Programming federally-funded infrastructure projects for the next 4 years
Before a surface transportation project can be built in the Superior area using federal funds, it must be included in a current Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The MIC works with state and local agencies to prioritize and program the region’s transportation projects and services that will receive these funds.
TIP development involves a series of 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 community partners to prioritize how our increasingly scarce share of federal transportation dollars are spent. The TIP is developed in cooperation with WisDOT, local transit providers and area jurisdictions as required by the FAST Act. The draft TIP is made available for input and comment by the MIC’s Transportation Advisory Committee, Policy Board and members of the public, as well as by WisDOT, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
The TIP development schedule, below, reflects coordination among the availability of funds, WisDOT program development, local capital improvement budget processes, MPO public involvement requirements, air quality conformity determination (where applicable) and the state-level 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 defined as “regionally significant” and also identified in the MIC’s current 25-year Long Range Transportation Plan. The LRTP defines the Duluth-Superior area’s transportation goals and system needs. The MIC evaluates and prioritizes each proposed project 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 that the TIP includes a description of the anticipated effect of the TIP toward achieving the MIC’s adopted performance measure targets identified in the metropolitan transportation plan, linking investment priorities to those performance targets.