PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING
November 28, 2012
Melissa Ashline-Heil, City of Cohoes
Brad Birge, City of Saratoga Springs
Rob Cherry, NYS Department of Transportation R1
Peter Comenzo, Town of Rotterdam
Darrell Duncan, Albany County
Ross Farrell, Capital District Transportation Authority
Steve Feeney, Schenectady County
Rocky Ferraro, Capital District Regional Planning Commission
Michael Franchini, Capital District Transportation Committee
Nadine Fuda, Town of Schodack
Steve Iachetta, Albany County Airport Authority
Randy Milano, Albany County
Mike Morelli, Town of Bethlehem
Ozzie Priotti, representing Sarah Crowell, City of Rensselaer
Russ Reeves, City of Troy
Paul Reuss, Village of Menands
Tom Richardson, City of Mechanicville
Joe Teliska, representing Wayne Bonesteel, Rensselaer County
Michael Tengeler, representing Joseph LaCivita, Town of Colonie
Michael Valentine, Saratoga County
Chris Wallin, representing Steve Strichman, City of Schenectady
Steve Watts, Town of Halfmoon
STAFF AND OTHERS
Bill Anslow, Albany County
Anne Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee
Jennifer Ceponis, Capital District Transportation Committee
Joe Cimino, CHA Inc.
Christopher Desany, NYS Department of Transportation R-1
Bob Hansen, Creighton Manning
Karen Hulihan, NYS Department of Transportation R-1
Dave Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee
Maryanne Mariotti, NYS Department of Transportation R-1
Fred Mastroianni, Greenman Pederson
Sandy Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee
Larry Mulvaney, NYS Department of Transportation R1
Chris O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee
Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Committee
Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee
Jim Rivers, Greenman Pedersen Inc.
Steve Iachetta opened the meeting at approximately 9:31 AM. There were no visitors’ issues.
Previous Meeting Minutes – November 7, 2012
Mike Morelli noted that Erik Deyoe’s name was misspelled, and that Erik Deyoe was representing Bethlehem at the meeting. With these changes noted, members approved the November 7th minutes.
2010-15 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM AMENDMENTS
R262 (1757.37), Park and Ride Lots in US 20, City of Rensselaer
Ozzie Priotti explained that the City of Rensselaer does not want this project and does not have a good location for this project. Ross Farrell explained that this project is not consistent with the Park and Ride Study recently completed by CDTA. The TIP amendment would remove this project from the TIP. Mike Valentine asked how this project was originally programmed in the TIP. Mike Franchini said that staff will find out and report. Members approved the TIP amendment.
R242 (1756.37), Spring Avenue Over Poestenkill: Bridge Replacement
Russ Reeves explained that the original cost estimate for this project was not based on a detailed engineering estimate. The cost increase is the result of a number of factors. Mike Franchini asked about an offset for this amendment. Karen Hulihan said that the Department found an offset. Rocky Ferraro expressed concern that, given limited funding, historical preservation concerns may not be warranted in protecting old bridges, especially if the historical resource is not of high value, for example, a bridge abutment. Russ Reeves explained that in this case, the abutments are in relatively good condition and actually are not increasing costs. Steve Iachetta commented that State and federal laws must be followed regarding historic preservation. Tom Richardson commented that in many cases, older construction may have been really built well, and are often still in good condition.
Mike Valentine asked a question about finding offsets in general. Karen Hulihan explained that cost savings from projects may lead to the ability to find offsets, based on monthly updates, and sponsors should check to see if offsets are available. Larry Mulvaney commented that the whole State has to be in fiscal balance. When the State is out of balance, offsets are hard to find. When the State is in balance, more flexibility is possible.
Members approved the amendment.
2013-18 TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM UPDATE
A. Beyond Preservation Project List (see enclosed)
Mike Franchini discussed the list of Beyond Preservation projects that was in the mail out. The list showed projects that were submitted to the Region, and indicated which projects were submitted by the Region to the Main Office. Projects were submitted based on the index score, and narratives were evaluated. Chris Wallin asked what would happen if a project cost changed; specifically since he is concerned that the abutments may not be able to be saved on the Kings Road project. Rob Cherry said that funding is capped, but if scope increases, consideration may be given. Karen Hulihan said to submit new information as soon as you have it. Mike Franchini explained that the funding is capped for Beyond Preservation projects, but for Preservation First projects, we do not have guidelines.
Ozzie Priotti asked in regard to the Third Avenue bridge project submitted from the City of Rensselaer. Karen Hulihan said it is not Beyond Preservation. Mike Franchini commented it was below the line, meaning it was not selected for submittal to the Main Office.
Steve Watts asked in regard to Sitterly Road Project, which is not shown on the list of Beyond Preservation Candidates. Mike Franchini responded that it may have been a Preservation First candidate. He said he will check on this project.
Ozzie Priotti asked in regard to the East Street project, which was submitted, but which does not show on the list. Karen Hulihan said the project was reviewed, but did not make it. She said the list is dynamic, and it will be updated to show this project, but the project was not submitted to the Main Office for Beyond Preservation.
Joe Teliska asked in regard to project R196—if it is not on the Beyond Preservation list, can it move forward as a Preservation First project. Karen responded that that was most likely the case. Mike Franchini commented that we should look carefully at the TIP, because if the project is programmed after the first two years, all bets are off. Joe Teliska asked a question regarding the status of CR 68 (R287). Karen Hulihan said he should call her to discuss.
