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 can be built in the Superior area using federal funds, it must be included in a current Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) that has been approved by the MIC Policy Board.
TIP development involves a series of sequential steps to reach the project approval stage. It is a cooperative effort between the MPO, WisDOT, FTA, FHWA, transit operators and local agencies responsible for implementing transportation projects.*
Coordination with State and Regional Processes
We work with local communities to determine how our increasingly scarce share of federal transportation dollars are spent. The TIP is developed with the guidance of the MIC’s Transportation Advisory Committee and Policy Board, and prepared in cooperation with WisDOT, local transit providers and area jurisdictions as required by federal surface transportation law (FAST Act). It is made available for public comment, and submitted to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
The TIP development schedule, below, reflects coordination among announcements on the availability of funds, WisDOT program development, local capital improvement budget processes, MPO public involvement requirements, air quality conformity determination (where applicable) and the STIP development process.
Important schedule milestones include:
1. Project solicitation – MPO begins in May or June
2. Draft TIP creation – June/July/August (including conformity justification if required)
3. MPO-driven Draft TIP Public Involvement and WisDOT Draft review – August/September
4. MPO Policy Board action on final TIP – September/October
5. Adopted TIP and approval materials submitted to WisDOT – November 1
6. Federal review and action – November 1 – 30
7. Incorporation into next year’s draft STIP by WisDOT – December
8. Approved by reference in the federally approved STIP – January
*Eligible agencies and jurisdictions include the state of Wisconsin (WisDOT), Douglas County, the City of Superior and the Duluth Transit Authority (DTA).
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 formal processes 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.