Listing of Federal

Obligations for Transportation Projects in the

Merrimack Valley Region

 

Federal Fiscal Year 2017

(October 1, 2016 – September 30, 2017)

 

Prepared by the

 

Merrimack Valley Planning Commission

160 Main Street, Haverhill MA 01830

 

on behalf of the

 

Merrimack Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 29, 2017

Introduction

The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act, A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) that was enacted by Congress in August 2005 was the first federal transportation funding authorization legislation that contained a provision requiring that Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) publish:

 

“…an Annual Listing of projects, including investments in pedestrian walkways and bicycle transportation facilities, for which Federal funds have been obligated in the preceding year shall be published or otherwise made available by the cooperative effort of the State, transit operator, and metropolitan planning organization for public review. The listing shall be consistent with the funding categories identified in each metropolitan transportation improvement program (TIP).”

 

This provision in federal law has appeared in subsequent federal transportation funding authorization acts, including the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act that was signed into law on December 4, 2015.  It is intended to increase the transparency of government spending on transportation projects and strategies in metropolitan areas to state and local officials, and to the public.

 

23 CFR 450.334, the federal regulation which defines how the above requirement is to be met, stipulates that at a minimum this Listing must contain the following information for each project:

• The amount of funds requested in the TIP;

Federal funding obligated during the preceding year;

• Federal funding remaining and available for subsequent years;

• Sufficient description to identify the project or phase; and

• Identification of the agencies responsible for carrying out the project or phase.

 

Transportation Planning in the Merrimack Valley Region

The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (MVPC) is the transportation planning staff for the Merrimack Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (MVMPO).  In this capacity, MVPC provides technical support and assistance to the MVMPO in fulfilling its transportation planning responsibilities as defined by federal regulations, to have a Continuing, Comprehensive and Coordinated (“3C”) transportation planning process that considers all transportation modes and supports metropolitan community development and social goals. 

Key responsibilities of the MPO include the preparation of regional transportation plans and programs of projects for the 15 cities and towns that comprise the Merrimack Valley region:

 

Amesbury                    Haverhill                        Newburyport

Andover                      Lawrence                       North Andover

Boxford                       Merrimac                       Rowley

Georgetown                 Methuen                         Salisbury

Groveland                    Newbury                        West Newbury

 

Sources of Obligation Information

Data on the obligation of FFY 2017 federal transportation funds for roadway and bridge projects was provided by MassDOT’s Office of Transportation Planning.  Information on the obligation of federal transit funds in the region in FFY 2017 was provided by the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority.

 

Summary of Federally Funded Projects in the Merrimack Valley Region

The term obligation refers to the United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) legal commitment to pay the federal share of a project’s cost and an obligated project is one that has received such a commitment. It should be noted that projects for which funds have been obligated are not necessarily initiated or completed in the program year.

 

For FHWA projects, obligation takes place when a project agreement is executed and the state/grantee requests that the funds be obligated.  For FTA projects, obligation occurs when FTA approves a grant application it has received from a recipient.

 

Agencies Responsible for Implementing Project

MassDOT is responsible for implementing the roadway and bridge projects that received federal funding obligations in FFY 2017, while the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority is responsible for implementing the transit projects and services that received obligations

 

Roadway and Bridge Project Obligations

Just under $25.7 million in federal transportation funds were obligated for roadway, bridge and transit projects in the Merrimack Valley during FFY 2017 (see Table 1 on Page 6).

 

The most significant federal obligation of funding in the Merrimack Valley in FFY 2017 was for the resurfacing/maintenance project for a section of Interstate 93 in Andover and Methuen (Project #607561; $12 445,174.56), which accounted for almost half of the total amount of federal roadway and bridge funds obligated in the region.

