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Lake, Porter, and La Porte Counties, Indiana for

State Fiscal Years 2018-2021

May 18, 2017

List Version DF6


Jil-t Northwestern Indiana


Region al Planning Comm ission

6100 Southport Road (219) 763-6060

Portage, Ind iana 46368-6409 Fax (219) 762-1653

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RPC

Regional Planning Commission


Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for Lal<e, Porter, and LaPorte Counties, Indiana

for 2018-2021


Ta bl e of Con te nts

  1. Introduction 1

    About NIRPC 1

    Basic Federal Requirements for TIP's 4

    Organization of the TIP Document 6

    List of Appendices 6

  2. TIP Development & Project Selection Processes 8

    Implementation of Performance-Based Planning 8

    MPO Planning Process 12

    2015 Committee Structure Revisions 12

    Technical Planning Committee 13

    Topical Committees 13

    Transportation Resource Oversight. 14

    MPO Planning Area 15

    Urbanized Areas & Federal Funds 16

    Major Projects Implemented from Prior TIP 19

    TIP Development Process 19

    Consolidated NOFA 2015-1 Solicitation 21

    Public Transit Project Solicitation 29

    Revised Committee Structure 52

    Ill. Program of Projects and Related Information 72

    Introduction and Summary 72

    Page Numbering/Printing the List 72

    Contacting NIRPC 72

    Using the List: Types of Federal Funds 73

    Using the List: Column Headings 73

    Lists of Projects Begins Following Page 75


    APPENDICES


    Appendix A: Official Actions and Compliance.

    NIRPC Board Resolutions: 1) Adopting the Conformity Determination, 2) Adopting Amendment #4 to the previously updated 2040 Transportation Plan, and 3} Adopting the 2018-2021 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP} and authorizing execution of the Planning Self-Certification. This appendix will be included in only the final (published} version of the TIP.


    Appendix B: Public Involvement. This appendix will be included in only the final (published) version of the TIP.


    Appendix C: Conformity Determination. This appendix will be included in only the final (published} version of the TIP.


    Appendix D: TIP Financial Plan.


    Appendix E: Prior Project Selection Processes. This appendix will be included in only the final (published} version of the TIP. Includes only our NOFA 2014-1 (TAP) a nd NOFA 2014-2 (HSIP, CMAQ,STBG 2}.


    Appendix F: NIRPC Commissioners, TPC Contact/Membershi p Lists, and Transit Operators. This appendix will be included in only the final (published) version of the TIP.

    Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties, Indiana for 2018-2021

    Part I: Introduction


    A Transportation Improvement Program, or TIP, is a short-range financia l and spending plan for the utilization of U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT} surface transportation funds. These funds, identified later in this document, are used for highway, tra nsit, a nd non-motorized transportation projects. NIRPC's TIP is updated every other year a nd includes projects underta ken by municipalities, counties, transit operators, and the State of Indiana. Federa l (U.S. DOT} planning regulations guide the preparation and development of TIP documents.


    The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIR PC} has been designated by the Governor as a Metropolita n Planning Organization (MPO} to undertake transportation planning for northwestern Indiana. NIRPC is a council of governments established under Indiana law. NIRPC has, pursuant to the federal planning regulations, undertaken a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive transportation planning process that includes, among other things, the development of a Long Range Transportation Plan and Transportation Improvement Progra m (TIP}.


    The TIP process is designed to ensure the implementation of the goals and objectives identified in NIRPC's Regional Tra nsportation Plan.


    NIRPC's Regional Transportation Plan is the Transportation Section of the 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan (CR P}, adopted in June 2011, a nd as amended a nd updated (most recently) in May 2016.


    About NIRPC

    NIRPC was originally established as the La ke-Porter County Regiona l Transportation and Planning Commission in 1965, pursua nt to a n act of the Indiana Genera l Assembly. An amendment to this legislation in 1973 provided the Commission with its current name and allowed for the addition of new member counties. La Porte County joined NIRPC in 1979. The most recent major change to NIRPC's authorizing legislation occurred in 2003-which esta blished NIRPC as a council of governments.

    NIRPC is a regional council of local governments serving the citizens of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties in Northwest Indiana. The entire three-county a rea is part of the U.S. Census Bureau's Chicago Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Northern Lake and Porter Counties are a part of the Chicago, IL/IN urbanized a rea. The northwest corner of La Porte County is part of the Michigan City-LaPorte, IN/Ml urbanized area. NIRPC provides a forum that enables the citizens of Northwest Indiana to address regional issues relating to transportation, the environment a nd community, and economic development . For transportat ion planning, NIRPC has been named as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Indiana portion of both urbanized areas.


