As the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Trumbull and Mahoning counties, Eastgate is responsible for overall administration of the Transportation Enhancement (TE) Program, including recognition of sponsor and project eligibility; development of local program policies and schedules; project evaluation, ranking, and final allocation of funding to awarded projects. It is important to note that sponsors of awarded projects are required to enter into a contract with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for the implementation phase of the project.
Eligible TE projects must demonstrate a direct relationship to the surface transportation system. The TE Program is intended to encourage transportation related activities that go beyond the customary cultural or environmental mitigation required when developing a transportation improvement project. The intent of the program is to creatively integrate transportation improvement facilities into their surrounding communities and the natural environment, thus “enhancing” the traditional transportation system. Enhancement projects can be either supplemental to a planned roadway project, or a stand alone project. Both Eastgate and ODOT encourage adding enhancements to planned programmed projects rather than stand alone projects.
The list of qualifying TE activities provided in 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(35) is intended to be exclusive, not illustrative. Only those projects that are listed in one of the 12 categories are eligible for transportation
Examples of each activity are provided below.
Provision of facilities for pedestrians and bicycles
New or reconstructed sidewalks, walkways, or curb ramps; wide paved shoulders for nonmotorized use, bike lane striping, bike parking, and bus racks; construction or major rehabilitation of off-road shared use paths (nonmotorized transportation trails); trailside and trailhead facilities for shared use paths; bridges and underpasses for pedestrians and bicyclists and for trails.
Provision of safety and educational activities for pedestrians and bicyclists
Educational activities to encourage safe walking and bicycling.
Acquisition of scenic easements and scenic or historic sites
Acquisition of scenic land easements, vistas, and landscapes; acquisition
of buildings in historic districts or historic properties, including historic
Scenic or historic highway
For projects related to scenic or historic highway programs:
construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas; construction of visitor and welcome centers; designation signs and markers.
Landscaping and other scenic programs (including the provision of tourist and welcome center facilities)
Landscaping, street furniture, lighting, public art, and gateways along
with turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas; construction of visitor and
welcome centers; designation signs and markers.
Preservation of buildings in historic districts; restoration and reuse of
historic buildings for transportation-related purposes
Rehabilitation and operation of historic transportation buildings, structures, or facilities (including historic railroad facilities and canals).
Restoration of historic railroad depots, bus stations, ferry terminals and piers, and lighthouses; rehabilitation of rail trestles, tunnels, and bridges restoration of historic canals, canal towpaths, and historic canal bridges.
Preservation of abandoned railway corridors (including the conversion and use of the
corridors for pedestrian or bicycle trails).
Acquiring railroad rights-of-way; planning, designing, and constructing multiuse trails; developing rail-with-trail projects.
Inventory, control, and removal
Billboard inventories and removal of illegal and nonconforming billboards. Inventory control may include, but not be limited to, data collection, acquisition and maintenance of digital aerial photography, video logging, scanning and imaging of data, developing and maintaining an inventory and control database, and hiring of outside legal counsel.
Archaeological planning and research
Research, preservation planning, and interpretation of archaeological artifacts; curation for artifacts related to surface transportation and artifacts recovered from locations within or along surface transportation corridors.
Environmental mitigation (i)to address water pollution due to highway runoff; (ii) reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality while maintaining habitat connectivity
For existing highway runoff; soil erosion controls, detention and basins, and river clean-ups. Wildlife underpasses or other measures to reduce vehicle caused wildlife mortality and/or to maintain wildlife connectivity.
Establishment of transportation
Construction of new transportation museums; additions to existing museums for a transportation section; conversion of railroad stations or historic properties to museums with transportation themes.
The Transportation Enhancement program is not a grant program. The federal-aid program operates on a reimbursement basis as work progresses. In no case will cost be eligible for reimbursement until the project is approved by Eastgate, ODOT and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Cost estimates documented in the sponsor’s application must be certified by a professional engineer, or other appropriate professional discipline. The funding amount will be capped at the cost estimate used in the original application. Applicants are cautioned to be thorough in the development of cost estimates, as requests for supplemental funding to cover cost overruns may not be considered.
The Transportation Enhancement program will provide up to 80% of the total construction cost for the project, including Construction Engineering, Inspection and Testing. The applicant is required to provide a minimum, in cash match, of 20% of the construction cost. The applicant additionally shall finance the architecture/engineering plans, environmental assessment studies, right-of-way plans, right-of-way purchase (except when property acquisition is part of the TE proposal) and environmental remediation, if necessary. These expenses cannot be credited toward the applicant's 20% local share of the construction or implementation costs.
Applicants are limited to political subdivisions of the State of Ohio located inside of the boundaries of an MPO (Eastgate). Political subdivisions outside of the boundaries of an MPO may apply through the appropriate ODOT District Office for TE funding. Eligible applicants also include park districts and other agencies of state government. Any citizen group or other private organization may sponsor a project by coordinating with and making application through the eligible entity having jurisdiction over the transportation facility involved.
To be eligible for funding, a Transportation Enhancement proposal must meet the criteria established and the following requirements:
- Minimum estimated construction cost of $50,000.00
- The applicant is permitted to submit more than one project for TE funds. If submitting more than one project, the sponsor is required to prioritize submittal.
