On May 11th, .6 million in Transportation Alternatives (TA) funding was awarded to four projects in the Jackson Metro Area by the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District (CMPDD) through its Jackson Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). The TA program is a federal-aid transportation program that provides funding through the MPO to local municipalities and counties within the MPO Planning Area for transportation alternative improvements. Transportation alternatives funding is made available for projects which promote accessibility and mobility for non-drivers through the development of on- and off-road bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
In total, CMPDD received 14 applications requesting .7 million in TA funding. Due to the limited amount of funding available, the MPO was able to fully fund the four highest rated projects. Combined, jurisdictions receiving the .6 million in transportation funding have committed to provide over .2 million in local matching funds.
The deadline for local jurisdictions to submit project applications to CMPDD was March 31st. Once received, the applications were graded and evaluated based on multiple scoring criteria approved by the MPO’s Planning Policy Committee including:
- Does the project provide more than the minimum required local matching funds?
- What percentage of the total funds available did the project request? Projects requesting the least amount of Federal funding received priority.
- Is the project ready to go to construction? Projects ready to proceed to construction were given priority over projects that may still have design work and/or utility and right-of-way factors to address.
- Does the project improve connectivity to schools, transit stop locations, or other bicycle and/or pedestrian facilities?
For more information regarding the MPO transportation planning process or Transportation Alternatives program visit the MPO website at www.cmpdd.org.
|Entity||Project||Federal TA Funding||Local Matching Funds|
|Brandon||Marquette Rd. Multi-Use Path Between Amphitheater Trails and Quarry Park Trails||0,425||7,325|
|Flowood||Old Fannin Rd. & Flowood Dr. Multi-Use Path Between Kroger Entrance and Flowood Dr.||6,193||6,193|
|Flowood||Luckney Rd. Multi-Use Path Between Hartfield Academy and Flowood Dr./Wirtz Rd.||8,935||8,935|
|Flowood||E. Metro Pkwy. to Liberty Rd. Multi-Use Path Between E. Metro Pkwy. and Liberty Rd.||9,556||9,556|
On February 9th CMPDD announced the availability of .7 million in Federal Transportation Alternatives (TA) program funds for transportation improvements in the metropolitan area which includes portions of Hinds, Madison, and Rankin Counties.
Project applications for TA funding must be received by the CMPDD by March 31, 2022. Once received, the applications will be reviewed and graded based upon the project evaluation criteria approved by the MPO Policy Committee. The MPO anticipates announcing funding awards for the projects ranked the highest during the application evaluation process in May.
Local jurisdictions with applications selected for funding can receive up to 80% in Federal TA funding for construction costs of a project. Local jurisdictions are required to provide at a minimum 20% in local matching funds.
The MPO’s last call for TA applications took place in 2019 and resulted in five (5) projects in the metro area receiving .9 million in TA funding.
For more information about the Jackson MPO or the call for projects please contact us at (601) 981-1511.
A total of .4 million in grants has been awarded to 33 projects in the metro Jackson area by the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District (CMPDD) through its Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).
The MPO grants support a wide variety of projects. Some expand capacity, such as the Yandell Road project, a road widening project in Madison County near Madison Crossing Elementary School. Others improve existing infrastructure, with roadway resurfacing projects along State Street in Jackson, Old Fannin Road in Rankin County, and East County Line Road. While others focus to improve traffic mobility and safety, such as the installation of two new traffic signals in the City of Madison along Highland Colony Parkway at Lake Castle Road and Madison Central Drive. Other safety projects provide for upgrades to existing span wire traffic signals to mast arm traffic signals such as in Pearl at U.S. 80 and Highways 49 and 468. Additionally, MPO grant funds were awarded for the repair of select bridge projects including the bridge replacement project on Gary Road in Byram and the Monument Street bridge in Jackson.
“We are really pleased with this cycle of grant awards. Funding approved today represents smart investments in community-based projects. This shows you how the region is working together to build a regional transportation network,” said Brandon Mayor Butch Lee, Chairman of the MPO Policy Committee.
Through these projects, the MPO seeks to advance the region’s transportation goals to manage the relationship of transportation, community, and environment; improving and expanding transportation choices; improving safety on the regional system; and providing a reliable regional transportation system.
Funding for these projects is available through the Surface Transportation Program, which is funded by the U. S. Department of Transportation and administrated by the Central MS Planning and Development District through its MPO planning process.
