The Arkansas Highway Commission is pleased to announce that applications for the Arkansas Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and the Arkansas Recreational Trails Program (RTP) are now available.
The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is a reimbursement-type grant program. The program provides for an 80 percent federal share with a 20 percent match required from the eligible sponsor. Use of in-kind match will be permitted for RTP projects as well as TAP projects that are RTP eligible. Local matches for other TAP projects must be in the form of cash.
Plans which include the design of structural components, such as pedestrian bridges, tunnels, or scenic overlooks, must be stamped by a Registered Professional Engineer. Plans which include the design of only non-structural components, such as concrete sidewalks or paved trails, must be stamped by a Registered Professional Engineer. Plans which include the design of only non-infrastructure components will not require either.
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a reimbursement-type grant program. The program provides for an 80 percent federal share and 20% non-federal share for each project. The main priority in allocating funding is for the construction of new trails and for major maintenance of existing trails. Support facilities such as restrooms, benches, trailhead parking and lighting have been viewed by ARTAC as less important. In the past, FHWA has approved the following as they specifically relate to recreational trails:
- new construction
- relocation of existing trails
- major maintenance of existing trails
- bridge purchase and installation
- bridge construction
- interpretive brochures
- trail education materials
- landscaping necessary to heal construction damage along paved trails
- bike racks
- trail signs and marking
- trail head facilities
- bulletin boards
- all terrain vehicle/dirt-bike loading ramps
- parking areas
- water supply
- drinking fountains
- trash receptacles
The following have not been approved:
- landscaping beyond that necessary to heal construction damage along paved trails
- irrigation equipment, or maintenance cost of previously funded trail equipment
- visitor center construction/improvements, playground equipment, picnic tables, or sidewalks
Funding limitations are as follows:
- There will be no minimum requested funding amount on projects containing only non-infrastructure components.
- Projects containing infrastructure components will have a minimum requested funding amount of $20,000.
- All TAP and RTP projects will have a maximum requested funding amount of $500,000.
Virtual seminars will occur on March 16, 2023, and April 4, 2023, to inform potential eligible sponsors of TAP and RTP requirements and responsibilities. Registration information for the seminars can be found at the web addresses listed below.
Eligible TAP projects include, but are not limited to:
- On-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorized forms of transportation, including sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure, pedestrian and bicycle signals, lighting, and other safety-related infrastructure.
- Infrastructure related projects and systems that will provide safe routes for non-drivers.
- Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other non-motorized transportation users.
- Any environmental mitigation activity, including pollution prevention and abatement activities.
- Infrastructure related Safe Routes To School (SRTS) projects
- Sidewalk improvements, traffic calming, and speed reduction improvements.
- Pedestrian and bicycle crossing improvements.
- Non-infrastructure projects:
- Public awareness campaigns and outreach
- Enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation programs
- Bicycle and Pedestrian education or a walking school bus program near a K-8 school.
- Pedestrian/Trail Master Plans
Eligible RTP projects include, but are not limited to:
- Improvement of motorized, non-motorized and multiple-use trails
- Development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages.
The Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act (IIJA) reauthorized the TAP and RTP (previously authorized under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act).
Project applications and registration for both programs, including general project guidelines, may be obtained by visiting ardot.gov/tap or ardot.gov/rtp.
Applications must be completed by June 1, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time for funding consideration.
The Department will continue the open application cycle for Arkansas Recreational Trails Program Motorized projects. Applicants may submit year-round and are reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis.