Call for Projects: FY 2023-2026 Transportation Improvement Program – Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) and Surface Transportation Block Grant – Transportation Alternatives (STBG-TA) Federal Funding Opportunity

The Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) is currently developing the Fiscal Year 2023-2026 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The TIP is updated on a three-year cycle and covers a period of four years. This call for projects allows jurisdictions to apply for new projects, or roll over and update unobligated phases of projects currently programmed in the FY 2020-2023 TIP.

Funding Availability

  • TPO STBG Funds – TPO staff has identified an un-obligated local Surface Transportation Block Grant (L-STBG) federal fund balance of approximately $56 million in FY 2023 available to program projects rolled over from the current TIP, cover funding shortfalls in rollover projects and fund new projects. Fiscal years 2024 through 2026 are projected to have approximately $14.5 million available annually. STBG funds are eligible for most project-types, but if used on a roadway project then it must be classified as Urban Minor Collector or higher on the state’s functional classification system. Most projects require a 20% local match.
  • TPO STBG-TA Funds – Approximately $1.2M is available to program projects rolled over from the current TIP, cover funding shortfalls in rollover projects and fund new projects in FY 2023. Fiscal years 2024 through 2026 are projected to have approximately $900,000 available annually. Again, projects typically require a 20% local match. More information about the STBG-TA program and eligible project types can be found here: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/transportation_alternatives/guidance/guidance_2016.cfm
  • Final revenue amounts will be determined by authorizations from the federal transportation bill. Carryover funds may be impacted by cost increases within the current TIP program.

Application Process

Fillable application forms are included in the links below. New projects (those not rolled over from FY 2023-2026 TIP) will submit a full application form. Projects programmed in the current TIP (and eligible for rollover programming, as determined by TIP Policies) will submit a simplified project rollover/update form. Please contact TPO staff for any questions about the application forms, or to verify which form to complete. Applications are due to TPO staff by Friday, February 25th.

Evaluation Criteria

Projects will be scored and ranked using the criteria based on the goals and factors developed for the Mobility Plan 2045 process as shown on the project application form. Other criteria that TPO staff will be evaluating in making project selection recommendations will involve an assessment of project completion scheduling and assessment of project delays as determined by TIP programming policies. This assessment will be based on ease of project implementation, past performance of the sponsoring agency in the TDOT project development process and amount/status of other projects already under development by the sponsoring agency.

Call for Projects Timeline and Draft TIP Development Schedule

  • Begin Call for Projects – January 14, 2022
  • End Call for Projects – Friday, February 25, 2022
  • TPO Staff Scoring and Project Selection Recommendation – March, 2022
  • Draft TIP to Technical Committee/Executive Board for Review – June, 2022
  • Final TIP Technical Committee Recommendation/Executive Board Adoption – September, 2022

While individuals can’t submit a project application, we encourage the public to reach out to your local leaders now if there is a project you think should be included.

Related Documents

Public Review and Comment Period for Air Quality Conformity Determination on an Amendment to the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) FY 2020 – 2023 State Transportation Improvement Program

The Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) has completed an air quality conformity determination document on the behalf of TDOT to demonstrate air quality conformity for Amendment #98 to the 2020-2023 State Transportation Improvement Program. Amendment #98 is for the new Sevier and Jefferson Counties Project Number 2078220, SR-35/US 411,  (Newport Hwy.) from near Sims Rd. in Sevier Co. to near SR-92 in Jefferson Co. This project consists of constructing a rural five-lane highway on a new alignment. Air quality conformity for transportation project amendments is required in Sevier County as a former Maintenance Area designated under EPA’s national ambient air quality standard for ozone.

The public is being asked to review this document and provide comments to the TPO.  The comments and suggestions will then be reviewed and responded to/incorporated into the document as appropriate.

To provide comments or ask questions:

1)         Email contacttpo@knoxplanning.org
2)         Write to:  Knoxville Regional TPO
Attn: Mike Conger
400 Main Street, Suite 403
Knoxville, TN 37902

Amendment | Air Quality Conformity Determination

Mobility Plan Overview

Mobility Plan 2045 was adopted in April, but we’re still talking about it! Staff created an interactive story map that details what’s in it and what it means for all of us living in the region. If you want a good condensed version of the plan and the process, be sure to check it out. Don’t forget to take the survey at the end to tell us what topics you’d like to learn more about and how you’d like us to share that information.

