Little is known about how much help the Tiger grants are giving to ports. One port that I contacted, Vancouver in Washington, has sent me a run down on what it will mean for the rail access project, which is designed to provide dual carrier rail access into the port, enhance the port’s internal rail system, relocate port facilities and utilities to accommodate track realignment, and improve roadways
I quote the port official in full
"The $10 million TIGER II grant – although wonderful and VERY helpful -- doesn’t cover the entire funding gap…which is about $70M." [Estimated cost is $170 million] "We will continue to explore state and federal grant opportunities…and we’re also looking into applying for a low-interest loan from the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program. The program is administered by the Federal Rail Administration and provides direct loan guarantees to finance development of railroad infrastructure. RRIF loans and loan guarantees can fund up to 100 percent of a railroad project with a maximum repayment period of 35 years and interest rates equal to the rate of Treasury securities of a similar term.
"As for timing, we don’t see the timing on the overall project changing…the West Vancouver Freight Access project is still expected to be finished by 2017. What will be impacted regarding timing will be which phases of the project will be completed when…for example, because we were successful in getting the TIGER II grant, we’ll be moving forward with the Gateway overpass phase (a new overpass that will serve marine terminals and tenants at the west end of the port…allowing vehicles to pass safely over busy rail tracks) and the phase of the project that will construct additional grain rail track (that will double the loading capacity of our grain facility by allowing more rail cars to be processed). "