USDOT Federal Discretionary Grant Assistance
(INFRA, BUILD and RAISE)
CLIENT: Georgia Department of Transportation
What Our Clients Have To Say About Us
Working with Modern Mobility Partners has added great value to our on-call contract. The entire MMP staff excel in their ability to collaborate, making it feel like we are on the same team while providing a fresh, unique and highly professional outside perspective. They are incredibly responsive, unfailingly providing technical services in a timely manner without letting their promptness come at the cost of high quality work. Modern Mobility Partners has gone above and beyond in helping our staff, and it's been a joy to work with them.
-Habte Kassa, Asst. State Transportation Planning Administrator, GDOT Planning
Purpose of Project
The purpose of these projects is to assist GDOT with a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) federal discretionary grant application such as Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) and Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant applications.
The first project is our recent 2020 INFRA application for I-85 at State Route 74 (SR 74) in the City of Fairburn, Fulton County, Georgia. This project is a reconfiguration of the existing diamond interchange to a partial cloverleaf with a full bridge replacement and widening SR 74 from two lanes to three lanes for a portion south of I-85. This project will alleviate current congestion at and around the interchange, improve safety by reducing vehicle crashes, and improve pedestrian and bicycle access along SR 74.
The 2020 BUILD grant application was for SR 9 in the City of Roswell, Fulton County, Georgia. This project, known as the Historic Gateway Project, will remove the revisable lanes along SR 9 between the bridge over the Chattahoochee River and SR 120 in downtown Roswell. The current three-lane reversible roadway will be improved to a divided four-lane highway with a raised median. It also includes a grade-separation at the intersection of SR 9 and Riverside Road/Azalea Drive. Sidewalks and a multi-use path will be installed on both sides of SR 9, connecting the Chattahoochee River tails with the Historic Square in Roswell. This project will provide sufficient intersection and corridor operations, reduce crashes, upgrade deficient bridges, and provide adequate transit, bicycle and pedestrian connectivity.
Our Role on the Project
MMP led the grant application process, managing the schedule and coordinating with GDOT throughout the process. MMP drafted the grant application narrative illustrating the quantitative and qualitative benefits of the project and addressing several merit criteria outlined by USDOT. The narrative also includes a detailed cost and funding breakdown with associated letter of funding commitment by GDOT. The narrative provides details about project risk, environmental clearance, and remaining schedule to ensure the project meets USDOT statutory requirements for grant award spending. Overall the intention of the narrative is to tell the story of the project and provide evidence of its justification and need.
MMP also led a robust Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) that quantifies and monetizes project benefits related to safety (e.g., crash reductions), vehicle and truck operational savings due to less congestion, and emission reductions. These benefits are compared with the project’s capital and operating and maintenance costs over a 20-year life cycle and results in a Benefit Cost Ratio and Net Present Value. The BCA results are integrated into the project narrative, but also provided separately along with a BCA Methodology Memorandum to be evaluated separately from the project narrative.
Finally, MMP assists GDOT in letters of support, drafting the letters, providing contact information for letters including elected officials, and collecting the letters to combine into an appendix. MMP also assists in decision-making with regard to grant request amounts and balancing match funding between federal and local dollars.
USDOT discretionary grants are highly competitive across the U.S., with only a fraction of submitted applications being funded. Therefore, it is critical that the grant applications provide the most accurate and compelling information available for the project. In many cases, MMP goes above and beyond to think about other impacts of the project outside of the merit criteria, such as additional benefits of the bike and pedestrian accommodations that are not accounted for in the standard benefits. This also includes thinking about impact to industries close to the project site, such a movie studios, which are a vital industry in Georgia’s economy.