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2011 Discretionary Grant Programs

Ferry Boat Discretionary (FBD) Program - Selection Criteria and Additional Information

These instructions are for the 2011 Ferry Boat Discretionary (FBD) program for discretionary selections by the Secretary. At this time, States are requested to submit applications to their respective FHWA Division Office by June 3, 2011.

The FBD program is contained in title 23, U.S.C. section 147. The purpose of the program is the construction of ferry boat and ferry terminal facilities. Under the provision of the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2010, Part II (Title II of Public Law 111-322), the program has been continued in Fiscal Year 2011. There is anticipated to be approximately $47 Million available for discretionary selections this fiscal year. Please see the application materials for an application template and submission requirements.

The States, including eligible U.S. territories, may submit applications to their local FHWA division office as outlined in these instructions. Eligible public entities must submit their application through their State transportation agency. The State must prioritize and submit complete applications provided to them by any eligible public entity. The State is required to prioritize all applications, assigning individual priority to each project. Please submit only one application for any ferry vessel or terminal. Separate implementable projects may be identified within the application. Applications should only be submitted for projects that will fully obligate awarded funding no later than August 31, 2012. Applications deemed incomplete by FHWA Office of Program Administration or not individually prioritized by the State may not be considered.

Due to the expected high demand for this funding, it is anticipated that individual project awards may not exceed $3 Million. Projects ready to go to actual construction will also receive higher consideration. Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate how the project improves safety and/or helps the ferry service maintain a state of good repair.

The applications for all projects must be submitted electronically in MS Word format using the provided template. Project applications for the FBD program must be received from the State by the FHWA division office no later than June 3, 2011. The FHWA division office shall transmit the applications via email to Tony DeSimone (anthony.desimone@dot.gov) of the FHWA Office of Program Administration by COB June 6, 2011 and include the following:

  1. a statement that the FHWA division office has reviewed the State's submittal and that the submittal meets the eligibility, schedule and application requirements;
  2. the State transportation department's submission email or letter to the FHWA division office, including individual project prioritization; and
  3. each MS Word application as an attachment.

Concerns about the schedule or other application items should be addressed with the State and provided with the division office submittal.


As specified in 23 U.S.C 147(a), this program is for the construction of ferry boats and ferry terminal facilities in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 129(c). FBD funds are available for construction/improvement to ferry boats or ferry boat terminal facilities where:


Statutory criteria are found in 23 U.S.C. 147(c): "The Secretary shall give priority in the allocation of funds under this section to those ferry systems, and public entities responsible for developing ferries, that-

  1. provide critical access to areas that are not well-served by other modes of surface transportation;
  2. carry the greatest number of passengers and vehicles; or
  3. carry the greatest number of passengers in passenger-only service."

FHWA has not established regulatory criteria for selection of FBD projects; however, FHWA will consider the following additional factors in the evaluation of candidates for this program:


  1. Coordinate with State, local, and Federal agencies within the State to develop project applications.

  2. Ensure that the applications are completed for candidate projects in accordance with the eligibility and submission requirements.

  3. Establish individual priorities (no grouping) if submitting more than one project.

  4. Submit the applications electronically to the appropriate FHWA division office on time so that the submission deadline can be met.

  5. Submit request to FHWA division office for allocation of funds, after awards are announced, when project funds are ready to be obligated.


  1. Provide the solicitation memorandum and this program information to the STA electronically to facilitate their electronic submission of applications.

  2. Request that the candidate projects are submitted by the STA to the FHWA division office electronically to meet the submission deadline established in the solicitation.

  3. Review all candidate applications submitted by the STA prior to sending them to FHWA Office of Program Administration to ensure that they are complete and meet the eligibility and submission requirements.

  4. Submit the candidate applications electronically to FHWA Office of Program Administration as outlined in the solicitation memorandum.

  5. Forward award announcement to the STA.

  6. Forward allocation requests from the STA to the Office of Program Administration, via email to Tony DeSimone (Anthony.Desimone@dot.gov).


  1. Solicit applications from the STAs through annual solicitation memorandum.

  2. Review applications and compile appropriate program and project information for the Office of the Federal Highway Administrator.

  3. Issue award announcement via email to all FHWA division offices.

  4. Allocate funds upon receipt of request from the FHWA division office.


Tony DeSimone
Federal-aid Programs Engineer
Office of Program Administration
Phone: (317)226-5307
Fax: (317)226-7341
Email: Anthony.Desimone@dot.gov

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