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2012 Discretionary Grant Programs

This collection of information is voluntary and will be used to access the relationships among transportation, community, and system preservation plans and practices and identify private sector-based initiatives to improve such relationships. The public reporting burden is estimated to average 120 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Please note that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 2125-0615 with an expiration date of July 31, 2013. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal Highway Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.

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

Statutory References

TEA-21 §1221

Program Summary

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.


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 of Transportation 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

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.

Statutory Priority Consideration

The Secretary of Transportation will make grants for projects from States, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, and tribal governments, with statutorily required 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

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

Policy Considerations

Restoring economic health and creating jobs through improvements to 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. Applicants 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 Fiscal Year 2012 discretionary programs, the FHWA will also give consideration to providing an equitable and geographic distribution of funds.

The FHWA will further give consideration to emergency rehabilitation and restoration projects which are necessary to reopen Interstate bridges that are critical to the regional and national movement of people and goods.

Submission Requirements

Applications in Microsoft Word or PDF formats are due from the State departments of transportation (State DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, and tribal governments to the FHWA division offices by January 6, 2012.

The following information must be included to properly evaluate the candidate projects. 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 Number(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 DOT 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. (4 sentence maximum)
  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. (2 page maximum)
  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 DOT, a tribal government, 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 DOT, indicate coordination with State DOT 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 application. These additional items are not required and should not be relied upon to meet the application submission requirements above.

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

Applicants other than State DOTs 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 DOTs 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.

State Department of Transportation Responsibilities

  1. Coordinate with metropolitan planning organizations, State, local, tribal, and Federal agencies within the State to develop project applications.
  2. Ensure applications are complete and in accordance with eligibility and submission requirements outlined above.
  3. If required, establish priorities if more than one project is submitted for the State.
  4. Submit the applications 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.

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 DOT 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.

FHWA Point of Contact

Wesley Blount
Office of Human Environment

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