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2011 Discretionary Grant Programs

Transportation, Community, and System Preservation Program - Selection Criteria and Additional Information

BACKGROUND:

The Transportation, Community, and System Preservation (TCSP) Program provides funding for a comprehensive initiative including planning grants, implementation grants, and research to investigate and address the relationships among transportation, community, and system preservation plans and practices and identify private sector-based initiatives to improve those relationships.

States, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, and tribal governments are eligible for TCSP Program discretionary grants to plan and implement strategies which improve the efficiency of the transportation system, reduce environmental impacts of transportation, reduce the need for costly future public infrastructure investments, ensure efficient access to jobs, services and centers of trade, and examine development patterns and identify strategies to encourage private sector development patterns which achieve these goals.

Additional information on the TCSP Program can be found at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/tcsp/index.html.

STATUTORY REFERENCES:

TEA-21 Section 1221
SAFETEA-LU Section 1117

FUNDING:

Funded by contract authority; funds are not transferable. Funds are subject to the overall Federal-aid highway obligation limitation. Funds are to be allocated by the Secretary to States, metropolitan planning organizations, local and tribal governments, ensuring an equitable distribution to a diversity of populations and geographic regions.

FEDERAL SHARE:

The Federal share payable shall be 80% or subject to the sliding scale rate under 23 USC 120(b).

ELIGIBLE USE OF FUNDS:

Funds may be used to carry out eligible projects to integrate transportation, community, and system preservation plans and practices that:

  1. Improve the efficiency of the transportation system of the United States.
  2. Reduce the impacts of transportation on the environment.
  3. Reduce the need for costly future investments in public infrastructure.
  4. Provide efficient access to jobs, services, and centers of trade.
  5. Examine community development patterns and identify strategies to encourage private sector development.

Eligibility is broadly defined as a project eligible for assistance under Title 23 or Chapter 53 of Title 49, or any other activity the Secretary determines to be appropriate to implement transit-oriented development plans, traffic calming measures, or other coordinated TCSP practices.

PRIORITY CONSIDERATION:

The Secretary of Transportation will make grants for projects from States, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, and tribal governments, with priority consideration given to projects that meet all of the following:

  1. Have instituted preservation or development plans and programs that -

    1. are coordinated with State and local preservation or development plans, including transit-oriented development plans;
    2. promote cost-effective and strategic investments in transportation infrastructure that minimize adverse impacts on the environment; or
    3. promote innovative private sector strategies;

  2. Have instituted other policies to integrate transportation, community, and system preservation practices, such as -

    1. spending policies that direct funds to high-growth areas;
    2. urban growth boundaries to guide metropolitan expansion;
    3. "green corridors" programs that provide access to major highway corridors for areas targeted for efficient and compact development; or
    4. other similar programs or policies as determined by the Secretary;

  3. Have preservation or development policies that include a mechanism for reducing potential impacts of transportation activities on the environment;

  4. Demonstrate a commitment to public and private involvement, including the involvement of nontraditional partners in the project team; AND

  5. Examine ways to encourage private sector investments that address the purposes of this section.

PROJECT SELECTION CRITERIA:

FHWA has not established regulatory criteria for the selection of TCSP projects; however, FHWA notes that the following criteria will also be considered in the evaluation of candidates for this program:

Applicants are strongly encouraged to coordinate applications with the State department of transportation and metropolitan planning organization to ensure proposals are consistent with statewide and metropolitan planning requirements.

Applicants other than State departments of transportation should document that they are authorized to submit grant applications on behalf of their metropolitan planning organization, or local or tribal government, and that the project has the support of such.

Applicants other than State departments of transportation should also demonstrate how they will meet the requirements of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 18, including financial management standards and audits. In addition, they should discuss how they will meet other Federal requirements such as Title 23 of United States Code, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, environmental laws and standards including the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act, the Uniform Relocation Act, and other applicable Federal laws and regulations.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

Applications are due from the State departments of transportation (State DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, and tribal governments to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) division offices by June 3, 2011.

The following information must be included to properly evaluate the candidate projects. The appropriate division office must submit the applications by electronic mail in Microsoft Word format. Those applications that do not include these items are considered incomplete and will not be considered in the evaluation selection process.

  1. State in which the project is located.

  2. County in which the project is located.

  3. U.S. Congressional District No.(s) in which the project is located. This is the U.S. Congressional District, not the State district.

  4. U.S. Congressional District Member's Name(s). This is the U.S. Congressional District representative, not the State legislature.

  5. Project Title - This should be a very short project description that readily identifies the project, or is commonly used to describe the facility or project.

  6. State Priority - The State department of transportation should rank each project submitted within the State as to priority. For example, if five projects are submitted within a State, they should be ranked 1 to 5 with 1 being the highest priority.

  7. Project Location - Describe the specific location of the project, including route number and termini, if applicable. Also include appropriate local jurisdiction in which the project is located.

