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Talking Freight

TIGER Discretionary Grant Program

June 9, 2009 Talking Freight Transcript

Presentations

Laura Feast:
Good afternoon and good morning. Welcome to our seminar. Today's topic is the TIGER Discretionary Grant Program. Please be advised that today's seminar is being recorded. We will have a presentation given by Tony Furst, and in the room we also have Jacob Falk and Roger Bohnert.

Tony Furst:
Thank you, Laura. Hello, I'm Tony Furst and with me is Jake Falk.

Jake Falk:
Hi. I'm the Acting Director of Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Office.

Roger Bohnert:
And hello, I'm Roger Bohnert; I will be going over the logistical reviews.

L Feast:
Tony, with that, I will let you get started.

T Furst:
Thank you. If you can go to the first slide, I will get started.

Good afternoon. Thank you for attending. I'm happy to provide this service and I am glad I have Jake and Roger with me.

Do not use this as a substitute. I recommend that you spend time wading your way through the Federal Register notice. Be advised that there is the possibility of a supplemental notice on June 17th, and the decision to produce one has not been made yet, but please keep an eye on the website.

We will be going over each of these elements in the presentation and as Laura indicated we will be dealing with the questions submitted, and then we will go to the chat box and then the phone lines for everyone to comment.

Next slide.
There are some ground rules that need to be adhered to. We have some lobbyists on the line, so there will be no discussions on individual projects. We will keep this presentation to specifics of the program. The Q & As will be posted to the website regarding the guidance that we receive. As Laura has indicated, the presentation and the dialogue will be posted on the website by next Friday, June 19th.

Next slide.

As we walk through all of this, the criteria has been defined in the guidance. The programmatic elements noted in the fifth bullet will be evaluated after the primary and secondary criteria that is identified in the Register notice. The funds are available until September 30th, 2011.

No decisions on the funding will be made until after the September deadline. The door is open for people who want to submit the applications to us, but no funding decisions will be made until after the September deadline has passed.

Next slide.

The Department has evaluated the comments that we have received, to decide whether we will issue a supplemental notice. Again, it has not be decided whether the supplemental notice will be created and published.

Next slide.

The funds will be awarded to the governmental entities. Public and private collaboration is certainly allowed - and is encouraged. For multi-state or multi-jurisdictional applicants, pick a lead entity that will serve as a main point of contact. The Department may need to discuss project details, so particularly for the multi-state or multi-jurisdictional applicants a primary point of contact is helpful.

As you can see here in the language, the types of eligibilities are broad. I would treat this as broadly as you can, as opposed to narrowly. Congress has given us wide latitude in what we can look at, and the door is wide open.

Next slide.

These are the primary selection criteria, this is where the Department will place much of the emphasis.

The Department will give priority to projects that have the significant impact on the five desirable long-term outcomes.

Next slide.

Again, this is where we are going to be capturing the short-term jobs and the jobs created within the projects themselves. This is where you will be evaluating the longer term benefits of the job itself.

Next slide.

While these are listed as a secondary criteria, they are evaluated through the teams. Pay attention to them. They are listed as the secondary selection criteria, but it is something that the Department will be taking into consideration.

Next slide.

Benefit cost analysis. As you can see the larger the request for the funds the more detailed the benefit-cost analysis needs to be. As noted in the bullet, applicants must provide a well-developed analysis including methodological standards used and the values assigned to qualitative measures. The Department is specifically seeking comments on this requirement. Please contact the Department and let us know. And to the extent that the Department has further guidance of the cost analysis, that is going to be provided by June 17th. It's worthwhile to monitor the TIGER Discretionary Grant Program website and look at any guidance with each date.

Next slide.

There is no specific application format or form. You can submit it in whatever way you decide is appropriate. It is no more than 25 pages, single-sided pages, not double-sided pages, please provide all of the criteria requested by the Department. Geospatial information is helpful and is appreciated.

Publicly available or verifiable data needs to be provided to us. If you have confidential information that you would like to provide to the Department, please identify that and we will process it accordingly.

Next slide.

We don't know how many evaluation teams will be assembled. It will be based on the number of the applicants that the Department will receive. This is going to be an all-hands on-deck situation for the Department. We will be assembling the teams as we move forward. We may assemble specialty teams, in particular for the financials and benefit-cost analysis because we do have expertise and capacity in those areas. So we may have a number of teams that are specifically evaluating those elements of projects.

Next slide.

As with all of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act programs, the reporting requirements are listed here. There is an entire section devoted to this in the Federal Register notice, and I would encourage you to take a look at this and read through it. Presumably those of you who are DOTs already have. For those of you who are not familiar with this, please spend the time reading the reporting requirements that is needed for this.

Next slide.

As it was noted earlier, if you are providing a waiver, please let us know. If you are following up with a TIFIA loan, you will have to follow through with the appropriate applications and guidelines. If you are going to be seeking TIFIA loans in conjunction with this grant and funding, then you need to have the specific applications for loans and for this grant program. The TIFIA subsidy costs will be counted against the State's total and not the TIFIA loan amount as has been done in the past. Also the TIFIA subsidy cost is not subject to the $20 million waiver requirement.

Next slide.

This time line is straightforward. I would encourage you to put a 17 under the June column. There could be a supplemental notice coming out at that time. You will need to monitor the website to determine whether or not that is coming out. No selections will be made until all of the projects are received on September 15th. We will announce those selected projects as soon as possible.

Next slide.

There are going to be FAQs for this program. This website is where you can go and take a look at them. It involves the federal registered lobbyists and all of the Q & As from this program as well as the criteria by Congress on how we are going to implement the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. That walks us through it. Again, this slide presentation will be available. It will also be available on the presentation website, and I would encourage you to go through that.

