounds of TIGER. In addition, work is under way on 64 capital projects across the country.

On November 18, 2011, the President signed the FY 2012 Appropriations Act, which provided $500 million for Department of Transportation national infrastructure investments. Like the first three rounds, TIGER 2012 grants are for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and are awarded on a competitive basis. This is the fourth round of TIGER funding.

Under all four rounds combined, the TIGER program has provided $3.1 billion to 218 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Demand for the program has been overwhelming, and during all four rounds, the Department of Transportation received more than 4,050 applications requesting more than $105.2 billion for transportation projects across the country.

Click here for additional information on individual TIGER grants http://www.dot.gov/tiger/fy2012tiger.pdf.

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