Ann Arbor's Stadium Boulevard bridges fail to make list of federal TIGER grant recipients
The city of Ann Arbor may have to dig deeper into its own pockets to reconstruct the two East Stadium Boulevard bridge spans over South State Street and the nearby railroad tracks.
Angela Cesere | AnnArbor.com
The city's bridge project didn't make the list of projects announced today to receive TIGER grant funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The city had asked for $21 million to put toward the $22 million project to reconstruct the failing bridges.
Homayoon Pirooz, head of the city's project management unit, said he's still waiting for official confirmation that the city's grant was unsuccessful, but acknowledges he didn't see it on the list.
The federal TIGER program - standing for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery - reportedly received $56.5 billion in requests from communities all across the country for $1.5 billion in available stimulus funding.Â
It was Ann Arbor's best chance at repairing the Stadium bridges without depleting its own street fund resources.
Pirooz said the city still plans to move forward with the Stadium bridge project in November or December, even if that means spending its own money. That could put 29 other street projects on hold.
"We're still pursuing other federal funds, but we're not going to get a lump sum of $20 million," he said. "We could get monies from other kinds of federal funds and we plan to share that information with the City Council as we learn more about all these different funds in March. There are several grants that we are working on and we are planning to apply."
Ann Arbor resident Arnold Goetzke said he still thinks the city could cut the $22 million cost of the project in half by constructing at-grade crossings instead of completely reconstructing the bridges. City officials said Tuesday night that's not a viable option.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at email@example.com or 734-623-2529.