With that Roger or Jake, do you have additions that you would like to add?

J Falk:
Sure, thanks, Tony. I would point out that the framework for this program comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has multiple goals. Obviously, the important goal with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is to provide quick job creation, economic job activity, and that has been selected as one of the primary criteria in this program. The program also has the purpose of investing in transportation and the other infrastructure that provides long-term benefits for the country. That is in the primary selection criteria, and that is what the Department identifies as critical priorities. These critical priorities include: State of good repair, transportation infrastructure, economic competitiveness of the United States, livability, sustainability. Those are high priorities of the Department. The Secretary stated he is focusing on these priorities.

Livability focuses on the quality of life for those who are living and working in specific communities. Sustainability has more of a global environmental sustainability focus, and is looking at the issues of reducing fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and it is a little bit more quantifiable than the economic sustainability. Safety is one of the priorities of the Department and one of the key selection criteria, and we identify that as well. This framework that we have set up traces back to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

R Bohnert:
This is Roger. There is just one thing I would like to call your attention to. In the criteria, there is a section that talks about the program criteria, bridge replacement projects, TIFIA, and the port infrastructure projects. If you are contemplating port infrastructure projects, look at that specifically, because that is not a program that we have had in the past. It goes into a little more detail than some of the other programs that we are looking at.

T Furst:
All right. With that, we will start working our way through the questions we have received initially from the written input to us and then we will go ahead and hit the chat box.

EDITIOR'S NOTE: FHWA HAS PLACED ALL OF THE QUESTIONS ANSWERED DURING THE WEBINAR INTO THE FOLLOWING TABLE FOR EASE OF READING. IN SOME CASES, NON-SUBSTANTIVE LANGUAGE USED IN THE TABLE MAY VARY SLIGHTLY FROM THE AUDIO RECORDING. THIS WAS DONE TO PROVIDE THE READER WITH MORE CONCISE AND EASIER TO READ RESPONSES.

