What is the Transportation Improvement Program?

The 2021-2024 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a four-year financial plan for Lehigh and Northampton counties, developed by the Lehigh Valley Transportation Study (LVTS).  The 2021-2024 TIP consists of approximately $451.8 million that will be invested into priority transportation programs, construction projects or studies.

How is the Budget Created?

Roughly 80% of TIP funding comes through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with the remaining 20% coming from Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and/or local sources. The amount the Lehigh Valley gets is primarily set by PennDOT and FHWA, based on population, vehicle miles traveled and need among other federally designated factors.  Once the amount is set, the LVTS works to develop a program designed to serve the region’s needs, while following the policies of FutureLV: The Regional Plan and federal regulatory requirements.  The need is always greater than the money available and the TIP, by federal law, can only budget money that is reasonably expected to come to the region. The TIP is regulated under the United States Code 49 U.S.C. 5303(j) and authorized under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act).

Federal regulations require that the TIP shall:

Cover a period of at least

Consist of projects from FutureLV: The Regional Plan, the locally developed transportation plan

Reflect the area's transportation needs and priorities

Include realistic cost and revenue estimates for all projects


Include all highway and transit projects to be funded with federal money

How Projects are Selected

For a project to receive funding in the 2021-2024 TIP, it must meet a long list of state and federal guidelines for traffic safety, air quality and environmental justice.  It also must align with the vision of FutureLV: The Regional Plan, and its 25-year Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).  A core concept of FutureLV is Centers and Corridors, a long-range transportation investment plan that directs redevelopment, reuse and new construction to 57 economic and housing activity Centers around the Lehigh Valley and along the Corridors that connect them. Transportation project investments are then targeted to be consistent with that concept and must be identified in FutureLV before they can be programmed in the TIP.


These steps were implemented during the project selection process:

  1. Call for Projects — An open call for Long-Range Transportation Plan projects went out to the public requesting federally eligible transportation projects.
  2. Project evaluation process — Lehigh Valley Transportation Study (LVTS) evaluated each project submitted in eight proposal types that included Bridges; Traffic Management Technologies; Roadway Reconstruction, Modernization and Automation; Multi-use and Bicycle Facilities; Pedestrian Facilities; Transit Expansion and Modernization; Rail; and Study or Plan.
  3. Project ranking — Projects were then awarded detailed scores, ranked by score with consideration for its category, and prioritized.
  4. Preliminary findings — The ranking of projects was opened for public comment and each project sponsor was able to present project proposals and discuss them with LVTS committee members and the public. The LVTS then analyzed the proposals and checked for consistency with overall regional priorities, all operating within defined fiscal constraints. Any qualified project that could not be funded was added to an unmet needs list of projects that can be considered for future funding.
  5. Adoption — The final list of Long-Range Transportation Plan projects was adopted by LVTS on October 2, 2019.

The TIP is a constantly evolving program that changes as project costs and schedules adjust. By federal statute the program is what’s known as “fiscally constrained”, which means that the total cost of the projects on the TIP cannot exceed the money expected to be received by the LVTS. When costs increase for one project, the money often has to come from another, just as savings on a particular project can be moved into one that needs more money.

Nearly 89% ($267,454,921) of the total funding for roadway and bridge projects or multimodal non-transit programs included in the 2021-2024 TIP ($302,119,706), carried forward from previous 2019-2022 TIP. Managing the flow of money is equally as important as managing the project schedule. Because the four-year TIP is updated every two years, the final two years of one program serves as the first two years of the next program.

This funding strategy addresses high-priority transportation needs and is designed to promote a modern, efficient transportation network. The TIP is critical to the economic and social future of the region, targeting infrastructure investments that support a vibrant, inclusive, resilient and growing Lehigh Valley.


1. JULY 16, 2019

PennDOT issues Financial Guidance documents to Planning Partners for developing the 2021-2024 TIP

2. DECEMBER 29, 2019

PennDOT Connects/Local Government Collaboration meetings completed for carryover and new potential TIP projects

3. JANUARY 8, 2020

LVTS develops draft TIP for PennDOT coordination

4. MARCH 12, 2020

Interagency air quality and environmental justice consultation initiated

5. MARCH 14, 2020

Interagency air quality consultations are  concluded and air quality conformity analysis begins

6. APRIL 10, 2020

LVTS and PennDOT complete air quality conformity and environmental justice analysis

7. MAY 18, 2020

Public comment period begins

8. MAY 20, 27, JUNE 3, 2020

Virtual public meetings on draft TIP due to Covid-19 Pandemic

9. JUNE 3, 2020

Public meeting on draft TIP at LVPC Joint Technical and Coordinating Committee Meeting

10. JUNE 16, 2020

Public comment period ends

11. JULY 15, 2020

LVTS proposed adpotion of TIP

12. AUGUST 2020

PennDOT scheduled to submit statewide TIP to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)/Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for review and approval

13. SEPTEMBER 2020

Anticipated approval from FHWA and FTA of the 2019 TIP program


Performance-Based Planning

The 2021-2024 TIP will be the first in the region that’s based on three new federally set performance measures designed to reduce injuries, save lives and better manage maintenance of the region’s transportation network.

