DOC

Transportation(27)

By Andrea Olson,2014-08-29 08:27
13 views 0
Transportation(27)

    Staff contact: Neal Menkes

    Transportation Index

; October 23- Virginia to repair or replace deficient bridges with ARRA funds

; August 13- Virginia receives transit funds

; July 14- Feds offer new guidance on DOT TIGER grants

    ; July 14- Railroad Administration releases guidance for high speed intercity passenger

    rail

; July 13- Danville, Williamsburg area to receive federal transit funds

; June 4- Feds offer capital and operating dollars to improve transit security

    ; May 22- U.S. Department of Transportation publishes notice of funding availability for

    $1.5 billion discretionary grants program

; April 29- Transportation board acts on first round of ARRA spending requests

; April 8- Secretary of Transportation identifies priority transportation projects

; April 6- VDOT releases lists of first round of projects for possible stimulus funding

    ; March 26- Federal Transit Administration releases information on a new competitive

    grant program

; March 24- Congressional panel releases guidance to Recovery Act recipients

    ; March 19- VDOT and Department of Rail and Public Transportation brief the

    Commonwealth Transportation Board on the Recovery Act

    ; March 19- Six Year Improvement Program faces another cash crisis. Agencies can no

    longer say “just charge it.”

; March 13- NLC stimulus webcast available for viewing

; March 13-Transportation Board meets next week on federal stimulus package

    ; March 13- Federal Transportation Officials release more information on transit and road

    programs

    ; March 11- Federal Highway Administration is ready to provide guidance and reporting

    requirements for local governments

; March 6- Federal Transit Administration releases transit funding information

; March 5- Congressional panel announces April hearings to monitor state and local

progress on infrastructure spending

; March 3- Implementation guidance emerges on transportation funding

    October 23- Virginia to repair or replace deficient bridges with ARRA funds

     A total of 119 deficient bridges across Virginia will be replaced or repaired using ARRA funds. The Commonwealth Transportation Board, acting at its October meeting, awarded seven construction contracts to work on these structures, which otherwise would have gone unaddressed due to lack of funds. The awarded contracts total $50.7 million.

     To see the list of bridges to be fixed or replaced, visit the VDOT website at www.vdot.virginia.gov/ or the Virginia stimulus website at www.stimulus.virginia.gov.

    (Return to Transportation Index)

August 13- Virginia receives transit funds

    Today the U.S. Department of Transportation announced ARRA transit funding to Virginia The following awards were made:

    City of Harrisonburg $1,670,400

    (Four replacement buses, passenger shelters, ADA equipment, etc.)

    Greater Lynchburg Transit Company $5,177,500

    (Seven replacement buses, equipment, etc.)

    Greater Richmond Transit Company $12,453,995

    (38 vans, 11 buses, signs, ADA, surveillance cameras, etc.)

    Town of Blacksburg $4,523,664

    (Seven replacement buses, computer hardware/software, etc.)

    Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission $13,694,262

    (One bus, bus top signage, shelters, locomotives for VRE/PRTC/FRED)

    The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation also received funding to pay for 50 vans, two buses, engineering/architectural services and paving to benefit rural transit operators throughout the state.

    (Return to Transportation Index)

July 14- Feds offer new guidance on DOT TIGER grants

     The federal Department of Transportation (DOT) recently announced revised guidelines

    for a $1.5 billion competitive grants program for state and local governments for projects with significant long-term impact for the nation, metropolitan area or region. Projects eligible for funding include, but are not limited to, highway or bridge projects, public transportation projects, passenger and freight rail transportation projects, and port infrastructure investments. The grants

    may cover up to 100 percent of the costs for projects between $20 million and $300 million, but priority will be given to projects where the federal funds complete a project’s financing.

     Applications are due September 15. The revised guidelines include 15 substantive

    changes. Some of the changes affect the required evaluation of a project’s costs and benefits,

    and others clarify program definitions (e.g., Metropolitan Planning Organizations are eligible grant applicants and municipalities other than counties may be considered “economically distressed areas”).

