Feb. 15, 2023
Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBGP) funding update
On Jan. 23, the Central Minnesota Area Transportation Partnership (ATP) met at the Saint Cloud Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) office. As part of that meeting, MnDOT District 3 staff announced the funding targets for STBGP for fiscal year 2027. The ATP is anticipated to receive $12.2 million in Federal STBGP funding. Based upon a funding formula developed by the ATP, the APO is anticipated to receive $2,504,660 in Federal funding for STBGP.
In addition, thanks in part to the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) – the Federal transportation reauthorization act – additional STBGP funding was made available in fiscal years 2023-2026. MnDOT District staff was able to re-arrange existing projects within the Area Transportation Improvement Program (ATIP) to spend the available funding in years 2023-2025. This has left an additional $7,983,992 available for the ATP to be spent in 2026. Based upon the same funding formula used to determine the APO’s 2027 allocation, the APO is anticipated to receive $1,639,114 to be spent in fiscal year 2026.
In total, this has left the APO with $4,143,774 to allocate.
STBGP funding has been historically allocated by the APO for roadway and bridge projects within the planning area, however, this funding can be allocated for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects as well.
On Feb. 2, the APO’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met to discuss the applications received on Jan. 9, 2023, for the STBGP solicitation.
A total of six applications were submitted to the APO (listed in order they were received):
- City of Saint Cloud’s 22nd Street S reconstruction.
- City of Sauk Rapids’s Second Avenue S reconstruction.
- City of Sartell’s 15th Street N extension – Right-of-Way acquisition.
- City of Sartell’s 15th Street N extension – construction.
- Stearns County’s CSAH 1 reconstruction.
- Benton County’s CSAH 3 full depth reclamation.
Combined, these six projects were requesting $12,802,100 in STBGP Federal funding. With the APO only being allocated $4,143,774 (between both 2026 and 2027), TAC representatives discussed the technical merits of each project at their Feb. 2 meeting. Based upon that discussion, along with the initial rankings provided by APO staff, the TAC made a recommendation to the Policy Board to fund the following projects as follows:
- City of Saint Cloud’s 22nd Street S reconstruction: $239,114 in fiscal year 2026; $1,560,886 in fiscal year 2027 for a total of $1,800,000 in Federal funding.
- City of Sauk Rapids’s Second Avenue S reconstruction: $1,400,000 in fiscal year 2026.
- City of Sartell’s 15th Street N extension – Right-of-Way acquisition: $943,774 in fiscal year 2027.
At the APO’s Policy Board meeting on Feb. 9, board members heard presentations from all applicants and reviewed the TAC’s recommendation for funding. The Policy Board had voted to accept the recommendations made by the TAC.
|Jurisdiction||Project Description||Federal Funds Awarded||Local Match Required||Total Project Cost|
|Saint Cloud||From St. Cloud County Road 136/Oak Grove Road to St. Cloud Cooper Avenue South: Reconstruct 24’-28’ rural road to a 36’ wide urban multimodal street, including 12’ traffic/6’ bike lanes in each direction, new sidewalk, new storm sewer system, new potable water transmission supply line and street lighting||$1,800,000||$1,242,000||$3,042,000|
|Sauk Rapids||Reconstruction of Second Avenue South from 10th Street South to the south city limits, including roadway, sidewalk, lighting, storm water, sanitary sewer, and water main improvements||$1,400,000||$2,950,000||$4,350,000|
|Sartell||15th Street N corridor extension from Pinecone Road N to 19th Avenue N – right of way acquisition||$943,774||$2,106,626||$3,050,400|
These projects will be added to the APO’s FY 2024-2027 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
Transportation Alternatives (TA) funding update
On Jan. 23, the Central Minnesota Area Transportation Partnership (ATP) met at the Saint Cloud Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) office. As part of that meeting MnDOT District 3 staff informed members that there were 14 districtwide applicants to the Transportation Alternatives (TA) Federal funding program for fiscal year 2027. TA funding is primarily allocated to the creation of bicycle and pedestrian facilities but can be used for environmental mitigation or habitat protection. The district is anticipating receiving $2.5 million in Federal TA funding. Applications are evaluated and scored on a districtwide level.
Similar to the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBGP), there was a substantial increase in available TA funding as a result of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). MnDOT District staff were able to re-arrange existing projects within the Area Transportation Improvement Program (ATIP) to spend the available funding in years 2023-2026. However, there is still funding available:
- 2024: $600,332.
- 2025: $1,236,759.
- 2026: $2,700,000.
Regions such as the APO are able to assign regional priority points to the top two most important TA projects for the region. These regional priority points – 10 points for the top project, five points for the second – are added to the final technical scores of the projects and ideally work to boost the region’s top priority for funding consideration.
A total of 14 applications were submitted to MnDOT District 3, two of which was from the Saint Cloud APO.
- City of Sartell’s trail and sidewalk gap project.
- City of Waite Park’s 15th Avenue N Trail.
At the Jan. 24 Active Transportation Advisory Committee (ATAC) meeting, ATAC members heard presentations about both projects. The ATAC then made a recommendation to the TAC to assign the City of Waite Park’s project 10 regional priority points and the City of Sartell the five regional priority points.
At the Feb. 2 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting, TAC representatives also heard presentations from both cities and discussed the technical merits of the projects. The TAC then made a recommendation to the Policy Board to assign the City of Waite Park project 10 regional priority points and to assign the City of Sartell the five regional priority points.
