Programming federally funded infrastructure projects for the next four years
It is part of the MIC’s role as an MPO to work with state and local agencies to prioritize and program the region’s transportation projects and services that will receive anticipated federal funds.
Before any surface transportation project in the Duluth area can be constructed with federal funding, it must be included in a current Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) that has been approved by the MIC Policy Board.
TIP Development Process
TIP development involves a series of sequential steps to reach the project approval stage. It is a coordinated effort among state, regional and local agencies and jurisdictions responsible for implementing transportation projects.*
The TIP is prepared in cooperation with MnDOT, local transit providers and area jurisdictions as required by federal surface transportation law (FAST Act), and also in cooperation with the Northeast Minnesota Area Transportation Partnership (NE MN ATP) process.
The draft plan is made available for public comment, reviewed and approved by the MIC’s Transportation Advisory Committee and Policy Board, and submitted to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
The TIP development schedule, below, reflects the availability of funds, coordination with MnDOT and the NE MN ATP, local capital improvement budget processes, MPO public involvement requirements and the STIP development process. Important schedule milestones include:
(Oct/Nov) Project solicitation – MPO Consultations with local jurisdictions
(Dec/Jan) Project solicitation – Applications distributed in December and due in January
(Feb) Proposed projects – Presented for review and approval by the TAC and MIC
(Mar) If approved, the proposed projects are forwarded on to the Northeast Minnesota Area Transportation Partnership (NE MN ATP)
(Apr) Draft TIP document development
(May/Jun) Draft TIP Public Involvement and MnDOT review
(Jun) MPO Policy Board approval of final TIP
(Jul) Adopted TIP and Board Resolution submitted to MnDOT
(Nov) Federal review and action – November
(Dec) Incorporation into next year’s draft STIP by MnDOT
(Jan) Approved by reference in the federally approved STIP – January
*Eligible agencies and jurisdictions include the state of Minnesota (MnDOT), St. Louis County, the Cities of Duluth, Hermantown, Proctor and Rice Lake and the Duluth Transit Authority (DTA).
Public participation is an integral part of transportation planning in general and the development of the TIP in particular. All public comments received for the draft document are presented for consideration by the Transportation Advisory Committee and the MIC Policy Board and are included in the final TIP.
How are TIP projects selected?
All projects must be identified in the MIC’s current 25-year Long Range Transportation Plan in support of the Duluth-Superior area’s goals and transportation system needs. In addition, the MIC evaluates and prioritizes each proposal based on the following criteria:
• Regional Benefit: What are the project’s merits/benefits and intended effect upon the regional transportation network and what are the project’s estimated benefits relative to its cost?
• Mobility: How will the project improve the mobility of people and goods?
• Planning Support: How will the project incorporate the MIC’s Long Range Transportation Plan, other MIC studies and related plans and studies?
• Multimodal Connectivity: How does the project encompass multiple modes of travel?
• Environmental Impacts: Where is the project’s location and what potential environmental and community impacts does it potentially pose?
• Public Participation: What level of public participation has been undertaken or will take place for the proposed project?
Projects may be amended into the current, approved TIP throughout the year. Amendments usually modify existing projects as changes to the scope, cost or timeline for programmed projects occur. Sometimes new projects may be added if new funding becomes available. The process for developing and amending a TIP are specified in the MIC’s Public Involvement Plan.
MAP-21 and FAST ACT require incorporation of Performance-Based Planning and Programming (PBPP) for use in the development of the MPO’s Transportation Improvement Plans.
The TIP includes a description of the anticipated effect of the TIP toward achieving the 23 C.F.R. 490 performance measure targets identified in the metropolitan transportation plan, linking investment priorities to those performance targets.