Number Question Suggested Response Name Category
1
Will the Administration consider a program of projects across a geographic area that are logically tied, such as projects from several different short line operators that, while not individually more than $20 million, combine and reach the $20m threshold? If the projects are to be evaluated as a group and as a group are used to meet the selection criteria, then if collectively they do not meet $20M then you will need to ask for a waiver, if collectively they meet or exceed $20M but are less than $300M then they will be treated as one project. To the extent that the projects are distinct, each will need to address all the selection criteria separately and each will need to either meet the $20M threshold or request a waiver. If the applicant wants them considered separately then each should have independent utility. If they are to be evaluated together then they will be treated as a group. Lynn Weiskopf, NYSDOT Multi-jurisdiction
2
In multi-state applications, the draft guidance indicates that a lead agency should be identified. Should each state on the application submit an application or should there be a single combined joint application? A single application from the lead jurisdiction with demonstration of how project costs are apportioned between the jurisdictions, and statements of support from each of the participants. The lead agency should be identified in the application as USDOT is interested in knowing that all of the jurisdictions support the application. Lynn Weiskopf, NYSDOT Multi-jurisdiction
3
Does the administration have additional guidance to offer on best practices for determining benefit cost analysis - particularly as non-traditional benefits such as ghg reduction or land use are added? Benefit Cost Analysis is an area that the Department recognizes is not as well developed as it could be. USDOT is asking people to provide comments on the benefit cost analysis. To the extent that the Department provides additional guidance it will be available by June 17th and provided in the supplemental notice. Applicants should monitor the USDOT web site, where additional guidance and best practices will be posted. Lynn Weiskopf, NYSDOT BCA
4
Will these be 100% grants or will there be a match? Grants may be for up to 100%, however USDOT will give priority to projects that demonstrate strong collaboration among a broad range of participants and the leveraging of federal funding. Denise Bunnewith, North Florida TPO Funding Distribution
5
What will the eligibility requirements be?  Port related?  Freight?  What percentage of the traffic of the traffic? All of the eligibility requirements are fully stated in the Federal Register notice. As is indicated, it is a broad field, so interpret the language broadly. Do keep in mind that the statutory language states the program is for capital investments for surface transportation. Denise Bunnewith, North Florida TPO Eligible Projects
6
If the project in not in the MPOs current LRTP, but it will be in the LRTP adopted in November 2009, will it be eligible? If the project is required to be on the LRTP and STIP/TIP it needs to be on these documents prior to USDOT allowing funds to be obligated for the project. USDOT recognizes some projects may not yet have federal funds associated with them and time will be needed after grants are announced to get these projects finalized on the appropriate documents. USDOT recommends working closely with the MPO or the State DOT early to determine if the project needs to be included in these documents. To the extent there is a reasonable likelihood that the applicant can include the project in the appropriate planning document in a certain period of time, it would be helpful to indicate so. Denise Bunnewith, North Florida TPO STIP/TIP
7
Will letters of support from local jurisdictions be accepted with an application submittal? Yes, evidence of support from State and local officials including relevant governor(s) and/or mayors will be evaluated in assisting whether a project is ready to move forward quickly. These can be attached as an appendix. Christopher J. Bridges, Yavapai County Public Works Application Process
8
How much of a priority will economically distressed areas receive over non-economically distressed areas for project selection? The Federal Register notice indicates that there are an number of project attributes that will be given a priority, including economically distressed areas. None of these project attributes have a particular weighting. Christopher J. Bridges, Yavapai County Public Works EDA
9
May the application be filed jointly between a State and Local jurisdiction if the proposed project includes improvements consisting of a combination of a State Highway and a Local Jurisdiction Road? Yes. Christopher J. Bridges, Yavapai County Public Works Multi-jurisdiction
10
Are there specific guidelines for applicants to use in estimating immediate job creation from the project in addition to long term job creation? USDOT may have additional information on this in the future. Christopher J. Bridges, Yavapai County Public Works Job Creation
11
Are regional Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) eligible to sponsor projects? Eligible Applicants include U.S. territories, tribal governments, transit agencies, port authorities, other political subdivisions of State or local governments, and multi-State or multi-jurisdictional applicants. To the extent that an MPO meets this criteria it may sponsor projects. Jill MacKay, IBI Group Eligible Applicant
12
Are projects on principal arterials and/or state routes eligible for grants? Surface transportation facilities generally include highways, ports, freight and passenger railroads and transit systems, and projects that connect ports to other modes of transportation. Eligible Projects are not limited to projects that receive Federal assistance. Local projects that do not receive Federal assistance are eligible to apply for funding under this Program. Jill MacKay, IBI Group Eligible Projects
13
Can the TIGER Discretionary Grant funds be used for construction and administrative costs, or for construction costs only? Yes, TIGER Discretionary Grants can be used for administrative, engineering or design work, but only to the extent that Grant Funds are also being used for the construction of a project. However, make sure the grant funds that you are requesting tie back to the selection criteria that USDOT has specified. Design and engineering work may not tie back with some of the criteria. For example, job creation and economic stimulus criteria are more focused on new construction projects. Be sure that the projects and the costs are in line with the criteria. Also keep in mind that there are project readiness criteria that will need to be addressed in the application. Caroline A. Pricher, Greenberg Traurig Eligible Projects
14
Should the Applications be accompanied by letters of support from other Municipalities, local Associations of Governments, and/or Regional Transportation Authorities?  Do letters of support help? Yes, evidence of support from State and local officials including relevant governor(s) and/or mayors will be evaluated in assisting whether a project is ready to move forward quickly. These can be attached as an appendix. Partnerships are important for this program. Two areas of partnership USDOT will focus on are: (1) number of stakeholders involved, and (2) discipline integration. Caroline A. Pricher, Greenberg Traurig Application Process
15
What level of detail is important in discussing the various elements/components of the Application? Be clear and distinct - clearly provide information on what the project entails. Caroline A. Pricher, Greenberg Traurig Application Process
16
Is timing of submittal of the Application critical?  Will Applications submitted early and well in advance of the Sept. 15 submittal deadline receive favorable treatment? No, as long as applications are received by the September 15, 2009 deadline. No decisions on funding any of the applications will be made until after Sept 15th. Caroline A. Pricher, Greenberg Traurig Application Process
