ITEP provides funding for community based projects that expand travel choices and enhance the transportation experience by improving the cultural, historic, aesthetic and environmental aspects of our transportation infrastructure.
ITEP is designed to promote and develop alternative transportation options, including bike and pedestrian travel, along with streetscape beautification. The federal funds are awarded competitively, and any local or state government with taxing authority is eligible to apply. Local matching funds are required, and work must begin on the projects within three years.
Please navigate to the ITEP database to apply. The ITEP Guideline Manual and FAQ's are provided for your convenience.
With the passage of the new transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), several changes were required to be made to ITEP. The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) authorized under Section 1122 of MAP-21 (23 U.S.C. 213(b), 101(a)(29)) provides funding for programs and projects defined as transportation alternatives. ITEP now falls under the TAP category. IDOT has incorporated the updated requirements of MAP-21 into ITEP. Additional information on MAP-21 and TAP can be obtained from the Federal Highway Administration website.
The following guidelines are available to give you a good understanding of the program requirements and information needed to complete an application. Please note that IDOT anticipates making revisions to these guidelines for the next application cycle.
What types of projects are funded by the Enhancement Program?
Using the Federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) guidelines as defined under MAP-21, IDOT is accepting project applications for ITEP funding in the following categories/sub-categories:
Am I required to hold public meetings for project approval?
Public coordination may be necessary depending upon the type and scope of the proposed project, but is not required as a condition for project selection. Public outreach is strongly encouraged by both FHWA and the department and should be continued throughout the project. Public involvement will be considered in the selection process as a good reflection of public outreach/support and as a measure of project planning and project readiness.
Do I need to provide a lot of detailed information?
It is useful to provide as much detail as possible, but often, projects still require feasibility studies, design and environmental studies before construction can proceed. A detailed cost estimate is required with all project submittals. This will help insure that eligible and ineligible items can be defined which will allow the department and the project sponsor to have a clear understanding of the fiscal responsibilities.
How can I determine what project elements are eligible and which are ineligible?
Because there is such a vast difference in the types of projects funded under the enhancement program, it is difficult to make one policy that fits all circumstances. Many times eligibility has to be determined on a case by case basis. The ITEP Guidelines Manual lists eligible and ineligible elements for each specific category. Ineligible items can still be part of your project cost estimate but should be separated out. For additional clarification consult the local IDOT enhancement coordinator in your area or submit your question to DOT.ITEP@Illinois.gov. Please note,-any ITEP ineligible items will have to be funded by other means.
What is meant by “project scope”?
Project scope is a concise description of the elements and scale of a project that need to be done to accomplish its intended purpose. Some detail is needed to clarify what the project sponsor wants to do so the department can determine what elements are eligible for funding. This is also critical if the proposed project is being done in conjunction with another project.
Application cycle is closed, please check back!
How much funding can I get for my project?
Individual projects vary in size and costs depending upon the funding category. For projects exceeding $1.5 million project sponsors are encouraged to consider ways to phase their projects into logical segments should only partial funding be provided. The federal portion of eligible costs is 80% with the exception of street lighting and land acquisition which is funded at 50 percent for projects selected under the program.
What are my chances of getting funding?
ITEP is a very popular program. Since 2006, the amount of funds requested compared to the amount of funds available is approximately 5 to 1.
Our community has already received funding for an ITEP project in the past. Does this affect our chances of receiving future ITEP funds?
No. Project selection is based on eligibility and merit.
What happens if I don’t get all the money I requested from ITEP?
If funding from ITEP is less than the amount requested in the application, the project sponsor has a variety of options:
Reporting requirements can be found in the ITEP Guidelines Manual.
If my project is selected, what happens next?
The department will initially contact the project sponsor by mail informing them of the project selection and approved funding amount. The IDOT district local roads office in your area is responsible for project implementation and should be the point of contact once you’ve received your letter. (See Sunset Clause in the ITEP Guidelines Manual – Section H). The selected project may or may not have received all the funds requested and a scoping meeting (see next question) may be needed to determine which project elements the department has provided funding for or to discuss how to proceed with re-scoping the project to fit within the approved budget.
What is a scoping meeting?
The scoping meeting is a point where the project sponsor reviews the project funding with the department to determine what elements of the project are being funded and how that funding will be provided. FHWA and the department’s policies and procedures along with the sponsor’s responsibilities will be discussed in more detail. Scoping meetings will be held by the IDOT district local roads offices (if required) after project selection and notifications are made. Project sponsors are encouraged to contact their local IDOT district local roads office shortly after receiving approval notification.
What happens if I have a cost overrun on my project?
ITEP is limited in its ability to make up shortfalls for project cost overruns. Similar to the steps taken if a sponsor does not get all of the money requested from ITEP; the sponsor can seek funds from other public or private sources, the project can be reduced to fit within the funding provided, and/or the sponsor can stage the project into logical phases and seek additional ITEP. The sponsor should seek alternatives to manage the project within available funding levels. Funds can be shifted from one phase to another, such as from PE to construction to cover shortfalls. An ITEP Change Request form, OPP 2255, has been developed to simplify the process.
If I have already completed Preliminary Engineering will I be required to do more work before proceeding to construction?
All engineering work must be done in accordance with federal procedures. You may need to adjust accordingly. Contact your local IDOT district enhancement coordinator with any related inquiries.
What is the Federal Flexible Match Program (FFM)?
This program allows new flexibility to the Federal-Aid Highway Program’s matching requirements by allowing certain public donations of cash, materials, and services to satisfy the local matching requirements. Basically the project sponsor can get ‘credits’ towards construction and construction engineering to use as part of the local match. This does not increase your funding level. See Appendix 6 of the ITEP Guidelines Manual for additional information.
What if I am unable to meet the time frame for project implementation as defined under the Sunset Clause?
This policy has been instituted to help reduce the amount of un-obligated ITEP funds that are subject to federal rescission. If the required time frames cannot be met, your project funds may be rescinded. IDOT will continue to monitor projects and project sponsors may be required to submit documentation on the status of their project on a periodic basis.
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