Friday, March 28, 2014

TIGER grant implementation moves forward: First of two RFPs issued by Lee MPO

 Today's announcement of the first RFP for the TIGER grant is the beginning of the implementation process. Stay tuned for regular updates as the county begins the process of getting underway.
We can't wait for construction to start!

Background on TIGER Grant

In September, the USDOT awarded the Lee MPO a $10.5 million TIGER grant for the Lee County Complete Streets Initiative project. The project scope includes construction of a shared use paths, bike lanes, sidewalks, sidewalk connections, way-finding signs, bicycle parking, bus shelters and ADA compliant infrastructure.  These improvements and enhancements are proposed along the Lee Tour de Parks Route and the University Loop identified in the  MPO's Countywide Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan,  and along LeeTran's LINC and 60 bus routes. The result will be a connected corridor of biking and walking facilities linking downtown Fort Myers across Lee County south to FGCU and Bonita Springs, and ultimately to Collier County by transit. Click here to see Lee County 9/5 press release with map of the planned facilities.

Improving safety is a key goal of this project.  Lee County's traffic safety record for bicyclists and pedestrians is one of the worst in the state.  Twenty-two percent of recent roadway crashes involved injuries or fatalities to bicyclists or pedestrians--nearly double the national average.

TIGER Implementation Next Step

TIGER grants are national demonstration projects with stringent requirements, rigorous performance measures and reporting systems, since USDOT is trying to look at long term benefits from these projects. Since September, Lee MPO staff have been working with FDOT and FHWA to plan for successful implementation of the TIGER grant.  

There will be two contracts for implementation of this project: the first is the Construction Engineering Inspection (CEI) services package (about 10% of the grant), which is today's RFP; and the second is the Design Build Criteria Package (about 90% of the grant), which will go out in an RFP at the end of April.

CEI Request for Letters of Interest

On March 28th, the Lee MPO issued requests for Letters of Interest (e.g., RFP) from engineering firms to provide CEI services which are required for contract administration, inspection, materials sampling and testing, and TIGER grant reporting for the construction project.  Interested firms must submit their proposals by April 28th.  Click here for the RFP notice and details.  

This is a national invitation RFP, so we hope that some of the best firms in the business will submit letters of request.

BikeWalkLee will alert you when the second RFP is issued (end of April) and will keep you posted as the TIGER project moves forward.

USDOT Secretary Foxx statement at the Fort Myers press conference on Sept. 5th:

"Lee County's Complete Streets initiative will complete a safe, integrated bike and pedestrian network, increasing economic activity for local businesses. It's investment in safety, it's investment in community, it's investment in mobility and its investment in transportation choice." "Thanks in part to DOT's TIGER program, Lee County, Florida, is on the brink of transformation." 

Report by Darla Letourneau

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