Housatonic Valley Transportation Improvement Program

HVTIP Documents


 

Overview

The regional Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is the list of all federally funded transportation projects and programs in the Housatonic Valley Region. The projects included on this list are scheduled to receive federal transportation funds within the next five years. The TIP for the Housatonic Valley Region is part of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) maintained by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CT DOT).

Approval of the combined STIP/TIP by the federally required Housatonic Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (HVMPO) is a prerequisite before federal funds can be expended on transportation projects in the region. This approval linkage provides local governments some influence over the process.

This project review and approval role has been bestowed upon Housatonic Valley Region since 1975 by federal regulations. However, the HVMPO cannot act within a policy vacuum. Its own regional transportation policies must be clearly set forth in its Regional Transportation Plan.

Federal transportation regulations specifically provide regional agencies in Connecticut, including the HVMPO, with the opportunity to cooperate with CT DOT on decisions regarding how federal transportation funds are spent. The approval of both agencies concerning TIP/STIP entries is required for projects to be funded.

Members of the public have the right to state what they do and do not want in the STIP/TIP. Local elected officials will be interested in this input. Public meetings at which to express your views are also held. The minimum public comment period provided is thirty days prior to a vote on the STIP/TIP. The date and time for a public input meeting on the STIP/TIP will be advertised in the Danbury News Times at least 15 days before the meeting.

When written or oral comments are received on the draft STIP/TIP as a result of the public involvement process, a summary, analysis, and report on the disposition of comments shall be made part of the final STIP/TIP.

Questions regarding the HVMPO TIP or any of the projects listed in the combined STIP/TIP may be directed to: David Hannon, HVMPO, 162 Whisconier Road, Brookfield, CT 06804, Phone: (203) 775-6798, email to dhannon@westcog.org.

 


Legal Notice (2015-2018 STIP/TIP)

The Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials (HVCEO), acting as the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for transportation planning in the HVCEO Region, will hold a public information meeting on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 7:00 P.M. to provide an opportunity for the public to review and comment on the draft 2015-2018 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), the draft Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for the HVCEO Region, and related Air Quality Conformity documents.

These documents list all federally funded transportation improvements in Connecticut, and the Housatonic Region by federal funding categories, which are scheduled over the next four years. Included are capital and operational improvements to the various modes which make up the transportation system, including highway, bus, rail, bicycle and pedestrian. This information is available for review at HVCEO’s office and via the mail to you.

The HVCEO Region includes the ten municipalities of Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield and Sherman. The HVCEO public information meeting will be held in HVCEO’s office, located at 162 Whisconier Road (Route 25), Brookfield, CT.

The Public Review and Comment Period for these materials will begin on September 15, 2014 and conclude on October 15, 2014. Comments on these items may be submitted in writing to HVCEO, 162 Whisconier Road (Route 25), Brookfield, CT. Comments on these items may also be submitted in writing to Maribeth Wojenski, Transportation Assistant Planning Director, Bureau of Policy and Planning, Connecticut Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 317546, Newington, CT 06131-7546.

To receive a copy of the draft STIP, draft TIP and related air quality conformity documents, to ask questions, to submit written comments, or to obtain directions to the meeting location, contact David Hannon at HVCEO, telephone (203) 775-6798, or by e-mail to dhannon@westcog.org.

 


What is a STIP & What is a TIP?

The Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) is a four year financial document that lists all projects expected to be funded with Federal participation. This present document covers federal fiscal years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and FYI, which represents the Department’s anticipated future year investments. The 2015 STIP will be updated periodically throughout its life.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (Department), develops this document in cooperationwith Connecticut’s Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), including the Housatonic Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (HV- MPO). The HV-MPO prepares a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for the Housatonic Valley Region that lists all transportation projects and programs scheduled to receive federal transportation funds within the next four years.

The STIP and TIP include investments in various modes, such as transit, highways, and pedestrian and bicycle facilities. The STIP is the means of implementing the goals and objectives identified in Long-Range Regional and State Transportation Plans. Only those projects for which construction and operating funds can reasonably be expected to be available are included. Without STIP inclusion, a project is ineligible for federal funding.

The STIP has been developed in accordance with the terms and provisions of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and all regulations issued pursuant thereto.

The STIP is required by the Clean Air Act section 176(c) to meet Transportation Conformity to ensure that the included highway and transit projects are consistent with air quality goals. In Connecticut, there are two marginal ozone non-attainment areas: The Connecticut portion of the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island eight-hour ozone non-attainment area (Fairfield, New Haven and Middlesex Counties) and the Greater Connecticut eight-hour ozone non-attainment area (Hartford, Litchfield, New London, Tolland, and Windham counties). Connecticut also is part of the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island PM2.5 Attainment/ maintenance area (Fairfield and New Haven counties) as well. Using techniques that have been approved by the EPA, the program has been reviewed to determine if the plans and programs contained in the STIP, as proposed, will serve to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter.

