Programs

RAMP Policy Questions

Last updated April 26, 2013 - New Questions in Bold

Pre-Application

  • Is this the only opportunity to apply for projects, or will there be future calls for projects? The need for future calls for projects has not yet been determined and depends on the number of applicants and funds awarded in the initial call for projects.
  • Is there a limit to the number of applications that an entity can submit?  No.

  • Is there a minimum or maximum request amount? No.

  • Is the $125 million for Transportation Partnerships further broken down among the individual Partnership programs? No targets or priorities have been established in advance for the allocation of Transportation Partnership funds between the different Transportation Partnership programs. Transportation Partnership projects will compete against all other Transportation Partnership projects, not just those within the same sub-program.

  • Is it possible to apply for and receive state funds only?  No.  It should be assumed that if a project is awarded RAMP funds the funds will be federal and the project will be federalized.

  • Is the Transportation Partnership Program focused on local agency or CDOT projects? Can a local agency manage a RAMP project? At this point the RAMP Transportation Partnerships Program is focused on CDOT projects, not local agency projects.  There may be some instances where local agency management is appropriate (i.e. projects that “integrate with the state highway system”).  This will be determined on a case by case basis.

  • What is meant by “critical need”?  Examples of what might indicate critical need are poor pavement condition, crash rates above the statewide average, or mobility/operational issues; the detailed application requests information on these needs.  It is up to the applicant to demonstrate that the project is a “critical need.”
  • How should an application demonstrate consistency with CDOT policies?  Which policies specifically?  Applicants should confer with their CDOT Regions to determine if there is any concern with a project’s consistency with CDOT policies.  Examples of policies that should be considered in answering this question include PD 1601- Interchange Approval Policy, PD 1602- Bicycle and Pedestrian Policy, and PD 1603- Managed Lanes Policy.

  • Can application requests include funds for planning and engineering? Yes- funds can be used for any phase of the project, including planning, environmental or design.  However, the project must still consider the deadlines for implementation.

  • Can applications be submitted through the Transportation Partnership Program for Asset Management type projects (surface treatment, bridge)? Yes- Projects that might otherwise be considered as part of the Asset Management Program can be submitted as a Transportation Partnership application if the applicant is willing to commit the required local match.

Detailed Application

  • When will the detailed application be available? The detailed application is currently under development; however, for informational purposes, a draft version is posted on the CDOT website.   Detailed applications are not due until July 1.

  • What level of financial information will be required in the detailed application? The detailed application will require the identification of all funding sources (private, public, CDOT non-RAMP, CDOT RAMP, and in-kind) by year of anticipated expenditure. Public-Private Partnership applicants should work with HPTE when identifying financial information and completing the detailed application.
  • Has the scoring methodology been established for the detailed application? What is the scoring methodology? The proposed projects will be assessed based on information in the application such as safety, mobility, and asset management to provide a comparison of project benefits.
  • Will there be a standard method to assess devolution projects? Yes- The detailed application will include a devolution worksheet that should be used to evaluate devolution projects.  A draft version of the worksheet is available for informational purposes on the CDOT website.

Project Selection

  • Will CDOT conduct a public involvement process for RAMP project selection? There is an opportunity for public comment on RAMP projects at regularly scheduled Transportation Commission meetings.  Please refer to the CDOT website for times and dates of the Transportation Commission meetings.   The State Transportation Advisory Committee (STAC) will also review the program of selected projects and provide input to the Transportation Commission.  For selected projects that are not already included in a Regional Transportation Plans, Transportation Improvement Program(TIP) or State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), the project would be required to follow the applicable transportation planning process which includes public involvement/comment periods.
  • Do MPOs/TPRs need to approve, recommend, or prioritize Transportation Partnership project applications?  At what time in the process should this occur? CDOT will provide the TPRs and MPOs with a list of pre-application submittals for informational purposes. They will also be provided with a list of detailed application submittals and at that time can determine how they would like to provide input on the projects that have submitted a detailed application in their area.

Asset Management Program

  • Will RAMP Asset Management projects be identified on an annual basis? RAMP Asset Management projects have been identified for FY 14.  However, it is unknown whether this type of project will be identified on an annual basis because the future allocation between Asset Management projects and Transportation Partnership projects for RAMP projects has not been determined.

Accelerated Projects

  • Why are projects only being advanced from FY 14 and FY 15? The current STIP is for years 2012-2017.  Only the first four years of the STIP (2012-2015) are considered “official” by FHWA.  The “out years” (2016 and 2017) are considered illustrative.  The next STIP will be for years 2016-2021, with the official years being 2016-2019.