 

The second largest obligation of funding was $5,724,706.98 for the reconstruction of the section of Route 97 (Broadway) in Haverhill between Research Drive and Silver Birch Lane.  (Project #607573).  This amount was just over $500,000 higher than the $5,221,530 figure programmed in the MVMPO’s FFYs 2017-2021 TIP.

 

The third largest obligation was $4 055,596.20 for the replacement of traffic and guide signs along a section of I-495 in Haverhill, Merrimac, and Amesbury (Project #608187).

 

A Safe Routes to School project to improve access to the Bruce School in Lawrence (Project #608002) received an obligation of $1,850,692.43.  This amount was $237,774.43 greater than the $1,612,918 figure that was programmed for this project in the MVMPO’s FFYs 2017-2021 TIP.

 

$1,058,753.62 in federal funds were also obligated to the project to make improvements at the Marston Street/Ferry Street/Commonwealth Drive intersection in Lawrence (Project #608261).

 

The smallest amount of funding obligated to a roadway or bridge project in the region was $549,657 for the construction of a section of the Powwow Riverwalk at Water Street in Amesbury (Project #606669).

 

The $25,684,580.79 that was obligated to the six projects described above is 2.8% higher than the $24,968,374.60 that was programmed for these projects in the 2017 element of the MVMPO’s FFYs 2017-2021 TIP.

 

Transit Project Obligations

Seven MVRTA projects received funding obligations from the Federal Transit Administration during FFY 2017.  Information on these project obligations may be found in Table 2 on Page 7.

 

Most notable was the obligation of $2,151,600 for MVRTA’s purchase of seven new transit buses to replace Model Year 2004 buses that had reached the end of their useful lives (Project #RTD0004932).  Related to this was the obligation of $645,840 (Project #604585) that funded the incremental cost of replacing four of these Model Year 2004 buses with Diesel/Electric Hybrid buses rather than Clean Diesel units.

Three FFY 2017 project obligations will support the MVRTA’s operations.  These are the $363,370 in funds that will support the Authority’s services in FY 2018 (Project #RTD0004552), $2,456,666 in Preventive Maintenance funding that will also be used to support the MVRTA’s operations in FY 2018 (Project #RTD0004542), and $1,123,690 to support provision of the Authority’s ADA Paratransit Service (Project #RTD0004541).

 

$1,500,000 was obligated to support the construction of the Intermodal Transit Terminal in Downtown Newburyport that will include a 204-space parking garage.

 

The smallest obligation of federal transit funds in FFY 2017 was for the MVRTA to obtain transit planning assistance from the MVPC ($80,000, Project #RTD0004550).

 

The total amount of FFY 2017 federal obligations for transit projects in the region was $8,321,166, which was 5.3% less than the $8,786,880 in federal funds that was programmed for these projects in the MVMPO’s FFYs 2017-2021 TIP.

 

Definitions of Terms Referred to in this Report

Advance Construction is a method of programming and funding larger scale roadway and bridge projects using a combination of federal and state funds.  Under this method, MassDOT uses state transportation funds to pay for the entire cost of a federal aid eligible project.  Then, over time, federal transportation funds are programmed in a region's TIP and the STIP to "repay" the state for its up front expenditure.  To be eligible for this method, a project must take more than one year to complete and its construction cost must be greater than the region's combined Surface Transportation Program (STP)/Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP)/ Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality (CMAQ)/Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funding target.

 

GrantsPlus is the system used by MassDOT to track the status of transit projects for the Regional Transit Authorities around the Commonwealth.  Similarly, ProjectInfo is the system used by MassDOT to track the status of its approved roadway and bridge projects.