 


Federal Transportation Programs & Funding

Federal regulations require that every regional TIP and state STIP be “fiscally constrained,” meaning that program costs for a given year cannot exceed program revenues for the same year. Since most federal funding authorizations are designed for statewide programs, individual regions are dependent on CT DOT to provide estimates of the amount of federal funds available statewide, and for assuring that a sufficient portion of those funds are allocated to each MPO region to cover the cost of each MPO’s programmed transportation programs and projects.

Most projects and programs included in the STIP and TIP require a state match to federal funds. Some projects may also require a local match. In such cases, the municipality benefiting from the federal funding investment provides the match.

Federal Funding is determined by federal surface transportation authorizations. This document is based on authorization levels established under the MAP-21. Federal-aid highway funds for individual programs are apportioned by formula using factors relevant to the particular program. The following is a description of eligible uses of each category of federal transportation program funding, program limitations, federal and state funding ratios (such as 80/20), and availability:

National Highway Performance Program (NHPP) (80/20)
The NHPP provides support for the condition and performance of the National Highway System (NHS), for the construction of new facilities on the NHS, and to ensure that investments of Federal-aid funds in highway construction are directed to support progress toward the achievement of performance targets established in a State’s asset management plan for the NHS. NHPP projects must be on an eligible facility and support progress toward achievement of national performance goals for improving infrastructure condition, safety, mobility, or freight movement on the NHS, and be consistent with Metropolitan and Statewide planning requirements.

Surface Transportation Program (STP) (80/20)
The Surface Transportation Program funds may be used by states and municipalities for roadway improvements on roads that are functionally classified as rural major collector or above. Functional classifications of rural minor collector or local road are not eligible. This Program has a variety of subcategories defined below.

STP Urban
It is the largest of all the STP programs. Funds are allocated to states and regions according to a formula that is based on the population of the urban area. The funding   ratio for the STP-Urban Program is 80 percent federal funds to be matched by 20  percent state and/or local funds. Subcategories of the STP Urban program include  the STP- Hartford (STPH), STP-Bridgeport/Stamford (STPBS), STP-New Haven (STPNH), (STPNL) STP-New London, STP-Worcester, STP-other urban (STPO) and the STP-urban clusters (STPO).

The STP-Urban Program provides funds for improvements to eligible roads in urban areas. The eligibility guidelines for STP-Urban funds are flexible. Funds can be used for a wide range of projects, such as roadway widening, roadway reconstruction, transit projects and ridesharing projects.

STP Anywhere (STPA)
These funds can be used anywhere in the state, regardless of rural or urban designation. Since they are not allocated to specific urban areas or regions, The Department usually determines where the funds will be spent. The funding ratio for the STP-Anywhere Program is 80 percent federal funds to be matched by 20 percent state.

STP-Rural (STPR)
These funds can be used in the rural areas of the state, excluding roads classified as rural minor collector or rural local. The amount of rural funds is based on mileage from a previous federal program called the rural secondary program. The funding ratio for the STP-rural Program is 80 percent federal funds to be matched by 20 percent state.

Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)
The TAP provides funding for programs and projects defined as transportation alternatives, including on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, infrastructure projects for improving non-driver access to public transportation and enhanced mobility, community improvement activities, and environmental mitigation; recreational trail program projects; safe routes to school projects; and projects for planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former Interstate System routes or other divided highways. The following activities that were eligible under SAFETEA-LU are now funded under TAP in MAP-21: Safe Routes to School Program, Recreational Trails Program and Transportation Enhancement program. The program has been suballocated to the following subcategories: Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) Flex; TAP- Hartford TAP- Bridgeport/Stamford; TAP- New York; TAP- Springfield; TAP- Norwich/New London; TAP- Worcester.

Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) (90/10)
This program provides funds to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads.

Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program,
Bridge Program: OFF System (80/20)
This program provides funds to assist the States in their programs to replace or rehabilitate deficient highway bridges and to retrofit bridges on public roads. The “Off System” Bridge Program is a small federal bridge program. It provides funds to replace or rehabilitate bridges that are not on the Federal-Aid road system. CTDOT has a program of regularly inspecting and rating the condition of local, as well as State bridges. Candidate projects are selected from the list of local and State bridges with poor or fair condition ratings. Since most State roads are on the Federal-Aid road system, they are not qualified for this program. Many of the funded projects are municipal bridges. The funding ratio for the “Off System” Bridge Program is 80 percent federal funds to be matched by 20 percent state funds.