Non-federal Match

  • Can bundling of projects where other local dollars are already being incorporated into state highway projects be considered so that locals can come up with the local match? No, the goal of RAMP is to bring in more local and private dollars, not to reassign existing dollars.
  • Can moving utilities be used as in-kind match?  Only if locals incurred cost for moving utilities. Materials?  Yes if it has value to the project.
  • Can Local Agency Design Staff time be used as in-kind match? Yes

Loans

  • Can RAMP be used as a loan? Yes, but depends on certainty of payback.  Also, see next question.
  • Can RAMP be used to fund the SIB? Yes, preference would be for RAMP to fund SIB rather than provide a direct loan.
  • If so, does loan need to be paid back by end 2017?  It can be flexible but must be within a “reasonable time” to be determined on a project by project basis.
  • Can the loan payback be the future federal dollars to be received by the jurisdiction?  No

Public-Private Partnership

  • It may be unlikely that projects can be constructed within 5 years.  Is there some other benchmark that is acceptable?  For example – procurement or contracted. Perhaps. Applicants will need to discuss on a project by project basis with HPTE.
  • Public-Private Partnership projects can fill out the pre-Application but a detailed application may not be applicable. HPTE may follow a different process than Operations or Public-Public Partnerships for evaluation due to the complexity.

Transit

  • Are transit projects eligible?  Yes, transit is eligible.  The projects could tap into FASTER transit funds, but there may also be an opportunity to flex federal highway funds to transit.  This is not something that CDOT has done historically, but several categories of federal funds allow some flexing to other categories, such as transit.
  • For transit, is there additional information that is needed for the pre-application and detailed application? No additional information is required, but the detailed application will provide an opportunity for additional comments if the applicant wants to add information specific to transit.

Construction Estimate

  • For the costs reported on the application does a 10-22% construction management need to be included?  Yes
  • For costing should the project assume that federal funds would be used so that the Davis-Bacon Act wage rates apply? Yes
  • If NEPA clearance is not completed, who is responsible and who bears cost?  It can vary by project and should be determined in consultation with the Region. Should the cost be included in the estimate? Yes

Projects with Previously Identified Funding

  • If a project was in the STIP/RTP and identified as funded by local or private developer, can this project be proposed for RAMP funding.  Probably not because RAMP was not intended to replace privately funded project.  However, applicants can submit a pre-application and the project will be evaluated for eligibility.
  • If yes, does there need to be a requirement for substitution (e.g. the local must contribute funds to another project)?  A net gain in transportation funding (and the match if applicable) would need to be demonstrated in the pre-application and then it can be assessed for eligibility.
  • If a project was in the STIP/RTP and identified as funded with RTA funds, can this project be proposed for RAMP funding. Potentially, provided that those funds that are “freed up” are applied to another project on the State Highway System.  These projects would need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

RPP

  • Projects in the STIP that are RPP can they be considered STIP’d when filling out the pre-application.  If there is no money currently to fund an RPP project but it had been identified in the STIP, this should be explained in the pre-application because it demonstrates previous support for the project.

TIP/STIP/RTP

  • Will projects selected through RAMP require air quality conformity for those areas in air quality non-attainment or maintenance? Regionally significant projects selected for RAMP funding that are not already included in a fiscally-constrained RTP will need to be amended into the RTP and go through the air quality conformity determination process.  Air quality conformity may also be required if a project already in the RTP is accelerated to a different staging year.
  • Do projects need to be identified in the fiscally constrained RTP prior to selection? No. Applications can be submitted for projects not yet in the fiscally constrained RTP and/or TIP/STIP. The pre-application section on Project Readiness/Schedule should indicate any required RTP/TIP/STIP actions and an estimated timeline for completion of those actions.
  • Do projects need to be identified in the TIP or STIP prior to selection?  No. See above.
  • If projects are selected that are not in the fiscally constrained RTP do projects need to come out of the RTP to maintain fiscal constraint? No.  Although this is not “new” money, projects can be amended into the plan with an explanation that the funding is the result of changes in CDOT’s budgeting process. Coordination with FHWA to assist in identifying the most appropriate way to present and explain these changes in the RTPs will continue throughout the process. It is suggested that once the eligible projects are identified but before the detailed application phase that there be consultation with CDOT and FHWA on this process.
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