The latest round of TIGER grant funding will disburse nearly $500 million to 47 projects in 34 states and the District of Columbia, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Friday. The grants were awarded on a competitive basis after states and localities were given an opportunity to apply. The Department of Transportation received 703 applications from all 50 states, U.S. territories, and D.C. In many cases, the DOT said in a release, the federal funds will provide the final portion of funding for approximately $1.7 billion in infrastructure investments around the country. The program has proven to be extremely popular. The 2012 applications totaled $10.2 billion, about 20 times the amount available. During the three year life of the program, the DOT has received 4,050 applications requesting more than $105.2 billion for transportation projects across the country. Although the House appears ready to slash TIGER funding entirely, the appropriations bill under consideration in the Democrat-controlled Senate would provide another $500 million for a fifth round of grants in 2013.