Freight Cluster Plans

Program Background

In late 2017, ARC staff released the Draft 2017 ARC TIP Solicitation Recommendations.  The 2017 TIP Solicitation included the opportunity to apply for a Freight Cluster Plan grant for the first time.  Applicants could apply for $200,000 – $250,000 in federal funding, and would need to provide an additional 20% local funding match. Potential applicants were given Freight Cluster Plan Guidelines , which provided background on the origins of the program, the purpose of these plans, and content that should be included in these plans.

Four local project sponsors applied for $250,000 each through this grant, and all were recommended to receive funding as part of the DRAFT 2017 ARC TIP Solicitation Recommendations.  These sponsors include:

Program Timeline and Process

Funding for this planning program is contingent on funding availability and approval by all required agencies. The next steps in the process are:

  1. ARC committees (TCC/TAQC) approve TIP Amendment 4 (proposed for February 2018)
  2. GRTA approves TIP Amendment 4 (proposed for March 2018)
  3. USDOT Conformity Determination for TIP Amendment 4
  4. ARC contracts with GDOT for the freight cluster plans
  5. ARC contracts with each project sponsor for their freight cluster plan

No funding is committed for these plans until the steps above are complete, and any contract award for this study is contingent upon ARC and the project sponsor receiving adequate funding for this purpose from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).  No grant funding can be used for work completed prior to completion of a contract between ARC and the local sponsor.

Each local project sponsor will release a request for proposals (RFP) for their respective plan and selecting a consultant team. The sponsors are responsible for completing a competitive bidding process when going through procurement with potential planning consultants.

Work Scope and Budget Template

A Work Scope and Budget Template for the ARC Freight Cluster Plan program is currently being developed by ARC and will be provided to project sponsors.  Similar to the template for ARC’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP) program, this template will ensure that minimum planning standards are met and that there is consistency throughout the Freight Cluster Plan program.  Project sponsors will then tailor the scope from this template to their individual needs, specifying their study area, schedule, and issues specific to their community.

Pre-Proposal Meeting – January 2018

On January 22, 2018, ARC hosted a pre-proposal meeting for the Freight Cluster Plan Program.  Since this is a new planning program at ARC, this optional meeting was an opportunity to provide detailed information and set expectations for consulting companies who may potentially work on these pans in the future.

At this meeting, staff from ARC presented information on the overall freight cluster planning program, including project budgets, program goals, potential scope content, and other related content. Staff from each of the four project sponsors also presented information specific to their study areas and likely scope.  The procurement process for each plan will be managed by the plan’s local sponsor, similar to the Comprehensive Transportation Plan program.  The agenda and presentation files from this meeting are below.