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Planning for Your Federal-Aid Project: Prioritizing

Prioritization, the last step in project development, is when NOACA selects projects to be implemented in a given fiscal year (running from July 1 through June 30).

Each December, NOACA develops a “lockdown” list of projects for the upcoming state fiscal year. This list offers the best estimate of the projects that will be implemented during the next fiscal year.

At this stage, a project’s design must be developed sufficiently to be able to prepare and file final plans and award a contract within 12 to 15 months of its selection (including the best available cost estimate). Project sponsors must also:

  • agree to a final, not-to-be-exceeded federal funding amount; and
  • agree the project will be bid out to contractors within a specific quarter of the fiscal year.
NOACA also develops an annual “reservoir list” of projects that supplement the lockdown projects. If a project on the lockdown list falls behind schedule, a project from the reservoir list may be moved up in its place.

When prioritizing projects, NOACA considers:

  • the readiness of a project
  • the sponsor’s commitment, and
  • county funding targets, which help direct NOACA-controlled federal aid to projects throughout Northeast Ohio in an equitable way to maintain the entire region’s transportation system.
NOACA targets its funding to the five counties based on each county’s relative share of the region’s total population. Because project implementation is based on readiness, a county might not realize its funding percentage during a given year, but over a number of years, NOACA will meet its county funding targets.

By planning, programming and prioritizing, you can help ensure that your project is well planned and will enhance your community.

Return to the main Planning for Your Federal-Aid Project page with links to downloadable information