County awarded $13 million plus grant by U.S. DOT
County officials received exciting news this morning all the way from Washington, D.C.! Kaua‘i County was successful in its bid for more than $13 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Known as the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant program, the county will use the funding for the revitalization of the Līhu‘e Town Core.
“This is a historic day for Kaua‘i. It all started with a community vision and everyone working together,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. “I would like to thank the many private and public partners who supported us with our grant application, from Kaua‘i to Washington, D.C. Now the entire island will benefit from this collaboration.”
Among the projects that will be covered by the TIGER grant are the following: safety improvements and the addition of pedestrian and bike lanes on Rice Street; a shared-use path from the Līhu‘e Civic Center to the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall; and bicycle and pedestrian improvements on Ho‘olako Street.
In addition, the conversion of Eiwa Street to a transit hub will be completed, sidewalks will be installed on Ho‘ala and Kalēna streets, a bicycle boulevard will be added to Pualole and Malae streets, and transit services for the Līhu‘e Civic Center will be expanded.
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz sent a congratulatory message to the Garden Isle.
“Securing this competitive grant was not easy. This is the first time our state has received a TIGER grant in four years, and we could not have done it without the support of Mayor Carvalho. The Mayor and all those who contributed to this project have done a great job evaluating the needs of the community and putting together a proposal that will improve pedestrian safety, increase access to employment and education through transit, and contribute to a redesign of the neighborhood that all residents can enjoy,” said Schatz. “As a member of the Senate Transportation Appropriations subcommittee as well as the Commerce Committee, I have worked with Transportation Secretary Foxx to underscore the importance of investing in planning that makes communities walkable and accessible for all residents regardless of age or disability.”
In her congratulatory message, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono said, “The TIGER grant program is highly competitive, so this award is a testament to the county administration’s depth of vision for Kaua‘i’s future. When Mayor Carvalho proposed his Holo Holo 2020 plan, I fought for federal resources to make this happen including talking directly with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. This federal support allows Kaua‘i to move forward on improving public transportation options, connecting neighborhoods, and revitalizing downtown Līhu‘e.”
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard also shared her thoughts on the county’s receipt of the TIGER grant.
“Kauaʻi County and Mayor Carvalho have made great progress toward transforming and revitalizing Līhu‘e; this funding will go a long way in continuing that progress,” said Gabbard. “Not only does this project create additional economic opportunities for Līhu‘e and Kauaʻi County, it also promotes the environmental sustainability of the Garden Isle by encouraging smarter, more viable community planning and expanding transportation options for residents and visitors.”
U.S. Rep. Mark Takai echoed the sentiments of his Washington counterparts in his congratulatory message.
“Congratulations to the County of Kaua‘i on receiving a TIGER grant for their Līhuʻe Town Core Mobility and Revitalization Project,” said Takai. “I am pleased that our federal government is providing the resources the State of Hawai‘i needs to improve and modernize its infrastructure. Investment in transportation is essential to economic growth. Not only does it create jobs for American workers tasked with building and repairing our nation’s highways, railways, ports, and mass transit systems, but allows for faster transport of goods and resources throughout our country.”
Gov. David Ige also shared his excitement.
“The project will provide new and better jobs for local people and improve access to education, especially for disadvantaged populations, resulting in higher income and economic benefits. It is a model of sustainable transportation that can be replicated on other counties throughout Hawai‘i,” said Ige. “Kaua‘i’s regional impact reaches around the world with hundreds of thousands of people flying to Līhu‘e annually, the majority of whom are from neighboring counties and the mainland United States.”
A tentative schedule has been set for all of the projects covered by the TIGER grant, which must be expended within five years.
The county will provide 15 percent in matching funds totaling approximately $2.5 million.