2017 Transportation Improvement Program in the pipeline
Michael S. Donchez, Senior Transportation Planner
Largest Investment in the Lehigh Valley’s Infrastructure
The 2017-2020 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) encompasses over $458 million in transportation infrastructure investment in the next four years. This plan targets the Lehigh Valley’s highest priority road, bridge, transit, pedestrian, bicycle, and rail infrastructure projects proposed to be developed with Federal assistance. Including over 60 projects, the TIP seeks to preserve the region’s assets, maintain and enhance mobility, reduce congestion, increase safety and operational efficiency, and promote partnerships.
Federal Process to Ensure Consistency with Regional Goals
The Federal and State Governments designated the Lehigh Valley Transportation Study (LVTS) as the body responsible for preparing the TIP for Lehigh and Northampton Counties. The Federal Government requires that the TIP shall, at a minimum:
• Consist of improvements from the locally-developed transportation plan;
• Cover a period of not less than three years;
• Indicate the area’s priorities; and
• Include realistic cost estimates of the total cost and revenues for the program period.
Both highway and transit projects proposed to be implemented with Federal assistance must be included in an approved TIP as a condition to Federal review and approval.
Project selection focusing on system performance for the highest return on investment
The project prioritization process begins with an evaluation of the goals, policies and projects outlined in MoveLV: Long Range Transportation Plan, MoveLV: Lehigh Valley Regional Freight Plan, and the Lehigh Valley Comprehensive Plan, as well as an assessment of the projects on the standing 2015-2018 Transportation Improvement Program. A technical and economic impact assessment of the draft project list is made utilizing US Department of Transportation standards to weigh the benefits and potential burdens of the proposed investments.
Investment strategy underpinning the lehigh valley’s social + economic future
The TIP is required by Federal statute to be fiscally constrained or only include those projects that do not exceed the total transportation dollars anticipated to be received by the Lehigh Valley Transportation Study between Federal Fiscal Year 2017-2020. All in all, the projects represent the largest infrastructure investment in the Lehigh Valley and a 20% increase over the previous TIP. This funding strategy is critical to the economic and social future of the region, targeting infrastructure investment to support a bright and stable Lehigh Valley and reflecting short and long term, as well as new and diverse, transportation needs.
The draft TIP will be available for a 30-day public review and comment period starting Tuesday, June 14, 2016 and closing on Thursday, July 14, 2016. The draft TIP will be available in the following locations:
• Online at www.lvpc.org;
• Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, 961 Marcon Blvd, Suite 310, Allentown;
• 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; and
• Easton Public Library, 515 Church Street, Easton.
Public meetings to solicit public comment on the draft document will be held on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 12:00 noon at PennDOT District 5-0, 1002 Hamilton Street, Allentown and at 6:00 PM at the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, 961 Marcon Blvd., Suite 310, Allentown, PA.
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 Michael Donchez at (610) 264-4544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.