The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Transportation Policy Board voted on Monday to authorize negotiations on an assistance contract for the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan.
The RTP is the long-range planning document that outlines the goals, strategies, and objectives of the Transportation Policy Board, and includes transportation projects planned over the next two decades. Those projects and the overarching strategy are intended to reduce traffic congestion and improve mobility in the region.
The 2045 Regional Transportation Plan was approved in May 2020. At the time, several board members acknowledged that the plan lacked the intended comprehensive strategic framework. Then-Austin Mayor Steve Adler called the plan a “missed opportunity” to focus on the region’s most urgently needed projects.
On Monday, Will Lisska, regional planning manager, explained that CAMPO issued a request for proposal for consultant assistance on the 2050 RTP in July.
“The purpose of this work is to assist CAMPO with the federally mandated long-range transportation plan for the six-county region,” Lisska said.
The 2050 RTP will build upon CAMPO’s 2045 RTP, and will integrate recent planning work from CAMPO and its member agencies, as well as new guidance from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The federal legislation includes around $550 billion in infrastructure investment, including for roads and bridges, water infrastructure, resilience and internet projects.
The contract will use up to $500,000 in metropolitan planning funds, as described in the Unified Planning Work Program. As part of the contract, the consultant will add to existing CAMPO staff capacity, and work to coordinate with member agencies, conduct public outreach, perform regional analyses, and draft and finalize the plan document.
The 2050 plan must be adopted by May 2025 in order to provide state and federal agencies with enough time to review and accept the report that summer.
According to Lisska, CAMPO received three qualified responses to the RFP. Each of those proposals was ranked and scored by the evaluation committee using criteria as outlined in the proposal.
The three firms that submitted qualifying responses are Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc., Freese and Nichols Inc. and T J K M Inc. Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. performed the best and was ranked first.
Board Member James Oakley made a motion to approve the measure, which was seconded by Board Member Rudy Metayer. The board voted to approve with just Board Member Clara Beckett abstaining.