Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lee MPO Applies for federal grant for Colonial Alternative Transportation Mode Network

On January 4th, the MPO submitted an application for a federal grant under the Transportation, Community, and System Preservation Program (TCSP) for the Colonial Alternative Transportation Mode Network. This project is one component of the Complete Streets Initiative TIGER grant application (submitted by the MPO in October) and part of the Lee Tour de Parks Route demonstration project in the MPO’s countywide bike/ped master plan. The grant application requests $1. 6 million in federal funds, matched by $2.2 million in local funds, for a total project cost of $3.8 million.

The proposed project would address 5 miles of the Colonial Bvd. from Fowler Street to Six Mile Cypress Parkway where a pathway and six bus landing pads and shelters would be added on the north side of the roadway. The project also proposes to replace existing pedestrian signal heads with countdown signal heads at 6 major intersections on Colonial Blvd, and at 4 signalized intersections around the corridor. The proposed project also includes the expansion of a bus transfer facility at Edison Mall to provide a bicycle parking facility. BikeWalkLee is included in the application as a nontraditional project partner and would be part of project team in implementing the grant.

The total nationwide amount available is $29 million. Eligible entities for this FHWA grant include States, MPOs, and local governments and were submitted through State DOTs and prioritized by the State DOT. (Note: ours was the only application from District 1 FDOT.) Notification of grant awards will be made in April/May 2012. FHWA will evaluate the projects based on statutorily required priority consideration as well as additional project selection criteria – livability, state of good repair, safety etc.

Thanks to Andy Getch of LeeDOT, who learned about this grant opportunity while participating in a national webinar in December, and passed it along to the BPCC at its December meeting. At the December BPCC meeting, the committee supported pursuing the grant and the MPO staff volunteered to prepare the application submission over the holidays. Kudos to Ron Gogoi, the MPO Deputy Director, for preparing an excellent grant application on such short notice. All the work that went into preparing the TIGER grant application in October came in handy in preparing this application.

Now, once again, we wait to hear if our grant application is selected!

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