17
re the projects submitted to be "shovel ready? What minimum stage of design is acceptable, or in what time frame are these projects expected to be released for bid? The object of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is to create jobs for the economy quickly. USDOT is looking at quick-start activities. There is an entire element of project readiness in the criteria. All of these items need to be documented within the project proposal. USDOT expects the proposals to be complete when submitted. We would like everyone to have engineering work performed prior to submitting an application. Scott Bender, Pinal County Public Works Eligible Projects
18
Are Alternate Delivery Method projects acceptable? Yes, the program is broad and not constrained. Applicants should look at each of those initiatives broadly. Scott Bender, Pinal County Public Works Eligible Projects
19
Can multi-jurisdictional projects be formed and submitted? Yes Scott Bender, Pinal County Public Works Multi-Jurisdiction
20
Do projects submitted have to be listed on an approved/current Transportation Improvement Plan? If the project is required to be on the LRTP and STIP/TIP it needs to be on these documents prior to USDOT allowing funds to be obligated for the project. USDOT recognizes some projects may not yet have federal funds associated with them and time will be needed after grants are awarded to get these projects finalized on the appropriate documents. USDOT recommends working closely with the MPO early to determine if the project needs to be included in these documents. To the extent there is a reasonable likelihood that the applicant can include the project in the appropriate planning document in a certain period of time, it would be helpful to indicate so. Scott Bender, Pinal County Public Works STIP/TIP
21
Will funding be distributed through State DOT? Council of Governments? Directly to requesting agency? USDOT may have additional information on this in the future. Scott Bender, Pinal County Public Works Funding Distribution
22
The selection criteria guidance specifies "...inclusion of the project in the relevant State, metropolitan, and local planning documents, or a certification from the appropriate agency that the project will be included in the relevant planning document prior to award of a TIGER Discretionary Grant."  Addressed in other STIP/TIP questions. Kathy Neill, FDOT STIP/TIP
23
For projects located in metropolitan planning areas, does this mean the proposed project needs to be included in or consistent with the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) long range transportation plan (LRTPs)?  (Note: Some MPOs do not traditionally include port infrastructure or freight rail projects in their LRTPs.)  Be included in the MPO transportation improvement program? All regionally significant projects requiring an action by the FHWA or the FTA must be in the metropolitan transportation plan, TIP and STIP. Further, in air quality non-attainment and maintenance areas, all regionally significant projects, regardless of the funding source, must be included in the conforming metropolitan transportation plan and TIP. To the extent a project is required to be on a metropolitan transportation plan, TIP and/or STIP it will not receive a TIGER Discretionary Grant until it is included in such plans. Projects that are not required to be in long range transportation plans, STIPs and TIPs will not need to be included in such plans in order to receive a TIGER Discretionary Grant. Freight and passenger rail projects are not required to be on the State Rail Plans called for in the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008. This is consistent with the exemption for high speed and intercity passenger rail projects under the Recovery Act. However, applicants seeking funding for freight and passenger rail projects are encouraged to demonstrate that they have done sufficient planning to ensure that projects fit into a prioritized list of capital needs and are consistent with long range goals. Kathy Neill, FDOT STIP/TIP
24
Do TIGER grant recipients need to meet these STIP and LRTP requirements at the time of grant award or at the time of federal authorization of the grant? To the extent that a project is required to be in one of these plans, then the applicant will be required to get the project on the plan before receiving the TIGER Discretionary Grant Program funds. To the extent the project is not required to be in these documents, then the funds and grants will not be affected. Kathy Neill, FDOT STIP/TIP
25
What type of freight rail transportation projects are eligible for funding under this program? The language in the Discretionary Grant Program is very broad and not constrained by reference to any particular program eligibility. You should interpret 'rail transportation projects' broadly. Kathy Neill, FDOT Eligible Projects
26
For freight rail transportation projects, does a state or local government need to be the grant recipient (as opposed to the private railroad company)? Yes, a government agency is required to be the grant recipient. However, Eligible Applicants may partner with a private entity and use Grant Funds to pay for a public-private partnership or a privately-owned project. Refer to the information available on partnerships for more information. Kathy Neill, FDOT Eligible Applicant
27
Is the state Governor required to prepare a 1511 certification for all TIGER grants received by his or her state (including those grants awarded to local governments)? Yes, see the TIGER Discretionary Grant Federal Register Section X. B Kathy Neill, FDOT ARRA and TIGER Certifications/Requirements
28
How will the disbursement of funds be handled throughout the projects? USDOT may have additional information on this in the future. Clint Schelbitzki, Union Pacific Railroad Funding Distribution
30
Could you clarify when/under what circumstances port and intermodal projects will need to be included in a TIP/STIP? This is important for potential applicants to know since it will take time to amend the TIP/STIP if such action is necessary. At a webinar on the TIGER discretionary grants last week, DOT representatives indicated that "in many cases, port projects will not have to be on the TIP/STIP, but in some cases they may have to be". Could you provide more guidance on this? All regionally significant projects requiring an action by the FHWA or the FTA must be in the metropolitan transportation plan, TIP and STIP. Further, in air quality non-attainment and maintenance areas, all regionally significant projects, regardless of the funding source, must be included in the conforming metropolitan transportation plan and TIP. To the extent a project is required to be on a metropolitan transportation plan, TIP and/or STIP it will not receive a TIGER Discretionary Grant until it is included in such plans. Projects that are not required to be in long range transportation plans, STIPs and TIPs will not need to be included in such plans in order to receive a TIGER Discretionary Grant. Freight and passenger rail projects are not required to be on the State Rail Plans called for in the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008. This is consistent with the exemption for high speed and intercity passenger rail projects under the Recovery Act. However, applicants seeking funding for freight and passenger rail projects are encouraged to demonstrate that they have done sufficient planning to ensure that projects fit into a prioritized list of capital needs and are consistent with long range goals. Mary Phillips, Phillips Strategic Services STIP/TIP
31
