Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP)

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IMPORTANT DATES

ITEP Application Submission Period:  October 2, 2017 – December 1, 2017

ITEP Review and Selection Process:  December 2017 – April 2018

Announcement of Selected Projects:  Spring 2018

 

The ITEP provides funding for community based projects that expand travel choices and enhance the transportation experience by improving the cultural, historic, aesthetic and environmental aspects of our transportation infrastructure.

The ITEP is designed to promote and develop alternative transportation options, including bike and pedestrian travel, along with streetscape beautification. The federal funds are awarded competitively, and projects must be related to surface transportation.  Eligible applicants include all entities that were previously eligible to apply for Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funds, and include any local or state government with taxing authority.  In addition, the FAST Act allows nonprofit entities responsible for the administration of local transportation safety programs to apply.  Local matching funds are required.

Notice of Funding Opportunity

Application Process

IDOT’s next ITEP application period begins on Monday, October 2, 2017 and ends on Friday, December 1, 2017 at 4:30 PM CST. 

  • All project applications must be submitted through the online application process and should be complete and accurate.   
  • In addition to the online submission, IDOT must also receive one unbound hard copy of the application and attachments by 4:30 CST on December 1, 2017.
  • The hard copy must contain a six-digit ITEP number that is automatically generated once you click on the “Finalize and Submit” button.

IDOT is requiring applicants to submit one unbound hard copy of their finalized and completed application.   If the hard copy is sent by mail, it must be received by Friday, December 1, 2017.  The hard copies may also be hand-delivered to IDOT by Close of Business (4:30 PM CST) on that date.  Applications that are postmarked before the deadline but are received after the deadline WILL BE MARKED INELIGIBLE AND WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR FUNDS. 

All project applications and related materials are to be mailed to the Illinois Department of Transportation at the following address:

Illinois Department of Transportation
Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program
Room 307
2300 South Dirksen Parkway
Springfield, Illinois  62764

In addition to your online application submission, one unbound hard copy of your application is required to be submitted and should be received by IDOT no later than December 1, 2017.

APPLICATION ATTACHMENTS:

  1. GATA Uniform Grant Application
  2. GATA Uniform Budget
         a. Uniform Budget Instructions
  3. GATA Programmatic Risk Assessment
  4. GATA Grantee Conflict of Interest Form
  5. Detailed Cost Estimate
  6. Project Location Map
  7. Colored Photographs
  8. Local Assurance Page
  9. Government Resolution
  10. Public Involvement
  11. Letters of Support

Funding Amount / Matching Funds

Applicants may apply for up to $2,000,000 maximum per project in federal ITEP funds.  Approximately $40,000,000 will be awarded this cycle. 

Pursuant to federal requirements as established by MAP-21 and subsequently by the FAST Act, a proposed project must meet the following criteria:

  • The project must fit within one of the eligible categories and must comply with any additional IDOT policies as outlined in the guidelines.
  • The project must relate to surface transportation.
  • The project must have an eligible project sponsor.
  • The project must be selected through a competitive process.

Federal funds will provide reimbursement up to 50 percent for right-of-way and easement acquisition costs, and up to 80 percent for preliminary engineering, utility relocations, construction engineering, and construction costs.  Street lighting can qualify for either 80% funding or 50% funding, depending on whether the location is within a designated historic district or not.  The required 20 percent or 50 percent local match is the responsibility of the project sponsor.

Work that begins prior to federal authorization will not be eligible for reimbursement.  Furthermore, an ITEP award recipient will be required to pay back funds if reasonable progress has not been made.  Please see FHWA Order 5020.1 Repayment of Preliminary Engineering Costs for further guidance.  All ITEP funded projects must have all phases of work fully obligated within four years of the award notification letter or funds will be rescinded.

