Cohen, Wharton, Luttrell, HUD Celebrate $15 Million Grant for Main to Main Project
MEMPHIS, TN – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today joined with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr., Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Region IV Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr. to announce and celebrate the details of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) 2012 Discretionary Grant worth $14,939,000 for the Main Street to Main Street Multi-Modal Connector Project -- the region’s most ambitious bicycle/pedestrian project to date.
“The Main to Main Project is a future centerpiece of the revitalization of downtown Memphis,” said Congressman Cohen, who has worked for nearly three years to secure these funds. “These new federal funds are a major uplift for Main Street and are integral to Memphis’ transformation into a more livable and sustainable city. When complete, this unique project will increase tourism, drive economic development and create jobs, make our city more attractive to young people, and enable people to bike over the historic, scenic Mississippi River.”
“This investment in Memphis’ transportation infrastructure will create good jobs, increase safety and accessibility for bicyclists and pedestrians, and enhance the region’s economy,” said U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari. “As part of President Obama’s plan for an America built to last, TIGER projects like this one are creating better, safer transportation options and a stronger economic future for our nation.”
“The Obama Administration’s commitment to an America Built to Last is clearly evident in this grant announcement and is the consequence of the continuing collaborative efforts of DOT, HUD and EPA and builds on HUD’s ongoing Sustainability Community Grant efforts in Memphis,” said HUD Region IV Regional Administrator Jennings. “The effects of these investments are clear. They will create jobs, attract new business and nurture existing business development in the city.”
“The Main to Main project will allow Memphians and tourists alike to literally stand above the Mississippi River and experience its grandeur,” said Mayor Wharton. “I see this as a project that will improve the quality of life for Memphians, continue our efforts to revitalize the core city, and, with the jobs created during construction and after the project is complete, become an economic driver for the Mid-South.”
“This award truly is a game-changer for Memphis and Shelby County. It will help to boost tourism in our community, but equally as important, it will give our citizens another great avenue to exercise and meet their neighbors. I am very excited about the promise this project brings to our community,” said Shelby County Mayor Luttrell.
By creating a bicycle/pedestrian trail that utilizes the historic Harahan Bridge as a crossing over the Mississippi River, this project will increase connectivity between two cities, two counties, and two states. The project also will make much-needed repairs and improvements to the Main Street Trolley and the Central Station rail (Amtrak) and bus terminal, which are centerpieces of downtown Memphis transit and passenger rail infrastructure.
This project -- which will connect Shelby Farms Greenline to downtown Memphis and Arkansas -- is widely supported by citizens and local governments from both Tennessee and Arkansas. These individuals, private entities, and governmental bodies have demonstrated their support by contributing roughly $15 million in additional funding to help finance this important and innovative project.
Congressman Cohen is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and serves on several subcommittees that are important to the economic development of the Ninth District. These include the Subcommittees on Aviation; Highways and Transit; and, Water Resources & Environment.