The Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program is a discretionary grant program that supports investment in road, rail, transit and port projects. Before 2018, the program was known as Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER. BUILD/TIGER was created in 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and has provided $7.1 billion (USD) for 554 projects. Available funds have varied over time, and the graphic below illustrates the amount BUILD/TIGER funds awarded each year since the program’s creation.

Annual funding awarded by BUILD/TIGER programs
 YearFunding in $billions (USD)
20091.5
20100.6
20110.527
20120.5
20130.474
20140.6
20150.5
20160.5
20170.5
20181.5
20190.9

BUILD funding is intended to be flexible and support multimodal or multi-jurisdictional projects that would be difficult to fund through other US Department of Transportation grant programs. Therefore, BUILD funding is available for all types of public agencies, including municipalities, counties, port authorities, tribal authorities, and metropolitan planning agencies.

BUILD and TIGER grants have been used to support a wide range of port projects across the Maritime Transportation System (MTS). Some previous MTS-relevant grants include:

  • $20.7 million (USD) for rail rehabilitation and truck route reconstruction at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan’s Carbide Dock.
  • $20 million (USD) for reconstruction of Duluth’s Twin Ports Interchange, which serves the Port of Duluth-Superior.
  • $10 million (USD)  for rehabilitation and expansion of a general cargo dock, and improvements to road and rail infrastructure at the Port of Duluth-Superior
  • $1.5 million (USD) for construction of new road and rail connections at the Port of Oswego.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 allocated $900 million (USD) for BUILD grants.  The 2019 BUILD program’s selection criteria gives special consideration to projects that emphasize improved access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation for communities in rural areas.