Matching Funds

Eligible matching funding sources include:

  • Illinois Bicycle Path Grant Program (IDNR)
  • Other IDNR Grant Programs (based on IDNR eligibility)
  • Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Tourism Funding Options
  • State and Local Motor Fuel Tax Funds (MFT)
  • Local General Revenue Tax Funds
  • Federal funds that are not included in the ISTEA, TEA-21, SAFETEA-LU, MAP-21 or FAST Act federal highway bills
  • Non-Profit Organization Funds donated to the ITEP sponsor
  • Private or Corporate Funds donated to the ITEP sponsor

Ineligible matching funding sources include:

  • National Recreational Trails Program
  • Public Lands Highways Discretionary Fund Program (Forest Highway Program)
  • National Scenic Byway Program
  • ISTEA federal highway funds
  • TEA-21 federal highway funds
  • SAFETEA-LU federal highway funds
  • MAP-21/TAP federal highway funds
  • FAST Act federal highway funds
  • Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program funds

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants or project sponsors are local entities with taxing authority that can guarantee matching funds to carry out the proposed project.  Sponsors assume responsibility and accountability for the use and expenditure of program funds.  Applicants and/or implementing agencies must be able to comply with all the federal and state laws, regulations, policies and procedures required to enter into project agreements.

Under 23 U.S.C. 213(c)(4)(B), the eligible entities to receive ITEP funds are:

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

Although State agencies and MPOs with responsibility for oversight of transportation or recreational trails cannot sponsor a project, they can partner with an eligible project sponsor.

The project sponsor is responsible for the following:

  • Acquire local assurance from the proper authorities to ensure commitment
  • Coordinate project with Local IDOT District Office
  • Secure required sponsor match
  • Schedule start dates for all types of work
  • Acquire sponsor and agency joint agreements
  • Ensure necessary environmental studies and sign-off by appropriate federal, state and local agencies
  • Complete preliminary engineering
  • Prepare contract plans
  • Perform utility relocations (as required)
  • Complete environmental documents, clearances, permits and mitigation
  • Manage, administer and implement the project
  • Acquire necessary right-of-way and easements
  • Maintain the project after completion
  • Provide project status or timeline upon request
  • Responsible for the cost of all ineligible items

Project Categories

  1. Pedestrian/Bicycle Facilities
  2. Streetscapes
  3. Conversion of Abandoned Railroad Corridors to Trails
  4. Historic Preservation and Rehabilitation of Historic Transportation Facilities
  5. Vegetation Management in Transportation Rights-of-Way
  6. Archaeological Activities Relating to Impacts from Implementation of a Transportation Project
  7. Storm Water Management, Control and Water Pollution Prevention or Abatement Related to Highway Construction or Due to Highway Runoff
  8. Reduce Vehicle-Caused Wildlife Mortality or Restore and Maintain Connectivity Among Terrestrial or Aquatic Habitats
  9. Construction of Turnouts, Overlooks and Viewing Areas

Ineligible Items:

  • Scenic or historic highway programs (including the provision of tourist and welcome center facilities)
  • Provision of safety and educational activities for pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Acquisition of scenic easements and scenic or historic sites
  • Establishment of transportation museums
  • State or MPO administrative purposes
  • Promotional activities
  • Routine maintenance and operation
  • General recreation and park facilities, playground equipment, sports fields, campgrounds, picnic areas and pavilions
  • Road work (i.e. resurfacing)
  • Bike sharing programs – capital and operational costs
  • Bike/bus/picnic shelters
  • Equestrian and snowmobile trails
  • Landscape work as a stand-alone project
  • Parking lots
  • Storm sewers
  • Trash receptacles
  • Courthouses
  • Purchasing a building
  • Alleyway improvements
  • Trail resurfacing (maintenance)
  • Bicycle lockers/racks (as a stand-alone project)
  • Pedestrian crossings (as a stand-alone project)
  • Street/pedestrian lighting (as a stand-alone project)
  • Fences
  • Recreational trails
  • Benches (unless permanent in nature)

Project Selection

Project Evaluation

All ITEP projects must be selected through a competitive process.  In order to comply with federal guidelines, IDOT has developed a numerically-based scoring process.  First, after IDOT receives the candidate project applications, staff conducts an initial review of all applications received for eligibility and GATA compliance.  Next, all eligible project applications are organized and assigned to reviewers statewide for a more comprehensive review based on established review criteria listed below.  Reviewers submit scores online.  These reviewers consist of MPOs, IDOT districts, other state agencies and internal IDOT staff, whereas each project has a minimum of three reviewers.  Finally, the top 30% of the highest scoring projects move on to the ITEP Selection Committee.  The Selection Committee reviews the top 30% of candidate projects in rating order from highest to lowest and discusses the cut off for approval based on the funding available.  Geographical equity and project feasibility are considered. 