B. CDTC Sub-Allocations
Mike Franchini distributed two handouts (attached) that show planning targets by region for FFY 13-14 and for FFY 15-18. Mike noted that the funding amounts are unmatched. Steve Iachetta and Rocky Ferraro expressed concern that some regions’ funding increased faster than Region 1. Mike Franchini explained that this is the result of applying the formulas to each region, and we shouldn’t over–simplify the comparisons.
Mike Franchini distributed a handout (a corrected version of this handout will be included in the mail out for the December 12 meeting) that shows sub-allocations to the MPOs in Region 1 (CDTC and A/GFTC). The table shows NYSDOT goals for “Regional Preservation”, “Regional Capital”, and “STP Off FA System Bridge”, but it is still up to CDTC to program these funds.
Steve Watts asked if federal funds were diminished, or if our share of federal funds is diminished. Mike Franchini explained that statewide federal funds are about flat, based on the MAP-21 legislation passed this summer. There has been a change in the process for distributing federal funds within the State. A significant portion of federal funding has gone to a statewide competition for Beyond Preservation funds. The State believes that competition will produce better projects. Chris Wallin asked why SDF funds were not sub-allocated. Mike Franchini explained that these are State budget funds and that CDTC does not program SDF funds, although SDF projects are shown on the TIP for information. Rob Cherry said that 70% of the SDF funds are dedicated to debt retirement.
Rocky Ferraro commented that he does not agree with the new practice of the State taking federal money off the top for Beyond Preservation, because CDTC is very qualified to select the best projects. Mike Franchini stated that CDTC has some of the best criteria in the country in selecting projects. Several people asked whether CDTC has to accept the projects selected by NYSDOT. Mike Franchini said that CDTC members will have to decide, and that CDTC operates by consensus. Dave Jukins explained that DOT developed the new process and goals because we have severe funding constraints, and because the infrastructure is falling apart. Preservation First is a reasonable approach for the State system. DOT would like the locals to take the same approach. CDTC will do a thorough analysis of the local system to evaluate if the approach makes sense for the local system. Because the timeline is tight, this analysis will have to be completed later. In two years’ time, when the TIP is updated again, we will be able to reassess these questions. Frank Bonafide is advocating a set-aside approach so we can consider these questions in more depth.
Mike Franchini commented that AADT is in important factor in evaluating projects in the beyond preservation process. Joe Teliska commented that there needs to be a way to address the needs of low volume bridges.
C. Preservation Project List
Mike Franchini said that although there have been solicitations by CDTC and NYSDOT, there have been few preservation projects submitted. It may be better to program with set-asides, because locals will have better knowledge about local budgets given more time. Larry Mulvaney noted that 85% of ARRA funds went to local projects. Mike Franchini asked that any preservation projects to be considered at the December 12 meeting should be submitted by December 7.
D. Set-Aside Programming
Dave Jukins presented information about existing CDTC set-aside projects in the TIP. These projects support a number of very important programs, such as the Transportation Management Center (TMC). Funding is very limited. Set-asides will be reviewed in detail at the December 12 meeting, and staff will develop options for programming set-asides.
E. CDTC Screening
Mike Franchini explained that CDTC staff is screening projects based on the CDTC project review process. The results will be presented at the December 12 meeting.
STATUS OF CMAQ PROJECTS
Mike Franchini handed out a status report of CMAQ projects (attached). The purpose of this monthly status report is to determine which projects can be implemented by October 1, 2014. He explained that
there has been a solicitation for CMAQ projects that could be implemented quickly if funding is available.
UNIFIED PLANNING WORK PROGRAM (UPWP) UPDATE
Mike Franchini reported that the staff is working on an update of the UPWP. Major changes are not expected. Revisions will need public review.
NYSDOT PROJECT DELIVERY SCHEDULE
Karen Hulihan distributed a handout (attached) that showed the project delivery status of projects. This status report goes to the Commissioner, and is prepared monthly. Mike Franchini said that we may need to think about reprogramming projects that have not been progressed. Rob Cherry said that late projects will sit in a late pile and that other projects can move in.
Status of Planning Activities
Mike Franchini stated that discussion will be needed at the December Planning Committee meeting about who will administer the 5310 program. He distributed a memo (attached) from the Main Office about the statewide solicitation process for safety (HSIP) projects. There will be strict criteria and a short deadline (December 13) for FFY 13 projects. There will be a March 30 deadline for FFY 14 projects. The process will be very data driven. Sandy Misiewicz will coordinate with Mike Doody of Region 1. Sandy is available to help. CDTC staff will develop data for applications and is available to help in the application process.
Mike Franchini said that the Committee will need to decide what to do with projects that are currently programmed on the TIP for 2015. He referred to a list of projects that was discussed at the October 24 meeting. Options include placing projects on the fifth year of the new TIP; placing projects in the post-five year period; and creating a contingency list of projects that would be available if more funding became available. Karen Hulihan also suggested thinking about projects that should be taken off the TIP. Current fifth year projects will be an agenda item for the December 12 meeting.
Tom Richardson expressed appreciation to NYSDOT and CDTC for the South Street Safety Upgrade project in Mechanicville, which is almost finished and will make a big difference. Mike Valentine also noted that the Batchellerville Bridge opened last week.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 12:27 PM. The next Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for December 12, 2012.