NVCOG Soliciting Transportation Alternatives Set Aside Program Projects

March 27, 2019
The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments is soliciting project proposals for the federal Transportation Alternative (TA) set-aside program for the anticipated FY 2021—FY 2025 transportation act.

While program specifics have not been determined and funding has not been allocated, the CTDOT anticipates that the TA set-aside program will continue in future legislation and has assumed that the program will essentially remain the same as specified in the FAST Act. In anticipation of future funding, the CTDOT has requested that COGs solicit and prioritize potential projects. As authorized in the FAST Act, CTDOT is sub-allocating 50% of the expected funding level to Census-defined urbanized areas.

At this time, program eligibility and criteria remain the same. CTDOT has stipulated that there is a $500,000 minimum allowable project cost and projects cannot be combined to meet this threshold. The federal Transportation Alternatives (TA) program will provide an 80% reimbursement of project costs for all phases. Local municipal sponsors are required to provide a 20% match to federal funds.

Eligible projects include a range non-traditional transportation improvements:

  • Construction, planning, and design of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorized forms of transportation.
  • 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.
  • Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other non-motorized transportation users.
  • Construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas.
  • Safe routes to school programs and projects.

Program funds can also support community improvement activities, including:

  • Inventory, control, or removal of outdoor advertising.
  • Historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities.
  • Vegetation management practices in transportation rights-of-way to improve roadway safety, prevent against invasive species, and provide erosion control.
  • Archaeological activities relating to impacts from implementation of a transportation project eligible under 23 USC.
  • Any environmental mitigation activity, including pollution prevention and pollution abatement activities and mitigation to address stormwater management, control, and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff.
  • Reduction of vehicle-caused wildlife mortality or to restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats.

For projects proposed in a municipality located in a large urban area (greater than 200,000 population), project selection is based on a competitive process with selection made by the Metropolitan Planning Organization. For urban areas less than 200,000 population, projects will be selected by CTDOT. The NVCOG region is included in parts of three large urban areas – Bridgeport-Stamford, Hartford and New Haven – and one small urban area – Waterbury. The same application form is being used for all areas, but the evaluation, ranking and selection of projects may differ depending on their location.

Funding availability is very constrained and it is anticipated that project selection will be highly competitive. The NVCOG is seeking well defined and ready-to-go projects, and proposals must include all phases of project implementation – design, rights-of-way (if necessary) and construction. If selected, the projects must adhere and be consistent with federal and state design guidelines and standards. While purely recreational projects will not be considered, linear, multiuse trails are defined by legislation as part of the transportation system and are eligible. Sponsors need to demonstrate public support and public outreach and input is required for all projects. It is important for sponsors to develop accurate and realistic cost estimates for the project as sponsors must also provide a commitment to providing the requisite 20% local match.

Actions

  • Please notify NVCOG of your intent to submit an application by sending a brief project summary to Aaron Budris at abudris@nvcogct.org by April 18th.
  • NVCOG will review preliminary applications for eligibility, determine the evaluation and selection process based on location of the project and provide comments back by April 26th.
  • Municipalities must submit 3 hard copies and a digital copy (in original file format) of the following to NVCOG no later than May 9th at 3pm.
    • Completed application 
    • Completed budget estimate using the CT DOT Cost Estimating Template
    • Any supporting documentation (plans, support letters, etc.)
    • Commitment to provide the 20% match letter, signed by the chief elected official of the municipality.
  • NVCOG will evaluate and rank projects in coordination and consultation with the appropriate MPO, and present to the Transportation Technical Advisory Committee (TTAC) for approval.

Documents

  
NVCOG staff is available to assist with application preparation. Please direct any questions to Aaron Budris at 203-489-0362 or abudris@nvcogct.org