Review Criteria

  • Eligibility
  • Strength of transportation relationship
  • Project meets category intent
  • Public benefits and accessibility
  • Connectivity to existing facilities/Linkage
  • Project support/Local commitment
  • Prior sponsor investment
  • Project sponsor capacity, readiness and past performance
  • Application completeness/Information provided
  • Inclusion in a local, state or regional plan
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Planning and coordination
  • Project readiness
  • Extra points will be given for the completion of Phase I Engineering
  • Extra points will be given for the completion of Land Acquisition

Project Selection and Approval

The final stage of review is conducted by the ITEP Selection Committee.  Once the Committee completes a review, a final list of projects is compiled.  This list contains the recommended projects for funding.  The recommended project list is forwarded to the Secretary of Transportation and then to the Governor for announcement.

All eligible applicants receive a notification letter after ITEP awards are announced.  Letters are sent out notifying every applicant whether their project received funds or not.  For those projects that were selected for funding, further instructions are provided regarding how to contact your local IDOT District Enhancement Coordinator to proceed with your project.  It is imperative that you contact your respective IDOT District Enhancement Coordinator immediately upon award notification.

If your project receives an ITEP award:

  • You will receive a notification letter with the award amount. The notification letter will also contain deadlines for your specific project based on phases of work approved for funding.  Note that if any deadline is not met, funds may be rescinded.
  • Immediately contact your IDOT District Enhancement Coordinator; contact information can be found at the bottom of the notification letter. A kick-off meeting must be scheduled within 6 weeks of award notification.
  • All ITEP funded projects must have all phases of work fully obligated within four years of the award notification letter or funds will be rescinded.
  • Obtain guidance from your IDOT District Enhancement Coordinator on how to proceed with the project development process by getting the proper paperwork in place.

How to Apply

Resources

Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines

Frequently Asked Questions

Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program

Application Related

  1. What types of projects are funded by the Enhancement Program?
    Using the federal guidelines as defined under the FAST Act, IDOT is accepting project applications for ITEP funding in the following categories:
    • Pedestrian/Bicycle Facilities
    • Landscape/Streetscape and Other Scenic Beautification
    • Conversion of Abandoned Railroad Corridors to Trails
    • Historic Preservation and Rehabilitation of Historic Transportation Facilities
    • Vegetation Management in Transportation Rights-of-Way
    • Archaeological Activities Relating to Impacts from Implementation of a Transportation Project
    • Storm Water Management, Control and Water Pollution Prevention or Abatement Related to Highway Construction or Due to Highway Runoff
    • Reduce Vehicle-Caused Wildlife Mortality or Restore and Maintain Connectivity Among Terrestrial or Aquatic Habitats
    • Construction of Turnouts, Overlooks and Viewing Areas

  2. Am I required to hold public meetings for project approval?
    Public coordination may be necessary depending upon the type and scope of the proposed project, but is not required as a condition for project selection. Public outreach is strongly encouraged by both FHWA and IDOT and should be continued throughout the project. Public involvement will be considered in the selection process as a good reflection of public outreach/support and as a measure of project planning and project readiness.

  3. Do I need to provide a lot of detailed information?
    It is useful to provide as much detail as possible, but often, projects still require feasibility studies, design and environmental studies before construction can proceed. A detailed cost estimate is required with all project submittals. This will help ensure that eligible and ineligible items can be defined which will allow the department and the project sponsor to have a clear understanding of the fiscal responsibilities.

  4. How can I determine what project elements are eligible and which are ineligible?
    Because there is such a vast difference in the types of projects funded under the enhancement program, it is difficult to make one policy that fits all circumstances. Many times eligibility has to be determined on a case by case basis. The ITEP Guidelines Manual lists eligible and ineligible elements for each specific category. Ineligible items can still be part of your project cost estimate but should be separated out. For additional clarification consult the local IDOT enhancement coordinator in your area or submit your question to DOT.ITEP@illinois.gov. Please note - any ineligible items will have to be funded by other means.

  5. What is meant by “project scope”?
    Project scope is a concise description of the elements and scale of a project that need to be done to accomplish its intended purpose. Some detail is needed to clarify what the project sponsor wants to do so the department can determine what elements are eligible for funding. This is also critical if the proposed project is being done in conjunction with another project.

