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 Transportation Improvement Program, or TIP, that has been developed with an opportunity for public input and approved by the MIC Policy Board, WisDOT and the FHWA.
It is part of the MIC’s role as an MPO to develop an annual TIP. The MIC works with state and local agencies to prioritize and program the transportation projects and services that will receive the federal funds that are anticipated to be received for this area for the next four years.
The final, approved TIP lists all regionally significant transportation projects that will utilize federal funds for the next four years. All projects are consistent with the transportation priorities of our region, as identified in our most recent long-range Metropolitan Transportation Plan.
We work with local community partners to prioritize how our increasingly scarce share of federal transportation dollars are spent. It is a cooperative effort between the agencies and local jurisdictions responsible for implementing our area’s transportation projects* and involves a series of steps to reach the project approval stage.
All transportation projects in Superior that use federal funds must be programmed in a TIP that has been adopted by the MIC Policy Board, WisDOT and the FHWA.
Each year, before it is presented for adoption by the MIC Board, the draft document 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 budgets and priorities, MPO public involvement requirements and the state-level TIP (STIP) development process.
- Project solicitation: MPO notifies eligible agencies and jurisdictions – June
- Draft TIP creation: July
- 30-day public comment period and WisDOT review: August
- Final TIP presented to MPO Policy Board for adoption: October
- Adopted TIP submitted to WisDOT for review and approval: November
- Adopted TIP submitted to FHWA for review and approval: November
- Adopted TIP incorporated into WisDOT statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP): November
- Approved by reference in the federally approved STIP: December
*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 Metropolitan Transportation Plan. The MTP defines the Duluth-Superior area’s transportation goals and system needs, including:
- Regional Benefit: What are the project’s 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 recommendations from the MIC’s 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 already 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 occur to the scope, cost or timeline for programmed projects. 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.
Federal legislation requires that the TIP includes a description of the anticipated effect of the projects funded in the TIP toward achieving the MIC’s performance measure targets, linking these annual infrastructure investments to improved performance of the transportation system.