James, Cleaver celebrate final project from TIGER grant
James, Cleaver join KCATA to celebrate final project from region’s first TIGER grant
We turned our TIGER Green celebrates sustainable infrastructure
(Kansas City, Mo. – April 21, 2014) The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) celebrated the final project funded from the region’s first $50 million TIGER grant, a pedestrian bridge over Brush Creek.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was actually a ribbon broken by runners utilizing the pedestrian bridge, included Mokhtee Ahmad, Regional Administrator for the
Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Kansas City Missouri Mayor Sly James and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II.
In 2010, KCATA, the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) and Johnson County Transit were awarded a competitive $50 million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant from the FTA to make infrastructure and transit improvements in Greater Kansas City. The grant, which came to a close in early 2014, funded 120 projects across the region, including improved transit facilities, sidewalks and curb replacement, street resurfacing and traffic signal improvements.
Traditionally, TIGER grants have supported only “gray” infrastructure, but over half of the $50M was spent within the Green Impact Zone (GIZ) and one of the largest expenditures were new sidewalks and walkways leading to ADA compliant transit stops where passengers wait for hybrid electric rapid commuter buses and make local and regional transit connections. Regional transit connections also funded by TIGER include the new Shawnee Mission Metcalf Connex line that connects in the GIZ and the State Avenue Connex line that connects downtown KCMO with downtown KCK and then Village West. The final project is the pedestrian bridge over Brush Creek, another “green” investment.
The $50 million TIGER grant is credited with the creation of 2,455 permanent jobs and transportation benefits totaling $710 million, according to Regional Economic Models, Inc. used by MARC to calculate economic impact.
“This pedestrian bridge is a key investment in the vision I have had for this neighborhood for quite some time. It is an honor to be here for this dedication and celebration of our investments in sustainable infrastructure,” said Congressman Cleaver.
"This project is another example of Kansas City building a sustainable community for the long-term," said Mayor Sly James. "Future generations want low-cost, high-quality, multi-modal transit options and they want to live in places where they can walk, bike, or take rail. I'm honored to join with all of these partners to celebrate this project and the fact that Kansas City is a smart community using smart strategies to build a better future."
“All of these projects were undertaken with the goal of revitalizing key neighborhoods in Kansas City’s urban area and improving access to jobs throughout the region,” added Mokhtee Ahmad.
“I am so pleased with the significant role KCATA played in this project including administering $38,686,000 of the TIGER grant, $26 million of which was spent in the Green Impact Zone, and working with the TIGER partners to ensure the projects were completed quickly and smoothly,” concluded Mark Huffer, General Manager of KCATA.