Will the Department approve or deny each application as submitted, or may the Department modify the terms and amount of funding for some projects? USDOT will be specifically checking the applications to ensure they are complete. If the Department needs to get back with an applicant, we will be doing so via the point of contact listed on the application. Mary Phillips, Phillips Strategic Services Application Process
32
The information on DOT's website with respect to Economically Distressed Areas is at the county level, which may not reflect the economic status of a community within the county. Will the Department consider evidence that a town or city is economically distressed, even though the count may not be? What documentation will need to be provided? This issue was brought up to the Department. If there is more information on this, that information will be provided in the Federal Register. Mary Phillips, Phillips Strategic Services EDA
33
Several of the largest commercial railroad operators are interested in the design and demonstration of a plug-in-hybrid locomotive to reduce fuel consumption, cost and environmental impact in their operating areas. Minimum funding to execute a 2-3 year pilot program would be approximately $35 million. Would this be an eligible and appropriate request under this funding program? This is a project specific question that should be sent to USDOT in writing for a written response. Douglas B. Alderton, Premium Power Corporation Eligible Projects
34
Who is financially responsible for potential cost overruns? Grantee. Grant Janke, Union Pacific Funding Distribution
35
Is funding predicated on a project being completed by February 2012? A project doesn't have to be completed by February 2012, but it is given priority if it is completed by that date. This ties back to the economic stimulus purpose of the program. One of the priorities spelled out by the Recovery Act is for the projects that can be completed within three years. It doesn't eliminate the eligibility for projects that can't be completed or expected to be completed in two or three years, but USDOT will give priority to the projects that can be completed in three years. Grant Janke, Union Pacific Eligible Projects
36
Please describe the process for choosing which projects will receive TIGER funding? There will be evaluation teams, USDOT still has to work through the details of how the teams will work. The number of the teams is a function of the number of applications received. All of the evaluation teams will be schooled and counseled on the criteria and what USDOT is looking for in the criteria. There will be another group taking the applications to the Secretary, and the Secretary will have a group of Departmental members working with him. Grant Janke, Union Pacific Application Process
38
Is there a BCA model that exists that addresses the areas in TIGER? This is part of what USDOT is looking for when we asked for comments. This is a unique program. The Department doesn't have other programs that require the funding across multiple modes. Some of the information that USDOT is looking for are not quantifiable in the other programs and we can't plug this into an existing BCA model. To the extent there are good ideas in the comments, and if USDOT has additional guidance on this topic the information will be made available. Applicants should monitor the website and look for the supplemental Register notice. Frances Polster BCA
39
Please find time to address workforce and community development partnerships. Partnerships are something the Department defined in the Federal Register notice. The Notice specifically states that the Department will give priority to the projects that are making effective use of the coordinating and connecting disadvantaged populations with economic opportunities. To the extent that an applicant has non-traditional partnerships, combining state and local and federal funding, please include that information. USDOT is also interested in some of the non-traditional partnerships. Berit Eriksson Sailors Union of the Pacific Partnerships
40
The 25 page narrative page limit, is it single space or double space, and what font size? Single spaced, Font size - be reasonable!   Application Process
41
Please note the updated URL: http://fhwa.na3.acrobat.com/freight500/ N/A Jim Dwyer, Maryland Port Administration Information Sharing
42
Do you want copies of the publicly available information or just where to find the information? If copies are required, is it correct to assume this is not part of the 25 page narrative? Does included geospatial information also fall into the narrative category? This is described in the Federal Register notice. If it is publicly available, please provide the information by providing a web link or website reference. An applicant should reference information already provided to USDOT through other programs, an applicant does not need to duplicate this information. Yes, geospatial information also falls into the narrative category. Greg Deakle, Port Itawamba Application Process
43
What is TIFIA? This is a federal credit assistance program. Geared to national or regional projects. Funded over 17 projects over the last dozen years. The standard TIFIA criteria are on the FHWA website. USDOT is requiring those who are looking to receive a TIFIA loan to apply for TIFIA by a standard process. The great appeal for the TIGER solicitation is that it identifies the funding for the TIFIA loan subsidy, and that is a welcomed situation from our point of view, because we have expended all of our current program funds.   TIFIA
44
Are Ferries eligible? Vessel construction is eligible as long as it meets the criteria. Mobile MPO Eligible Projects
45
Under Title 49, Chapter 53 of the US Code, all public transportation projects are allowed but the criteria seems to focus on capital. In your interpretation can an applicant apply for alternatives analysis and/or operations? USDOT may have additional information on this in the future. Toni Tisdale Eligible Projects
46
Can the grant funds be used for both planning (non-capital expenditures) as well as construction costs? What about engineering work? If the funds are only used for capital projects, does engineering count as part of that project? What preliminary engineering work is required? Yes, TIGER Discretionary Grants can be used for administrative, engineering or design work, but only to the extent that Grant Funds are also being used for the construction of a project. However, make sure the grant funds that you are requesting are tying back to the selection criteria that USDOT has specified. Design and engineering work may not tie in with some of the criteria. For example, job creation and economic stimulus criteria are more focused on new construction projects. Be sure that the projects and the costs are in line with the criteria. USDOT expects feasibility to be brought forward in the budget. Kyle Smith Eligible Projects
47
What constitutes a small city, region to get a waiver? Do you have a threshold? Is there also a waiver for small counties? The legislation says waivers will be eligible in smaller cities/regions/states. USDOT used this guidance and did not create more detailed guidance. guest Smaller Projects
48
The concepts of livability and sustainability are fairly broad. Will we be getting additional guidance on how these criteria will be applied? They are broad. There are not existing programs that have very focused definitions of these items. The Secretary has said that livability and sustainability are priorities for the Department. Look at the Federal Register notice under sustainability, the focus is going to be on reducing fuel consumption and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, both are fairly quantifiable. In terms of livability, the Federal Register notice provides four measures the Department will be evaluating. One of those is the creation of the transportation options. Second is the improvement of transportation choices and that is the enhancement of model connectivity or removal of the congestion on the existing assets. Third is improving the accessibility and services for certain groups, and the fourth is whether the project that is as a result of the planning process. USDOT has identified some measures of what we would be looking for in these items. However, the Department recognizes that these are broad, but to the extent that there are other measures that an applicant thinks address the criteria and make the project a good livability or sustainability project; please include those in the application. Sandra Otto Livability Sustainability
