In the fiscal year 2002 Department of Transportation Appropriations Act, Congress has made available $54 Million of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Revenue Aligned Budget Authority funds for the Border Infrastructure Program. These funds are to support construction and improvements to the motor carrier safety inspection facilities along the United States-Mexican border to meet the objectives of Section 350 of the Appropriations Act. Section 350 requires the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to implement a broad range of safety related activities for commercial motor vehicles at the United States-Mexico border. The objective of the program is twofold: the safe operation of Mexican commercial motor vehicles operating in the United States and improved traffic flow at the border crossings in four states: California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. We are soliciting grant applications from the respective State departments of transportation (DOTs) for the Border Infrastructure Program.
This program is a discretionary program, but the funded projects will need to follow the Title 23 Federal-aid requirements. While this program is of major interest to FMCSA, the FHWA is the administering agency for the Border Infrastructure Program. We believe that this is a joint FHWA-FMCSA initiative and, therefore the FHWA and FMCSA Divisions should work cooperatively to help expedite this information to the State DOTs and motor carrier safety enforcement agencies.
To help the States develop their application package, a program fact sheet, and sample application and summary formats are attached. Attachment 1 is the program fact sheet. It provides requirements and procedures of the Border Infrastructure Program. Although there is no prescribed application format, we recommend that the States and their project sponsors use the sample application format (Attachment 2) and summary format (Attachment 3) as this will help facilitate the evaluation and awarding process.
We are working under a very tight timeframe. We want to make final project selection as early as May. To meet this target date, grant applications should be received by the FHWA Division Administrator by April 1. The FHWA and FMCSA staff should jointly review the grant applications for completeness and comment as appropriate. All grant applications must be submitted to headquarters, HEPS-20, no later than April 5.
If you have any questions concerning this program, please direct them to Ms. Lorrie Lau at FHWA (202) 366-2084 or Mr. Tom Kozlowski at FMCSA (202) 366-4049.
FHWA and FMCSA Division Administrators for:
Requirements and Procedures for Border Infrastructure Program
- $54 Million of the FHWA RABA is available for the program.
- The four State DOTs (AZ, CA, NM, and TX) are the direct recipients (grantees) of the Federal-aid funds, and the State DOTs may pass the funds to the project sponsors (subgrantees).
- The Border Infrastructure Program is a Federal-aid grant program, with an 80-20 matching ratio. Projects funded under this program are required to meet the 20 percent state/local match.
- This program is to fund the four states in building their permanent motor carrier safety inspection facilities and supporting infrastructure (i.e., property, roadway, and building) at the United States-Mexico border.
- Proposed projects should be expeditiously implementable and improve the overall operation of the border facilities.
- The individual States are requested not to submit grant applications totaling more than $54 Million due to the limited funds available.
- The State DOT will be responsible for coordinating the projects with their Inspection and Enforcement partners. Proposed projects may be sponsored by other agencies, but must be coordinated and submitted through the State DOT.
- The State DOT should review and rank/prioritize the proposed applications.
- Under the requirements of Title 23, proposed project needs to be included and identified either in the regional Transportation Improvement Program or the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.
Application Submittal Package
- Grant applications should be sent to the FHWA Division Office by April 1.
- The FHWA and FMCSA Divisions should jointly review and comment on the grant applications. The FHWA Divisions should transmit the application packages to HEPS-20 by April 5.
- House Conference Report [HR 2299] specified several factors for consideration: number of commercial vehicles, delays, traffic patterns, and safety.
- A panel will be put together by FHWA and FMSCA to review and evaluate the applications and will recommend a list of projects for funding.
- The Secretary of Transportation will make final project selection.
- Once projects are awarded, the State DOT will need to obligate funds no later than September 30.
- Since these projects are Federal-aid projects, they will be administered and monitored by the FHWA Division through the State DOT.
- This program is a cost reimbursement program; therefore, fund reimbursement to the state/project sponsor will not be made until work is done.
Format for Application
Border Infrastructure Program Discretionary Funds
- State (if a multi state or multi MPO project, list the lead State/MPO and participating States/MPO);
- County(ies) or Parish(es);
- U.S. Congressional District(s);
- Project location, including a map or maps (no more than two, except for extraordinarily complex projects) with U.S., State, local numbered routes and other important facilities clearly identified;
- Project objectives and benefits;
- Proposed work, identifying with specific element(s) of work;
- Planning, programming, coordinating and scheduling status: Identifying whether the project is included, or expected to be included, in State, and MPO plans and programs (e.g., STIPs and TIPs); noting consistency with air quality plans; noting coordination with inspection agencies and with Mexico; stating the expected project initiation, milestone and/or project component completion and overall project completion dates; and describing how this proposed project ties in with the State's overall border facilities plan;
- Current and projected Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) (CMV, as defined in 49 CFR 350.3) traffic, including a sketch of the traffic patterns, relevant safety information such as crashes involving CMVs at the border crossing location;
- Financial information and projections, including: Total estimated cost of improvement to the overall border facility or infrastructure improvement; a listing by year and source of previous funding (if part of a larger project, this should include previous funding for the overall project) from all sources; and a listing, by year, amount and source, of other funds committed to the project or useable portions of the project;
- Financial information on past Federal-aid (Title 23) awards for the proposed project border facilities and surrounding support facilities, since fiscal year 1999;
- Description of the current state motor vehicle safety inspection and weighing operation and existing infrastructure (e.g. state-owned or leased Right-of-Way with improvements and structures);
- Information regarding ownership, applicable to infrastructure improvement projects where, at the time of the application, the facilities to be improved are reasonably known;
- Maintenance responsibility applicable to infrastructure improvement projects where, at the time of application, the facilities to be improved are reasonably known;
- Other information needed to specifically address the selection criteria for program funding (e.g. commercial vehicle delay);
- Amount of Border Infrastructure Program funds requested, as well as written confirmation of the source and amount of non-Federal funds that make up the non-Federal share of the project;
- Willingness to accept partial funding including, if applicable, the minimum amount of discretionary funding that will result in a useable product or project (If not unambiguously indicated, the FHWA will construe that partial funding is acceptable);
The priority within the State assigned to the application, relative to other applications submitted by that State, that is a clearly defined e.g., priority one or priority two, (not a qualified priority such as priority one for Border Infrastructure or priority one for planning); or
If applicable, the reason(s) why a priority was not assigned or why an ambiguous priority was assigned;
- Public endorsements of, expectations for or opposition to the project by public and private organizations who expect to use the work to be funded by the grant as well as those who expect to benefit or be adversely affected, directly or indirectly, from such work (a summary of such endorsements, delineating the oral from the written, and if appropriate, the extent of the support, is needed; however, copies of endorsements are not needed and should not be included in the application;
- Summary sheet covering basic project information to be used for Congressional notification if the project is selected for funding (Attachment 3);
- Each grant application shall not exceed 15 pages.
Format for SUMMARY SHEET
GRANTEE: List full name of agency
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE/SENATOR(S): List full names
GOVERNOR/MAYOR(S): List full names
PROJECT: Short name and brief description of project (e.g., This project provides for widening by one lane in each direction of...extending from...in the vicinity of... to... in the vicinity of ... a distance of ... This improvement will serve ... and ... will result in major safety/time savings ... to...)
FHWA FUNDS REQUESTED: Exclude non-Federal share
OTHER FUNDS COMMITTED: Specify source and amounts
OTHER SUPPORT: List agencies providing substantive assistance
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION: (e.g., improved access to border crossing, expected improvement to local economy, specify phase of project development, specify on going projects that will be coordinated with this one, identify environmental features, construction scheduling - all if appropriate)