Community Meetings Scheduled for Alcoa Highway Corridor Study

Knoxville-Knox County Planning staff is undertaking a small area study for the portion of Alcoa Highway within Knox County. This work follows a design charette that was held by the East Tennessee Community Design Center in 2019. In 2020, the City of Knoxville and Knox County each approved resolutions for Planning to undertake a study to develop an approach and policies to envision and manage development along the highway. The final recommendations will look at land uses along the corridor, considering specific changes needed to spur that redevelopment and encourage retail, commercial, and increased housing.

A community meeting is scheduled for September 30, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. It will be held at the North Campus of Sevier Heights Baptist Church, 2939 Alcoa Hwy, Knoxville, TN 37920. The meeting will open with a short presentation followed by an open house.

In addition to this in-person meeting, a virtual meeting will also be held earlier that day. A presentation will be given, followed by time for questions, at 12:00 p.m. on September 30. Interested individuals can register to participate at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ygDcamdwRhOWEt9PjydUjA

Draft Outreach Plan Available

The Outreach Plan fulfills federal requirements and serves as a working tool for TPO staff to refer to with each new plan and project. The last Outreach Plan update was adopted by the Executive Board in 2018. In this update, we have incorporated new outreach methods and noted the importance of flexibility and dedication to using new methods when possible.

The draft document is available for review and comment until October 10, 2021. If you have comments on the plan, please email Ally Ketron at ally.ketron@knoxplanning.org or 865-215-3234 or comment in person at an upcoming TPO Technical Committee or Executive Board Meeting. Details on those meetings can be found at https://knoxtpo.org/boards-and-committees/.

TPO Welcomes AmeriCorps Member, Jace Swain-Crowley

Jace was born in Maryland, but spent his childhood split between Bartlett and Cordova, TN, just outside of Memphis. He stayed there until he moved across the state to Knoxville to attend the University of Tennessee. Jace graduated from UT in the spring of 2021 with a degree in geography and a minor in history. Through his coursework in geography, he developed a particular interest in geographic information systems (GIS).

Jace is also interested in the environment, and that curiosity helped him find AmeriCorps as he was deciding what to do after graduation. He was initially attracted to Knoxville’s CAC group because of their focus on the environment and recognized the program as an opportunity to grow professionally. When he came across the open position with the TPO he was eager to learn more about the position. With this opportunity he hopes to help UT students become more aware of AmeriCorps and the opportunities their programs offer.

During his time with the TPO, Jace will help with bike shop outreach, Bike Month, events like Parking Day and Tour de Lights, the Smart Trips program, and bicycle and pedestrian counts. He’s already started reaching out to local bike shops and is enjoying it. He recently shared that he hopes to foster more local outreach, especially at UT, to increase awareness of the TPO’s work.

Jace’s familiarity with GIS also gives him an opportunity to get involved in other projects with the TPO and Planning during his time with us. He’s particularly excited to learn more about transportation-related GIS work.

When he’s not in the office, you can find Jace running on the greenway, beer tasting, and playing video games. He’s also a fan of seeing movies, especially anything Marvel, in the theater. Jace happily reports that he’s enjoyed a few at the downtown Regal location in person since it reopened. We’re excited to have him with us this year and look forward to all his contributions!

Program of Projects Available

The Program of Projects (POP) is a listing of how federal transit funds will be spent in the urban area. The Knoxville urban area received stimulus funding through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) and American Rescue Plan Act (ARP). The FTA stimulus funding is distributed through the FTA Section 5307 and Section 5310 Programs.

The City of Knoxville is the Designated Recipient of the FTA Section 5307 Formula Urban Area funds and the TPO is the Designated Recipient of the FTA Section 5310 5310 Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities funds.

If you have any questions please contact Doug Burton at 400 Main Street, Suite 403, Knoxville, TN 37902 or at (865) 215-3824 or at doug.burton@knoxtpo.org

The TPO Executive Board will act on the Section 5310 Program funds at their meeting on September 22, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. in the City County Building – 400 Main Street, Knoxville, TN 37902.