For immediate release
Transportation Advisory Committee hears TAP, Regional Bridge Program updates
ST. JAMES — The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has opened the next round of the Rural Statewide Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant program. MoDOT staff Kim Tipton and Steve Englebrecht discussed program details, including changes since the last grant cycle during the June 9 meeting of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC).
The TAP program includes projects such as facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorized forms of transportation, including sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure, pedestrian and bicycle signals, etc. The program will award $29.3 million of federal TAP funds statewide. Projects are funded at a maximum of 80 percent and requires a 20 percent local match. A project must seek a minimum of $100,000 and a maximum of $500,000. Applications are due July 15, 2022, and can be found at https://www.modot.org/sites/default/files/documents/2022%20TAP%20Application%20Form.pdf. Schools and nonprofits can now apply but are encouraged to partner with local governments because of some reporting requirements. Additionally, projects on railroad corridors are also eligible, which was good news for cities interested in the development of the Rock Island Trail.
Tipton and Englebrecht also announced that information on the Regional Bridge program (RBP), formerly the BRO program, would be released on June 13. The RBP pools funds at a district level to address bridges in poor condition. The new program allows counties to apply for funds instead of funds being directly allocated to the county. The program will be awarding approximately $110 million of federal bridge funds for projects from 2022 through 2024. Applications are due July 22, 2022, and can be found at https://www.modot.org/sites/default/files/documents/Regional%20Bridge%20Program%20Application.pdf.
At the August TAC meeting, TAC members will prioritize both the regional TAP and RBP applications submitted from within the region.
Additionally, the TAC:
- Heard an update from Athena Sones with MoDOT on the Federal Highway Emergency Relief program that can help provide funding in the instance of a disaster causing damages to federal-aid roadways maintained by local public agencies.;
- Was given an update on the SMTS Deviated Fixed-Route Study that will be completed by MRPC in June and could provide some new route options in Rolla;
- Selected the location of the next road safety audit, which will be at Highway 21 S. and Delbridge Road in Washington County;
- Learned that the draft Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) is online and available for comment until June 17. Because of additional revenue from the increased fuel tax and additional federal dollars, several new projects were added including corridor improvements on Highway 63 from Route 50 to south of Westphalia in Osage County, adding auxiliary lanes to Interstate 44 near Route H and Superior Road in Pulaski County; ramp improvements at Exit 159 on Interstate 44 in St. Robert; and several bridge improvement projects throughout the region;
- Learned that MRPC staff started work on the update of the Public Transit Human Services Transportation Coordination Plan, which must be updated every five years. A planning committee will be formed and those interested in transit are encouraged to participate;
- Heard a construction update report from MoDOT Area Engineer Preston Kramer. He reported that the Highway 89 bridge project in Osage County is about 30 percent complete as contractors are waiting on steel finger plates. The new target date for opening the bridge is Aug. 6. Kramer also encouraged local governments to think about viable projects for MoDOT’s cost share, as well as, the Governor’s cost share programs.
Persons needing more information on MRPC’s Transportation Advisory Committee may contact MRPC at (573) 265-2993. For more information on Transportation needs in the region or other programs offered by MRPC, follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion or visit www.meramecregion.org.
Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Steve Vogt, representing the city of Belle, serves as chairman of the board. A professional staff of 36 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.
To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.