- All proposed projects must have a direct relationship to transportation.
- The applicant is responsible for all plan development, project planning, design, architecture, environmental studies and remediation (if necessary), right-of-way plans and acquisition (unless the project involves acquisition of a scenic or historic site or an abandoned railway corridor), and certified engineering cost for the project.
- Federal law requires that federally-funded projects conform to the National Environmental Protection Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. To comply with these laws, projects must have an environmental review to assess and/or mitigate effects on social, economic, and environmental factors. Similarly, work involving sensitive historic structures or archeological sites must conform to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior's standards and guidelines for archeological and historic preservation.
- Any property acquisition must conform to the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Act, as amended.
- Engineering and architectural designs for all facilities must conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- The local match is required to be cash. In-kind contributions cannot be accepted as part of the local share.
- The proposed Enhancement project must be publicly-owned and on existing publicly owned property (except when property acquisition is part of the TE proposal).
- The applicant must demonstrate ability and commitment to maintain the enhancement project.
- The structure or site must be on the National Register of Historic Places to be eligible for Historic and Archaeological Transportation Enhancements.
- All bicycle/pedestrian facilities projects must conform to the requirements of the Guide for the Development of Bicycle/Pedestrian Facilities, published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
Project submittals will be evaluated and prioritized by a Transportation Enhancement Selection Committee. The selection committee will prepare a list of prioritized TE projects to be funded, with recommendations advanced to Eastgate’s TAC, CAB, and GPB for their approval.
Projects will be evaluated on a wide range of factors, including but not limited to the following:
- Inclusion in Eastgate's 2030 Long Range Transportation Plan Update
- Enhancement of an applicants programmed project in Eastgate’s current Transportation Improvement Plan
- Overall project application
- Project readiness to proceed to construction/implementation
- Priority for projects of “regional significance”, whose benefits will objectively extend beyond a single jurisdiction
The applicant shall complete the application and include the following information:
1. A complete detailed description and general scope of the proposed project and its relation to the intermodal transportation system. Location maps, elevations, and photographs should be included, to fully illustrate the project.
2. A complete and detailed breakdown of the source of funding and cost for the proposed project, certified by a professional engineer, or other appropriate discipline. The estimate should include 10 percent for inspections. If the project is approved for funding, the cost estimate will be used to cap the project amount. Cost must be forecast for two years into the future considering the time element to bring a project to construction.
3. A complete and detailed description of the proposed project's characteristics and benefits.
4. The date (month and year) when the project will be ready to proceed to construction. Include the present status of property ownership and status of plan preparation, if applicable.
5. A certified copy of a resolution from the applicant's governing body authorizing the submission of the application, agreeing to share in the project cost, and the future maintenance of the proposed project.
Eight copies of the completed application must be received at the Eastgate office no later than 4:00 p.m. on 03/02/12.
The above criteria will be used to generally evaluate and compare all of the proposals submitted. In addition, each proposal will be evaluated by criteria which are specific to each of the three general TE categories. Additional information about category-specific evaluation criteria is available from the Eastgate staff.
Ohio Department of Transportation District 4 Review Meeting
Project sponsors recommended to receive TE funds through the Eastgate evaluation process will be required to meet with representatives from Eastgate and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 4. The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss project time lines, project cost and what action should be taken for your project to be identified in Eastgate’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
Requirements For Awarded Projects
Transportation Enhancement projects approved by the General Policy Board for funding must meet the following requirements:
- A project sponsor will have 30 days after receiving written notification of selection from Eastgate to submit a Programming Package to ODOT District 4. If it is the intention of the project sponsor to use the LPA process, District 4 should be notified at this time. If the programming package is not submitted to ODOT district 4 within 30 days, this matter will be brought to the attention of Eastgate’s Technical Advisory Committee for review, possible cancellation of the project and redistribution of funds to other unfunded TE project sponsor.
- A project sponsor is required to have their project ready for sale in the Fiscal Year they applied for construction in the enhancement application. If it becomes a concern to Eastgate that this time frame cannot be met this matter will be brought to the attention of Eastgate’s Technical Advisory Committee for review, possible cancellation of the project and redistribution of funds to other unfunded TE project sponsors.
It is in the best interest of the project sponsor to review all necessary aspects of their project to insure the above requirements can be met. Special detail must be given to the Fiscal Year the project sponsor commits to construction and their readiness to proceed at that milestone.
The deadline for having proposals submitted are:
03/02/12 - Deadline for application submission to Eastgate Office no later than 4:00 p.m.
03/05/12 - 04/02/12 - Project application reviewed by selection committee
05/--/12 - ODOT District 4 Review Meeting
06/--/12 - EASTGATE announces projects selected to receive TE funding allocations
07/--/12 - Notification of awarded funding projects in writing to project sponsor
08/--/12 - Deadline for program package to ODOT District 4
For Further Information Contact:
EASTGATE REGIONAL COUNCIL
City Centre One
100 E. Federal Street, Suite 1000
Youngstown, Ohio 44503
330-779-3800 E-Mail- email@example.com