High Priority Projects (HPP) (80/20)
This was a new program under TEA-21 and continued under SAFETEA-LU. The funds are for specific projects identified by Congress. These projects are commonly referred to as demonstration projects.

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program (CMAQ) (80/20)
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) is a program that addresses congestion and air quality problems. Funds must be used for projects that reduce congestion and/or vehicular emissions. The funds are intended to help achieve the goal of the Clean Air Act Amendment (CAAA). In determining project eligibility under these criteria, priority should be given to implementing those projects and programs that are included in an approved State Implementation Plan (SIP) as a Transportation Control Measure (TCM) and will have air quality benefits. All CMAQ funded projects and programs require an assessment and documentation of air quality benefits by the State. Some examples of CMAQ-eligible projects are:
Diesel Engine Retrofits & Other Advanced Truck Technologies; Transportation Control Measures (TCMs); Extreme Low-Temperature Cold Start Programs; Alternative Fuels and Vehicles; Transit Improvements; Transportation Management Associations; Carpooling and Vanpooling; Car sharing; Training; Congestion Reduction & Traffic Flow Improvements; Travel Demand Management; Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities and Programs; Public Education and Outreach Activities; Freight/Intermodal; Idle Reduction; Inspection & Maintenance (I&M) Programs; Innovative Projects.

CTDOT has set aside $10 million of CMAQ funds for the solicitation of project proposals from the RPOs. This amount will be reviewed annually on the basis of funds provided and projects programmed.

Ferry Boat Discretionary (FBD) (80/20)
This program is administered by the FHWA to fund the construction of ferry boats and ferry terminal facilities. The funding ratio is 80 percent Federal and 20 percent State or Local.

Historic Covered Bridge Preservation (HCBPP) (80/20)
This program provides funds to assist States in their effort to rehabilitate or repair and to preserve the Nation’s historic covered bridges. The funding ratio is 80 percent federal and 20 percent state.

Governors’ Transportation Initiative (GOV) (100)
This funding source is 100 percent state funded committed by the Legislature and the Governor.

National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTS) (100)
The State of Connecticut is annually assessed a 3% penalty from it’s NHS, STP, and IM program to the State’s 402 Safety Program because it does not meet Federal Open Container Legislation Requirements under 23.U.S.C. 154. The Department programs these funds towards hazard elimination eligible projects. This program is designed to save lives, prevent injuries and reduce economic costs due to road traffic crashes, through education, research, safety standards and enforcement activities.  The funding ration is 100 percent Federal.

National Corridor Planning and Development (NCPD) (80/20)
This program provides funding for the planning, design, and construction of corridors of national significance, economic growth, and international or interregional trade. Eligible corridors are listed in ISTEA, the 1995 Highway Designation Act and TEA-21. The funding ratio is 80 percent Federal and 20 percent State.

Public Lands Highway Discretionary (PLHD) (100)
This program was originally established in 1930 by the Amendment Relative to Construction of Roads through Public Lands and Federal Reservations. The intent of the program is to improve access to and within the Federal lands of the nation. In accordance with 23 U.S.C. 204(b)(5), the PLH funds are available for “any kind of transportation project eligible for assistance under Title 23, United States Code, that is within, adjacent to, or provides access to” Federal lands or facilities. Under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 204(b)(1)(A), the PLH funds are available for transportation planning, research, engineering, and construction of the highways, roads, and parkways, and of transit facilities within the Federal public lands. Under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 204(b)(1)(B), the PLH funds are also available for operation and maintenance of transit facilities located on Federal public lands.

Scenic Byways Program (SB) (80/20)
This program provides funds for the designation by the Secretary of Transportation of roads that have outstanding scenic, historic, cultural, natural, recreational and archaeological qualities as All-American Roads or National Scenic Byways. This program also provides funds for projects on existing Scenic roadways and for planning, designing, and developing State scenic byway programs. The funding levels are 80 percent federal and 20 percent state.

Transportation and Community and System Preservation Program (TCSP) (80/20)
This program provides funding for the planning and implementation of projects that address the relationships between transportation and the community. Projects should include improving the efficiency of the transportation system; reducing the impacts of transportation on the environment; reducing the need for costly future public infrastructure investments; ensuring efficient access to jobs, services and center of trade; and examining and encouraging private sector development patterns which meet these purposes. The funding levels are 80 percent federal and 20 percent local.