One set of measures prescribed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and adopted by the LVTS in January of 2020, requires recording data on fatalities and injuries, and setting new safety goals to reduce those.

A second set of measures, adopted in 2018, collects data on National Highway System and National Interstate System pavement and bridge surface conditions, and sets standards to improve those conditions.

And a third set of measures was added in 2019 to collect data on congestion and air quality impacts, by cars and trucks, on the National Highway System and National Interstate System.

With all three measures in place for the first time, the goal is clear: Collect data and target transportation investments to improve the system.

Annually, the FHWA will determine whether PennDOT and the LVTS have met or made progress in meeting their goals. The end result is a project selection process rooted in data and analysis to enhance transportation system performance.

Air Quality & Environmental Justice

Every project on the TIP must meet federal air quality conformity standards through travel demand modeling, as well as an Environmental Justice Benefits and Burdens analysis.

The Lehigh Valley is required to perform travel forecasting to determine transportation network demand.  Transportation network demand is then evaluated for conformity under the 2008 eight-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and the 2006 24-hour NAAQS. That evaluation is designed to ensure that federal funding goes to projects that are consistent with air quality standards.

An Environmental Justice analysis is also performed to determine how projects affect access to jobs, shopping, education and mobility for disadvantaged populations such as elderly, disabled, minority and low-income people. A conditions assessment was conducted to determine crash, transit, pavement and bridge condition data in neighborhoods where disadvantaged populations live. That information serves as a basis for evaluating the burdens and benefits of the TIP. Using Environmental Justice criteria for project selection helps address long-standing challenges experienced by residents of historically disadvantaged communities with limited transportation alternatives, or who live in places with environmental conditions threatening health and safety.

The overall goal is to reduce vehicle emissions to improve air quality and eliminate barriers to access, improving the quality of the transportation system for everyone, equitably.


Public participation is a key component in drafting the TIP. Community input often leads to important changes. The draft 2021-2024 TIP will be available for a 30-day public review and comment period starting May 18, 2020 and closing on June 16, 2020. Copies of the Draft TIP will be available at:

  • and Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, 
    961 Marcon Blvd, Suite 310, Allentown

If the Covid-19 Pandemic Disaster Emergency is lifted during the public comment period and partner facilities reopen to the public, copies will be delivered to:

  • Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, District 5-0, 1002 Hamilton Street, Allentown
  • Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA), 1060 Lehigh Street,  Allentown
  • Allentown Public Library, 1210 Hamilton Street,  Allentown
  • Bethlehem Public Library, 11 West Church Street, Bethlehem
  • Easton Public Library, 515 Church Street, Easton

The LVPC website will be regularly updated.

Comments on the TIP can also be made during these virtual public meetings:

  • 12 pm, May 20, can be accessed online at or by phone at +1 872-222-9976, Conference ID: 568 479 393#.
  • 4:30 pm, May 27, can be accessed online at or by phone at +1 872-222-9976, Conference ID: 148 149 258#.
  • 9 am, June 3, Joint Technical + Coordinating Committee Meeting, can be accessed online at or by phone at +1 872-222-9976, Conference ID: 110 559 235#.

LVTS is committed to compliance with the nondiscrimination requirements of applicable civil rights statutes, executive orders, regulations and policies. The meeting locations are accessible to persons with disabilities. With advance notification, accommodations may be provided for those with special needs related to language, sight or hearing. If you have a request for a special need, wish to file a complaint, or desire additional information, please contact the LVPC at (610) 264-4544 or

Comments may be sent to the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, 961 Marcon Blvd., Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18109 or submitted online at





Traffic Management Technologies

Pedestrian Facilities/Safe Routes to Schools




Bridge Replacement/Rehabilitation



Roadway Expansion

Transit Expansion/Modernization



Multi-Use Trails and Bicycle Facilities



2021-2024 PROJECTS


This report was prepared by The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission on behalf of the  Lehigh Valley Transportation Study. This report has been financed in part through funding from the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, under the State Planning and Research Program, Section 505 [or Metropolitan Planning Program, Section 104(f)] of Title 23, U.S. Code. The contents of this report do not necessarily reflect the official views or policy of the U.S. Department of Transportation.