    (Return to Transportation Index)

    July 14- Railroad Administration releases guidance for high speed intercity passenger rail

     The first set of applications are due by August 24. Preferred projects will improve

    mobility, options, service, convenience and safety and efficiency, promote economic recovery and development through job creation and revitalization of industrial manufacturing, contribute other public benefits such as environmental quality and livable communities and include sustainable regional cooperation and partnerships and leverage local, state, private sector and existing railroad resources and investment. To read the guidance, please click here.

    (Return to Transportation Index)

July 13- Danville, Williamsburg area to receive federal transit funds

    On July 9, the Federal Transit Administration announced grant funds under ARRA to two communities in Virginia. The City of Danville will receive $200,000 to pay for two buses, fixed route bus stops and other amenities. The Williamsburg Area Transit Authority will receive $1,259,175 to pay for three replacement buses, passenger shelter, computer software, and preventive maintenance.

    (Return to Transportation Index)

June 4- Feds offer capital and operating dollars to improve transit security

     Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, public transportation agencies are eligible to apply for special grants designed to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. The focus of the grants is on the use of visible, unpredictable deterrence (e.g., canine teams, mobile explosives detection screening teams, and anti-terrorism teams) to reduce the risk to transit systems. Some $150 million is available with the closing date of June 15, 2009, for applications. Additional information is here. Another $150 million is

    available for capital costs associated with Multi-User High-Density Key Infrastructure Protection, Single-User High-Density Key Infrastructure Protection, Key Operating Asset Protection, and Other Mitigation Activities. The closing application date for the capital grants is June 29, 2009.

    Additional information is available here.

    (Return to Transportation Index)

    May 22- U.S. Department of Transportation publishes notice of funding availability for $1.5 billion discretionary grants program

     The federal Department of Transportation published in the Federal Register this week a notice of funding availability for the $1.5 billion Transportation Investment Generating

    Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grants Program. Applications must be submitted by September 15, 2009. This notice announces the availability

    of funding for TIGER Discretionary Grants, project selection criteria, application requirements and the deadline for submitting applications. However, because this is a new program, the agency also requests comments on the proposed selection criteria and guidance for awarding TIGER Discretionary Grants. The purpose of the grant program is to stimulate capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure.

    (Return to Transportation Index)

    April 29- Transportation board acts on first round of ARRA spending requests

     At its April 16 meeting the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) approved the use of $3345.3 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) transportation dollars, including $17.3 million for rural and small urban transit projects; $20.8 million in enhancement projects; $96 million for projects related to federal BRAC actions; $66.1 million to replace 119 structurally deficient bridges; $110.9 million to repair more than 430 lane miles of deficient pavements on interstate and primary roads; and $34.2 million for design build construction projects.

     The CTB will award the remaining Recovery Act funds at their May 6 or May 21 meetings.

     Also, in an April 24 letter to members of the General Assembly and the Virginia congressional delegation, Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer pledged the administration’s support to advance the state’s long-term economic and transportation interests in high speed rail. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes $9.3 billion for a nationwide competitive grant program for high speed rail, intercity passenger rail and Amtrak improvements. President Obama released a strategic plan for high speed rail on April 16.

    (Return to Transportation Index)

    April 8- Secretary of Transportation identifies priority transportation projects

     In a presentation before the Senate Finance Committee today, Virginia Transportation Secretary Pierce Homer shared “a prioritized and comprehensive listing of transportation projects that would be ready to be advertised if funding were to become available in the federal stimulus package, regardless of whether or not final criteria have been released.” The 2009 Appropriation Act (HB 1600) directs the Secretary to prepare such a report for the General

    Assembly.

     The special report identifies possible rural and small urban transit projects eligible for federal stimulus funding. The small urban and rural apportionments are $18 million and $12.6 million, respectively. Secretary Homer announced that the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) would make the final project decisions.