TIGER (80/20)
Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, TIGER Discretionary Grants are Supplementary Discretionary Grants for a National Transportation System. This was initiated as a part of Title XII of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the “Recovery Act”. These grants are to be awarded on a competitive basis for capital investments in surface transportation projects that will have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area or a region. The objectives of this program include preserving and creating jobs and promoting economic recovery, investing in transportation infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits, and assisting those most affected by the current economic downturn.

Section 330, 115,117, 112, 120 & 378 (100)
This program is dedicated for those projects that are established by congressional designation. The funding ratio is 100 percent federal and is available until expended.

Value Pricing Pilot Program (VPPP) (80/20)
Congress has mandated this program as an experimental program to learn the potential of different value pricing approaches for reducing congestion. The grant program supports efforts by State and local governments or other public authorities to establish, monitor and evaluate value pricing projects, and to report on their effects. A pricing project under this program may include tolls on Interstate highways. Federal funds can be used to support pre-implementation costs, including costs of public participation and pre-project planning for up to 3 years, and to support project implementation costs for up to 3 years.

FTA Section 5316 Job Access and Reverse Commute Grants (50/50)
This program provides funds for transportation services designed to transport welfare recipients to and from jobs and activities related to their employment.

FTA Section 5317 New Freedoms Initiative (50/50)
This program provides funds that assist individuals with disabilities with transportation. Eligible activities include new public transportation services and public transportation alternatives beyond those required by the ADA.

FTA Section 5309 Capital Funding Program (80/20)
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) administers several transit funding programs. The Section 5309 Program provides capital funding for the establishment of new transit service projects (“New Start” – 40%), the improvement and maintenance of existing rail and other fixed guideway systems (“Rail Modernization”- 40%), and the rehabilitation of bus systems (“Bus and Other”-20%).

The “New Start” funds are all awarded on a discretionary basis. Proposed new rail services must compete against proposals from other areas of the country. The FTA will pay 80 percent of the total project costs for projects funded through Section 5309. State and local governments are required to fund 20 percent of project costs, although they are permitted and expected to provide a larger local share.

FTA Section 5307 Capital and Subsidy (Operating) Program (80/20)
The FTA Section 5307 funds are primarily for capital assistance projects, such as the purchase of new buses. However, a small portion of these funds is reserved to help defray transit operating expenses. The primary distinction of this program is that the funds are allocated to individual urbanized areas according to a formula based on the size of the population. However, the Section 5307 funds, apportioned to Connecticut’s Urbanized Areas (UZAs), are pooled and then first applied to the highest priority bus needs, as reflected in the various TIPs and the STIP. The pooling of Section 5307 funds has proven to be extremely beneficial to the bus transit operators across the State, because sufficient federal and State funding has been made available in a timely manner to acquire replacement buses, when and where needed. In those years when the bus replacement and/or fixed facility needs for a particular UZA were satisfied, the Section 5307 funds were programmed for priority bus projects in other UZAs. When the priority bus needs had been satisfied, the uncommitted funds were programmed for New Haven Line capital projects. The programming of funds in the TIPs and the STIP continues to reflect this philosophy.

CT DOT provides the non-federal share of FTA capital grants for maintenance
facilities and the purchase of replacement buses for all the local bus systems in
Connecticut, including Connecticut Transit.

All specific provisions of FTA Circular 9030.1A, Chapter III, Paragraph III-4, which
identifies the requirements applicable to the transfer of the apportionment between
and among urbanized areas, will be adhered to. The capital program requires a 20 percent non-federal match. Federal regulations restrict the amount that can be used for operating assistance.

FTA Section 5310 Capital Program (80/20)
The FTA Section 5310 Program provides capital assistance to nonprofit organizations that provide specialized transportation services to elderly persons and persons with disabilities. In 1992, the program was expanded to make grants available to public agencies approved by the State to coordinate services for the elderly and disabled. The basic matching ratio for capital grant projects is 80 percent federal and 20 percent local.

FTA Section 5311 Capital & Operating Program (80/20)
The FTA Section 5311 Program provides funds to assist in the development, improvement and use of public transportation systems in non-urbanized and small urban areas. The funds are used in the following ways: To reimburse the five rural transits districts for operating administrative deficits on a 50/33/17 (federal/state/local) matching ratio; For Section 5311 transit operators to purchase wheelchair accessible vans and small buses on an 80/20 (federal/state) ratio; For transit research, technical assistance, training and related support services, including eligible Section 5310 recipients, using 100 percent federal funds.

