The U.S. Department of Transportation announced June 19 it is awarding a $12 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant to Joplin for infrastructure projects.

According to Joplin Public Works Director David Hertzberg, the city initially applied for more than $24 million in funding to help with several projects, including widening both Shifferdecker Avenue and Maiden Lane to five lanes and constructing viaducts over the Kansas City Southern Railway crossings on 15th and 20th streets.

“We are very, very pleased with what we got,” Hertzberg said. “Now we’ve just to prioritize and decide what we can do with that $12 million.”

Hertzberg said city staff will reassess the status of each of those projects and develop a plan of action in the coming months.

According to a news release from the office of Sen. Roy Blunt, the Republican senator from Missouri advocated for the TIGER grant in a letter of recommendation to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood in March.

“I am pleased that DOT awarded this grant to fund a significant infrastructure project that will affect the entire southwest Missouri region for generations,” Blunt said in the release. “This project will help facilitate traffic and improve transportation access to the Joplin area, which is critically important as we work to rebuild and spur new economic development after last year’s devastating tornado.”

The TIGER Discretionary Grant program provides an opportunity for the U.S. Department of Transportation to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that aim to achieve critical national objectives.