The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a staged multi-year program of regional transportation improvement projects scheduled for implementation in the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) area over the next four succeeding Federal fiscal years (FY 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022). It is prepared by the MPO in accordance with joint federal metropolitan planning regulations, 23 CFR 450, issued by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA), U.S. Department of Transportation. The projects identified are prioritized by year and have been selected for funding, as jointly agreed upon by the MPO and the NHDOT.
The TIP must include all transportation projects within the MPO area proposed for federal funding under Title 23 or the Federal Transit Act, as well as any regionally significant project that will require a federal action. Federally funded transportation projects that do not appear on the TIP may not continue towards implementation. Projects listed on the TIP must be consistent with the MPO's Transportation Plan, and the TIP itself must be found to conform to the state's SIP (the State Implementation Plan for air quality attainment). Under conformity rules, "consistent with" the transportation plan is interpreted to mean that TIP projects must be specifically recommended in the Plan.
The TIP is prepared by staff of the Rockingham Planning Commission and is reviewed and endorsed by the Technical Advisory (TAC). Final TIP endorsement is received from the Planning Commission acting as the MPO Policy Committee which is the designated MPO for the Portsmouth urbanized area and a portion of the Greater Boston urbanized area in New Hampshire.
Development of the 2019-2022 TIP
The MPO began its TIP and MTP update process in the fall of 2016 with the establishment of a project selection process and set of criteria in conjunction with NH DOT and the other eight New Hampshire Planning Commissions. The MPO used this common methodology for soliciting projects from communities, transit agencies, and other planning partners, as well as for selecting projects for the State Ten Year Plan and the TIP. In May 2017 a list of MPO priorities was submitted to NHDOT for the Ten Year Plan and, after some revisions to maintain fiscal constraint, NHDOT produced a draft Ten Year Plan in August 2017. GACIT hearings during September and October 2017 led to a revised draft Ten Year Plan submitted to the Governor in December. After review and additional revisions the Governor submitted the Ten Year Plan to the Legislature in January 2018 and the further revised document was approved and returned to the Governor for signature in May, 2018. The 2019-2028 Ten Year Plan was signed into law in July 2018 and the NHDOT began work on STIP development from the approved document. In November, 2018 the draft STIP was released to the MPOs so that they could begin TIP development. A draft TIP was produced for public comment on January 14, 2019.
The Rockingham Planning Commission has used this opportunity to review, redefine, and if appropriate re-prioritize existing projects in the Ten Year and Long Range Transportation Plan with the goal of developing a comprehensive flow of projects from the LRTP to the Ten Year Plan and TIP. To that end, data was gathered to improve the project planning and development process.We have contacted many communities to discuss projects in the State Ten Year Plan and the response received was that the existing projects continue to be priorities.
A prioritized list of projects recommended for the Ten Year Plan was submitted to NH DOT in May, 2017 along with comments on the process and the draft document. In addition, this information was conveyed the Governor’s Advisory Council on Intermodal Transportation (GACIT) in written form as well as via testimony at GACIT hearings in September and October, 2017. The prioritized list of projects then entered the State Ten Year Plan process ultimately resulting in the addition of projects to that document and the development of the draft State Transportation Improvement Program. The full timeline for the development of the 2019-2022 TIP is listed in the table below.
A 30 day public comment period was initiated on January 14, 2019 for the draft 2019-2022 TIP and update to the 2045 Long Range Plan project list and fiscal constraint. The Public Comment Period concluded on February 12, 2019 and was followed by a public hearing on February 13, 2019 at 7:00 PM at the Tuck Museum (40 Park Street) in Hampton, NH. The TIP was approved by the MPO following the close of the public hearing.