Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Cohen Announces $15 Million Tiger IV Grant for Main Street to Main Street Multi-Modal Connector Project

June 19, 2012
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced the City of Memphis has received a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) IV Discretionary Grant worth $14,939,000 for the Main Street to Main Street Multi-Modal Connector Project -- the region’s most ambitious and impressive bicycle/pedestrian project to date.

“I’m elated to announce that we have secured federal funding for the Main Street to Main Street Multi-Modal Connector Project,” said Congressman Cohen, who has worked for nearly three years to secure these funds.  “These new federal funds will help improve livability in downtown Memphis, will increase tourism, will 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 is an absolutely critical asset in the continuing revitalization of the core of our city connecting the south part of downtown to the north and Shelby farms to West Memphis,” said Mayor A C Wharton.  “I applaud Congressman Cohen for the aggressive yet balanced approach he undertook to secure this grant.”

“This is huge for Memphis,” said Paul Morris, President of the Downtown Memphis Commission.  “The Main Street to Main Street Connector Project will make major improvements to our Main Street corridor as well as connect us to West Memphis with a pedestrian and bike trail over the Harahan Bridge. These funds are a product of a public-private partnership that includes city, county and state governments on both sides of the river as well as our federal representatives led by Congressman Steve Cohen.”

Memphis philanthropist and businessman Charles McVean said this grant is “iconic” and “a game-changer,” “one of the biggest things that has ever happened to Memphis.”

“The news of the Tiger grant is very exciting for Memphis,” said Barbara Hyde, President of Hyde Family Foundations.  “The Harahan Bridge Project is a game changer and will provide an unparalleled experience of national significance for citizens and tourists alike.  This project establishes important regional connections and serves as a critical link in our community’s rapidly expanding network of trails, bike lanes, greenways and parks.”

“The award of this Tiger grant to extend our community’s popular bike trail across the historic Harahan Bridge to connect with our neighbors in Arkansas is a milestone in Memphis history,” said Fred Smith, Chairman of FedEx Corporation.  “I congratulate Congressman Cohen, Mayor Wharton, Charles McVean and the many others who have worked so hard on this project to earn this highly competitive grant for the benefit of our entire region.  This remarkable amenity will serve our community for generations to come.”

By creating a bicycle/pedestrian trail that utilizes the historic Harahan Bridge to provide a crossing of 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 by bike through downtown Memphis and into 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 to 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.

For an in-depth description of the project please click here.