SAFETEA-LU Carry-over Funds (under MAP-21)
This section gives a brief explanation on SAFETEA-LU funds that are still available (Carry-over) under MAP-21. The eligible uses of each category of funding, limitations, federal and state funding ratios, and availability are provided below:
National Highway System (NHS) (80/20) )(SAFETEA LU Carry-over). NHS funds can be used for any type of improvement (new lanes, reconstruction, resurfacing, etc.) on roadways designated as part of the NHS. These include all the Interstate routes, as well as other freeways and specially designated “principal arterials”. Qualified major roadways include: I-91, I-84, I-291, I-384, Route 2, Route 66, Route 9, Routes 5 & 15, Route 5, US 44, etc.

The eligibility guidelines for NHS funds are more flexible than the Interstate programs. Funds can be used for transit projects, ridesharing projects, or any other type of project in the travel corridor served by a NHS road, as long as it improves travel in the corridor. Funds can even be transferred to some of the Surface Transportation Programs (STP) as well. The funding ratio for the NHS program is 80 percent federal funds to be matched by 20 percent state funds.

Interstate Maintenance (IM) (90/10)(SAFETEA LU Carry-over)
The IM program provides federal funds to rehabilitate, restore, and resurface the Interstate highway system. This program will not fund reconstruction projects that add new travel lanes to the freeways unless the new lanes are High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes or auxiliary lanes. However, reconstruction of bridges, interchanges, and overpasses along existing Interstate routes, including the acquisition of right-of-way, may be funded under this program.

These funds can only be used on Interstate highways. Federal funds can be used to pay for up to 90 percent of a project’s cost. A State match of 10 percent is required.

Recreational Trails (RT) (80/20) (SAFETEA LU Carry-over)
This program (in MAP-21is funded under the Transportation Alternative Program) provides funding to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to develop and maintain recreational trails for motorized and non-motorized recreational trail users. The DEEP will forward applications to the Park and Recreation Directors or the First Elected Officials of each municipality for consideration. Funding ratios are 80 percent federal and 20 percent local.

Safe Routes to School (SRSI) (100) (SAFETEA LU Carry-over)
This program (in MAP-21 is funded under the Transportation Alternative Program) is designed to enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school; to make walking and bicycling to school safe and more appealing; and to facilitate the planning, development and implementation of projects that will improve safety, and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of schools. Funds are to be administered by CTDOT to provide financial assistance to State, local, and regional agencies, including nonprofit organizations that demonstrate the ability to meet the requirements of the program.

Transportation Enhancement (SAFETEA LU Carry-over)

The Transportation Enhancement Program offers a potential source of funds for making areas more attractive. The program is a federal program administered by the State of Connecticut Department of Transportation. Upon the federal government making funding available, the Department solicits such projects from the regional planning agencies, which set the priorities among their member towns. CTDOT sets aside 50% of the TE funds for these RPO projects. The remaining 50% will be selected by CTDOT for projects of Regional and Statewide significance. Streetscape-type projects that address the beautification of streets in the area are eligible for funding under the Transportation Enhancement Program. The funding ratio for the STP-Enhancement Program is 80 percent federal funds to be matched by 20 percent local funds. Typically, the State does not provide the matching funds for this program.

 


Processing the Changes to the STIP/TIP

HVCEO receives periodic requests from CT DOT to adjust the adopted STIP/TIP. This is done through a process of amendments and administrative actions. CT DOT makes the determination as to which STIP/TIP changes need to be acted upon as the more complex amendments and which changes can be acted upon as the simpler administrative actions.

Amendment changes to the STIP/TIP, as identified by CT DOT, require a vote by the HV-MPO. Minor changes to the STIP/TIP are accomplished by administrative actions, without a formal vote by the MPO. The following guidelines define the process.

If the requested change to the STIP/TIP is an amendment, as identified by CT DOT, it is placed on the MPO’s agenda for consideration and action. The requested change is checked against what the MPO has already approved. MPO staff may contact CT DOT if additional background information on the requested change is required. An informational call is made to the affected municipality to discuss the requested change, prior to a vote on the amendment request. Once a requested amendment is approved by the MPO, a copy of the endorsing resolution is transmitted to CT DOT, and copies are placed in the MPO’s TIP file.

Administrative actions are limited to those projects where project cost estimates are changing by less than 20%. They are not for projects where the scope of what is to be constructed is now to vary significantly from what has already been approved through the more rigorous TIP amendment process.

Requests for an administrative action are checked against what the HV-MPO has already approved. MPO staff may contact CT DOT if additional background information on the requested change is required. An informational call is made to the affected municipality to discuss the requested change. Following this process, the MPO Director will make a determination as to whether the MPO concurs with the requested administrative action, or determines the requested action will require further review. Approved administrative actions are transmitted to the CT DOT and copies are placed in the MPO’s TIP file.

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