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Frequently asked questions


Funding eligibility and availability

Q: Is it necessary to obligate SAFETEA-LU funds prior to Sept. 30, 2012 to avoid losing these funds?

A: MAP-21 did not alter the availability of funds for the discontinued programs. The period of availability, federal share, and all other terms and conditions that were in place prior to the enactment of MAP-21 continue to be the same. This is true even if MAP-21 repealed the provisions related to a specific program. Although SAFETEA-LU programs are no longer funded after FFY 2012, the funds will remain available for obligation until Sept. 30, 2015.

Q: If a carryover balance of SAFETEA-LU funds is mixed with new MAP-21 funding, which requirements would apply?

A: If you mix SAFETEA-LU and MAP-21 funding then you will be constrained to the new MAP-21 requirements. For example, if you mix old Transportation Enhancement funding with new Transportation Alternatives funding, the new project eligibility requirements would apply.

Grant programs

Q: How does the Iowa DOT plan to utilize Transportation Alternatives funding given the new level of program flexibility?

A: Decisions related to how Iowa’s federal transportation funds are utilized are the responsibility of the Iowa Transportation Commission. Staff will assist the Commission in making these decisions by providing them with information and facilitating extensive discussions at future workshops. Interested groups are invited to share their thoughts with the Commission at their public meetings.

Q: How will the transition to MAP-21 be coordinated with the looming Oct. 1 deadline for federal grant programs?

A: Given the time needed to accommodate this transition process, the Oct. 1 deadline will be delayed to no earlier than January.

Q: How will MAP-21 impact current Transportation Enhancements, Scenic Byway, Federal Recreational Trails, and Safe Routes to School grant projects for FFY 2013?

A: Projects that have already been awarded by the Iowa DOT will not be impacted.

Highways and bridges

Q: Has the Iowa DOT estimated the impact to future Surface Transportation Program targets for MMOs and regionals?

A: The Iowa DOT has not yet performed target calculations as future discussion may impact how these targets are calculated.

Q: Since MAP-21 eliminated the Highway Bridge Program (HBP), will federal funds still be available to cities and counties for bridges?

A: Yes. Bridge replacement and rehabilitation remains an eligible activity under the Surface Transportation Program (STP). In addition, MAP-21 requires at least 15 percent of the amount allocated to a state for fiscal year 2009 to be used on off-system bridges (those on roads classified as local or rural minor collectors). The amount and manner in which STP funds will be set-aside for county and city bridges will be determined by a working a group of FHWA, Iowa DOT, city, county, and planning agency representatives.

Q: How will MAP-21 affect previously awarded HBP funding for city bridges?

A: HBP funds will remain available for projects for which a funding agreement has already been executed. Future awards of federal funds for bridges will be determined as noted above.

Q: How will the counties’ allocations of HBP funds be affected?

A: HBP funds allocated to a county through fiscal year 2012 will remain available to the county for use on its bridges under the existing eligibility criteria, as provided in Instructional Memorandum 2.020, Federal and State Bridge Programs. Future allocations of federal funds for county bridges will be determined as noted above.

Safety

Q: MAP-21 does not continue a mandatory set-aside of funds from the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) for High-Risk Rural Roads (HRRR). Will the HRRR program in Iowa continue?

A: The Iowa DOT will continue to make HSIP funds available for safety projects and activities on HRRR, but the amount and manner in which funding will be allocated will be determined by the Iowa DOT in consultation with the Iowa County Engineers Association.


* Content will be updated as new questions are received and responded to.

FHWA questions and answers (updated frequently)



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