TDOT Multimodal Access Grants


The Tennessee Department of Transportation created the Multimodal Access Fund utilizing state gas tax revenue in 2013 in order to provide a grant opportunity for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvement projects. TDOT Multimodal Access Grants are awarded in a statewide competition and fund bicycle, pedestrian, and transit access projects that address gaps in the existing system along state routes and can be completed within a short timeframe.

During an open call-for-projects, the Nashville Area MPO will post information about the current grant opportunity below.

Call-for-Projects NOW OPEN: Schedule of Activities

On October 19, 2015, TDOT announced a call-for-projects under the relatively new Multimodal Access Grant program. Each MPO and RPO in the state is invited to submit up to two projects for TDOT for funding consideration. Each project may entail up to $1 million in total project costs and must be on a state route or within a 1/4 mile of a state route and connect to the state route. Projects larger than $1 million should be separated into phases. Applicants may apply for additional grant funding for future phases. Projects chosen by TDOT to receive funding may receive up to 95 percent in state grant funds. Applicants are responsible for a minimum 5 percent local match. For further information on eligibility and the TDOT selection process, please download and view the 2015 TDOT Multimodal Access Grant Guidelines at the right. The MPO’s application submissions for the two projects it chooses to recommend are due to TDOT on January 15, 2016.

Due to the short timeframe between the call-for-projects announcement and the application deadline, the MPO is requiring all applicants to submit a brief abstract and basic project budget (if able) between November 2nd and November 16th. Abstracts should not be lengthy, but should include enough information to clearly outline the project’s scope and goals, detail whether portions of the project are already underway or funded through other sources, and indicate the timeframe in which the applicant will be able to initiate the project’s development. The MPO will review all abstracts to ensure projects qualify for the program and are reasonable in terms of scope and development timeframe. Abstracts will also be reviewed by the MPO’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) for conformity with the regional bicycle and pedestrian vision and evaluated based on the criteria outlined below.

Two projects will be chosen from the pool of abstracts to move forward with the full application process. The applicants with chosen projects will be notified, and the selected projects will be endorsed by the Executive Board at the MPO’s Annual Membership Meeting on December 9th.

Following the Executive Board’s endorsement, the MPO will work with the selected applicants to optimize the project proposals and complete the full TDOT application. The MPO will then submit the full applications for the two chosen projects to TDOT by 4 p.m. (Central) on January 15th, 2016.


October 19 TDOT Announces the Multimodal Access Grants call for projects
November 2 Abstract submittal to the MPO begins for all applicants
November 16 Final day to submit abstracts
Nov. 17 - Dec. 4 MPO/BPAC identify two top project abstracts
December 9 Endorsment of two projects by the MPO Executive Board
Dec. 10 - Jan. 14 MPO and applicants of endorsed projects complete full TDOT application
Jan. 15, 2016 MPO submits two project applications to TDOT

For reference, the full 2015 TDOT Multimodal Access Grant Application and Budget Template can also be downloaded and viewed from the right side of this page.

Project Evaluation Criteria

The MPO established a process for evaluating bicycle and pedestrian stand-alone infrastructure projects as part of the Active Transportation Program created in the 2035 Regional Transportation Plan. The evaluation process includes both a quantitative project review by staff, as well as a qualitative project review by the Nashville Area MPO BPAC. The evaluation criteria closely align with the criteria that TDOT has published in the application guidelines for the Multimodal Access Grants:

Safety (1-20 points) Does the project address a known safety problem for bicyclists and pedestrians?

Multimodal Connections (1-25 points) Does the project connect to existing transit or park-and-ride facilities?

Availability of Transportation Choices (1-20 points) Does the project contribute to a network of bicycle and pedestrian facilities that connect people with destinations in the community?

Local Plans (1-10 points) Is the project in a locally-adopted plan and is there coordination among jurisdictions to implement the project?

Timeline (1-15 points) Has significant work already been completed on the project to enable the completion of project construction within 18 months of a grant contract?

Economic Development (1-10 points) How does the proposed project support economic development?

Total Points = 100

Both MPO staff and the BPAC will consider the TDOT scoring criteria in the review of all project abstracts. The MPO strives to ensure that the projects which most closely align with the goals and objectives of the 2035 Regional Transportation Plan will be recommended to TDOT.


For More Information

Lou Edwards

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