From now until Friday, June 24, the MIC is accepting public comment on the draft Duluth 2012-2015 TIP. No, this TIP is not a hot piece of insider advice. It’s a bureaucratic document, and admittedly it can be quite dry. But it’s much more important than it sounds, and we think it will be of interest to you as something that impacts your day-to-day life. Want to get a road repaved? A trail built? A new traffic signal on a route you take everyday? There’s a good chance that project has to make it through the TIP process first.
Transportation Improvement Program
TIP stands for “Transportation Improvement Program” and it’s an annual document that lists what local transportation projects will be receiving federal funding in the coming years.
The current TIP (2012-2015) for the Duluth area contains a total of 36 projects planned to receive approximately $45 million in federal funds.
In actuality, $45 million is just a portion of what’s being spent on transportation improvements in the region, with federal funds typically accounting for less than 25% of what’s spent on road improvements in Duluth in any given year. And yet this federal money can have a very catalyzing effect.
80% Federal Funding = Incentive for Innovative Local Projects
It’s often this federal TIP money that incentivizes more comprehensive, and often more innovative projects. That’s because local governments are only required to match those funds 20 cents to the dollar. Or another way to say it: the federal government funds 80% of the project. This can make an improvement like the upcoming Cross City Trail (an exciting new link between the Munger Trail and the Lakewalk) a more feasible project for the City of Duluth to pursue.
The other projects in this year’s TIP are aimed at preserving existing roads and bridges, as well as strengthening connections among alternative modes of transportation.
Virtual Public Meeting – Seeking Your Questions and Comments
You can take a look at the list of Duluth area projects for 2012-2015 and consider using Open MIC like a ‘virtual’ public meeting by leaving us any questions or comments you might have about the projects.
Public comment period runs until Friday, June 24, 2011.