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Project Application Guidelines for the Major New Capacity Program - May 2022

Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge in Cincinnati

I70-I71 Construction in Columbus

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Transportation Review Advisory Council?

The Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) was established by Ohio Revised Code in 1997 to help the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) develop and modify a project selection process which approves funding for the development of and construction of the Major New Capacity Program.

The TRAC has nine members and is chaired by the Director of the ODOT. Six members are appointed by the Governor and one each by the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and the President of the Ohio Senate. Members have overlapping terms. The Director provides funds for new construction only after assuring that system preservation needs have been met. The use of the new construction funds is the responsibility of the TRAC, but the TRAC does not have authority over other aspects of the Department of Transportation.

2. What is the definition of a Major New Capacity Project?

The TRAC defines Major New Capacity Projects as those projects greater than $12 million which increase the capacity of a transportation facility or reduce congestion. All projects that cost greater than $12 million, add capacity to a transportation facility, and request Major New funding must come before the TRAC. This definition includes all new interchanges proposed for economic development or local access, any significant interchange modifications, bypasses, general purpose lane additions, intermodal facilities, major transit facilities, or Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).

3. What are some project type examples that have received TRAC funding and might be considered an eligible project?

Capital projects that improve capacity or reduce congestion such as the following:

  • Adding an additional lane on a state highway or interstate
  • Adding an additional lane on bridges
  • New interchanges
  • New facilities that bypass congested state highways or interstates
  • New rail lines for public transportation
  • Capital cost for ITS facilities
  • Intermodal port and rail projects

4. What are some project type examples that have not received TRAC funding or that might be considered not eligible?

Historically, TRAC has not participated in projects that demonstrate minor capacity improvements or have a scope of work that may be closely related to preservation or maintenance activities such as:

  • Road widening from 10-foot lanes to 12-foot lanes
  • Purchasing buses or other rolling stock
  • Turning lane improvements
  • Resurfacing projects
  • Local road improvements or bridge replacements
  • Projects with a total cost under $12 million

TRAC will serve as the final arbitrator of project eligibility.

5. Who can apply for TRAC funding?

The TRAC does not initiate projects but rather reviews and evaluates project applications submitted for consideration. Project applications are completed and submitted through an on-line process. Projects may be submitted by public agencies such as:

  • ODOT District Offices
  • Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs)
  • County Engineers
  • Transit Authorities
  • County Commissioners
  • Municipalities
  • Port Authorities
  • Transportation Improvement Districts (TIDs)

6. Has TRAC placed any restrictions on the 2022 application cycle?

TRAC has not placed any restrictions on applications beyond the requirements for eligibility of the Major New Program (question 2).

7. What happens after I submit my application?

ODOT Program Management Staff reviews the applications submitted, scores applications in accordance with TRAC policy, and provides a DRAFT project score. Draft scores are shared with project sponsors to determine if any additional information is needed. Once a final score has been assigned, ODOT Program Management Staff provides the information to TRAC for their evaluation and consideration.

The TRAC will hold public hearings providing project sponsors with the opportunity to convey information about their respective projects that may not be captured as part of the on-line application process.

After the public hearing process, TRAC will develop a DRAFT funding list which is published for public comment. Once public comment has been received and reviewed, TRAC will move to adopt a FINAL Major New Construction Program Funding List.

From application submission to adoption of a FINAL Major New Construction Program Funding List is approximately six months to allow for sufficient time for review, questions, and public comment.

8. What is the deadline to apply?

Project applications will be accepted on-line starting on May 1, 2022 and will close at the end of business on May 31, 2022.

Application Home Screen

  1. You will be directed to the following application home screen for project sponsor information. The TRAC application is hosted by Formstack.
  2. Complete the project sponsor information section. Please note that the email address listed in this section will receive the conformation notifications.
  3. Buttons for “Save and Resume Later” and “Next” are located at the bottom of the screen.TRAC Funding Application Image
  4. If you choose to “Save and Resume Later” you will be provided a link to the application which can be copied or emailed. This feature enables you to save and email the application to others for review and/or submission.Same and Resume Later Image

Project Information

In this section general project information will be collected.

Project Information

  1. Project Name (Facility Name) or County, Route, Section
    Enter the route, rail, terminal, or port name by which the project is known. For roadway projects, include the route type (SR = State Route; CR = County Route; TR = Township Route) and number, or the local road name.
  2. ODOT District, County and PID
    Enter the ODOT District, County and PID for the project.
  3. Project Mode
    Select the appropriate transportation mode for this project: roadway, freight or transit. 
  4. Current TRAC Status
    Select the project’s current TRAC status (Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3). If the project is not currently funded by the TRAC select “New.”
  5. Requested Status
    Select “Tier 1” if the request includes funding for construction. Enter “Tier 2” if the request includes funding for project development. Enter “Tier 3” if the request includes funding for development and the project is part of multi-phase project with other phases in Tier 1 or under construction.
  6. Brief Project Description
    Provide a brief description of the work to be performed. Note the 500 character limit for this section.