49
Can a Jurisdiction submit multiple project applications Yes. Monte Wilson Application Process
50
How does the TIGER money fit the "Quick Start" clause in ARRA? What work must have been done for a project to be considered shovel ready? There are a number of project readiness elements within the project submission that address this issue. Kyle Smith ARRA and TIGER Certifications/Requirements
51
For would-be applicants not accustomed to this program (e.g., a port authority), how should they seek counsel on whether their project ideas are plausible or related to others' goals? Should they talk to their state transportation agencies? If their project ideas are of more regional than state-specific importance, is it still important to solicit support from the pertinent state transportation agencies? Especially in the case of a port and freight projects, and going back to the partnership criteria, USDOT would be encouraging the applicant to work with the MPOs and the state DOTs to come to an agreement on the project, not only for the consideration of the criteria, but how it will help to fit in on the state and local regional system. All applicants are new applicants to this program, and so no one will be at a disadvantage in that sense. Projects will be evaluated on their impact on the nation, the metropolitan area, the region. This is an area where an applicant needs to think about who the relevant state and national and local level representatives would be. Abby Swaine, EPA New England Partnership Criteria
52
Re: TIFIA Application - To apply for both TIGER and TIFIA there will be one TIGER application for the grant funds that will reference the TIFIA amount requested. As the requesting agency we will have one TIGER application and one TIFIA application. Is this correct? Yes, you must submit applications for both programs. Virginia Port (Arkansas) TIFIA
53
What is the deadline the funds must be used by? FFY? Funds are available for obligation until September 30, 2011. Priority is for projects to be completed by the 3 year date which February 17, 2012. USDOT has defined completion as funds being expended and thus will give priority to projects that can have funds expended by February 17, 2012. WAMPO Project Delivery Deadline Obligation
54
Has FTA issued guidance on how to perform greenhouse gas analysis? USDOT may have additional information on this in the future. Patrick Lentlie Livability Sustainability
55
Regarding a proposed project that might be eligible for Categorical Exemption under the NEPA process -what is the process to go through to get this Exemption; and what is the timeframe/how long does it take to get this Exemption? There are websites on the NEPA that will address what you need to do with the NEPA applications and exemptions. Nothing in this grant program changes the need to follow NEPA requirements.   Environmental Approvals
56
Is there a deadline to obtain obligation? September 30, 2011. In the Federal Register notice the Department notes that to the extent that we decide to award funds to a project, it will be done on a case by case basis, and the Department will be making a decision as to when the funds will need to be obligated. This information will be provided in the approval process. Each applicant will be providing a project schedule, which will include dates for obligating and expending the funds. USDOT will be expecting the projects to live up to the expectations after the funds are awarded.   Project Delivery Deadline Obligation
57
Can MPOs be a project applicant? Yes, if it is a governmental entity.   Eligible Applicant
58
I would assume that this funding will require local jurisdictions to follow all federal guidelines, for instance on the Federal Aid roadway network, NEPA-PD&E, Right-of-way acquisition following Federal guidelines, right? Although these are not Title 23 or Title 49 funds it does not mean they do not come without federal requirements. NEPA is required. There is another important distinction; projects may already have Title 23 or Title 49 funds associated with them. Projects do not have to be on the federal aid highway system to be eligible; however they may need to be on the STIP/TIP. Manon Lavoie, FL DOT - D1 Federal Requirements Title 23/49
59
If at some stage of project design, it is determined a fatal flaw exists to project development/construction, can the sponsor terminate the project. What responsibility does the sponsor incur for project development cost? USDOT may have additional information on this in the future. Monte Wilson Project Delivery
60
Once projects are rated, what is the process for ranking? Projects will be rated but not ranked. The Secretary will select from the rated projects to determine which ones will move forward. Jim Dwyer, Maryland Port Administration Selection Rating
61
Can TIGER projects be segmented to expedite construction elements - that is, for a rail project, could work on the footprint of the r-o-w move forward (under a categorical exclusion) while engineering proceeds for stations (or freight facilities) that may be off the r-o-w and may need an EA? The issue of independent utility will come into play. If the Right of Way can't be a stand alone project, then there would be issues with segmentation Dennis Coffey, HNTB Eligible Projects
62
Are local matching funds required? Will the funds filter through the State Department of Transportation? This could be a 100% grant, but to the extent that an applicant can leverage non-federal dollars this will be considered in the evaluation. The legislation says funds can be provided directly to state/local agencies. USDOT may have additional information on this in the future. Scott Altherr, Santa Cruz County Funding
63
Do the priorities regarding livability and sustainability allow us to include the air quality benefits of rail transport and the project's environmental outcomes? Yes, to the extent that there are air quality benefits and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, include them in the application. This is in the outline of the Sustainability criteria. Dawn Egbert Port of Vancouver Livability Sustainability
64
Which federal agency would administer a rail project that is within the boundary of a port? USDOT will bring in the federal agency with most technical expertise and background. It may be a situation with a lead and support agency. Caltrans Grant Administration
65
Review of Environmental documents is a long and slow process. How will the influx of projects needing review be addressed by reviewers in light of the need for expedited schedule? USDOT is looking for projects that are advanced in this process. The Department recognizes that by creating this type of schedule, we are looking for the projects that have received or are reasonably likely to receive their final documentation in short order. There are a number of projects that are not going to meet the thresholds, but given the intent in the Recovery Act, that's what we have here. Frances Polster Environmental Approvals
66
Can whatever administrative funds are eligible be used as MPO funds match requirements There are no match fund requirements. To the extent an applicant can bring non-federal dollars to the equation will be part of selection criteria. Jim Dover, Kent MPO Funding
67
Once projects are rated, what is the process for ranking? Projects will be rated but not ranked. The Secretary will select from the projects to determine which ones will move forward. Jim Dwyer, Maryland Port Administration Selection Rating
68
