FDOT Talking Points Brian Blanchard, FDOT Chief Engineer Overview Congress is considering passage of a federal economic stimulus package To Jump start the economy and create jobs To include billions of dollars in federal funds for infrastructure projects. We support 28,000 jobs for every $1 billion spent on transportation. Our economy benefits to the tune of $5.60 for every $1 invested in Transportation Florida DOT’s Work Program has already suffered a reduction of $7.2 billion since November 2006. Potential Projects for Advancement Potential factors to be used in prioritizing Florida projects based on provisions in the current bills and state priorities are projects which: Have been deferred by the state Are tied to concurrency where development is being held up Generate revenues Are geographically balanced Are located in economically distressed areas (in House bill, not Senate bill) Can be completed within 3 years How will Projects be Designed? Traditional Design-Bid-Build Design Build Grants for Transit, Airports, Rail, Fixed Guideway General A new FDOT Web page for economic stimulus information is linked from the FDOT home page or directly at: http://www.dot.state.fl.us/planning/economicstimulu s/ Anticipate full compliance with the federal requirements (e.g. planning process, environmental, right of way, local agency program) Congressional Status House – H.R. 1 was passed by the House of Representatives on January 28. Senate – Bills have been reported by the Senate Appropriations and Finance Committees. Floor action is under way. A placeholder for the Senate bill is S.1. WHAT FDOT IS DOING The department is contacting cities, counties, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and others throughout the state to obtain early input and provide information on how projects are to be selected. What FDOT is doing Preliminary list of projects totaling $6.9 billion was developed to respond to early requests for Florida’s level of “ready to go” transportation projects . That list is well beyond the level of funding we now expect to be available. Our latest estimate of funding levels Florida might expect is: House – about $1.4 – 1.5 billion for highway projects, about $340 million for urban transit capital grants, about $16.5 million for rural transit capital grants, about $37 million for fixed guideway modernization, about $150 million for airport projects, and possibly some of the available rail funds. Senate – A $5.5 billion discretionary program is included for highway, bridge, transit, rail, port, freight and intermodal projects. Florida would receive about $1.3 – 1.4 billion for highway projects. The preliminary estimate of Florida’s share of transit funding is about $394 million. Airport grants would be funded at $1.1 billion compared to the $3 billion House level. High-speed rail corridors are funded at $2 billion and intercity passenger rail is funded at $850 million compared to $800 million in the House bill. Key Issues The timetables for obligating funds and redistributing any unused funds are different in the House and Senate bills. The final bill is likely to include “Maintenance of Effort” and “Transparency Requirements” that must be met. The “formulas” for distributed funds to the states are different in the two bills. Preliminary analysis indicates that the House formula is favorable to Florida. MAINTENANCE OF EFFORT It is anticipated the final bill will contain a “Maintenance of Effort” provision requiring the Governor to submit a statement within 30 days that the state will maintain its funding effort from the date of enactment through September 30, 2010. FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR TRANSPORTATION STIMULUS PROJECTS All federal requirements for federal-aid transportation projects are expected to be retained. The following are examples of requirements applicable to transportation stimulus projects: All projects in a metropolitan area must be included in an approved Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and all projects located in a non-metropolitan area must be included in the STIP. Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), all projects must have completed the required assessments of environmental impacts. Right of way on projects must have been acquired pursuant to the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies. Construction materials must be purchased consistent with the Buy American Act, which requires preference to steel and iron produced in the United States. Pursuant to the Davis-Bacon Act, all construction workers must be compensated appropriately for the tasks they perform, according to the prevailing rates determined by the U.S. Dept. of Labor. Local governments wishing to administer projects must be certified under FDOT’s Local Agency Program (LAP) TIMELINES FOR PROJECT APPROVALS The deadlines for obligating* economic stimulus funds are very different in the House and Senate bills at this date. House (passed on January 28, 2009) 50% of funds to be used for local projects within the state must be obligated within 75 days. The other 50% of these funds must be obligated by June 1, 2010. 50% of the statewide funds must be obligated within 90 days. The other 50% of these funds must be obligated by August 1, 2010. Senate (debate to begin the week of February 2, 2009) All of the funds to be used for local projects must be obligated within 1 year. 50% of all statewide funds must be obligated within 180 days. The other 50% must be obligated within 1 year. * Obtaining an approved federal authorization for each individual federal-aid project. TIMELINES FOR PROJECT APPROVALS Accordingly, all candidate projects must have an assessment of how rapidly the project can receive federal approval. That amount would be further subdivided into 55% that could be used by the state for any purpose 45% to be suballocated primarily to local governments Information about the STP program and eligible use of these funds off the federal aid system The Surface Transportation Program (STP) provides flexible funding that may be used by States and localities for projects on any Federal-aid road, A “Federal-aid road” is defined to be any road in the state except for roads that are functionally classified as local roads or rural minor collectors. However, the following types of projects are not restricted to these "federal-aid roads", but may be used on any public road: Bridge projects Carpool/vanpool project Fringe and corridor parking facilities and programs Bicycle transportation and pedestrian walkways Highway and transit safety improvements and programs Hazard elimination projects Projects to mitigate hazards caused by wildlife Railway-highway grade crossings Environmental mitigation to address water pollution due to highway runoff or reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality while maintaining habitat connectivity, and establishment of transportation museums Excerpt from H. R. 1, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as passed by House of Representatives, January 28, 2009 Provided further, That in selecting projects to be funded, recipients shall give priority to projects that can award contracts within 90 days of enactment of this Act, are included in an approved Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and/or Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), are projected for completion within a three year time frame, and are located in economically distressed areas as defined by section 301 of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, as amended (42 U.S.C. 3161). Questions??
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