Project Schedule

Complete the appropriate milestone information

Project Schedule

  1. Milestone Status
    Identify the milestone status: Not Started, In-progress or Completed.
  2. Date
    Enter the actual or projected date for the milestone.
  • Not Started – Enter the estimated start date.
  • In-Progress – Enter the estimated completion date.
  • Complete – Enter the Actual Completion date

Transportation Information: Roadway Segment Information

The project roadway information provided in the application is the basis for the transportation scoring criteria. Since projects include the existing and new roads, the roadways information may be entered in as follows:

  1. Existing Roadways with ODOT Network Linear Feature Identification (NLFID) for both Primary and Secondary Roadways
  2. Latitude and longitude for new roadways

    transportation information roadway segment information

Existing Roadways with ODOT NLFID

    Enter the ODOT network linear feature identifier (NLFID) which uniquely identifies each road in Ohio. If the NLFID is not known, enter the 3-character county abbreviation along with the route type and number. Frist for the primary roadway segment and then for secondary roadways.

    Local project sponsors encouraged to contact the appropriate district office to identify NLFID numbers.

  2. Begin Log Point
    Enter the beginning log point (i.e. mile post) for the roadway improvement.
  3. End Log Point
    Enter the ending log point (i.e. mile post) for the roadway improvement.

Existing Roadways without ODOT NLFID or New Roadway/Alignments

If the Existing Road Facility is not within the ODOT NLFID Inventory, please locate the facility per the instructions outlined below.

New Roadways New Alignment Screenshot

Begin Lat / Begin Long / End Lat / End Long

Enter the beginning and ending latitude and longitude for the existing roadway using Google Maps as outlined below:

  • Open Google Maps
  • Zoom into the location of the Begin Point of the Facility and right click on the Begin Point.
    • The following dialog box will be displayed with several options. Select > "What's here?

lat long dialog box

  • The (Latitude, Longitude) values will appear in the Search Field as shown in the screen capture below:

lat long image

  • Input the Latitude, Longitude values into the TRAC Application.

Transportation Information: Transit Multi-Modal Projects

If this application is for a transit related project the below screen will appear:

transit multi-modal project information screenshot

  1. Transit Type and Route/Name
    Enter the transit type (rail, bus) and route/name associated with the transit facility.
  2. Peak Hour Ridership
    Enter the ridership during the peak work commute periods (i.e. when highway V/C ratios are measured). Note it is the responsibility of the project sponsor to provide documentation that supports the calculations and methodology used to determine the peak hour ridership.
  3. Existing Capacity (Seats)
    Enter the existing capacity of the current transit system by listing the total number of seats available for riders.
  4. Added Peak Hour Capacity (Seats)
    This measure allows the TRAC to evaluate the extent to which the proposed project will increase the capacity of the transit service. Enter the increase in the number of seats available added in a single peak hour.
  5. VMT Reduction
    Enter an estimate of the reduction in vehicle miles traveled within the corridor served by the element. Most project feasibility studies will readily provide such estimates of a project’s impact and the values provided in these reports can be used. If a Project Sponsor does not have this information, the Department will calculate the VMT reduction based on the Statewide Traffic and Forecasting Model.

Transportation Information: Freight Multi-Modal Projects

If this application is for a freight related project the below screen will appear:

Freight Multi-Modal Project Information screenshot

  1. Freight Type and Route/Name
    Enter the type of intermodal freight project and the route/name associated with the improvement.
  2. Existing Freight Volume / Existing Facility Capacity Ratio
    Enter the calculated congestion ratio for intermodal freight element based on the volume of freight it carries, compared with its capacity. Refer to the table below for appropriate inputs:
    Table image that goes with Existing Freight Volume/Existing Facility Capacity Raito
    It is the responsibility of the project sponsor to attach documentation that provides the calculations and methodology used to determine the existing V/C ratio.
  3. Freight Capacity Increase
    Enter the total number of TEU’s serviced by the freight facility. The TRAC will consider increase freight Capacity by capturing the total increased number of TEU’s to be processed through a freight facility. The twenty-foot equivalent unit (often TEU or teu) is an inexact unit of cargo capacity often used to describe the capacity of container ships and container terminals. It is based on the volume of a 20-foot-long (6.1 m) intermodal container, a standard-sized metal box which can be easily transferred between different modes of transportation, such as ships, trains and trucks.