Do seaport and rail projects need to be included in the LRTPs of the relevant MPOs? If the project is required to be on the LRTP and STIP/TIP it needs to be on these documents prior to USDOT allowing funds to be obligated for the project. USDOT recognizes some projects may not yet have federal funds associated with them and time will be needed after grants are awarded to get these projects finalized on the appropriate documents. USDOT recommends working closely with the MPO early to determine if the project needs to be included in these documents. To the extent there is a reasonable likelihood that the applicant can complete it in a certain period of time, it would be helpful to indicate. Kathleen Neill STIP/TIP
69
Regarding the February 2012 deadline, is there any consideration that might be granted toward states who have a non-construction season due to weather? Projects will be given priority if completed by that date. Cindy Dingell Project Delivery Deadline
70
Would appendix attachments for letters of support and other supplemental information count against the 25 page maximum? No. However, attachments and appendix information should only support the application itself. Do not use them to expand the application. Chris Bridges, Yavapai County Application Process
71
There is some language stating that the DOT prefers fixed price contracts, but the Federal Register also indicate that priority is given to innovative contracting approaches that encourage accelerated project delivery. What is the effect of this on the use of the Construction-Manager-At-Risk contracting method? USDOT may have additional information on this in the future. Caroline Pricher Project Delivery
72
We have heard that there could be waivers for environmental for an idea on Oberstar, et al that will put $300M towards 12 streetcar systems across the US. Do you know anything about this? No, there are no set asides. USDOT has made no predeterminations on funding. Toni Tisdale Environmental Approvals
73
Will there be a standard application template? No Chris Mann, Maine DOT Application Process
74
I second Toni Tisdale's question and request an answer: Under Title 49, Chapter 53 of the US Code, all public transportation projects are allowed but the criteria seems to focus on capital. In your interpretation can an applicant apply for alternatives analysis and/or operations? USDOT may have additional information on this in the future 9509573 2 Eligible Projects
75
Some publication mentioned setting up web site for project with supplementary info linked there? Is this recommended? If an applicant has supplemental information that they want to attach, the applicant needs to provide a link. If an applicant needs to set up a website to do that, then that is the applicant's determination. The extent that USDOT can get the data to support the information in an attachment or appendix is dependent on the applicant and how you want to provide that to us. Frances Polster Application Process
76
How will you quantify the projects contribution to economic competitiveness, both mid-term and long-term? This is one of the areas where the Department is trying to include measures of the projects that are contributing to the overall competitiveness in the United States. This is distinct from the short term economics of job creation in the stimulus; we are not looking at the economic competitiveness for these job creation factors. USDOT is looking for the expansion, hiring and growth for the other private sector expansion. We are looking for projects that are improving the long-term efficiency, reliability, and the cost improvement of the workers and the goods. The Department wants to know what measures are going to be used in cutting the costs or reducing the time, and how they are related to the high value economic activity. The Department is open to applicants proposing other methods of demonstrating the economic competitiveness in the United States, but USDOT will be reviewing those on a case by case basis. Make sure that any measures used relate back to expanding the economic competitiveness in the U.S. Dawn Egbert, Port of Vancouver Project Criteria Economic Comp.
77
How are you planning to address "geographic distribution" of funds? The competitiveness rating and requirements will be evaluated first, after that Department will be taking geography into account. No one State can receive more than 20% of total funding. Dawn Egbert, Port of Vancouver Funding Distribution
78
Can the projects be completed with local forces like Counties? USDOT may have additional information on this in the future. Jason Kakatsch Project Delivery
79
If grant funds are sought for traditional highway project, will the applicant need to explain why this highway project was not funded as a priority through the stimulus funding distributed by formula? No. It is more important to focus on the transportation challenges that this project is going to address, and how the project is going to address those challenges. Applicants should align the project as well as they can with the criteria that is identified in the Federal Register notice, keeping in mind that there is a Maintenance of Effort reporting requirement that is part of this grant program. Paul Hubler Funding
80
How will program-specific criteria, if needed, be used to evaluate commuter rail projects that have not received a new starts rating? USDOT may have additional information on this in the future. Lisa Wolterink Project Criteria
81
So the ''small'' criteria is NOT referring the federally determined ''rural'' classification? Yes that is correct they are separate. The smaller projects that the waiver is available for are significant projects in smaller cities, regions or states. It is not necessarily aligned with the definition of urban and rural areas. Frances Polster Smaller Projects
82
Can you apply for funds for a preconstruction and construction phase together in an ITS project e.g. developing a design criteria package and also a design build contract for an Incident Management System if the phases can be completed within 3 years of award announcement? To the extent that an applicant can meet all of the selection criteria for the budget readiness. guest Eligible Projects
83
How would project-specific criteria, if needed, be applied to multimodal projects? Overall project criteria such as State of Good Repair are applied regardless of whether the project is multi-modal or just one mode. If multi-modal then the 'state' of all involved modes would need to be addressed. The program specific criteria are limited to the projects that fit within that program. If there are projects that do not fit within the programs and criteria, then the programs and the criteria will not be applied. If there are multi-modal projects, USDOT would apply the criteria to the specific element. Lisa Wolterink Project Criteria
84
Does the amount applied for in the TIFIA loan count as part of the total $300 million cap? A TIGER TIFIA application is for TIFIA subsidy costs. This is the amount used to determine if state fits under $300 million dollar cap and not the actual credit amount. Virginia Port (Arkansas) TIFIA
85
If there are leftover funds, how will those be distributed? Is it possible for a state to receive more than the $300 million maximum? If the Department goes through the evaluation and doesn't have enough projects to exhaust the $1.5B, USDOT has the right to go out with another solicitation. There are also rights regarding the funding. If for whatever reason the recipients are not using the funds, there will be a determination as far as the reuse of the funds. If there are unused funds, USDOT will have to make the determination on use of the best use of funds based on the money that is available. Regardless of the number of solicitations, the 20% cap applies to the program, not the individual solicitations. Georgina Heard-Labonne Funding Distribution
86
Can a state DOT apply on behalf of several small projects in several ports? Yes. Jim Sharrow Eligible Applicant
