State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald announced that applications are available for transportation projects, such as construction of bicycle paths and streetscape improvements, through the federally-funded Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP).
Municipalities and non-profit incorporated groups are eligible to apply for funding.
“The federal Transportation Enhancement Program supports unique transportation projects across New York state, with a focus on bicycle and pedestrian, environmental mitigation, and highway beautification projects,” McDonald said. “Thanks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, we have invested millions on important highway and bridge infrastructure projects throughout the state, and this additional funding allows us to address non-traditional projects that support the overall transportation system.”
TEP is a federal reimbursement program administered by NYSDOT that helps finance projects not generally eligible for funding through traditional transportation programs, including projects that emphasize cultural, aesthetic, or environmental significance.
This application round will be the last under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) surface transportation act. For this round, NYSDOT has chosen to focus on five of the 12 federally established eligibility categories as those which are closest to its core mission and competencies. Specifically, eligible projects must fall into one or more of the following five federally-specified categories:
• Provisions of facilities for bicycles and pedestrians.
• Scenic or historic highway programs, including tourist and welcome center facilities. • Landscaping and other scenic beautification.
• Preservation of abandoned railway corridors, including conversion and use for pedestrian and bicycle trails.
• Environmental mitigation to address water pollution due to highway runoff or reducing vehicle-caused wildlife mortality.
TEP project selection is a competitive process in which eligible applications are rated and prioritized based upon environmental enhancement, connectivity to the existing transportation system, availability of matching funds, level of community support and proof of competency in project management and implementation.
State officials said projects must have a relationship with the surface transportation system and must be available for public access and use. Successful applicants are expected to implement projects expeditiously and in conformance with all federal and state regulations.
Applications for funding may be developed by any municipality or non-profit incorporated group, but must be sponsored either by a municipality, a state agency or public authority other than the New York State Thruway Authority or Canal Corporation.
Applicants must pay the full project costs up front, with up to 80 percent of eligible costs reimbursable by NYSDOT and a minimum of 20 percent of costs paid by the applicant or sponsor. Eligible projects must have a total cost of at least $200,000; federal reimbursement is limited to $2.5 million per project.
Up to $30 million is available for this application round, according to NYSDOT.
The deadline for submitting an application is Aug. 16. Successful applicants are expected to be announced by the end of 2013. Information, including a TEP guidebook and application, are available electronically at https://www.dot.ny.gov/programs/tep.