Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Grant Programs

Federal-Aid highway funds are authorized by Congress to assist the States in providing for construction, reconstruction, and improvement of highways and bridges on eligible Federal-Aid highway routes and for other special purpose programs and projects. Through the Federal Lands Highway Program, funding is provided for improving access to and within National Forests, National Parks, Indian Lands and other public lands.

The principal statutes establishing the Federal-Aid Highway Program are found in Title 23, United States Code (23 U.S.C.). Regulatory requirements are generally found in Title 23, Highways, of the Code of Federal Regulations (23 CFR).

The following is a sampling of federal-aid grant programs available through the FHWA. A complete list of FHWA programs is available at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/federalaid/guide/index.cfm

100% Federal Share for Safety

Updated February 9, 2009

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 120(c)

Eligibility: The States may use up to 10 percent of their total Federal-aid apportionments under 23 U.S.C. 104 at a 100 percent Federal share for traffic control signalization, traffic circles (also know as 'roundabouts'), safety rest areas, pavement marking, commuter carpooling and vanpooling, rail-highway crossing closure, or installation of traffic signs, traffic lights, guardrails, impact attenuators, concrete barrier endtreatments, breakaway utility poles, or priority control systems for emergency vehicles or transit vehicles at signalized intersections.

In 23 U.S.C. 120(c), "safety rest area" is defined as an area where motor vehicle operators can park their vehicles and rest, where food, fuel, and lodging services are not available, and that is located on a segment of highway with respect to which the Secretary determines there is a shortage of public and private areas at which motor vehicle operators can park their vehicles and rest. The Secretary's determination was most recently documented in FHWA-RD-01-158.

Background: Section 5 of the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1944 (Public Law 78-521) allowed States to use up to 10 percent of their total Federal-aid systems apportionments at a 100 percent Federal share for the elimination of hazards at rail-highway crossings. It was codified in 23 U.S.C. 120(d) and 130(a) and (c).

The Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1978 (1978 STAA, Public Law 95-599) added traffic control signalization to the program; the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (1982 STAA, Public Law 97-424) added pavement markings and commuter carpooling and vanpooling; and the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 (1987 STURAA, Public Law 100-17) added traffic signs, highway lights, guardrails, and impact attenuators.

Project identification was made by adding the suffix "G" to the project identification for the fund which was being utilized. No separate "G" fund appropriations were made.

The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) deleted Section 120(d) of Title 23, U.S.C., and added a new Section 120(c). This new section allows the States to use up to 10 percent of their total Federal-aid apportionments under Section 104 at a 100 percent Federal share for traffic control signalization, pavement marking, commuter carpooling and vanpooling, or installation of traffic signs, traffic lights, guardrails, impact attenuators, concrete barrier end treatments, breakaway utility poles, or priority control systems for emergency vehicles at signalized intersections.

The National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-59) amended Section 120(c) to include safety rest areas as an additional activity eligible for 100 percent Federal share. The FY 1997 Department of Transportation appropriations act (Public Law 104-205) further amended Section 120(c) to include rail-highway crossing closures.

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, P.L. 105-178) added transit vehicles to eligible items under Section 120(c).

The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, P.L. 109-59) added traffic circles (also know as 'roundabouts') as an eligible item under section 120(c).

Advance Construction

Updated March 11, 2009

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 115

Eligibility: See the discussion below

Section 1501 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59)

Background: Under the conditions provided in 23 U.S.C. 115, and discussed in more detail in 23 CFR 630G, "Advance Construction of Federal-Aid Projects," a State may request and receive approval to construct projects in advance of the apportionment of authorized Federal-aid funds.

Advance Construction, prior to the 1991 ISTEA, provided for (a) advancing the construction of highway substitute, secondary, urban, metropolitan planning, railroad-highway crossing, bridge, hazard elimination, or planning and research projects, without the aid of Federal funds, in advance of the apportionment of funds, or in the case of Interstate and primary projects, in lieu of apportioned funds, and (b) reimbursing the State for the Federal share of the costs of construction of such projects when sufficient obligational authority and apportioned funds, if applicable, become available.

During FYs 1987-1990, advance construction projects were limited to (a) the amount of unobligated funds apportioned or allocated to the State for the class of funds, (b) the State's expected apportionment of the existing authorizations for the class of funds, and (c) the State's expected apportionment for one additional fiscal year (this would equal the State's expected apportionment during the last year of its existing authorization).

Project designations are the same as for regular Federal-aid projects except that from the time a State is authorized to proceed with all or any phase of the work until the advance construction project is converted to a regular Federal-aid project, the prefix letters "AC" are to be used as the first letters of each project designation, e.g., ACI. Previous provisions making advance construction projects subject to a 36-month reimbursement schedule have been eliminated.

Although there were no changes to 23 U.S.C. 115 under the 1991 ISTEA, the Dire Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act (Public Law 102-302) did make changes to some categories of funds which are authorized for advance construction. As a result, 23 U.S.C. 115(a) and (b) allow advance construction on certain categories provided the State has obligated its apportionment or obligation authority. The following categories of funds are subject to these provisions:

Interstate Substitute, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement, Surface Transportation, Bridge, Planning, Research, National Highway System, Interstate Construction, and Interstate Maintenance projects may be approved for advance construction.

