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2012 Discretionary Grant Programs

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Statutory Reference

23 U.S.C. § 147

Program Summary

The purpose of the Ferry Boat Discretionary (FBD) Program is to construct ferry boat and ferry terminal facilities.


Funded by contract authority; funds are not transferable to another project. Funds are subject to the overall Federal-aid highway obligation limitation. Funds are to be allocated by the Secretary of Transportation to States involved in the construction of ferries and/or ferry building facilities.

Federal Share

In accordance with 23 U.S.C. § 147, the Federal share of the costs for most projects eligible under this program is 80 percent. U.S. territories are eligible for a Federal share up to 100% in accordance with 23 U.S.C. § 120(h).

Eligible Use of Funds

In accordance with 23 U.S.C. § 129(c), FBD funds may be used for the construction of ferry boats and ferry terminal facilities, whether toll or free, subject to the following conditions:

Statutory Priority Consideration

In accordance with 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–

Project Selection Criteria

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has not established regulatory criteria for the selection of FBD projects; however, FHWA will use the following criteria in the evaluation of candidates for this program:

Policy Considerations

Restoring economic health and creating jobs through improvements in transportation infrastructure are among the highest priorities of the FHWA. In furtherance of these priorities, the FHWA will give priority consideration to projects and activities that create new jobs in the short-term and contribute to the economic competitiveness of the United States over the long-term. Applications are encouraged to explain how their project will contribute to increased employment and enhance economic competitiveness.

In addition to a project's transportation and economic benefits, when allocating funds to carry out the FY 2012 discretionary programs, the FHWA will also give consideration to providing an equitable and geographic distribution of funds.

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. States shall submit an electronic copy of the application (containing all required components) via email to the appropriate FHWA division office by January 6, 2012. The applications must be submitted electronically in MS Word or compatible word processor format (no PDFs). The official application of record will be the document submitted to the FHWA Division Office. Each project must be individually prioritized and grouping of projects is unacceptable. The information requested in the narrative must be included to properly evaluate the candidate projects.

Required Forms – Applicants must complete and submit the following forms. Failure to submit all required forms may result in the application being removed from consideration for award.

Project Narrative should be limited to five (5) pages, excluding attachments.

Announcement of Awards/Allocation of Funds

Congress will be notified before funds are allocated to the States. When this Congressional notification process is completed, the Office of Program Administration will issue an announcement by email to all FHWA division offices, announcing the FBD projects that will be funded and the amount of funding for each project.

States may then request that funds be allocated for any projects for which the funds are ready to be obligated. Awarded projects can be found at the website http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/discretionary. The State transportation agency shall send an email to the FHWA division office indicating the project, the amount requested for allocation, and the date by which the funds will be obligated. The Office of Program Administration will issue the allocation memorandum within a few days of receiving the request. These funds are subject to August redistribution. Therefore, any allocated funds must be obligated by the end of the fiscal year.

FHWA Point of Contact

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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