Earlier this year, President Obama signed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. We call it "MAP-21," and it consolidated many DOT programs and really changed the transportation status quo.
This Monday, October 1st, those changes go into effect, and we are working hard to make sure our state and local transportation partners are aware of the changes and are ready to join us in hitting the ground running.
Over the last few months, we've released a wide range of information to help the nation’s federal, state, local and tribal transportation agencies implement MAP-21 and to highlight opportunities available under the new law.
This week, the Federal Highway Administration posted a series of documents to assist planners with MAP-21, including major provisions of the National Highway Performance Program, the Surface Transportation Program, the Highway Safety Improvement Program, and the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan program. You can find these resources at www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21.
These documents clarify MAP-21’s innovative project delivery methods and important changes to funding programs. Additional information addresses the many changes in the new law from MAP-21’s predecessor.
This proposed rule is required under MAP-21, and it will expand the existing CE for repairs of any road or bridge damaged by an emergency declared by the President under the Stafford Act, or by a state governor. You can view and comment on the NPRM at www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/nprmceserer.cfm.
In addition, DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) is making approximately $72.5 million in funding available to eligible nonprofit institutes of higher learning for University Transportation Centers (UTCs). These grants are for universities across the country to conduct state-of-the-art transportation research and to help us develop the next generation of transportation professionals.
Authorized by MAP-21, the UTC grant program provides approximately $72.5 million each year for as many as 35 competitive grants. We will select five national UTCs for awards of $3 million each, 10 regional UTCs with awards of $2.75 million each, and up to 20 Tier I UTCs with awards of $1.5 million each. If you want to weigh in, RITA is asking for public comment on the requirements for awarding these grants. After revieiwing the comments received, RITA will issue a solicitation for grant applications. The Notice of Funding Availability can be viewed at utc.dot.gov.
These are just a few of the resources we've made available recently. And we'll continue adding to that information as we move together down America's roadways, waterways, and transitways.