87
How would a request for a large project (over $250M) be handled provided the project is highly rated, particularly in regards to USDOT needs to equitably distribute funds geographically? Would an otherwise highly rated project be dismissed just because it is too large of a request or would a grant be provided in an amount less than that requested? There is nothing that says one project for $300 million cannot be issued to the State. USDOT is not excluding projects simply because they are requesting a large amount of funding. Shannon Funding Distribution
88
Is there any tie between the TIGER grant program and the RRIF Loan program? Would applying for a loan through this program benefit our grant request? No specific tie. Dawn Egbert, Port of Vancouver Financial Feasibility
89
Does Davis/Bacon apply? Does DBE apply? What are the bid requirements? USDOT may have additional information on this in the future. Yes federal wage rate requirements do apply. Eddie Dawson, KDOT Wage Rate
90
Can supplemental/supportive document(s) be submitted after the application, i.e. will supportive documentation be accepted if submitted within reasonable timeframe after the application deadline - if they were not available at the time of submission? USDOT expects applications to be complete when submitted. One exception is if environmental documentation will be received within reasonable time after the application deadline. This should be noted by the applicant. 9509573 3 Application Process
91
If funds are granted to a local agency, will the state be required to provide the 1511 certification for the project? The 1511 certifications are where the governor, mayor, or other chief executive where it is appropriate, must certify as to the project receiving the full review and vetting and accepts the responsibility for it being an appropriate use of the taxpayer's funds. It has to be provided. The Department guidance is the same for this program as it is for others. Caltrans ARRA and TIGER Certifications/Requirements
92
Will Design/Build be an acceptable method of project delivery to reach Substantial Completion within the 2/17/12 deadline? Yes. Paul Soboleski Project Delivery
93
Will projects that leverage other federal funds already in hand (prior earmarks) be given equal consideration as those that offer non-federal funds? It will be considered, but the focus is on leveraging non-federal resources. Caitlin Rayman Financial Feasibility
94
Re: projects far along in NEPA process - a local off system could have been in planning process and be ''shovel ready'' pending funding... no environmental documents required. If this local project is funded, would it not then require ENV clearance...which would be starting that process from scratch? Does this not eliminate off-system projects? USDOT may have additional information on this in the future. Frances Polster Environmental Approvals
95
I know somebody asked this question earlier but I missed the answer. Will this funding require local jurisdictions to follow all federal guidelines, for instance on the Federal Aid roadway network, NEPA-PD&E, Right-of-way acquisition following Federal guidelines? Although these are not Title 23 or Title 49 funds it does not mean they do not come without federal requirements. NEPA is a given. There is another important distinction; projects may already have Title 23 or Title 49 funds associated with them. Projects do not have to be on the federal aid highway system to be eligible; however they may need to be on the STIP/TIP. guest Federal Requirements Title 23/49
96
If it were possible to change order a TIGER grant project into a larger mega-project that meets all of the project schedule requirements, would the reporting requirements of the grant project extend to or be applicable to the entire mega project? USDOT may have additional information on this in the future. Max Ditlevsen, UDOT Grant Administration
97
Is DOT seeking a balance between freight and passenger -focused projects? There are no set asides. It is not predetermined that there will be a balance of freight and the passenger-focused projects. It is important to indicate in the application the degree to which is a project is freight or passenger. The project needs to meet the criteria, which is going to be the primary consideration followed by geographic location. Abby Swaine, EPA New England Eligible Projects
98
If a project is already listed in the MPO TIP but in a outer-year due to funding availability, would the project be eligible for TIGER funds to advance construction much earlier? Yes 9509573 3 STIP/TIP
99
How is smaller cities, regions, and states defined? Is there a population threshold? No, there is no definition provided. Toni Tisdale Smaller Projects
100
What formatting limitations/requirements will be imposed on the 25-page application (i.e. double-sided pages vs. single sided, font size, margins, etc...) Single spaced, font size - be reasonable! Tri-City Regional Port District Application Process
101
Can funds be used for railroad line acquisition and rehabilitation? The idea of job creation is central to economic stimulus of the program. There are situations where funds could be used for railroad acquisition but USDOT will need to see how it meets up with the eligibility criteria. The applicant would need to tie funds back to grant criteria. Chris Mann, Maine DOT Eligible Projects
102
Would speakers identify themselves Tony Furst, FHWA; Jake Falk, OST; Roger Bohnert, MARAD. Susan Taylor Information Sharing
103
Please clarify in follow-up how Davis/Bacon and DBE apply when the project is to be conducted by a freight railroad company. USDOT may have additional information on this in the future Caitlin Rayman Wage Rate
104
You already said that the Q/A will be posted on the website. Is it possible to send an email with a link or specific location? Included on last slide and will be provided on the website Megan Carter, Bailey Bishop & Lane, Inc. Information Sharing
105
If a state signed a certification earlier to maintain state funding level in order to receive state allocated ARRA funds and later reneges on that certification after spending the ARRA funds) will the state be penalized by not being allowed to receive TIGER funds? USDOT may have additional information on this in the future guest ARRA and TIGER Certifications/Requirements
105
Can funds be used for railroad line acquisition and rehabilitation? The idea of job creation is central to economic stimulus of the program. There are situations where funds could be used for railroad acquisition but USDOT will need to see how it meets up with the eligibility criteria. The applicant would need to tie funds back to grant criteria. Abby Swaine, EPA New England Eligible Projects
107
Just want to confirm that Toll Agencies are eligible to accept funds. To the extent that the toll agency is a political subdivision of state or local governments, then it would be eligible to receive the funding. Rocco Zucchero - Tollway Eligible Applicant
108
Can you recommend any guidance that would address your expectations of the content of the cost/benefit analysis? USDOT recognized that the Federal Register asked for comments about what should be included in a Benefit Cost Analysis and to the extent that the Department is providing the additional guidance, it will be posted with the supplemental Federal Register that is noted on June 17th. Tri-City Regional Port District BCA

Operator:
At this time, we have no further questions on the audio.

L Feast:
Okay. Thank you.

Just to let you know the next seminar will be held on June 17th. The slide that is currently loaded on the screen is going to provide you with the upcoming topics occurring through 2009. I encourage you to sign up and attend those seminars as well. We are going to close out for today. Thank you for your time today and asking questions, and we will see you at the next seminar.

Thank you.

Updated: 03/29/2011
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