Newsletter: Plan Now For Federal-Aid Grant Projects (Indiana)

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Indiana rural communities seeking federal grants for new bridges, roads, safety issues, sidewalks or any type of improvements eligible under the federal transportation highway bill (FAST ACT) should begin discussions today on possible new projects.

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) will begin accepting applications in early November. The call for projects closes in December.

The City of Logansport was recently awarded a $1.4 million federal grant (2022) to help pay for ADA accessible pedestrian routes and accessibility improvements around four schools “We take pride in improving the infrastructure in our community and this a big step in the right direction,” said Chris Martin Logansport’s mayor. “The grants will provide additional safety and encourages a healthy lifestyle for everyone who travels this area.”

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funding, via INDOT, is paying for a half mile of new trails and three miles of sidewalks
in Phase 1 and an additional 3.9 miles of sidewalk in Phase 2. The Transportation Alternative Project grant covers 80 percent of
the proposed $1.65 million (Phase 1) and $1.86 million (Phase 2) improvement projects that have been a high priority for the city’s
ADA transition plan. The city has also committed funds to pay for the grant’s 20% local match.

Community leaders say the new sidewalks and ADA accessibility is a critical piece of the city’s infrastructure plans.

“Connecting neighborhoods to the schools, parks and commercial businesses greatly enhances the quality of life that is sought from current and prospective businesses,” said Bill Cuppy, president of the Logansport-Cass Chamber of Commerce and the school board. “Attracting new businesses and residents is very important to our community and providing safer routes to school, recreational areas and businesses will
encourage more walking along these routes to enhance their quality-of-life experience.”

INDOT annually awards millions in federal transportation funding to dozens of cities, towns and counties in rural portions of Indiana to invest in local road and bridge improvements as well as sidewalk and trail projects.

Local Public Agency (LPA) projects are available for funding with projects to be bid in the 2028 fiscal year. The table below shows some guidelines:

Bridge Projects
Replacement (sufficiency rating < 50)
Rehabilitation (sufficiency rating < 80)
Replacement of low water crossings

Road Reconstruction Projects
Group 3 (Cities with 5,000 to 50,000 population)
Group 4 (County or Town under 5,000 population)

Transportation Alternative Program Projects
Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS)
ADA sidewalk upgrades

Safety Projects
Sign & guardrail replacement
Intersection improvement
Pavement markings

Many supporting documents are required in addition to the online project application. They include a financial commitment
letter on the LPA’s letterhead, signed by the fiduciary body of the LPA and an ADA/Title VI commitment letter.

A well-defined scope of work and a detailed independent cost estimate prepared by the LPA is needed. Current traffic counts and crash data are also required.

The City of Logansport used Fleis & VandenBrink (F&V) for grant application and the preliminary engineering and design work including utility coordination.

“I strongly encourage other cities and towns to contact a consultant to see what federal grant opportunities are available
for them,” Martin said. “The grant process is detail-oriented and it’s not an easy application. Our consultant helped walk us through the federal bureaucracy and all the red tape that comes with these federal projects.”

If you need help with getting through the maze of INDOT requirements or would like assistance in completing an application for INDOT
requirements or would like assistance in completing an application for INDOT funding, contact Troy Stahl at 800.494.5202 or 317.797.4428.