June 30, 2011 4:30 PM, EDT

DOT Sets $527 Million in New Transportation Grants

Tim Boyle/Bloomberg News

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Thursday that $527 million will be available for a third round of competitive transportation grants to fund infrastructure projects nationwide.

States, cities, local governments and other groups will have until fall to prepare their applications for the TIGER grants — which stands for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery.

The previous two rounds of TIGER grants provided $2.1 billion to 126 transportation projects in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including upgrades to roads, bridges, freight rail and ports, DOT said.

The department said it has received more than 2,500 applications requesting over $79 billion in project funding during the first two rounds.

Projects will be selected based on their contributions to the nation’s economy and job growth, as well as their impact on the nation’s transportation infrastructure, DOT said.

Other factors will include safety, energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and quality of living improvements.

More information is available at (DOT website)