    It is the responsibility of the project sponsor to attach documentation that provides the calculations and methodology used to determine the TEU calculations.
  4. Reduction in Truck Miles Traveled (TMT)
    Truck reduction on an individual facility can be easily derived. The volume of freight moving by rail or port can be converted into a number of trucks by equating one twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) to one truck. The applicant can use the conversion factor to represent the number of trucks reduced from an adjacent roadway and calculate this reduction in terms of total truck miles traveled from the facility to the state line.

    The other method is to calculate a regional truck traffic reduction, which would be represented as the reduction of truck miles travelled for the area of impact defined by the project applicant. For example, a region could be within an MPO, within the state of Ohio, or within some subarea designated by the project applicant. A feasibility study is required to validate this calculation and will be required as an attachment to the application.

    It is the responsibility of the project sponsor to attach documentation that provides the calculations and methodology used to determine the reduction in TMT.

Transportation Information: Strategic Transportation System

The Strategic Transportation System (STS), identified as part of Access Ohio 2040, ODOT’s long range transportation plan, stratifies of Ohio’s significant transportation corridors and intermodal hubs.

Strategic Transportation System (STS) Connection image


Is the project part of STS corridor?

  • The STS identifies several corridors including:
  • National Highway Corridors
  • Statewide Highway Corridors
  • Highway Beltways and Connectors
  • National Railroad Routes
  • Statewide Railroad Routes
  • National Bike Routes
  • Statewide Bike Routes
  • Waterways

Will the project facilitate connections between two or more corridors or intermodal hubs identified on the STS?
Projects that connect two or more STS corridors or intermodal hubs are required to submit a brief explanation. In addition to the corridors above the STS identifies the following intermodal hubs:

  • Commercial Airports
  • General Aviation Reliever Airports
  • Water Ports
  • Passenger Terminals (Amtrak Facilities)
  • Intermodal Freight Facilities (Rail Terminals)
  • Nation Intercity Bus Terminals
  • Statewide Transit (GoBus Stops)

facilitate a connection screenshot

3. Project that connect an STS resource with a local freight or transit resource?
Projects that connect an STS resource with a local freight or transit resources are required to submit a brief explanation

project connect an sts screenshot

Local Investment Factors

In this section project sponsors to provide information regarding the level of local investment both in-kind and committed funding to be spent within a one-mile buffer of the project area.

local investment factors screenshot

The basis for this consideration is a one mile “rectangular” buffer around the primary segment provided in previous roadway information section. The one-mile buffer was selected to treat all project areas within the state consistently. Applicants are asked to enter the length of the primary segment in miles. In turn, the web application will provide the estimated number of acres within the one mile buffer based upon the following formula:

(Length of Project+2 Miles)*2 Mile width * 640 acres in a square mile

As part of the application process TRAC will consider local investments in the project area in terms of “existing” built-out attributes and new local investments.

what is the estimated percentage...screenshot


What is the estimated percentage of acres served by local streets / water & sewer / electricity?
Using the estimated amount of square acres generated in the application, sponsors are required to estimate the percentage of acres served by these local amenities.

It is the responsibility of the project sponsor to attach documentation and calculations to support these estimated amounts. It is recommended that applicants have a defensible, reasonable explanation that could be easily provided to TRAC, if requested.

what is estimated square footage...screenshot


How many thousand square feet of light industrial / heavy industrial / warehouse / commercial / institutional buildings are in the total estimated project area?
Using one mile rectangular buffer of the project identify how many thousand square feet of the above land use types are located within the project area.

It is the responsibility of the project sponsor to attach documentation and calculations to support these estimated amounts. It is recommended that applicants have a defensible, reasonable explanation that could be easily provided to TRAC, if requested

what is the estimated percentage of road route miles...screenshot


What percentage of road routes are served by transit routes (excluding ADA/Para-Transit)?
Enter the estimated percentage of road routes within the one-mile buffer that are served by fix transit routes.

what is the estimated percentage of  existing building square footage screenshot


What percentage of square footage of existing buildings is currently vacant?
Enter the percentage of the estimated percentage for existing builds that are currently vacant. Applicants should consider the light industrial, heavy industrial, commercial and institutional buildings.

new local investments screenshot


What is the dollar value of committed or recent public Investment (within 5 years) in new, non-project infrastructure & services (millions)?
If there has been a recent public investment or a committed investment towards a new non-project infrastructure and services within the one-mile buffer of the project area applicants are permitted to enter the dollar value of those improvements. Sponsors can consider a plus or minus 5-year time horizon form the date of the application.

