Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program (STIP)
The Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program (STIP) provides financial assistance to municipalities for developing and maintaining key transportation infrastructure that promotes economic growth and improves mobility, while also supporting job creation. STIP does this through strategic, project-specific investment in capital construction and rehabilitation of important local transportation infrastructure such as local road bridges, community airports and resource roads.
Budget 2015 restored funding to this critical program after STIP was unfunded for new projects for the three previous years. A total of $35 million in new funding for STIP is now available for 2017-18.
The government also consulted with municipalities and key stakeholders in spring 2016 to ensure the criteria and application process achieved the most efficient and cost-effective results possible upon reinstatement.
STIP consists of four components, with funding allocations for 2017-18 broken down as follows:
- Community Airport Program, $2 million
- Local Road Bridge, $21 million
- Resource Road Program, $7 million
- Local Municipal Initiatives, $5 million
STIP provides cost-shared funding for projects that sustain local transportation infrastructure in rural and smaller urban municipalities.Eligible projects include the development and construction of key local and regional roads, local road bridges, and the rehabilitation and pavement overlays of the primary runway, main taxiway, and apron at community airports, as well as runway lighting. Key outcomes for the program include improved accessibility and movement of goods and people, increased capacity of municipal transportation infrastructure to support economic growth and meet the public’s travel demands, improved safety and efficiency, and the extension of the service life of key transportation infrastructure.
After working with STIP stakeholders, government has worked to revise the STIP program to better meet the needs of stakeholders, including the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties.
Some highlights of the updated STIP program include:
- Enhanced project eligibility
- Runway lighting will now be eligible for funding under the Community Airport Program
- Roads that support existing industry (versus new or expanded industry) will now be eligible for funding under the Resource Road Program.
- Streamlined eligibility process
- The previous Local Road Bridge program was complex to administer – different bridge assets were funded at varying levels. The new program funds all bridge structure components at the same percentage.
- Enhanced application criteria
- Projects that show economic, social and environmental benefits, and use innovative construction materials or practices that reduce project costs or environmental impacts will receive additional weighting in the application review process.
- Projects that leverage alternative funding sources, from the public or private sector, will receive additional weighting in the application review process.
Funding for STIP is provided to municipalities on a cost-share basis. The amount provided by the government varies depending on the program. Annual funding amounts for STIP are determined during the budget deliberation process every year.
In order to be eligible for funding, municipalities must apply to Alberta Transportation for specific projects that are aligned with the particular program’s criteria. Applications are reviewed on a competitive basis province-wide. Projects that best align with the criteria laid out for each of STIP’s components are prioritized and recommended for Ministerial approval.
Additional weighting will be given to projects that leverage alternative funding sources (i.e. federal or private industry contribution). Projects that show economic, social and environmental benefits, and use innovative construction materials or practices that reduce project costs or environmental impacts will also receive additional weighting in the application review process.
Upon Ministerial approval, a project-specific funding agreement must be executed that summarizes the responsibilities of the municipality and the department.
Grant payments for approved projects will be incremental and are generally made on progress.
It should be noted that changes in project scope are generally not considered once a project has been approved. However, if necessary, you may contact your Alberta Transportation Regional Office to discuss the potential for adjusting the scope of an approved project.
Applications are due February 3, 2017, for funding in the 2017-2018 year.
Project applications for each of STIP’s components must be submitted to your Alberta Transportation Regional Office in person or by mail, or online through the Municipal Grants Management Application system, by the annual deadline.
Applications will be reviewed and assessed to confirm that the proposed project meets program criteria. Projects are then rated on a province-wide, competitive basis.
Factors that contribute to the rating of each project include:
- Basic need
- Implications for the overall transportation network
- The current condition of the infrastructure
- Total traffic volumes
- Truck traffic volumes
- Cost effectiveness and efficiency
- Collaboration or partnership with industry or other municipalities or Métis Settlements
- Economic, social, environmental or innovation benefits
- Use of alternate sources to fund the project (i.e. federal or private investment)
Once applications have been received, the Regional Directors will review them and forward the applications with their recommendations to the Municipal Programs Section, where all STIP projects from across the province will be evaluated and ranked. The department will review the proposed projects in order to finalize the prioritized list and the highest priority projects, subject to budget availability, will then be forwarded to the Minister for approval.
Municipalities will be advised by letter if their project has been approved for funding.
If your project is not approved for funding and you have questions about the decision, you can contact your Alberta Transportation Regional Office to discuss individual applications.
Updated November 2016
For more information, please contact your Region.