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Transportation Alternatives (TA) Program

Grants to Mississippi Agencies and IHEs to Improve
Alternative Transportation Amenities

Agency Type:

State

Funding Source:

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Mississippi Transportation Commission (MTC) - Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), Local Public Agency (LPA) Division

Deadline Date:

01/31/18 Postmarked

Description:

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Grants to Mississippi local government agencies, transportation authorities, transit agencies, and natural resource agencies to increase options for alternative modes of transportation. Funding is available for smaller-scale projects, such as recreational trails, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, safe routes to schools, environmental mitigation related to habitat connectivity and stormwater management, vegetation management, and historic preservation.

TA projects are restricted to Federal, State and MTC rules and guidelines. The additional rules required by the MTC are designed to comply with limitations imposed by Mississippi law. All projects carried out using TA funds (except for recreational trails projects carried out under the RTP set-aside) must comply with applicable provisions in title 23, such as project agreements, authorization to proceed prior to incurring costs, prevailing wage rates (Davis-Bacon), competitive bidding, and other contracting requirements, regardless of whether the projects are located within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway. Because the MDOT is responsible for these projects, the MTC has adopted certain eligibility and participation rules as detailed in the remainder of this document.

Eligible Projects:

TA Set-Aside funds may be obligated for projects or activities described in 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29) or 213, as such provisions were in effect on the day before the date of enactment of the FAST Act. See TAP Eligible Projects Legislation as in effect prior to enactment of the FAST Act.

Former 23 U.S.C. 213(b)(1):

1. Transportation Alternatives as defined in section 101 [former 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29)]: The term “transportation alternatives” means any of the following activities when carried out as part of any program or project authorized or funded under this title, or as an independent program or project related to surface transportation:

A. Construction, planning, and design of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other nonmotorized forms of transportation, including sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure, pedestrian and bicycle signals, traffic calming techniques, lighting and other safety-related infrastructure, and transportation projects to achieve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).

B. Construction, planning, and design of infrastructure-related projects and systems that will provide safe routes for non-drivers, including children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities to access daily needs.

C. Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other nonmotorized transportation users.

D. Construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas.

E. Community improvement activities, which include but are not limited to:
i. inventory, control, or removal of outdoor advertising;
ii. historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities;
iii. vegetation management practices in transportation rights-of-way to improve roadway safety, prevent against invasive species, and provide erosion control; and
iv. archaeological activities relating to impacts from implementation of a transportation project eligible under title 23.

F. Any environmental mitigation activity, including pollution prevention and pollution abatement activities and mitigation to:
i. address stormwater management, control, and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff, including activities described in sections 23 U.S.C. 133(b)(3) [as amended under the FAST Act], 328(a), and 329 of title 23; or
ii. (ii) reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality or to restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats (Former 23 U.S.C. 213(b)(2)-(4)).

F. Any environmental mitigation activity, including pollution prevention and pollution abatement activities and mitigation to:

2. The recreational trails program under 23 U.S.C. 206 of title 23. See the Recreational Trails Program section.

3. The safe routes to school program eligible projects and activities listed at section 1404(f) of the SAFETEA-LU:
-Infrastructure-related projects.
-Noninfrastructure-related activities.
-SRTS coordinator. SAFETEA-LU section 1404(f)(2)(A) lists “managers of safe routes to school programs” as eligible under the noninfrastructure projects.

4. Planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former Interstate System routes or other divided highways.

TA Set-Aside projects must benefit the general public (23 CFR 1.23 and 23 CFR 460.2).

Location:

There are no location restrictions for TA Set-Aside infrastructure projects; they are not required to be located along highways. Activities eligible under the TA Set-Aside also are eligible for STBG funds (23 U.S.C. 133(b)(15)). Under 23 U.S.C. 133(c)(3), projects eligible under the TA Set-Aside funded with STBG funds are exempt from the location restriction in 23 U.S.C. 133(c). Some aspects of activities eligible under the TA Set-Aside also may be eligible under other Federal-aid Highway Programs.

For SRTS noninfrastructure projects, traffic education and enforcement activities must take place within approximately two miles of a primary or middle school (Kindergarten through 8th grade). Other eligible SRTS noninfrastructure activities do not have a location restriction. SRTS infrastructure projects do not have location restrictions because SRTS infrastructure projects are broadly eligible under other TA Set-Aside eligibilities.

