Piloting INVEST Scorecard for Plans and Projects; Rolling Applications


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02-07-13

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is seeking to partner with State departments of transportation (DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), Federal lands, and local governments on utilizing Infrastructure Voluntary Evaluation Sustainability Tool (INVEST) 1.0, FHWA’s voluntary self-assessment tool, to assess and enhance the sustainability of their projects and programs.

For more information, see the full solicitation at https://www.sustainablehighways.org/files/264.docx.

Funding
Multiple awards of approximately $25,000 to $150,000 are anticipated, though projects may be larger or smaller depending on the context, scope, and approach. By Federal statute, a 100% non-Federal match (50-50 cost share) is required. In-kind contributions such as staffing can be counted towards the match requirement.

Background
INVEST is a practical, web-based, collection of voluntary best practices and criteria designed to help transportation agencies integrate sustainable practices into their projects, plans, and programs. INVEST helps transportation agencies improve investment decisions while considering limited resources by addressing the sustainability triple bottom line -- enhancing economic, social, and environmental outcomes.

INVEST 1.0 is the result of a collaborative, multi-phased effort. FHWA developed the contents with input from and in cooperation with state and local transportation agency officials and professional organizations such as American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO) and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The tool was piloted across the country in 2011 and improved to reflect lessons learned. FHWA formally launched INVEST 1.0 in October 2012. FHWA is now partnering with agencies across the country to utilize INVEST 1.0 as part of their efforts to improve the sustainability of their programs and projects.

By offering transportation agencies a collection of best practices, INVEST serves two purposes. First, it enables transportation agencies to gauge their performance in adopting sustainability practices. Second, and more importantly, it helps agencies identify workable solutions that allow them to further incorporate sustainability into pending planning or project decisions, or to identify potential changes to business processes. Many of the best practices presented by INVEST save money as well as improve sustainability. For example, items such as quality construction, designing pavement for long life, life cycle concepts, recycled materials, and improved safety can all show overall lower cost as well as benefits to society.

Timeline
Letters of interest will be received and funding allocated on a rolling basis and as funding is available. FHWA is targeting the month of March to fund several projects; letters of interest received by February 15 will be considered for the round of funding targeted for March. Letters of interest are however welcome after that date as well. There is not a set timeframe for project completion. Some projects may be quick turn-around, with timelines as short as one month, while others may take 18 to 24 months because of the stage of the plan update cycle or the project development process.

Resources
Visit https://www.sustainablehighways.org to learn more about INVEST 1.0, watch a recording of the launch, browse the criteria, and view videos and case studies of State DOTs and MPOs that have used INVEST. Or visit the web site to learn about FHWA’s Sustainable Highways Initiative, hear news of FHWA sustainability activities, and view sustainability-related publications and resources.

A recording of the demo will be posted on the web site after February 1st. Information on how to connect to the webinar will soon be available at http://www.sustainablehighways.dot.gov.

For further information, contact Region 10’s Ned Conroy at 206-220-4318 or email ned.conroy@dot.gov.

Sincerely,


/s/


R.F. Krochalis
Regional Administrator
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