CMAQ Main

Aug 13, 2013

CMAQ, TAP-L and STP-Shared Fund Frequently Asked Questions

2019 Call for Projects - General Questions

Can a combination of CMAQ, TAP-L, and STP-Shared funding be requested?

Yes. Applicants should indicate the requested fund sources by selecting each in the “Major Imp Group” field of the application. See the eTIP User Guide for more detailed instructions. Keep in mind that all federal funds must be matched with non-federal fund sources.

Will my project be considered for all fund sources (CMAQ, TAP-L, and STP-Shared)?

Projects will not automatically be evaluated for all fund sources, except:

Bicycle Facilities projects will automatically be considered for both TAP-L and CMAQ.

Intersection Improvement projects may, at the discretion of CMAP staff, be considered for both CMAQ and STP-Shared funding, based on the scope and scale of the improvement.

Will my project rank better if only construction funds are requested?

When ranking a project, the total project cost, which includes all phases of the project, will be used for CMAQ cost/benefit analyses. CMAQ and TAP-L projects where the sponsor has shown commitment to the project by funding phases independently will be noted for the Project Selection Committee's consideration. STP-Shared fund projects may receive more points in the Financial Commitment category when requesting only a portion of funds. See the application booklet for each program for additional details.

Can one agency submit multiple applications?

Yes. However, be sure that sufficient financial and staff resources are available to follow through on all projects that are selected.

If I forget to include some information, can I submit it after the deadline?

Significant effort is being made to ensure that applicants submit all of their information on time. The review by your Council/Conference Planning Liaison will help you to identify any missing pieces.

If my community works together with several neighboring jurisdictions to implement a joint corridor project, who is the lead agency?

It is up to those jurisdictions to develop some type of intergovernmental agreement or memorandum of understanding to assure the respective commitment to the project, to assign a lead agency and clarify the funding shares and payment mechanism for the local match. Then for the engineering phases, IDOT will work with the identified lead agency on the agreements, project processing, and local match.

Can MFT and bond funds be used for local match?

Yes

CMAQ Application Questions

How are projects evaluated and ranked?

The Application Booklet provides specific details on the evaluations.

If I forget to include some information, can I submit it after the deadline?

Significant effort is being made to ensure that applicants submit all of their information on time. The review by your Council/Conference Planning Liaison will help you to identify any missing pieces. Applications that are sumbitted that are missing any of the following will be immediately rejected and will not be considered for funding: 

  1. A complete Project Financing & Funding Request section on the first page of the main project application form.
  2. Detailed Estimate of Costs
  3. The Input Module Worksheets for traffic flow improvement projects only.
  4. Planning Liaison review certifying that applications from local agency sponsors have been reviewed for completeness.

For any other missing information, CMAP staff or the Planning Liaison will contact the sponsor and the sponsor will have 30 days from that contact to provide the missing information.

What if a municipality is interested in a CMAQ project, but is not in a position to apply during this call for projects; what is then next opportunity to apply?

CMAP intends to maintain a two-year cycle for program development, but that is dependent on Congress for both new authorizing legislation and healthy budget appropriations. This timing is not as discouraging as it sounds because of the "first ready, first funded" practices, i.e. once the project is in the CMAQ program it is likely that it can be moved up when it is ready.

Is my community eligible to receive CMAQ funding?

CMAQ funding is only available for use in non-attainment areas for the 8-hour ozone and annual fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emission standards. Contact your council's Planning Liaison if you are unsure if your community is in the non-attainment area.

STP-Shared Application Questions

What Projects are eligible for STP-Shared funding?

While STP has very broad eligibility in comparison to other funding sources (CMAQ, TAP, HSIP), the STP shared fund is targeted toward the following priority project types:

  • Road reconstructions: Projects that address condition deficiencies on the road network and do not add roadway capacity
  • Transit station rehabilitation/reconstructions: Projects that enhance the existing transit system by improving or reconstructing transit stations
  • Bridge rehabilitation/reconstructions: Projects that address condition deficiencies on the region’s bridges
  • Highway/rail grade crossing improvements: Projects that reduce delay at highway/rail crossings, through grade separation or other improvements
  • Road expansions: Projects that add capacity to an existing road or involve construction of a new road
  • Bus speed improvements: Projects that improve the speed and reliability of bus travel in the region
  • Corridor-level or small area safety improvements: Projects that address safety issues 
  • Truck route improvements: Projects that improve truck movement through a corridor or area

These project types were chosen because of demonstrated demand in the form of unfunded or partially funded local projects, stakeholder input, ON TO 2050 implementation priorities, and an assessment of opportunities to leverage or fill gaps between other available fund sources.

Are non-municipal sponsors eligible to apply without partners for projects over $5 million?

Non-municipal sponsors are strongly encouraged to seek partnerships with, or letters of support from, affected municipalities.

How are projects evaluated and ranked?

The Application Booklet provides specific details on the evaluations.

If our county DOT included consideration of complete streets improvements for all projects as a part of a 2040 transportation improvement plan that is still active, is that considered to be a complete streets policy?

Yes, if the county DOT is the project sponsor. For municipal-sponsored projects, the municipality must have an adopted Complete Streets policy in order to receive points in the Complete Streets Planning Factor category.

Can a council work together to propose a “program” of lower-scale projects, such as bridge rehab vs. reconstruct, to meet the cost eligibility requirements and the spirit of regional significance?

Comprehensive programs that involve regional/sub-regional collaboration and coordination to meet the federal performance targets are a desired outcome of the STP-Shared program.

What plans will be considered for the points in the “inclusion in plans” metric in Project Readiness category and in the Planning Factors category?

Acceptable plans are those that are subject to public review and have received local approval, including long range transportation plans, ITS plans, transit agency long range plans, capital improvement plans, and other local planning efforts, including those completed with CMAP LTA assistance. Federal requirements state that all funded projects must support implementation of the region’s long range transportation plan, and all eligible project types are supported in ON TO 2050. As such projects will not receive points for inclusion in ON TO 2050.

The intent is to encourage the connection of planning to programming, which determines need and appropriate policies and projects that reflect local and/or regional transportation priorities.

Should there be any questions regarding the use of a specific plan, staff will discuss those with the sponsor, partners, and/or appropriated council(s). If there is disagreement between staff and an applicant over what constitutes a plan, the STP PSC members will be consulted for a resolution, prior to the release of scores.

Will multiple points be given for projects that are included in multiple plans?

No.

Will the total cost and cost-effectiveness of a project be considered in project ranking or selection?

Cost effectiveness is included in the “improvement” component of the Transportation Impact category.

TAP-L Application Questions

What Projects are eligible for TAP-L funding?

Bike facility projects that implement the Regional Greenways and Trails Plan are eligible.

How are projects evaluated and ranked?

The Application Booklet provides specific details on the evaluations.

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