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Duluth, MN 55802 
Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for Duluth, MN
Programming federal funds for priority transportation projects

Visual Representation of Surrounding Text
Map of Duluth-area TIP projects for 2016-2019

As the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the MIC is required to maintain a financially constrained Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for the Duluth, Minnesota metropolitan area.

The TIP is a 4-year financial program (currently for 2016-2019) that lists the descriptions and timeframes of all state and local projects that will utilize federal transportation funds.

It includes multiple modes of transportation including roads, transit, and Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) projects. It is updated annually and may be amended, to accommodate changes in funding amounts, sources or project scope.

We maintain a current, approved TIP at the same time we are developing one for the upcoming four-year period. Project solicitation for the next TIP cycle (2017-2020) will begin in December 2015.

What Projects are Included in the Duluth Area TIP?
TIP projects reflect local transportation priorities and can include highway, local roadway, transit, rail, harbor, airport and non-motorized (bike and pedestrian) maintenance and construction projects.

All projects are consistent with the goals and system needs put forward in the MIC's 30-year Long Range Transportation Plan.

Funding Available for Duluth Area Projects

An average of $56 million in federal transportation dollars has been made available in recent years for transportation projects throughout the northeast region of Minnesota.

These funds are allocated according to a federal formula and managed by the state. Most of this money (about $48 million) goes to MnDOT projects to maintain the state highways and bridges in this region.

Approximately $5 million goes towards county highways, local streets, and transit in the MIC area.

A small allocation is also made for non-roadway projects, such as paved trails, through the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP).

How are TIP Projects Selected?
Every year, the MIC solicits project proposals for the use of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds for the new fiscal year being added in the annual TIP update. As noted earlier, these proposals can address multiple modes of transportation (both motorized and non-motorized).

All projects must be identified in the MICís current 25-year Long Range Transportation Plan in support of the Duluth-Superior area's goals and transportation system needs. In addition, the MIC evaluates and prioritizes each proposal based on the following criteria:
  1. Regional Benefit: What are the projectís merits/benefits and intended effect upon the regional transportation network and what are the projectís estimated benefits relative to its cost?

  2. Mobility: How will the project improve the mobility of people and goods?

  3. Planning Support: How will the project incorporate the MICís Long Range Transportation Plan, other MIC studies and related plans and studies?

  4. Multimodal Connectivity: How does the project encompass multiple modes of travel?

  5. Environmental Impacts: Where is the projectís location and what potential environmental and community impacts does it potentially pose?

  6. Public Participation: What level of public participation has been undertaken or will take place for the proposed project?

TIP Development Timeline

For the Duluth Area TIP, the development process runs from October, when the MIC begins dicussions about possible projects with eligible jurisdictions* through August of the following year, when the final TIP is approved by the MIC Policy Board.

    October: Pre-application meetings to review Long Range Plan with eligible jurisdictions*

    Nov/Dec: MIC staff distributes project applications to eligible jurisdictions*

    January: Project applications received.

    February: Project applications are put forward for public review and comment.

    March: MIC staff reviews and scores projects according to evaluation criteria and presents them to the TAC to be scored and ranked according to priority. The TAC scores the projects and staff presents the projects and the TAC scores to the MIC Policy Board for their review and approval.

    Apr/May: Project applications as prioritized by the MIC Policy Board are forwarded to the Northeast Minnesota Area Transportation Partnership (NE MN ATP) for funding consideration within the investment guidelines for that project year.

    May/Jun: Draft TIP produced and released for public comment.

    July: Public participation initiatives to encourage public review and comment.

    August: Final TIP presented for approval by MIC Policy Board.

* Eligible agencies and jurisdictions include the state of Minnesota (MnDOT), St. Louis County, cities with a population over 5,000 (Duluth and Hermantown), the Duluth Seaway Port Authority and the Duluth Transit Authority (DTA).

Coordination with State and Regional Processes

Planning and programming activities for the use of federal transportation funds occur at local (urban), regional and state levels.

We work with local communities to determine how our increasingly scarce share of federal transportation dollars are spent. These are the projects solicited, evaluated and approved by the MIC Policy Board, as described in the timeline, above.

A simultaneous but separate process is held to program projects throughout the 8-county Arrowhead region by the Northeast Minnesota Area Transportation Partnership (NE MN ATP).

All Duluth area transportation projects that are approved and/or amended in the MICís TIP must also be listed in MnDOTís Statewide Transportation Improvement Program to be able to receive federal funds.

For More Information
Contact MIC Senior Planner Robert Herling by email or at (218) 529-7573.