On February 17, 2009, the President signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ARRA of 2009. Through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery TIGER, up to $1.5 billion was made available for the US DOT Secretary of Transportation to make grants on a competitive basis for capital investments in transportation infrastructure projects. Priority for projects is to be given to those counties that are defined as “economically distressed” such as Osceola County. Osceola County has submitted two projects for consideration, the Gateway Corridor Improvement Program Hoagland Boulevard and Poinciana Parkway. A decision on awarding the funding will be made by February 2010.
Gateway Corridor Improvement Program / Hoagland Boulevard
Osceola County, the City of Kissimmee, Kissimmee Gateway Airport, LYNX and METROPLAN ORLANDO have partnered to submit this Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery TIGER grant application. The TIGER grant request is for Phase 1 of the Gateway Corridor Improvement Program which includes the Hoagland Boulevard Realignment, Segment 1, and a bus maintenance facility for the regional bus agency to reduce runs that have no passengers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Hoagland Boulevard is the cornerstone of improvements for the entire Gateway Corridor Improvement Program. Phase 1 is “shovel-ready” and can be implemented in the timeframe required by the federal guidelines. Further, Phase 2 is currently in design and can be ready for construction by August 2011 with a 24 month construction schedule.
The Poinciana Parkway is a SHOVEL-READY highway project located in Osceola County and Polk County, Florida. Osceola County is one of five “Economically Distressed Counties” in Florida that has not received stimulus funding to date. In addition, Osceola County is 17th in the Nation in foreclosed homes, a significant number of which are in the Poinciana Community. The Poinciana Parkway would cut through the Poinciana Community and provide much needed economic assistance to the community, Polk County and Osceola County.