TDOT Multimodal Access Grants


The Tennessee Department of Transportation created the Multimodal Access Fund using 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 June 15, 2018, TDOT announced a new call-for-projects under its Multimodal Access Grant program.
Each MPO and RPO in the state is invited to submit up to three projects to 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% in state grant funds. Applicants are responsible for a minimum 5% local match. For further information on eligibility and the TDOT selection process, please download and view the 2018 TDOT Multimodal Access Grant Guidelines at the right. The Nashville Area MPO at GNRC’s submissions for the three project applications it chooses to recommend are due to TDOT on September 28, 2018.

Because of the short timeframe between the call-for-projects announcement and the application deadline, GNRC is requiring all applicants to submit a brief abstract and basic project budget (if possible) by July 20, 2018. 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. GNRC staff will review all abstracts to ensure projects qualify for the program and are reasonable in terms of scope and development timeframe. Project proposals will then be evaluated based upon the criteria outlined below, and three from the pool of abstracts will be recommended to move forward with the full application process.

The three proposals recommended by GNRC staff to be submitted to TDOT for consideration will also be reviewed by GNRC's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) for conformity with the regional bicycle and pedestrian vision. The applicants will be notified of the final recommendations, and the selected projects will be endorsed by the Transportation Policy Board at its regular meeting on September 19. GNRC staff will work with the selected applicants to optimize the project proposals and complete the full TDOT application.

GNRC will then submit the full applications for the three selected projects to TDOT by 4:00pm (Central) on September 28, 2018.


June 15 TDOT Announces the Multimodal Access Grants call for projects
July 20 Deadline to submit abstracts to GNRC
July 20-Aug 24 GNRC staff/BPAC work to identify 3 most qualified project abstracts
Aug 27 - Sept 27 GNRC and applicants of 3 most qualified projects work to complete full TDOT application
Sept. 19 Endorsement of 3 selected projects by Transportation Policy Board
Sept. 28 GNRC submits 3 project applications to TDOT by 4:00pm (Central)

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

GNRC 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 GNRC 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 GNRC staff and the BPAC will consider the TDOT scoring criteria in the review of all project abstracts. GNRC strives to ensure that the projects which most closely align with the goals and objectives of the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan will be recommended to TDOT.


For More Information

Lou Edwards

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