Planning Commission

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Jan 20

Check Out All of the Transportation Grant Awards in Montgomery County (2014)!

Posted on January 20, 2015 at 4:16 PM by Rita McKelvey

Transportation Funding - 2014 Grants In Montco WEB.jpg

When the state legislature approved new transportation funding (Act 89) in November 2013, it created several new initiatives to fix bridges, improve the bicycle and pedestrian network, modernize traffic signals, and more. This was in addition to other existing federal, state, and regional transportation grant programs created in the last few years.

We've compiled information on all of these programs in a list and on a map. It’s great to see that in 2014 over $36 million was awarded or programmed for transportation improvements in the county.  Not all of the programs are competitive grants—some are initiatives lead by PennDOT to replace state or local bridges.  Either way, it’s new money to Montgomery County.  

Looking at the map, it’s clear that Upper Merion, Upper Dublin, and Abington were big winners in 2014.  Each of these townships was able to finance big, complex projects by piecing together funding from various grants. MCPC was active also, receiving grants to help rehabilitate the future trail junction building in Norristown and to complete a countywide walkability plan.  

Even though the majority of grants were in the county’s most populous areas—between the I-276 Turnpike and the Philadelphia city line—there was geographic parity throughout the county. The Pottstown, Upper Perkiomen, Central Perkiomen , and North Penn regions all received funding.  This is remarkable, since all 12 of these grant programs operated independent of each other.

Below is a brief explanation of each program:
  1. Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) – A federal program to improve trails, sidewalks, and streetscapes. Some TAP projects were chosen competitively by a regional committee and others were chosen by PennDOT in Harrisburg.  
  2. Multi-Modal Fund – A competitive state grant program created under Act 89 that can be used for a wide variety of road, bridge, and trail projects. There are two nearly identical programs—one administered by PennDOT and one run by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.
  3. Governor’s Transportation Infrastructure Investment Fund – A discretionary grant program administered by the Governor’s office.
  4. Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) – A competitive state grant program whose revenues are generated from drivers running red lights at intersections equipped with enforcement cameras. Any municipality is eligible to receive ARLE funds, which are used for upgrading and connecting traffic signals.
  5. Local Share Account Gaming Funds – Revenue generated by the Valley Forge Casino is awarded competitively to Montgomery County municipalities to rebuild infrastructure, including roads and bridges.
  6. Green Light Go – A competitive state grant program created under Act 89 for municipalities to improve traffic signals.
  7. Transportation & Community Development Initiative (TCDI) – Administered by DVRPC (the region’s planning organization), this competitive grant program gives federal funds to municipalities to study future transportation projects with economic development potential. 
  8. Retro-Reimbursement Bridges – An innovative state program where municipalities can repair regionally-approved bridges they own and recoup 80 percent of the cost when completed.
  9. Act 13 Bridges – A portion of the severance fee on Marcellus Shale extraction (Act 13 of 2012) comes back to the Montgomery County government to be used exclusively for repairing county-owned roads and bridges.
  10. Public-Private Partnership (P3) Bridges – PennDOT recently entered into an agreement with a private consortium to replace 558 bridges around the state—including several in Montgomery County—and maintain them for 25 years.
  11. Local Bridge Bundling – A PennDOT initiative to fix township-owned bridges around our region.  A large number of similar-type bridges will be bundled together into one construction bid so that money can be saved on labor and materials.
Blog Author: Matthew Edmond, Principal Planner, 610-278-3742 


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