 

 

 


TABLE 1: Obligation of Federal Fiscal Year 2017 Transportation Funds

 

for Road and Bridge Projects in Merrimack Valley MPO Region 

 

IMPLEMENTING AGENCY

MassDOT PROJECT NUMBER

LOCATION

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

OBLIGATION DATE

OBLIGATION AMOUNT

AMOUNT PROGRAMMED IN TIP

REMAINING ADVANCE CONSTRUCTION AMOUNT

 

MassDOT HIGHWAY

607561

ANDOVER/
METHUEN

INTERSTATE MAINTENANCE & RELATED WORK ON I-93

4/12/2017

$12,445,174.56

$12,465,902.00

$0.00

 

MassDOT HIGHWAY

607573

HAVERHILL

RECONSTRUCTION ON ROUTE 97 (BROADWAY), FROM SILVER BIRCH LANE TO RESEARCH DRIVE

5/12/2017

$5,724,706.98

$5,221,530.00

$0.00

 

MassDOT HIGHWAY

608002

LAWRENCE

IMPROVEMENTS AT BRUCE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (SRTS)

6/22/2017

$1,850,692.43

$1,612,918.00

$0.00

 

MassDOT HIGHWAY

608187

HAVERHILL/
MERRIMAC/
AMESBURY

TRAFFIC & GUIDE SIGN REPLACEMENT ON ASECTION OF I-495

8/10/2017

$4,055,596.20

$4,006,207.80

$0.00

 

MassDOT HIGHWAY

606669

AMESBURY

POWWOW RIVERWALK CONSTRUCTION AT WATER STREET

9/8/2017

$549,657.00

$536,966.00

$0.00

 

MassDOT HIGHWAY

608261

LAWRENCE

INTERSECTION IMPROVEMENTS AT MARSTON STREET & FERRY STREET/COMMONWEALTH DRIVE

9/14/2017

$1,058,753.62

$1,124,850.80

$0.00

 

 

 

GRAND TOTAL

 

 

$25,684,580.79

$24,968,374.60

$0.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                


 

TABLE 2: Obligation of Federal Fiscal Year 2017 Transportation Funds

 

for Transit Projects in Merrimack Valley MPO Region 

 

IMPLEMENTING AGENCY

GrantsPlus PROJECT NUMBER

LOCATION

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

FTA GRANT AWARD DATE

FFY 2017 OBLIGATION AMOUNT

FFY 2017 AMOUNT PROGRAMMED IN TIP

REMAINING ADVANCE CONSTRUCTION AMOUNT

 

MVRTA

RTD0004932

MVRTA DISTRICT

REPLACE 7 MODEL YEAR 2004 BUSES WITH NEW BUSES

4/6/2017

$2,151,600.00

$2,391,200.00

$0.00

 

MVRTA

604585**

MVRTA DISTRICT

ADDITIONAL COST OF REPLACING 3 MODEL YEAR 2004 DIESEL BUSES WITH DIESEL/ELECTRIC HYBRID BUSES

4/6/2017

$645,840.00

$645,840.00

$0.00

 

MVRTA

RTD0004552

MVRTA DISTRICT

OPERATING ASSISTANCE FOR FY 2018

6/26/2017

$363,370.00

$628,525.00

$0.00

 

MVRTA

RTD0004550

MVRTA DISTRICT

SHORT RANGE TRANSIT PLANNING TO MVPC

6/26/2017

$80,000.00

$80,000.00

$0.00

 

MVRTA

RTD0004542

MVRTA DISTRICT

PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE USED AS AN OPERATING EXPENSE IN 2018

6/26/2017

$2,456,666.00

$2,443,850.00

$0.00

 

MVRTA

RTD0004541

MVRTA DISTRICT

NON-FIXED ROUTE ADA PARATRANSIT SERVICE

6/26/2017

$1,123,690.00

$1,097,465.00

$0.00

 

MVRTA

--

NEWBURYPORT

CONSTRUCTION OF INTERMODAL TRANSIT TERMINAL IN NEWBURYPORT

8/11/2017

$1,500,000.00

$1,500,000.00

$0.00

 

 

 

GRAND TOTAL

 

 

$8,321,166.00

$8,786,680.00

$0.00

 

** NUMBER SHOWN IN MassDOT ProjectInfo