     As for the $20.8 million of enhancement funding, the Secretary said possible projects include: (1) completion of existing projects, (2) Beltway Bike Trail, (3) Capital Trail, (4) Dismal Swamp Trail, (5) High Bridge Trail, (6) Roanoke River Greenway, (7) Tobacco Heritage Trail, (8) Valley Pike, (9) USMC Heritage Trail, and (10) Pennington Gap Trail. Final decisions rest with the CTB.

     The report also summarizes proposed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for 119 small, structurally deficient bridges and 430 lane miles of interstate and primary highway paving. The final section of the report summarizes possible candidate highway projects eligible for additional paving, bridge repair, congestion relief, and economic development. The CTB has the final jurisdiction over these projects and may consider some or all at its April 16

    meeting.

    (Return to Transportation Index)

April 6- VDOT releases lists of first round of projects for possible stimulus funding

     VDOT released last week recommendations to the Commonwealth Transportation Board and the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability Commission for the first round of deficient/culverts to be replaced using federal stimulus funding. The list totals $66.1 million.

     In addition, Secretary of Transportation, Pierce Homer, released a needs-based list of deficient pavement projects totaling $110 million to the Joint Commission.

    (Return to Transportation Index)

    March 26- Federal Transit Administration releases information on a new competitive grant program

     Included in the March 24, 2009, Federal Register is information on a new $100 million

    discretionary grant program for public transportation projects that reduce a transit system’s greenhouse gas emissions or result in a decrease in a transit system’s energy use. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction Program (TIGGER). Comments on the program must be received by April 7, 2009.

    Complete proposals for TIGGER grants must be submitted by May 22, 2009.

     Any public transportation agency may apply for a grant. The minimum amount requested must be at least $2 million. Applicants may submit consolidated proposals directly, through a designated recipient, a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), state transit association, or through a state department of transportation. The grants are for capital and not operating expenses. The federal share for TIGGER grants is 100 percent.

     For energy consumption reduction projects, applications will be evaluated on total energy consumption savings projected to result from a project, and estimated energy savings as a

    percentage of the total energy usage of the public transit agency. For greenhouse gas emission reduction projects, the Federal Transit Agency will evaluate projects based on the total amount of greenhouse gas reductions projected to result from the project. Applications will also be evaluated on (1) return on investment, (2) project readiness, (3) applicant’s capacity to carry out

    the project, (4) project innovation, and (5) the applicability of the project to be replicated by other transit agencies.

    (Return to Transportation Index)

    March 24- Congressional panel releases guidance to Recovery Act recipients

     In a February 27 letter to the nation’s governors, Metropolitan Planning Organizations

    (MPOs), and transit agencies, Representative James L. Oberstar, chairman of the House

    Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, spelled out additional accountability requirements for recipients of federal stimulus dollars. The letters requested state and local governments to provide specific certifications and transparency and accountability information by April 4, 2009.

    (See VML’s March 5 Transportation Report.)

     The House Committee released guidance for responses to Representative Oberstar’s letter

    last Friday. A copy of the reporting form is linked here. The reporting form is comprised of

    three tables, requesting (1) aggregate data by formula program, (2) project specific information, and (3) contact persons. Data is supposed to be current as of March 31, 2009.

     Governors will submit separate forms for Highway Infrastructure Investment, Transit Capital Assistance, and Clean Water State Revolving Funds programs. The governors are to coordinate with the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) on highway spending. The report should differentiate between state activity and MPO activities.

    With respect to reporting on Transit Capital Assistance, the governors are to report activity for all funds for which the states are the designated recipients (e.g., areas with populations of less than 200,000 people). However, transit agencies that received their own copy of Representative Oberstar’s February 27 letter should report in their capacity as direct recipients and end users of the capital assistance funds.

