The Lehigh Valley Transportation Study (LVTS) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Lehigh and Northampton counties. MPOs are federally mandated transportation planning organizations responsible for transportation policy-making. Their operations are federally funded. MPOs collect data, analyze trends, assess needs, and determine priorities to identify current and future transportation projects. MPOs are responsible for completing a variety of transportation planning activities, plans, and programs. Some examples are:
The high-priority list of highway, bridge, public transportation, bicycle and pedestrian projects to be implemented with federal funds over the next four years.
This represents the long-term vision of the region's infrastructure, covering a period of at least 20 years. The completion and adoption of these documents, among others, ensures that the Lehigh Valley remains eligible to receive federal financial assistance to fund infrastructure improvements.
This listing shows all money obligated for highway, bridge, transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects within Lehigh and Northampton counties Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2023. The use of federal transportation funding is authorized by the current multi-year transportation bill approved by Congress and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). It allows the US Secretary of Transportation to authorize funding to Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) across the US, through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Federal funding is then allocated to states based primarily on population data from the US Census Bureau. State allocations are then distributed to individual MPOs and Rural Planning Organizations (RPOs) based on formulas developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and representatives of MPOs and RPOs. These formulas take into account population, vehicle miles traveled, truck vehicle miles traveled, roadway surface conditions, lane miles, structurally deficient bridges, all bridges and the region’s air quality classification.
Distribution of federal and state transportation funds are limited to specific funding categories. Each category has access to different restricted pots, or buckets, of money. Those buckets of money include:
They’re earmarked by members of Congress for specific projects that were allocated under previous transportation funding bills.
This is flexible funding that may be used by states and localities for projects to preserve and improve the conditions and performance on any Federal-aid highway, bridge and tunnel projects on any public road, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and transit capital projects, including intercity bus terminals. This program includes Surface Transportation Program - Urban funds for use in urbanized areas.
Can also be labeled as Transportation Alternatives Program, Surface Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to Schools Funding. These classes of funding funnel money to “transportation enhancement” projects that improve the network for bicycles, pedestrians and other non-motorized forms of transportation, including off-road trails and bicycle education programs.
This money is used for the rehabilitation, replacement or preservation of bridges that are greater than 20 feet in length and located on roads eligible for federal financial aid.
This money is for bridges greater than 20 feet in length and located on roads not eligible for federal funds.
This money is for projects that reduce emissions and improve air quality in areas designated as not meeting air quality standards, including the Lehigh Valley.
Funds for federally eligible highway and bridge projects on roads on the National Highway System, excluding Interstate System roads.
Special federal funds used to mitigate storm impacts to infrastructure.
Federal grants to replace, rehabilitate and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities, including technological changes or innovations to modify low or no emission vehicles or facilities.
Goes to urbanized areas for transit capital and operating assistance in urbanized areas and for transportation-related planning.
Donor State Bonus Urbanized Funds (DON) currently utilized as Surface Transportation Program - Urban Funds.
Provides funding to states based on equity considerations.
Provides funding for the replacement, rehabilitation, preservation, protection or construction of highway bridges over 20 feet in length.
The purpose of these programs is to provide funds to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from transportation sources. The CRPU provides five years of funding. Additionally, the CRPU funds are 65% of funds distributed to the urbanized area by population.
The purpose of this program is to provide funds for resilience improvements through formula funding distributed to states and through future competitive grants to local, regional or state agencies via the PROTECT Discretionary Grant Program.
The following tables indicate where federal money was spent on the transportation projects in 2023. It also includes future financial programming that reflect changes to anticipated project funding.
The following table indicates where federal money was programmed greater than actual project costs in Federal Fiscal Year 2023. It also indicates that future financial programming is not necessary. The federal money allocated to these projects is then applied to other projects in need of investment.