Governments and public transit authorities apply for funding through H-GAC—the regional organization that prioritizes mobility projects—each year. The projects are ranked with a score up to 100, and projects scoring more than 150 are considered fundable, according to information on the township website.
H-GAC released its rankings for transportation projects March 22, but two projects from The Woodlands—The College Park Drive Shared-Use Path, and the Safe Schools access project, scored below the needed level to win support.
The Woodlands eyed another funding source when TxDOT on Feb. 8 released a call for projects relating to safe routes to school through the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside program. According to information on the township website, the program funds locally sponsored projects for walking and biking infrastructure. Projects require a 20 percent local match.
However, Powers told the board the program is closed to projects that have already sought funding through the H-GAC. Even though The Woodlands projects did not score high enough to win approval, they could still receive funds if other, higher-ranked projects do not move forward.
As submitted to H-GAC, the project would have cost an estimated $4.17 million with around $3.33 million—80 percent—coming from outside funding. The township would have paid the remaining 20 percent, totaling $833,600.
The agenda item to seek the TxDOT grants was tabled by the four board members present.