April 2017 Regional Transportation Improvement Program Amendment

SCOG has received a request to amend the 2017-2022 Regional Transportation Improvement Program. The public is encouraged to review the proposed amendment and submit any written comments to Gabe Philips by noon on April 12, 2017. Written comments will be included in the information packet distributed to Transportation Policy Board members prior to their April 19, 2017 meeting. The public will also have the opportunity to comment at the Transportation Policy Board meeting, but written comments are preferred.

This public notice of public involvement activities and time established for public review and comments on the TIP development process will satisfy the Federal Transit Administration’s Program of Projects requirements.

Posted in TPB

2016 Annual Listing of Federal Obligations

Federal regulations (23 CFR 450.332) require SCOG, in cooperation with Skagit Transit and WSDOT, to develop and publish a listing of projects within the Skagit region for which federal transportation funds were obligated during the preceding program year. The 2016 Annual Listing of Federal Obligations for the Skagit Council of Governments (SCOG) details the federal transportation funds that were obligated in calendar year 2016 in the Skagit region.

FundingByProjectType

Over three-quarters of the federal funds obligated in the Skagit region in 2016 were utilized for maintenance and/or preservation projects. The majority of these obligations were from Skagit County’s BNSF bridge replacement project and various WSDOT paving projects.

It is important to note that the Annual Listing of Federal Obligations does not give a full accounting of all funds used for transportation purposes in the Skagit region. State and local agency funds are not included in the Annual Listing of Federal Obligations. For example, the Sharpes Corner Intersection project, which was funded as part of the Washington State Legislature’s Connecting Washington legislative package, has utilized state transportation dollars that are not accounted for in the Annual Listing of Federal Obligations. Similarly, local transportation funds, predominantly used for maintenance of the transportation system, are also not included in the Annual Listing of Federal Obligations. If these funds were included, the chart above could portray an even higher proportion of funds allocated to maintenance and preservation purposes.

IMG_2016

For more information regarding the federal fund obligations for transportation projects that occurred in 2016, click on the link below.

Posted in TPB

North Cascades Highway Clearing to begin on April 10

NorthCascadesSnowRemovalThe Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) expects to begin clearing snow from SR 20, the North Cascades Highway, on April 10, 2017. Due to the large accumulation of snow through the mountains last winter the work to clear the mountain highway is beginning a month later than normal. In some places, the snow is 25 feet deep over the highway! As a result, the clearing work could take up to 8 weeks. For more information, visit the North Cascades Highway webpage.

Posted in TPB

2017 SCOG STP Call for Projects

Call for Regional Surface Transportation Program Projects

At its March 15th, 2017 meeting, the SCOG Transportation Policy Board issued a call for projects to utilize Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds. This call for projects is a competitive selection process whereby eligible project sponsors are invited to submit applications to fund surface transportation projects within Skagit County. Eligible project sponsors include:

  • Local government
  • regional transportation authorities
  • transit agencies
  • natural resource or public land agencies
  • school districts, local education agencies, or schools
  • a tribal governments
  • nonprofit entities responsible for the administration of local transportation safety programs
  • Other local or regional governmental entities with responsibility for or oversight of transportation or recreational trails (other than a metropolitan planning organization or a State agency) that the State determines to be eligible

Eligible project applications include construction of highways, bridges, tunnels, ferry boats and terminal facilities, transit capital projects; operational improvements; environmental measures; and safety infrastructure improvements. For a complete listing of eligible activities, see 23 USC 133 (b).

Project Selection Criteria

The Transportation Policy Board approved STP project selection criteria at its March 15th, 2017 meeting. The criteria will be used to assist the Transportation Policy Board select project priorities to be awarded STP funding. Approximately $5,131,380 will be available for allocation to the project priorities. Most of the funding will be programmed for obligation in Federal Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023. However, if available funding becomes available or other previously-programmed projects are unable to move forward, those selected to receive funding may be able to move forward prior to 2022.

Ten percent of the available STP funding, approximately $513,000, has been set aside for non-roadway projects. Non-roadway projects include non-motorized, transit, planning, and historical preservation projects.

The criteria used to prioritize the projects are based on regional transportation priorities identified by the Transportation Policy Board. The priority areas and their associated weights are listed below:

  • Economic Vitality – 20%
  • Safety – 20%
  • Mobility – 20%
  • Regional Nature – 10%
  • Project Readiness – 15%
  • Preservation/Maintenance – 5%
  • TAC Priority (used by the Technical Advisory Committee to address project attributes that may not be captured in the criteria) – 10%

Most of the selection criteria are objective in nature and will be evaluated by SCOG staff. For the more subjective measures (including preservation/maintenance and TAC priority) the Technical Advisory Committee will provide a rating for each project. TAC members are not permitted to evaluate projects from their own agency.

Project applications are due to Gabe Philips in electronic format by April 26th, 2017.

Contingency List

The SCOG Transportation Policy Board has given direction to prepare a contingency list of projects that can easily move forward if the region is expected to fall short of its annual obligation target. Project sponsors are encouraged to submit proposals for transportation planning studies. Selection of the project to be included in the contingency list does not guarantee that the study will be funded. Sponsors of planning studies may also submit the proposed study as part of the general STP call for projects. The submissions will be prioritized according to the following criteria:

  • What is the regional issue the study will address?
  • What is the desired outcome?
  • Does the study address a project/issue identified in Skagit 2040?
  • What is the level of regional impact the study will have?

SCOG staff will prepare an initial prioritization of the proposed planning projects to be considered by the Transportation Policy Board.

Project applications are due to Gabe Philips in electronic format by April 26th, 2017.

Further Clarification

If you have questions related to the project applications process, contact Gabe Philips via email or by phone at (360) 416-6678. Clarifications made regarding the project selection criteria will be recorded and made available to all prospective applicants on SCOG’s website (www.scog.net).

Posted in TPB