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    NIRPC's metropolitan planning area is located at the southern tip of Lake Michiga n and represents an integral part of the greater Chicago metropolitan area. It consists of 771,815 people (2010 Census) and covers 1,520 squa re miles. There are forty-one cities and towns a nd forty-four townships within the NIRPC planning a rea.


    NIR PC Commissioners. There are fifty-three Commissioners-all of whom are elected officials (per statute). In addition to the 41 municipal appointments (one per city or town), the County Councils, Boards of Commissioners, County Surveyors, and two Porter County Township

    Trustees appoint one member each, as does the Governor. The Commission or the Executive Board meets monthly. NIRPC's meetings are open to the public a nd there is a place on every agenda for public comment.


    The legislation under which the Commission operates is contained within Indiana Code Title 36, Article VII, Chapter 7.6. Section 12 of this statute plainly states our purpose:


    "The purpose of the commission is to institute and maintain a comprehensive planning and programming process for:

    1. transportation;

    2. economic development; and

    3. environmental;

polic y and provide a coordinative management process for the counties described in section 1 of this chapter. The commission shall coordinate its activities with all member units in the counties and shall coordinate and assist the planning programs of member units and the state that are related to its pur pose. u


One of the most important designations NIRPC has received is that of Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for northwestern Indiana. MPO's a re responsible, together with state departments of transportation a nd public transit operators, for carrying out the transportation planning process for urbanized areas.


Of equal importa nce is our status as a Designated Recipient of U.S. Federal Tra nsit Administration (FTA) funds (in two urbanized areas) under three FTA grant programs. We function as the grantee for seven (7) local public bus tra nsit operators. We a re also the cognizant Designated Recipient for the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD), Indiana's only commuter railroad.


Our region is a diverse a nd dynamic place whose complexities are reflected in the regional transportation system. The NIRPC planning a rea includes argua bly some of the most strategic and critical links in the national transportation system. These factors combine to make the role of MPO for

northwestern Indiana extraordinarily challenging. NIRPC, in undertaking its mission, is cognizant of its obligations and responsibilities, under various federal and state statutes, to promote inclusion and not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, or any other factor.


Basic Federal Requirements for Transportation Improvement Programs.


The U.S. Depa rtment of Transportation's planning regulations 1 associated with the implementation of surface transportation programs include specific requirements for development and content of TIPs. These requirements are summa rized below.


Organization of the TIP Document


This balance of this document is organized into the following two parts:


Part II: TIP Development and Project Selection Processes. This chapter contains a description of the MPO planning process, general guidelines we followed in soliciting and selecting loca l projects with federa l funds that are assigned to us by INDOT or FTA, a nd a brief description of INDOT's project selection processes.


There were two Notices of Fund Availability (NOFA's) issued in late 2016. One was for Local Highway Safety (HSIP) projects and the other was for FTA Section 5307-funded public transit projects in Lake and Porter Counties. The results of the transit NOFA were set aside for reasons explained in Part

II. However, both NOFA's are discussed in Pa rt II.


As alrea dy noted, solicitation and selection system details for most MPO­ selected, FHWA-funded projects from solicitations prior to 2016 can be found in Appendix E. It should be noted that these systems are obsolete and will be replaced in late 2018.


Part Ill: Program of Projects and Related Information. This chapter begins with a summary explanation of the actual list of projects, including tabular a nd gra phic information. This is followed by a key to interpreting the information in the ta bles and where to go to get additional information.


LIST of APPENDICES


Appendix A: Official Actions and Compliance. This appendix contains the NIRPC Board resolutions adopting the Conformity Determin;:ition, Pl<rn, und TIP. The fina l published version also contains the planning process self­ certification document.


Appendix B: Public Involvement. This a ppendix contains the Public Comment Summa ry Report for the Conformity Determination, Plan Update, and TIP. Per the process requirements in our Public Participation Plan, the

Report identifies each comment received, our response, an assessment of the comment's significance, a nd a statement regarding the need to modify the document prior to adoption. This a ppendix will be included in only the final (published} version of the TIP.


Appendix C: Conformity Determination. This document, adopted separately, will be included only in the final (published) version of the TIP.


Appendix D: Financial Plan. This document provides summa ry financial information regarding projected federal surface transportation funds for all projects in the TIP. The Financial Plan will be issued with the final, (published) version of the TIP.


Appendix E: Prior Project Selection Processes. This appendix contains details on the manner in which MPO-funded were selected for funding in Lake and Porter Counties prior to July 2015.


Appendix F: NIRPC Commissioners, TPC Contact/Membership Lists, and Transit Operators.