SCOPE OF WORK for High Speed Rail and Intercity Passenger Rail Program Federal Grant Application Development

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1 Draft SCOPE OF WORK for High Speed Rail and Intercity Passenger Rail Program Federal Grant Application Development The Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) requires the services of a qualified and experienced transportation consultant or consultant team to assist the department in preparing an application to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for one or more High Speed Rail (HSR)/Intercity Passenger Rail (IPR) grants. The top priority is the Milwaukee, WI to Twin Cities, MN portion of the High Speed Rail Corridor between Chicago and the Twin Cities through the $8 billion HSR/IPR program contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The grant application will request funds to complete the environmental study of selected alternatives and thirty percent of preliminary engineering study for the preferred route of the Milwaukee to Twin Cities portion. Mn/DOT s intent is to acquire the services of knowledgeable and experienced transportation professionals for developing a joint grant application with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) for the Milwaukee-Twin Cities corridor that is compliant with State and Federal guidelines, the FRA s Strategic Plan, released in April 2009, and Guidance that will be released by June 17, Please provide a work plan and cost estimate for developing this application package. There are two potential additions. Please provide a work plan and cost estimate for developing additional grant applications for each of the following: The St. Paul Union Depot will be renovated to again become a multi-modal transportation hub. The Northern Lights Express is a 140-mile corridor from the Twin Cities to Duluth, MN that may be eligible for funding other the ARRA or the Passenger Rail Improvement and Investment Act of 2008 (PRIIA). Milwaukee, WI to Twin Cities, MN Corridor Corridor Description The 415-mile corridor between the Twin Cities and Chicago is part of the Chicago Hub Network, one of ten designated regional high-speed rail systems in President Obama s vision to build a network of high-speed rail corridors across America ( This corridor is one of several major branches in the Chicago Hub Network, a system also known as the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative (MWRRI), a cooperative, multi-agency effort that - 1 -

2 began in 1996 and involves nine Midwest states (Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin) as well as the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Midwest Regional Rail Initiative elements include: Operation of a hub and spoke passenger rail system centered on Chicago Use of 3,000 miles of existing rail right of way to connect rural and urban areas Track and signal improvements and introduction of modern trains operating at speeds up to 110 mph Provision of multi-modal connections to improve system access Improvement in frequency, reliability, speed, and on-time performance Approximately 130 miles of this corridor are in Minnesota from La Crescent to the Twin Cities. Amtrak s current service takes eight hours to make the trip between the Twin Cities and Chicago, with a frequency of one trip each way daily. With the proposed MWRRI, Minnesotans could travel to Chicago on an additional six round trips per day in approximately five-and-a-half hours of travel time. The estimated capital cost of the Minnesota portion of the system is $500 million in 2008 dollars. The entire MWRRI is estimated at a capital investment of $9.65 billion in 2008 dollars. The Chicago-Milwaukee-Twin Cities corridor including a Milwaukee to Green Bay branch costs $1.86 billion in 2002 dollars. The FRA provided a grant to the MWRRI in 2008 to conduct alternatives analysis and public outreach and update cost estimates; this work will be initiated soon. The MWRRI timeline suggests for a corridor or corridor segment, two years to complete advanced planning and environmental assessment and two to five years for construction once funded. Amtrak is the assumed operator for this route. Wisconsin has conducted detailed studies of key segments of the Chicago-Milwaukee-Twin Cities route. Wisconsin has received a Finding of No Significant Impact from FRA covering improvements planned for the Milwaukee to Madison portion of the corridor and will be seeking ARRA funds for construction of this portion of the corridor through a separate application. For the Milwaukee-Twin Cities portion of the corridor, the MWRRI system map shows the corridor following the route defined in a Finding of No Significant Impact from Milwaukee to Madison, turning northwest to Portage, and joining the existing Amtrak alignment along the Mississippi River. However, route alternatives analysis is required by FRA for each of the segments in Minnesota and Wisconsin; this will include considering the existing Amtrak route from Milwaukee to Portage (missing Madison) and alternative alignments serving the City of Eau Claire in Wisconsin and the City of Rochester in Minnesota. Finally, analysis must be done to consider if the Twin Cities terminus should be at the St. Paul Union Depot or if trains can stop there, but continue on to a terminus in downtown Minneapolis. Project Parameters The following is a list of preferences and guidance on the suggested format of the application. Please present specific suggestions on development of the application and its components based - 2 -

