The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has announced that beginning next year they will be changing the way federal transportation CMAQ funding is distributed to Ohio’s 17 Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and four large cities outside MPO areas, will be managed.
The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program, provides funding to transportation projects and other related efforts that improve air quality and provide congestion relief.
Currently each MPO is given a set budget to fund CMAQ projects within their local jurisdiction. However some MPO’s don’t advance a sufficient quantity of CMAQ eligible projects to fully utilize their entire budget, while other MPO’s don’t have sufficient CMAQ funds to advance all of their eligible projects.
Under the new system, ODOT will manage the CMAQ program on a statewide basis. The rationale is that by combining individual MPO CMAQ programs into a statewide focused discretionary program it will more quickly advance eligible projects, make more effective use of CMAQ funds and eliminate unnecessary delays in improving air quality.
Having the ability to distribute available dollars across the state to fund much needed infrastructure projects could benefit priority projects and many users. However, the new process will minimize local jurisdictions ability to ensure that an equitable share of the available federal money is used within their local regions.
Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns about how this may affect your future projects.