    (Return to Transportation Index)

    March 19- VDOT and Department of Rail and Public Transportation brief the Commonwealth Transportation Board on the Recovery Act

     VDOT and DRPT officials explained to CTB members what steps have been taken to secure the $694.5 million in highway funding and the $116 million for transit and rail projects for Virginia as well as the actions yet-to-be taken.

     On March 3, Gov. Tim Kaine certified to the federal government that Virginia would request Recovery Act funds and that the funds would be used to create jobs and promote economic growth. Today, the governor will certify the Commonwealth’s “maintenance of

    effort” to retain state dollars for planned capital and maintenance projects over the next 18 months. The governor will also certify that specific capital projects have received the full review and vetting required under the Recovery Act, and accept responsibility that the spending is an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars.

     The Recovery Act requires transportation projects to meet all current federal requirements. In addition, projects must be completed within 3 years (February 17, 2012), and some priority must be given for projects in economically distressed areas (e.g., per capita income is 80 percent of the national average or the unemployment rate is at least 1 percent higher than the statewide average).

     VDOT also shared with the CTB the governor’s priorities for spending the highway dollars. The highest priority is structurally deficient bridges followed by deficient pavements and BRAC projects. Cancelled or delayed construction projects and projects suggested by citizens on the governor’s website round out the priorities.

     Of the $694.5 million available to Virginia, VDOT estimates that $465.3 million can be considered discretionary. Some $20.8 million is allocated for enhancement projects. Another $208.3 million will be distributed in accordance with the Surface Transportation Program (STP) population formula. And, the three major metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) will distribute the remaining $117.8 million -- $24.2 million for Richmond, $41 million for Hampton Roads, and $52.7 million for Northern Virginia.

     Concerning the governor’s highest priority of structurally deficient bridges, VDOT estimates that 110 to 120 small bridges and culverts are candidates for design-build projects. These potential projects have a general condition rating of 4 or less (out of 50); do not need any right-of-way or environmental documentation; and have a total value of $60 million to $70 million.

     Regarding deficient pavements, VDOT has identified 400 to 500 lane miles of interstate and primary highway for major paving or overlay. These lanes have a pavement index of 53 or less (out of 100) for most of the segment. No right-of-way or environmental documentation is required. The total value falls between $100 million to $150 million.

     For BRAC, VDOT has identified some $80 million to $100 million worth of projects. These projects respond to significant job expansions at Fort Lee, Fort Eustis, Fort Belvoir, Quantico, and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

     The dollar value of projects dropped from or delayed in the Six Year Improvement Program is $3 billion. The dollar value of projects suggested by citizens is $194 billion. Given the potential costs of the other priorities, some $150 million could be available to restore projects to the Six Year Improvement Program or fund citizen suggestions.

     As for Recovery Act transit dollars, DRPT officials identified these amounts for the large transit systems -- $3.9 million for PRTC, $9.8 million for VRE, $50.6 million for WMATA, $24.1 million for HRT, $1.2 million for the Williamsburg Area Transit Authority, and $13.8 million for GRTC. The pool for small urban systems is $12 million. The pool for rural areas is larger at $18.6 million. (DRPT will present its recommendations April 15-16 to the CTB for rural and small urban transit projects.) As for “fixed guideway transit,” Virginia’s share for Metrorail in Northern Virginia is $4.9 million. Hampton Roads Transit can expect $437,148 for the light rail system in Norfolk.

    (Return to Transportation Index)

    March 19- Six Year Improvement Program faces another cash crisis. Agencies can no longer say “just charge it.”

     The March 18 meeting of the CTB also addressed matters other than the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. VDOT and DRPT officials warned the CTB that their cash

    resources are under serious strain and that debt proceeds from authorizations made by the General Assembly have not panned out.

    After reducing the highway program by $2 billion for FY09-FY14, VDOT officials are bracing for another round of project reductions if state revenue continue to erode or Congress does not rescue the nearly bankrupt federal Highway Trust Fund. At risk is the sustainability of the Six Year Improvement Program.