  8. Project Abstract - Describe project work that is to be completed under this particular request, and whether this is a complete project or part of a larger project. (Maximum: 4 Sentences)

  9. Project Narrative - This should include a list of the needs for the project and how each of those needs will be addressed by completion of the project. Other transportation benefits that will result from completion of the project, such as improved public safety, economic development, community enhancement, etc., should be described. (Maximum: 2 Pages)

  10. Amount of Federal TCSP Funds Requested - Indicate the total cost of the proposed work along with the amount of TCSP funds being requested (the maximum Federal share for this program is 80 percent). The State may request partial funding (less than the 80 percent maximum), committing a larger portion of State or local funds. If the State is willing to accept partial funding of the request, that should be indicated. Partial funding along with the commitment of other funds will be used to determine leveraging of funds and allow funding to more projects since the requests far exceed the funding available.

  11. Commitment of Other Funds - Indicate the amounts and sources of any private or other public funding being provided as part of this project. Only indicate those amounts of funding that are firm and documented commitments from the entity controlling the funds.

  12. Previous TCSP Funding - Indicate the amount and Federal fiscal year of any previous TCSP funds received for this project

  13. Project Administration - Indicate whether the project is being administered by the State transportation department, an Indian tribe, or a county, or other local jurisdiction. This information is needed to determine to whom to allocate the funds if the project is selected for funding. If the project is to be allocated to other than the State department of transportation, indicate coordination with State department of transportation and the metropolitan planning organization, ability to act on behalf of the applicant jurisdiction, and ability to meet Federal funding requirements

  14. Project Schedule - The anticipated project schedule (assuming the requested TCSP funding is provided) is required. The schedule should show how the work will be commenced in the fiscal year for which the funds are being requested, and the anticipated completion date of the work. Applications should only be submitted for projects that are ready to advance if the funding request is met.

If the applicant desires to submit additional information, such as maps, pictures, copies of support letters etc., those items must be submitted electronically to the FHWA division office, who will submit them to Headquarters. This additional information should be identified by the State and Project Title that matches items 1 and 5 of the electronic application. These additional items are not required and should not be relied upon to meet the application submission requirements above. Any support letters should be addressed and sent to the Federal Highway Administrator, who is the official ultimately responsible for selecting projects for funding.

The applications must be submitted electronically in Microsoft Word format (see Attachment 2). When submitting the project applications, the division office shall transmit them via email to the attention of Wesley Blount at Wesley.Blount@dot.gov. Transmittal should include:

  1. a statement from the division office that the submittal has been reviewed by the division office and that it meets the submission requirements;
  2. the applicants submission e-mail or letter to the FHWA division office; and
  3. each Microsoft Word application as an attachment.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF AWARDS / ALLOCATION OF FUNDS:

After the applications are received and projects are selected for funding, it is required that Congress be notified before the funds are allocated to the States. When this Congressional notification process is completed, the Office of Planning, Environment and Realty will issue an announcement by email to all FHWA division offices, announcing the TCSP projects that will be funded and the amount of funding for each project.

At that time, States may request that funds be allocated for any projects for which the funds are ready to be obligated. 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 Planning, Environment and Realty will issue the allocation memorandum within a few days of receiving the allocation request from the division office.

STATE TRANSPORTATION AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES:

  1. Coordinate with State, metropolitan planning organizations, local, tribal, and Federal agencies within the State to develop project applications.
  2. Ensure that the applications are completed for candidate projects in accordance with the submission requirements outlined above.
  3. If required, establish priorities if more than one project is submitted for the State.
  4. Submit the applications electronically to the local 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, and when project funds are ready to be obligated.

FHWA DIVISION OFFICE RESPONSIBILITIES:

  1. Provide the solicitation memorandum and this program information to the State transportation agency electronically to facilitate their electronic submission of applications.
  2. Request candidate projects be submitted by the State to the FHWA division office electronically to meet the submission deadline established in the solicitation.
  3. Review all candidate applications submitted by the State prior to sending them to FHWA Headquarters to ensure that they are complete and meet the submission requirements.
  4. Submit the candidate applications electronically to FHWA Headquarters Office of Planning as outlined in the solicitation memorandum. Include the following with the transmitting email message:
    1. Statement from the division office that the State's submittal has been reviewed by the division office and that it meets the submission requirements.
    2. State transportation department submission email or letter to the FHWA division office.
    3. Each Microsoft Word TCSP grant application as a separate attachment.
  5. Forward award announcement to the State.
  6. Forward allocation requests from State to the Office of Planning, Environment and Realty

FHWA HEADQUARTERS PROGRAM OFFICE RESPONSIBILITIES:

  1. Solicit applications from the States through annual solicitation memorandum.
  2. Review applications and compile appropriate program and project information for the Federal Highway Administrator.
  3. Issue award announcement via email to all FHWA division offices.
  4. Allocate funds upon receipt of request from State through the FHWA division office.
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