The City of Oklahoma City has been awarded a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation in the amount of $13,591,178 for the initial phase of renovating and converting the historic Santa Fe depot into an intermodal transportation hub.
The TIGER-funded renovation of the Santa Fe depot will include five major components, as highlighted by the U.S. Department of Transportation: rehabilitation of the grand hall and common area, an Amtrak station area for ticketing, baggage and passenger waiting, added streetscape and improved bicycle pedestrian facilities oriented to both Bricktown and downtown, improvements on E.K. Gaylord Boulevard to provide and ensure connectivity among modes and improved public space.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Transportation highlighted the intermodal hub as a new transportation center and gateway for the Oklahoma City metropolitan area that provides personal transportation choices, enhances the image of public transportation and serves as a catalyst for economic development.
In a MAPS 3 press release Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said “This is a huge win for the citizens of Oklahoma City, whose support of MAPS 3 led to this critical investment in public transit. This will allow us to continue to enhance our public transportation options, including a better bus system and the streetcar that citizens approved as part of MAPS 3.”
Per the grant application [PDF], the roughly $13.6 million provided by the TIGER grant will account for 48% of the overall project cost; the remaining matching funds will be provided locally by the City of Oklahoma City and other partner agencies. The total project cost is expected to be $28,429,872. The project schedule illustrated in the grant application indicates much of the work will be completed in 2015 with the project open in the second quarter of 2016.
Announced the morning of Wednesday, September 5th, the 2013 TIGER discretionary grant program is providing approximately $474 million to 52 projects across 37 states. The TIGER program was launched as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to allow the U.S. Department of Transportation to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects with a significant impact on the nation, a region or a metropolitan area and especially projects that are multi-modal, multi-jurisdictional or otherwise challenging to fund through existing programs.
There is a wealth of informational resources regarding the intermodal transportation hub project as well as the TIGER grant; the City of Oklahoma City has a dedicated page that includes the grant application itself, maps, related resources, programs and studies and even the letters of support provided by organizations and policymakers including Senator James Inhofe, Senator Tom Coburn and the Departments of Transportation for Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. The U.S. Department of Transportation has published fact sheets for all 52 projects [PDF].
Finally, it is worth mentioning the City of Oklahoma City’s TIGER grant is one of two Oklahoma projects benefiting from the 2013 TIGER grant program. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation also received $1.8 million for rehabilitation of 15 miles of state-owned freight railroad between Erick and Sayre in rural western Oklahoma.