Project Funding

  1. How much funding can I get for my project?
    Individual projects vary in size and costs depending upon the funding category. However, there is a $2 million per-project funding cap. In other words, the department will not award more than $2 million to any single project. The federal portion of eligible costs is 80% with the exception of street lighting and land acquisition which is funded at 50 percent for projects selected under the program.

  2. Our community has already received funding for an ITEP project in the past. Does this affect our chances of receiving future ITEP funds?
    Project selection is based on eligibility and merit. However, past performance of a project sponsor will be considered.

  3. What happens if I don’t get all the money I requested from ITEP?
    If funding from ITEP is less than the amount requested in the application, the project sponsor has a variety of option
    1. The sponsor can seek funds from other public or private sources;
    2. The project can be reduced to fit within the funding provided;
    3. The sponsor can stage the project into logical phases and seek additional ITEP funding during a subsequent statewide solicitation.

Project Selection and Implementation

  1. If my project is selected, what happens next?
    The department will initially contact the project sponsor by mail informing them of the project selection and approved funding amount. The IDOT District Local Roads Enhancement Coordinator in your area is responsible for project implementation and should be the point of contact once you’ve received your letter. The selected project may or may not have received all the funds requested and a scoping meeting (see next question) may be needed to determine which project elements the department has provided funding for or to discuss how to proceed with re-scoping the project to fit within the approved budget.

  2. What is a scoping meeting?
    The scoping meeting is where the project sponsor reviews the project funding with the department to determine what elements of the project are being funded and how that funding will be provided. FHWA and the department’s policies and procedures along with the sponsor’s responsibilities will be discussed in more detail. Scoping meetings will be held by the IDOT District Local Roads offices (if required) after project selection and notifications are made. Project sponsors are encouraged to contact their respective IDOT District Local Roads Enhancement Coordinator as soon as approval notification is received.

  3. What happens if I have a cost overrun on my project?
    ITEP is limited in its ability to make up shortfalls for project cost overruns. Following similar steps as outlined in #4 under Project Funding, the sponsor should seek alternatives to manage the project within available funding levels. Funds can be shifted from one phase to another, such as from PE to construction to cover shortfalls. An ITEP Change Request form (Form # OPP 2255) has been developed to simplify the process. Please contact the IDOT District Local Roads Enhancement Coordinator in your area.

  4. If I have already completed Preliminary Engineering, will I be required to do more work before proceeding to construction?
    All engineering work must be done in accordance with federal guidelines. You may need to adjust accordingly. Contact your respective IDOT District Local Roads Enhancement Coordinator with any related inquiries.

  5. What is the Federal Flexible Match Program (FFM)?
    This program allows flexibility to the Federal-Aid Highway Program’s matching requirements by allowing certain public donations of cash, materials, and services to satisfy the local matching requirements. Basically the project sponsor can get ‘credits’ toward construction and construction engineering to use as part of the local match. This does not increase your funding level.

  6. What if I am unable to meet the time frame for project implementation as defined under the Sunset Clause?
    This policy has been instituted to help reduce the amount of unobligated ITEP funds which are subject to federal rescissions or to lapse (expire). If the required time frames cannot be met, your project funds may be rescinded. IDOT will continue to monitor projects, and project sponsors may be required to submit documentation on the status of their project on a periodic basis.

Contacts

Please send all general ITEP inquiries to DOT.ITEP@illinois.gov

DistrictProgram Development
state-sponsored projects
Local Roads and Streets
local-sponsored projects
1Brian Carlson
(847) 705-4080
Christopher Holt
(847) 705-4201
2Kristine Tobin
(815) 284-5444
Anthony Batatta
(815) 284-5380
3Tom Magolan
(815) 434-8472
Don Ernat
(815) 434-8426
4Terrisa Worsfold
(309) 671-3495
Tony Sassine
(309) 671-3690
5Jeannie Bland
(217) 466-7312
Brian Trygg
(217) 466-7252
6Wes Clark
(217) 782-4762
Susan Graham
(217) 782-4690
7Kristi Sandschafer
(217) 342-8242
Sherry Phillips
(217) 342-8321
8Tiffany Brase
(618) 346-3150
Jim Mollet
(618) 346-3330
9Doug Keirn
(618) 351-5285
Dennis Hillebrenner
(618) 351-5260

IDOT Regional Map