The NFRMPO holds periodic Calls for Projects. In 2015, the Colorado Department of Transportation switched to a rolling STIP; as a result, the NFRMPO switched to a schedule of biennial Calls for Projects to keep the NFRMPO’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) in line with the STIP. The most recent Call for Projects was for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021.
Member communities have the opportunity to apply for funding from three federal sources in the NFRMPO’s Call for Projects: Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ); Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG), formerly STP-Metro; and Transportation Alternatives (TA), formerly TAP. These funding sources were carried forward in the FAST Act. Learn more about each funding source by reading the respective section below.
Projects are scored by a subcommittee made up of TAC members and the Northern Colorado Bicycle and Pedestrian Collaborative. NFRMPO staff lead the discussion and the process, but are not involved in project selection.
Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality Improvement
CMAQ funding is used to combat congestion and air quality issues, and is therefore available to communities within non-attainment and maintenance areas. The program began with the efforts of the Clean Air Act of 1990 and was first introduced in ISTEA in 1991. By the end of 2015, CMAQ had funded more than $30 Billion across 30,000 transportation projects nationwide.
In the North Front Range region, CMAQ has been used to fund intersection improvements, transit projects, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling stations, and vehicles replacements and purchases. In the most recent Call, the NFRMPO funded new CNG buses, vehicles, fueling stations, and trail improvements.
During each call, NFRMPO staff will reach out to project applicants for project descriptions. These descriptions allow staff to calculate emissions reductions, which are important to the scoring process. The higher the emissions reductions, the higher the project should score in the process. The NFRMPO scores CMAQ projects based on first-year reductions, out-year reductions, and cost-effectiveness.
Surface Transportation Block Grant
STBG is the new iteration of the STP-Metro program, which provides transportation funding to highway, bridge, transit, and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. The STBG program is the most flexible federal funding source.
In the North Front Range region, STBG has funded intersection improvements, roadway widenings, resurfacing, and bridge reconstruction.
STBG projects are scored in the following categories: congestion mitigation; partnerships and functional classification; safety enhancements; multi-modal enhancements; environmental effects; and local support committed.
TA is the new iteration of the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and the Transportation Enhancements (TE) program. It is now a set-aside within the STBG program. TA projects are considered on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, infrastructure projects for enhanced mobility, historic preservation, recreational trails, safe routes to schools, and construction of boulevards. TA projects in the North Front Range region are considered in collaboration with the NoCo Bicycle and Pedestrian Collaborative, which provides recommendations for which projects should be funded.
In the 2014 Call for Projects, the Colorado Front Range Trail and the Great Western Trail were funded based on the recommendations of NoCo Bike and Ped. Both trails were included in the 2013 NFRMPO Bike Plan.
Scores are based on the following scoring criteria: safety enhancement; maximizing transportation investment and network connectivity; project readiness; and integration with plans and community documented support.
FY 2020-FY 2021 Call for Projects
In summer 2016, the NFRMPO held a Call for Projects for FY 2020 and FY 2021. The Call opened in July and closed in September. A total of 17 projects were submitted, and the Call for Projects Scoring Committee recommended funding 15 projects. Planning Council approved the recommended projects on November 3, 2016. The funding program requirements and other informational items from the Call are available below.
- Total CMAQ available in Call: $8,309,625
- Total STBG available in Call: $7,155,412
- Total TA available in Call: $557,581