Complete (or Stand Alone) Project Requirements:

In scoring applications for new projects, MDOT is committed to funding projects that enhance connectivity and that are not dependent on other funding sources. The applicant’s proposed project must be a finished product that contains logical termini upon expenditure of the requested federal funds plus the applicant’s matching funds.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182622

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The entities eligible to receive TA Set-Aside funds are:

1. A local government: Local government entities include any unit of local government below a State government agency, except for an MPO. Examples include city, town, township, village, borough, parish, or county agencies.
2. A regional transportation authority: Regional transportation authorities are considered the same as the Regional Transportation Planning Organizations defined in the statewide planning section (23 U.S.C. 135(m)).
3. A transit agency: Transit agencies include any agency responsible for public transportation that is eligible for funds as determined by the Federal Transit Administration.
4. A natural resource or public land agency: Natural resource or public land agencies include any Federal, Tribal, State, or local agency responsible for natural resources or public land administration.

Examples include: -State or local park or forest agencies;-State or local fish and game or wildlife agencies;-Department of the Interior Land Management Agencies; and o U.S. Forest Service.

5. A school district, local education agency, or school: School districts, local education agencies, or schools may include any public or nonprofit private school. Projects should benefit the general public and not only a private entity.
6. A tribal government.
7. A nonprofit entity responsible for the administration of local transportation safety programs:

Examples include a nonprofit entity responsible for:
-A local program implementing construction, planning, and design of infrastructure-related projects and systems that will provide safe routes for non-drivers, including children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities to access daily needs; and
-A safe routes to school program.

8. Any other local or regional governmental entity with responsibility for, or oversight of, transportation or recreational trails (other than an MPO or a State agency) that the State determines to be eligible, consistent with the goals of this subsection.

State DOTs and MPOs are not eligible entities as defined under 23 U.S.C. 133(h)(4)(B) and therefore are not eligible project sponsors for TA Set-Aside funds. However, State DOTs and MPOs may partner with an eligible entity project sponsor to carry out a project.

Nonprofit organizations are not eligible as direct grant subrecipients for TA Set-Aside funds unless they qualify through one of the eligible entity categories (e.g., where a nonprofit organization is a designated transit agency, school, or an entity responsible for the administration of local transportation safety programs). Nonprofit entities are eligible to partner with any eligible entity on an eligible project, if State or local requirements permit.

The RTP set-aside funds retain the RTP eligible project sponsor provisions under 23 U.S.C. 206 (23 U.S.C. 133(h)(5)(C)).

Ineligible Entities:
1. A status of “Non-Compliance” with the MDOT LPA Division
2. LPAs under Audit Suspension with MDOT’s Audit Division
3. LPAs that are not current with the their audits with the State Auditor’s Office
4. Nonprofits not eligible as direct grant recipients of the funds. Nonprofits are eligible to partner with any eligible entity on an eligible TA project, if State or local requirements permit

Projects That are Not Eligible:

TA Set-Aside funds cannot be used for the following activities because there is no authorization under the Federal-aid Highway Program:
-State or MPO administrative purposes. Exceptions: See FHWA’s Memo Allocating Indirect Costs to Projects, dated September 4, 2015; RTP administrative costs of the State for RTP set-aside funds.
-Promotional activities, except as permitted under the SRTS (2 CFR 200.421(e)(3)).
-Routine maintenance and operations, except trail maintenance as permitted under the RTP.
-General recreation and park facilities, playground equipment, sports fields, campgrounds, picnic areas and pavilions, etc.

Pre-Application Information:

The TA Program is a reimbursable program. The applicant is reimbursed up to 80% of the total project cost until reaching the Federal fund award amount. The applicant is responsible for all Preliminary Engineering and Right of Way cost and at least 20% of the total project cost. All necessary funding above the federal funds is the responsibility of the LPA.

Projects also shall not be contingent upon potential funding for completion but be able to be completed within committed funds. The 20% matching funds for the proposed project shall be identified and accessible to the LPA at the time of application submission to receive the highest scoring possible.

Special Match Credit will not be allowed on TA projects during this application cycle.

All TA applications shall be postmarked by the deadline date of January 31, 2018 for consideration.

Projects will be awarded in April-May timeframe.

Application Form and Guideline:
http://mdot.ms.gov/portal/lpa.aspx

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For further information you may contact:

Paula H. Morgan, TA Coordinator
601-359-7222

Direct applications to:

Jeffrey C. Altman P.E. State Engineer, Local Projects
LPA Division, Room 4014
MDOT Administration Building
401 North West Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39215-1850

P: (601) 359-7675
F: (601) 359-7220

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Mississippi