Tennessee Preservation Trust

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)

Posted: 01/02/2013

In 2012, Tennessee Preservation Trust kept you abreast of the changes to the transportation bill submitted to Congress. Numerous amendments were made as the parties went back and forth trying to finalize a bill that would satisfy all parties within the tight budget constraints. Now that the waters have (slightly) calmed down, we can now report to you some of the outcomes of the new Transportation Enhancement Program, now known as Transportation Alternatives. The new bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (aka MAP-21), authorized new provisions effective October 1, 2012, for Federal fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

The national transportation law has a significant impact upon Tennessee’s historic resources as the program has been the single largest source of federal funding for historic preservation projects in the past few years. Projects in Tennessee include:

  • The Great Stage Road Museum & Walking Tour in Sullivan County (1st District)
  • Ramsey House Transportation Museum in Knox County (2nd District)
  • Chattanooga Hamilton Downtown Riverwalk in Hamilton County (3rd District)
  • Crossville Downtown Enhancement Project in Cumberland County (4th District)
  • Amqui Train Station Depot Restoration and Rehabilitation in Davidson County (5th District)
  • Restoration of the Douglass-Clark House in Sumner County (6th District)
  • Carter Cotton Gin Battlefield Acquisition in Williamson County (7th District)
  • Town Square Beautification Project in Houston County (8th District)
  • Central Avenue Improvements in Shelby County (9th District)

As you know, TPT, as well as our friends at the National Trust and Preservation Action, was active in contacting Tennessee’s congressional leaders. We prevented the transportation bill from eliminating Transportation Enhancements all together and from transportation projects from being excluded from historic preservation (Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act) and environmental reviews (National Environmental Protection Act, aka NEPA).

Unfortunately, the new law is not all good news for preservationists. The program is greatly reduced, has been redefined, and several categories of historic preservation spending have been eliminated. This means more competition for less funding and less chances of funding for a historic property. Section 106 survived but some projects can bypass the reviews required by NEPA, although regulations for these circumstances have not been completed as of yet.

TPT will continue to monitor the regulation and will keep you posted as updates are available.

Overview of Transportation Alternative Eligible Projects:
A) Construction, planning, and design of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other nonmotorized forms of transportation, including sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure, pedestrian and bicycle signals, traffic calming techniques, lighting and other safety-related infrastructure, and transportation projects to achieve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

B) Construction, planning, and design of infrastructure-related projects and systems that will provide safe routes for non-drivers, including children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities to access daily needs.

C) Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other nonmotorized transportation users.

D) Construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas.

E) Community improvement activities, including- (i) inventory, control, or removal of outdoor advertising; (ii) historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities; (iii) vegetation management practices in transportation rights-of-way to improve roadway safety, prevent against invasive species, and provide erosion control; and (iv) archaeological activities relating to impacts from implementation of a transportation project eligible under this title.

F) Any environmental mitigation activity, including pollution prevention and pollution abatement activities and mitigation to— (i) address stormwater management, control, and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff, including activities described in sections 133(b)(11), 328(a), and 329; or (ii) reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality or to restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats.

Projects that are no longer eligible:

  • Historic preservation of something not considered a historic transportation facility or structure.
  • Operation of historic transportation facilities
  • Stand-alone landscaping projects other than for vegetation management nor those considered “beautification”
  • Archaeological activities not addressing impacts from a transportation project
  • Acquisition of scenic easements and scenic or historic sites
  • Visitor and Welcome Centers
  • Transportation Museums
  • General safety and educational activities

Additional Resources
Visit TDOT for more information on how to apply for a Transportation Alternative Grant and Frequently Asked Questions regarding the program.

Many of the projects once funded in Tennessee will no longer be eligible. For a complete list of funded projects, view this report from the Tennessee Department of Transportation:

To read the full Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) legislation:

Special thanks to Preservation Action for their updates on the Transportation Enhancement Program.