Eligible jurisdictions in Hinds, Madison and Rankin Counties submitted applications to CMPDD back in October 2021. The applications were then evaluated by CMPDD staff based on the proposed project type and assigned a project score. The projects with the highest scores were the basis for a recommendation to the MPO Policy Committee, which approved the funding for 33 projects on February 9th. Combined, cities and counties receiving the .4 million in federal surface transportation grant funds have committed to provide over .4 million in local matching funds.
“One important thing to note is this process is one step further toward implementation of the long-range transportation plan adopted by the MPO in November 2020. Each project selected represents only a small piece of a much larger long-term transportation plan,” according to Mike Monk, CEO of CMPDD.
The 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan for the Jackson Urbanized Area, which is the region’s long-range transportation plan, outlines a comprehensive blueprint of the region’s transportation system needs over the next 25-years. The plan analyzes existing infrastructure and seeks to forecast changes in the region to identify transportation improvements needed to keep people and goods moving. For more information regarding CMPDD’s regional transportation planning process or for a map highlighting the projects selected for funding visit CMPDD’s website at www.cmpdd.org.
As the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Jackson region, CMPDD is required by federal regulations to prepare and publish an Annual Listing of Obligated Projects. The Report details federal funds that have been obligated in the preceding year as a record of project delivery and a progress report for public information. The Jackson MPO Fiscal Year 2021 Obligated Projects Report lists all transportation projects in the Jackson MPO Planning Area that were obligated between October 1, 2020, and September 30, 2021.
What is project obligation? Federal guidance defines obligation as the federal government’s legal commitment (promise) to pay or reimburse an entity for the Federal share of a project’s eligible costs. In order to begin work on any phase of a transportation project that includes federal funding, the federal funds must be obligated. This means money is set aside for that particular project (deposited in the “checking account” for the project), which can then be used to reimburse the eligible project costs.
During FY 2021, eleven projects awarded federal grant funds by the Jackson MPO were obligated and authorized to proceed to construction. This included a total of .3 million in federal grant funds awarded by the MPO being obligated. MPO sponsored projects obligated in FY 2021 included:
- Midway Road Bridge Replacement
- Terry Road Bridge Replacement
- Mill Street Bridge Replacement
- Kearney Park Road overlay from SE Clark to the city limits of Flora
- Multiple traffic signal upgrades in the City of Ridgeland
- New traffic signal installation at Highway 22 and King Ranch Road
- Meadowbrook Road overlay from I-55 to West/Northbrook Drive
- Traffic signal upgrades at Highway 80 and Eastgate Drive
- Traffic signal upgrades at Highway 80 and Municipal Drive
- New traffic signal installation at Highway 18 and Louis Wilson Drive
- Congestion Improvements along South Pearson from Richland Creek to Highway 468
In accordance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the State of Mississippi is divided into local workforce development areas for the purpose of carrying out the programs funded under the Act. The Act promotes local planning and service delivery as the best mechanism for identifying and meeting workforce skill gaps and needs. There are four (4) workforce areas in the state, each of which is overseen and administered by a fiscal agent. Four (4) of the state’s ten (10) Planning and Development Districts serve as fiscal agents to the four (4) workforce areas. CMPDD is the fiscal agent for the Southcentral MS Works (SMW) Workforce Development Area and is responsible for the planning of the workforce programs offered throughout the area and the fiscal integrity of the WIOA funds. Although the CMPDD provides many other services to the seven (7) counties in its District, its fiscal agent responsibilities for the SMW workforce area include seventeen counties in the southwestern quarter of the state.
The Mississippi legislature enacted Senate Bill 2564 during its 2020 session, which established the Office of Workforce Development. That office has branded the state’s workforce efforts as “Accelerate MS”. The main responsibility of Accelerate MS is to foster collaboration across public organizations and state entities that provide workforce training and employment opportunities to individuals and to direct spending control over specific funding sources used for workforce development. Specifically, these funding sources are the Workforce Enhancement Training (WET) funds, previously administered by the MS Community College Board and the MS Works funds, and are administered by the MS Development Authority for the purpose of providing On-the-Job Training to employers.
Accelerate MS has identified eight (8) “ecosystems” within the state to address local level needs within the four (4) workforce development areas. Each ecosystem will convene stakeholders to share best practices, voice concerns, provide feedback, and participate in the development of workforce strategies appropriately focused upon the needs of that particular ecosystem. Regular review of labor market data, supply chain needs, available educational resources, and regional/community assets will result in the ability to more accurately meet the needs in real time.
Mississippi has great potential and thousands of good job opportunities. Partners, working together, can help realize this potential, identify high-paying in-demand career paths, and align resources throughout the state. The Southcentral MS Works Workforce Development Area will play a large role in working within the ecosystems to move Mississippi forward and “accelerate” growth.