3 on your experience with grant and funding application development for federal solicitations that have been useful in delivering competitive and successful applications. Timeline - The Milwaukee-Twin Cities portion of the corridor is expected to be eligible for ARRA funding under Track 2, Corridor Programs as described in FRA s HSR Strategic Plan. Applications for Track 2 are due in September The application will be prepared for Mn/DOT review, approval, and submission to meet the timeline dictated by FRA s guidance that will be published by June 17, The application will include a request for funds to complete environmental study of selected alternatives [1) Madison route vs. Portage route, 2) River route vs. Eau Claire, WI route vs. Rochester, MN route, 3) St. Paul terminus vs. Minneapolis terminus] and thirty percent of preliminary engineering study for the preferred route. It may also include a request for funding the ongoing design, construction, equipping, and implementation of passenger rail service on the corridor, depending on how FRA s guidance allows these activities to be grouped into one application. Project Structure and Management - Overall direction of the project will be provided by a Mn/DOT Senior Management Team, responsible to the Commissioner. The Project Manager will report to this group. A standing Minnesota Passenger Rail Transportation Forum (Forum) will advise the Project Manager and the Senior Management Team. Information on the Forum can be accessed at the following website: The application will be a joint application submitted by Mn/DOT on behalf of Mn/DOT and WisDOT. Data Support - Mn/DOT will make available any relevant databases and GIS mapping information, including the statewide rail system, intermediate findings and data of the Minnesota Statewide Comprehensive Freight and Passenger Rail Plan, the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, economic development data, demographic background, and project cost components. The Project Manager will work with staff at WisDOT to gather data relevant to the Wisconsin portion of the project corridor and include it in the application. Data Confidentiality Since the federal grant solicitation is a nationally competitive process, Mn/DOT requires that the consultant not share any elements regarding the application with other states which are/may apply for grants under the same program. Application The consultant shall be responsible for completing all aspects of the funding application, as required by FRA program guidance and official notices. The application will be compliant with the requirements of the second funding track, Track 2 Corridor Programs, and will need to address the following key elements critical to the success of HSR/IPR programs and projects as described in the Strategic Plan: Planning and Project Development Stakeholder Agreements - 3 -

4 Financial Plan Project/Risk Management Plan HSR/IPR grant applications will also be evaluated on the following criteria: Achieving Public Benefits Mitigating Risks Other St. Paul Union Depot Project Project Description Built in 1923 to serve passenger and freight railroad for the upper Midwest, the St. Paul Union Depot at its peak served more than 200 passenger trains daily. The structure is a combination of two spaces the Headhouse, or lobby building that once functioned as a passenger terminal, and the concourse. The once-bustling Depot closed its doors in The U.S. Postal Service, which owns the former concourse and adjacent track areas, expanded into the abandoned concourse. The Postal Service still uses the concourse for storage, but has an agreement to sell the property to the Ramsey County Regional Rail Authority (RCRRA). The RCRRA also has an agreement to purchase the public areas of the privately owned Headhouse, currently used for condos, offices and restaurants. When it is redeveloped, the Depot will serve Amtrak, Greyhound and Jefferson Lines intercity buses, Central Corridor light rail, Metro Transit buses, bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Eventually, plans call for the Depot to serve the Robert Street, I-94, Red Rock and Rush Line transit corridors, as well as Midwest High Speed Rail. The SAFETEA-LU bill provided $50 million through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for the Union Depot project as a project of National and Regional Significance, plus $1.6 million in transit funds. An environmental assessment has been completed for this project. A Finding of No Significant Impact is expected from the FHWA. Project Parameters The following is a list of preferences and guidance on the suggested format of the application. Please present specific suggestions on development of the application and its components based on your experience with grant and funding application development for federal solicitations that have been useful in delivering competitive and successful applications. Timeline - The St. Paul Union Depot is expected to be eligible for ARRA funding under Track 1, Projects as described in FRA s HSR Strategic Plan. The first round of applications for Track 1 are due in August 2009 with the second round in March The application will be prepared - 4 -