     The General Assembly authorized in 2007 a $3 billion transportation package to be issued over a period of 11 years beginning in FY08. Because of declining insurance premium revenue, the issuance cannot begin until June 2010, and the total issuance will shrink from the $3 billion total to $2.2 billion. This is important because the debt was programmed into the Six Year Program to match federal dollars. Almost $1.7 billion of debt is used in the current Program to match federal funds.

     VDOT is concerned that the state will not have enough “match” to draw down all available federal funding. In the development of the upcoming FY10-FY15 Program, VDOT is reviewing and identifying available state dollars from previous allocations. The nine construction districts are scrubbing allocations from FY09 and earlier to find state dollars to fund qualifying projects to obligate all of Virginia’s federal funds for federal fiscal year 2009. VDOT

    officials estimate that $300 million in previous allocations are at stake. In regards to deciding which projects to pull state funding from, Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer stated “It will not be a fair process. It will be a process that balances a budget.”

     The crisis is not limited to highway projects. DRPT is relying on debt to make sure that state transit capital assistance does not fall below 40 percent. Without the bond proceeds included in the Six Year Improvement Program, DRPT would not be able to provide more than 20 percent of the non-federal match for transit projects.

    In addition, DRPT informed the CTB members that some transit providers are having difficulty coming up with the local matching share. In fact, the number of capital applications has decreased in FY09 by 20 percent. Rural providers have been particularly hit hard.

    The draft of the new Six Year Improvement Program will be presented to the CTB in May. Public hearings will begin shortly after that meeting.

    (Return to Transportation Index)

March 13- NLC stimulus webcast available for viewing

    Earlier this week, the National League of Cities (NLC) conducted a second webcast on the federal stimulus package, this one concentrating on transportation funding. Even if you missed it, you can still view it on the NLC’s website, at http://www.nlctv.org. You can also

    catch the NLC’s first webcast conducted two weeks ago.

    (Return to Transportation Index)

    March 13- Transportation Board meets next week on federal stimulus package

     The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) will include briefings on the Recovery Act from VDOT and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) at its workshop

    meeting on March 18 in Richmond. VDOT expects to receive $694.5 million in federal stimulus dollars. The estimate for public transit capital projects is $111.9 million.

    (Return to Transportation Index)

    March 13- Federal Transportation Officials release more information on transit and road programs

     The Federal Transit Administration developed this week a presentation describing the

    formula programs authorized under the Recovery Act as well as the discretionary programs and reporting requirements.

     Also this week the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) conducted a question and

    answer session with state and local governments concerning the Recovery Act. Among the topics discussed, FHWA stated that the stimulus dollars like federal funds authorized under the Surface Transportation Program can be “flexed.” They also said that the maintenance of effort

    provisions contained in the Recovery Act apply to state departments of transportation and not to Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs). The officials recommended that state and localities review the federal agency’s “questions and answers” section on the Recovery Act. The

    questions and answers section makes clear that MPOs will not be responsible for the oversight and management of projects. The responsibility will rest with state departments of transportation.

    (Return to Transportation Index)

    March 11- Federal Highway Administration is ready to provide guidance and reporting requirements for local governments

    The Governor’s Office provided the information below to VML.

    To help local governments better understand the rules for ARRA funding, deadlines and reporting requirements, the Federal Highway Administration is offering three webinars geared specifically for local governments and associations. See dates and times below for the sessions. Follow-up Q&A sessions are planned for March 24 and 31.

FHWA ARRA Local Government Sessions

    Session 1: ARRA Guidance for Local Governments

    March 12, 2 p.m. EDT

    To register,

    click: https://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/webconference/web_conf_learner_

    reg.aspx?webConfID=16584

Session 2: ARRA Reporting Requirements

    March 17, 2 p.m. EDT

    To register,

    click: https://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/webconference/web_conf_learner_

    reg.aspx?webConfID=16607

Session 3: Title 23 Refresher for Local Governments

    March 18, 2 p.m. EDT

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email
cust-service@docsford.com