Only applications for projects that have submitted a completed preapplication by the deadline above will be considered for funding. Applications must clearly describe the proposed project and articulate the freight, economic and public benefits, quantifying those benefits wherever possible. Not all questions need be answered if they are not applicable to the particular project. Applicants are encouraged to succinctly and clearly answer the applicable questions in order to provide a comprehensive description of the project and its benefits. Elaborate or excessively lengthy applications are not necessary or desired.
All applicants must submit a Minority Impact Statement (Iowa DOT Form 10501) along with their application, as well as all of the required attachments listed within the application.
The required forms are available online at www.iowadot.gov/forms by searching for form name or number
Completed applications can be mailed to the address listed below or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications must be postmarked or emailed by 5:00 p.m. December 10, 2018.
Attn: Laura Hutzell
Office of Rail Transportation
Iowa Department of Transportation
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
A multi-disciplinary team of Iowa DOT staff will evaluate the applications. Simultaneously, applications will be provided to selected members of the Iowa Freight Advisory Council for their input. Sections 4 through 8 of the Linking Iowa's Freight Transportation System (LIFTS) Project Application (Iowa DOT Form 291320) include specific questions related to the evaluation criteria. Applications will be evaluated on the merits of the submitted application with emphasis on the following criteria:
- Freight mobility benefits (25 percent) The project applicant must document how the proposed project will increase freight mobility through elimination of an impediment, improvement in efficiency and/or improvement of the reliability or resiliency of freight transportation in contrast to the current status freight mobility. (Section 4 of the application)
- Economic benefits (25 percent) The project applicant must document how the proposed project will impact the economy (local, regional, or national), provide cost savings to shippers/public/other beneficiaries, or improve/add a connection to a freight generator to demonstrate a positive economic benefit in contrast to the current economic state. (Section 5 of the application)
- Public benefits (20 percent) The project applicant must document how the proposed project will benefit other transportation users, provide environmental benefits, enhance the quality of life or improve safety to demonstrate that federal funding will benefit others in addition to the applicant. (Section 6 of the application.)
- Project readiness (20 percent) The project applicant must realistically document the estimated project schedule and how prepared the project is to begin. Two years of funding is available in this round of funding, with obligation deadlines (when a project must be let and any contracts awarded and equipment purchased) one year apart. Consequently, priority will be applied based on the applicants' ability to meet obligation deadlines. See the schedule below for more information. (Section 7 of the application.)
- Innovation/Process improvement (10 percent) The project applicant must document if any creative or original solutions are incorporated in the project and how any innovative/new technology or novel construction/project management processes will be used to demonstrate innovative approaches to a project. Additionally, the project applicant must document how the success of the project will be measured. (Section 8 of the application.)
Additional information may be requested or site visits arranged by one or more members of the evaluation team if it is deemed beneficial to better understand the scope or intent of a project. The evaluation team will make a recommendation for award(s) to the Iowa Transportation Commission.
A project funding agreement will be prepared between the Iowa DOT and the project sponsor. The agreement shall specify the project's scope, the approved funding level, and other conditions for project funding. As applicable, the agreement shall address responsibilities for project design, right-of-way acquisition, contracting, construction and materials inspection; documentation required for reimbursement of project costs; audit requirements; and maintenance of the completed project.
- All agreements must be signed by the recipient within 60 days of receipt.
- Award recipients shall abide by all requirements as a recipient of federal funding.
- One year of funding will be awarded, with obligation deadlines (when a project must be let and any contracts awarded and equipment purchased). If an obligation deadline is unmet, the funds allocated to Iowa by the federal government risk being rescinded. Consequently, grantees will be required to have these activities completed no later than June 30, 2021 as specified in the project funding agreement.
- Iowa DOT staff may revoke a funding commitment or seek repayment of funds already reimbursed if the applicant fails to fulfill the terms of the agreement.