5 for Mn/DOT review, approval, and submission to meet the timeline dictated by FRA s guidance that will be published by June 17, The application will include request for funds to complete all design and engineering, construct, and equip the St. Paul Union depot to be ready serve Amtrak s Empire Builder train, intercity buses, local buses, taxis, and bicycles in 2012 and Central Corridor LRT from 4 th Street adjacent to the headhouse in Project Structure and Management - Overall direction of the project will be provided by a Mn/DOT Senior Management Team, responsible to the Commissioner. The Project Manager will report to this group. A standing Minnesota Passenger Rail Transportation Forum (Forum) will advise the Project Manager and the Senior Management Team. Information on the Forum can be accessed at the following website: The application will be a joint application submitted by Mn/DOT on behalf of Mn/DOT and the RCRRA. Data Support - Mn/DOT and RCRRA will make available any relevant databases and GIS mapping information, including project cost components. The Project Manager will work with staff at RCRRA to gather data and include it in the application. Data Confidentiality Since the federal grant solicitation is a nationally competitive process, Mn/DOT requires that the consultant not share any elements regarding the application with other states which are/may apply for grants under the same program. Application The consultant shall be responsible for completing all aspects of the funding application, as required by FRA program guidance and official notices. The application will be compliant with the requirements of the first funding track, Track 1 Projects, and will need to address the following key elements critical to the success of HSR/IPR programs and projects as described in the Strategic Plan: Planning and Project Development Stakeholder Agreements Financial Plan Project/Risk Management Plan HSR/IPR grant applications will also be evaluated on the following criteria: Achieving Public Benefits Mitigating Risks Other Northern Lights Express (Twin Cities to Duluth) Corridor - 5 -

6 Corridor Description The Northern Lights Express is a proposed 155-mile intercity passenger rail corridor between the Twin Cities and Duluth using the existing BNSF Railway tracks. One-way trip times of approximately two hours at speeds up to 110 mph would be offered on four round trips per day. A feasibility study is available with details of the corridor at: The project is estimated to cost approximately $500 million. Approximately 20 miles of the project, including the Superior station, are located in the state of Wisconsin so this project must also be pursued cooperatively with WisDOT. The FRA granted $1.1 million in 2008, matched by $900,000 in state and $200,000 in local funds, to conduct environmental documentation for this corridor. That work is now underway. Alternatives analysis will be necessary to consider a parallel route commonly referred to as the Rush Line. Project Parameters The following is a list of preferences and guidance on the suggested format of the application. Please present specific suggestions on development of the application and its components based on your experience with grant and funding application development for federal solicitations that have been useful in delivering competitive and successful applications. Timeline - This corridor may be eligible for ARRA funding under Track 2, Corridor Programs as described in FRA s HSR Strategic Plan. Applications for Track 2 are due in September Otherwise, this project can pursue funds through the PRIIA. It may have a similar set of funding tracks. The application will be prepared for Mn/DOT review, approval, and submission to meet the timeline dictated by FRA s guidance that will be published by June 17, The application will include a request for funds to complete preliminary engineering not covered by the existing environmental documentation currently underway. It may also include a request for funding the ongoing design, construction, equipping, and implementation of passenger rail service on the corridor, depending on how FRA s guidance allows these activities to be grouped into one application. Project Structure and Management - Overall direction of the project will be provided by a Mn/DOT Senior Management Team, responsible to the Commissioner. The Project Manager will report to this group. A standing Minnesota Passenger Rail Transportation Forum (Forum) will advise the Project Manager and the Senior Management Team. Information on the Forum can be accessed at the following website: The application will be a joint application submitted by Mn/DOT on behalf of Mn/DOT and WisDOT. Data Support - Mn/DOT will make available any relevant databases and GIS mapping information, including the statewide rail system, intermediate findings and data of the Minnesota - 6 -

7 Statewide Comprehensive Freight and Passenger Rail Plan, the Northern Lights Express Alliance, economic development data, demographic background, and project cost components. The Project Manager will work with staff at WisDOT to gather data relevant to the Wisconsin portion of the project corridor and include it in the application. Data Confidentiality Since the federal grant solicitation is a nationally competitive process, Mn/DOT requires that the consultant not share any elements regarding the application with other states which are/may apply for grants under the same program. Application The consultant shall be responsible for completing all aspects of the funding application, as required by FRA program guidance and official notices. The application will be compliant with the requirements of the second funding track, Track 2 Corridor Programs, whether under ARRA or PRIIA, and will need to address the following key elements critical to the success of HSR/IPR programs and projects as described in the Strategic Plan: Planning and Project Development Stakeholder Agreements Financial Plan Project/Risk Management Plan HSR/IPR grant applications will also be evaluated on the following criteria: Achieving Public Benefits Mitigating Risks Other Work Plans and Cost Estimates Please develop a work plan and cost estimate for developing an ARRA Track 2 (Corridor) grant application for the Milwaukee, WI to Twin Cities, MN leg of the MWRRI Please develop two additive options. None, either or both of these options could be added to the scope of work: A) A work plan and cost estimate for developing an ARRA Track 1 (Project) grant application for renovating the St. Paul Union Depot into an operating multi-modal transportation hub. B) A work plan and cost estimate for developing an ARRA Track 2 (Corridor) or PRIIA grant application for Twin Cities to Duluth Northern Lights Express Corridor

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