At the APO’s Policy Board meeting on Feb. 9, board members were provided an overview of the Sartell and Waite Park applications and reviewed the TAC’s recommendation for prioritization. The Policy Board had voted to accept the recommendations made by the ATAC and TAC.
|Jurisdiction||Project Description||Requested Federal Funds||Local Match Required||Total Project Cost||Regional Priority Points Distribution|
|City of Sartell||Trail and sidewalk improvements for: Heritage Drive connection from Amber Avenue to CSAH 1; Sidewalk extension from Seventh Street N to Riverview Intermediate School; Adding sidewalk from Fifth Street N up to and around south side of Riverview Intermediate School.||$389,160||$97,290||$486,450||5|
|City of Waite Park||Construction of a multiuse trail/sidewalk to serve as Phase I of the City’s plan to create a connection between the Lake Wobegon Trail and the Glacial Lakes Trail systems||$482,542||$120,635||$603,177||10|
The regional priority points will be submitted to MnDOT District 3 and will be provided to the TA committee to assist in the scoring and ranking of projects. This committee will meet in mid-March to compile scores and develop a prioritization that will be considered by the ATP board in April.
Oct. 17, 2022
Solicitation for the FY 2024-2027 TIP is currently underway.
Surface Transportation Block Grant Program
The Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBGP) provides flexible funding that may be used by states and localities for projects to preserve and improve the conditions and performance on any Federal-aid highway, bridge, and tunnel projects on any public road; pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and transit capital projects including intercity bus terminals. States and localities are responsible for a minimum 20% share of project costs funded through this program.
Solicitation for the FY 2027 STBGP began in mid-October. Applications were distributed to the APO’s city and county engineers through the APO’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). Applications are due to APO Senior Transportation Planner Vicki Johnson by no later than 3 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023. For more information, please contact Vicki Johnson at email@example.com.
Transportation Alternatives Program
Projects eligible for Transportation Alternatives (TA) funding include, but are not limited to: the creation of facilities for pedestrians and bicycles, environmental mitigation or habitat protection as related to highway construction or operations, as well as infrastructure and non-infrastructure related to Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) activities. States and localities are responsible for a minimum 20% share of project costs funded through this program.
The TA program kicked off Oct. 3, 2022, with the Letter of Intent (LOI) process. This information was shared with the APO’s city and county engineers through the APO’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). LOIs are due to the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s (MnDOT’s) Central Office by Monday, Nov. 4. Any LOIs submitted for projects within the APO’s planning area will be distributed to APO staff for review. Once LOIs have been reviewed including a consultation with the applicant, APO staff will distribute the full TA application – beginning Monday, Nov. 21. Applications are due to MnDOT District 3 Engineering Specialist/Program Coordinator Jeff Lenz by Friday, Jan. 13, 2023. For more information, please contact Vicki Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Highway Safety Improvement Program
The goal of the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) is to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads and roads on tribal lands. This funding source requires 10% local match with a maximum cap for a project being $750,000 per location.
HSIP applications within the APO’s planning area are typically handled at the county level.
Changes to the solicitation process last year – initiated by MnDOT’s Office of Traffic Engineering (OTE) – have allowed the APO to provide input on projects being considered for this program prior to their submission. This change required the APO to review and develop a prioritization for HSIP projects submitted within the planning area.
APO staff received two HSIP applications by the Sept. 19 deadline established by APO staff to conduct the ranking/prioritization process.
|Jurisdiction||Project Description||Requested Year of Expenditure||Requested Federal Funds||Local Match Required||Total Project Cost|
|Benton County||Construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Mayhew Lake Road/CSAH 1 and 35th Street/CSAH 29||2025, 2026, or 2027||$750,000||$450,000||$1,200,000|
|City of Sartell||Traffic signal installation at the intersection of Pinecone Road and Seventh Street N||2026||$400,000||$150,000||$550,000|
At the Sept. 29, 2022, regularly scheduled Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting, TAC representatives heard presentations from county staff about these projects. It was decided that TAC representatives would recommend the Policy Board allow both of these applications to continue with their request for funding consideration.
Policy Board members considered the HSIP applications at their Oct. 13 regularly scheduled meeting. The Policy Board approved the TAC’s recommendation.
These applications, along with this ranking information, must be submitted to MnDOT’s OTE by no later than Wednesday, Nov. 23. For more information, please contact Vicki Johnson at email@example.com.
Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants
The Minnesota Active Transportation (AT) Infrastructure Program provides grant funding for the construction of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure projects. The program was established by the Minnesota Legislature in 2017. Currently, the legislature appropriated a total of $3.5 million for infrastructure projects across the state. AT infrastructure funding does not require any local match. The funds are intended to fund standalone AT projects or provide the local match for AT infrastructure projects under federal bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure programs.
Projects must be able to enter construction in either the 2023 or 2024 calendar years.
This solicitation process kicked off Sept. 12 with a letter of intent (LOI) phase. LOIs were due to MnDOT on Friday, Oct 14. Full applications will be distributed to applicants by Monday, Oct. 31 with applications due by Friday, Dec. 30, 2022. For more information, please contact Vicki Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Partnership Program
The purpose of the Local Partnership Program (LPP) is to address transportation issues on the trunk highway system that are of concern to Local Units of Government, but are typically not large-scale or high enough priority that they are directly selected as projects in the regular MnDOT Transportation Program. This program exists to provide funding for projects that deliver benefit to both the local community and the trunk highway system. This program will pay for the eligible trunk highway costs and up to 8% of the construction engineering costs.
Solicitation for the LPP kicked off on Oct. 5, 2022. Applications are due to MnDOT District 3 LPP Project Manager Luke Wehseler by no later than Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. For more information, please contact Vicki Johnson at email@example.com.
Sept. 12, 2022
The APO Policy Board has approved the FY 2023-2026 TIP at its Sept. 8, 2022 meeting.
Currently, there are no interim deliverables for the next TIP.