Chicago-Quad Cities Passenger Rail

July 25, 2018 – J. Scott Speegle, Passenger Rail & Transit Communications Manager, Illinois Department of Transportation (DOT), reported that the DOT is fully committed to seeing the passenger rail project to completion. The DOT is working with the BNSF (Class I) railroad and Iowa Interstate (IAIS) (Class III) railroad along with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to complete key components of the corridor. To this point, there is $177 million in FRA funds and $45 million in state funds awarded to the project.

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Improving Walkability and Bikability in the Bi-State Region

August 22, 2018 – Bryan Schmid, Senior Planner at Bi-State Regional Commission, described numerous levels of bicycle and pedestrian facilities found in the Bi-State Region. Separated trails, bike lanes, shared lanes, and signed routes provide a continuum of comfort levels to cyclists using the roadway or, in the case of separated trails, designated nonmotorized facilities. Higher levels of separation from vehicular traffic increase the comfort levels and safety of nonmotorized travelers.

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Registration Process Changes in SAM.gov

May 24, 2018 –  Beginning on April 27, 2018, ALL entities renewing or updating their registration at www.SAM.gov will be required to submit an original, signed notarized letter confirming the authorized Entity Administrator associated with the DUNS number before the registration is activated.

As a reminder, the Federal Government will not make an award to an entity until the entity has complied with the requirements to provide a valid DUNS number and maintain an active SAM registration with current information. If the applicant is noncompliant with this requirement at the time of award offer, then Federal Government will determine the applicant is not qualified to receive an award.

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Bi-State's Role in the I-74 Corridor Project

March 22, 2017 – The largest infrastructure project in the Bi-State Region’s history will begin this year due to the persistence and leadership of all those involved.  The Bi-State Regional Commission adopted the Interstate 74 Bridge corridor project as the number one transportation priority in the Bi-State Region in 1998.  Since that time, four long-range transportation plans have been developed by the Bi-State Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the project has continued to be the top priority.  There have been over 14 changes in engineering and planning leadership between the Illinois and Iowa Departments of Transportation and over 20 chief elected official changes on the Transportation Policy Committee since 1998.  With all of these changes, the Bi-State Regional Commission has continued to communicate a unified message of support for the project.

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Grant Readiness and Administration

Bi-State staff can write and administer grants for many types of awarded projects, maintaining compliance with all applicable state and federal guidelines and requirements.

In order for Bi-State staff to best assist with grant applications, the applying member government should be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Proposed project scope and purpose, including target population and explanation of how the project fits within the member government’s goals
  • Detailed project budgets, including estimates/quotes if applicable
  • Budget for most current fiscal year
  • Community’s comprehensive plan and/or mission statement, or documents supporting the project's planning and priority
  • Any other supplementary materials as dictated by the grant application guidelines

Staff also offers assistance in conducting household surveys as needed for applications, particularly for competitive state programs funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which require documentation of benefit to at least 51% low-and moderate-income persons to establish eligibility. Income survey contracts should be scheduled well in advance of application deadlines. These grant programs include the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which is administered by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) in Illinois and by the Economic Development Authority (IEDA) in Iowa.

Iowa applicants should be registered with IowaGrants.gov, which provides an online grant application and management system as well as a search portal for grant and loan opportunities.