6.  What is estimated present value of private Investment in existing private facilities (millions)?
Enter the dollar value of private investments in the existing private facilities within in a one mile buffer around the project area within the past 5 years. Such values can be difficult to obtain from private industries applicants are encourages to engage local sources.

Economic Performance Factors: Economic Distress

As part of the application scoring process, ODOT collects county level information as the standard measurement for poverty and unemployment factors; however, if a project sponor provides defensible data at a sub-county or census tract level, TRAC can consider that level of geographic analysis for scoring and evaluation.

Economic Performance Factors screenshot

1.  Sub-county 5 Year Unemployment Rate
Enter the sub-county/project area 5-year unemployment rate as a percentage. If omitted, the 5-year unemployment rate for the primary county will be obtained from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).

Sub-county 5 Year Poverty Rate
Enter the sub-county/project area 5-year poverty rate as a percentage. If omitted, the 5-year poverty rate for the primary county will be obtained from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).

It is the responsibility of the project sponsor to attach documentation that defines the sub-county area, and calculations of the unemployment poverty rate percentages.

Project Funding Plan: TRAC Funding Request

Please indicate the amount of funding being requested by phase and fiscal year. Funding requests should consider the funding that will be needed with the next two fiscal years.

Project Funding Plan screenshot


Which phase(s) you are requesting new TRAC funding for as part of this application?
Select the phase which funds are being requested, identifying the amount and desired fiscal year. Note the total requested amount will auto calculate.

has trac previously committed funding screenshot


Previous TRAC Funding
Enter the amount of existing TRAC funding received or committed by project phase.

Will additional trac funds...screenshot


Future TRAC
Enter the amount of future TRAC funding by project phase that is not being requested with this application but will be requested at a later date with a future application.

Project Funding Plan

Local Funding Commitments

In this this section project sponsors will identify all non-TRAC committed funding sources and funding totals for the project. Non-TRAC funding sources include local funding, Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Ohio Public Works Commission Funding (OPWC), Private funding, other local funding, ODOT Programs (Non-TRAC), and Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission (OTIC)

Earmark funds are not considered local funding since these funds are taken from ODOT federal funding allocation. When applicable project sponsors will be asked to indicate funding source contains earmark funding and the amount.

Project Funding Plan Local Funding Commitments screenshot

1.  Will local funding sources be used in the development or construction of this project?
Select Yes or No.

What is the total number of local funding sources for the development and construction of this project?
Select total number of local funding source (up to five individual sources).

Local Funding Source screenshot


Local Funding Source
Enter the name of the funding source (e.g. City, County, etc…) and Enter the amount of funding committed to each phase by the funding source. Phases include Planning Studies, Preliminary Engineering, Detailed Design, Right-of-way and construction.

The funding amount entered should be in millions and rounded to the 2 decimal places (e.g. $4,500,000 would be $4.50; $150,000 would be $0.15).


Identify any funding commitments from other ODOT funding programs (non-TRAC).

Project Funding Plan under ODOT Non-TRAC Funding screenshot

Ohio Turnpike Infrastructure Commission

Identify any Turnpike Revenue Bonds funding previously committed by TRAC for construction.

Project Funding Plan under Ohio Turnpike Infrastructure Commission screenshot

Project Funding Plan Table

The previously entered values will auto populate the project funding table. You will not be able to correct this table; however, you can return to the previous screens to correct funding information by source.

Project Funding Plan under Project Plan Funding Table

MPO Review and District Acknowledgement

It is the responsibility of the applicant to coordinate with their respective ODOT District and MPO.

MPO and District Acknowledgement screenshot


In this section applicants can attach project mapping and other supporting materials. When the application is complete simply click “Submit.” You will receive an on-screen notification that the application has been submitted.

Please note: if you are saving a draft of your application attachments will not be saved. It is recommended that you upload attachments just before application submittal.

Project Location Map (Required)

Attachments screenshot

This map must include an aerial photograph overlay of the area (preferably color) and must show the proposed project location. Also include defined labels for significant existing infrastructure related to the project (i.e. major road names, nearby municipal boundaries) for reference. Map 1 is only required attachment.

Additional Maps (Recommended)

Additional Mapping containing employment, business and land use mapping is not required but may help provide greater context for TRAC decision making.

Local Funding Commitment Letters / Letters or Support / Other Supporting Information

Project sponsors are encouraged to submit these types of documentation in support of the project.

Post Application Submission

  • A confirmation email will be emailed to the address provided in the project sponsor information.
  • TRAC and ODOT will evaluate the applications for completeness. If additional information is needed you will be contacted by ODOT.  
  • Should you have any questions please submit them to TRAC@dot.ohio.gov.