Section 308 of the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 (1995 NHS Act, Public Law 104-59) amended 23 U.S.C. 115(c) relating to the amount of advance construction that may be authorized. The NHS Act established a requirement that advance construction projects be on the approved Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The STIP covers a period of at least three years and is a financially constrained program which is not limited to the period of the authorization act. The total amount that may be advance constructed will be limited as follows: The Federal share of all advance construction projects (amount not converted to Federal-aid) cannot exceed the sum of the State s current unobligated balance of apportionments plus the amount of Federal funds anticipated in the subsequent fiscal years of an approved STIP. This change in the advance construction limitation provides the States with more flexibility in financing projects and developing financial plans.

An existing advance construction project may be converted to a regular Federal-aid project at any time provided that sufficient eligible Federal-aid funds and obligation authority are available. The State may request a partial conversion where only a portion of the Federal share of project costs is obligated and the remainder may be converted at a later time provided funds are available. Only the amount converted is an obligation of the Federal Government. The project should be identified on the STIP each year a conversion occurs.

Section 1501 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (Public Law 109-59) did make changes to the categories of funds which are authorized for advance construction. As a result, 23 USC 115 was revised to clarify that AC procedures can be used for all categories of Federal-aid funds. In addition, when an AC project is converted to a regular Federal-aid project, any available eligible funds may be used to convert the project.

Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 217

Eligibility: STP and CMAQ funds may be used for the construction of pedestrian walkways and bicycle transportation facilities and for carrying out non-construction projects related to safe bicycle use. NHS funds may be used for the construction of pedestrian walkways and bicycle transportation facilities on land adjacent to any highway on the NHS. Federal Lands Highways funds authorized for forest highways, forest development roads and trails, public lands development roads and trails, park roads, parkways, Indian reservation roads, and public lands highways may be used for the construction of pedestrian walkways and bicycle transportation facilities.

Background: This program was established by Section 124(a) of the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-87), which provided for the use of Primary, Secondary and Urban system funds on independent projects constructing separate or preferential bicycle lanes and facilities and pedestrian walkways in conjunction with those systems. Forest Highway, Forest Development Roads and Trails, Park Roads and Trails, Parkways, Indian Reservation Roads, and Public Lands Highways funds could also be used. The program was codified in 23 U.S.C. 217.

Section 141 of the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-599) revised the program to stress energy conservation in addition to the multiple use of highway rights-of-way and to expand the types of projects that could be constructed.

Section 126 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (1982 STAA, Public Law 97-424) continued the program and further expanded the types of projects that could be constructed. It specified that projects must be principally for transportation rather than recreational purposes. States could obligate up to $4.5 million per year (raised from $2.5 million) for these projects. The Federal share was established as 100 percent for independent walkway and bikeway projects and for non-construction bicycle projects. Funds for Federal Lands Highways could be used for independent bikeway and walkway projects, but not for non-construction bicycle projects.

Section 127 of the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 (1987 STURAA, Public Law 100-17) permitted the use of Interstate Substitute funds for all eligible bicycle transportation and pedestrian walkway projects.

Section 1033 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) amended 23 U.S.C. 217 to reflect the impacts of the STP, CMAQ, and NHS on bicycle transportation and pedestrian walkways. In addition to the ISTEA provisions in the Eligibility section above, other important revisions were as follows:

  1. Each State must use some of its STP and CMAQ moneys to fund a State DOT "bicycle and pedestrian coordinator" position for promoting and facilitating (a) the increased use of non-motorized modes of transportation, including developing facilities for the use of pedestrians and bicyclists, and (b) public education, promotional, and safety programs for using such facilities.
  2. When Federal-aid funds are being used to replace or rehabilitate bridge decks, except on fully access controlled highways, safe bicycle accommodations must be considered and provided where feasible.
  3. Construction of a pedestrian walkway and a bicycle transportation facility are deemed to be highway projects. Hence, the Federal share is 80 percent.
  4. Pedestrian walkways and bicycle transportation facilities to be constructed under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 217 must be included in long range plans developed by Metropolitan Planning Organizations and States.
  5. No motorized vehicles should be allowed on any trails or pedestrian walkways, except as necessary for maintenance purposes and possibly for snowmobiles and motorized wheelchairs.
  6. Bicycle projects must be principally for transportation rather than recreational purposes.

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) amended Section 217 to allow use of NHS funds for pedestrian walkways, as well as previously eligible bicycle facilities, on any route of the NHS. It removed the restrictions of bridges "where access was fully controlled" to accommodate bicycles. It also provided:

  1. Bicycle safety issues must be addressed on rail-highway crossing hazard elimination projects
  2. Bicycle improvements are eligible for the hazard elimination program
  3. For due consideration of bicyclists and pedestrians in the development of comprehensive transportation plans under 23 U.S.C. 134 and 135
  4. No regulatory action may be taken by the Secretary that results in the severance of a major bicycle route or has an adverse impact on the safety of non-motorized traffic unless a reasonable alternate route exists or is provided
  5. When permitted by State or local regulations, electric bicycles may be used on Federally funded trails and pedestrian walkways
  6. Design guidance for accommodating bicycle and pedestrian travel will be issued by FHWA by December 9, 1999.

The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59) amended Section 217 to allow the use of Federal lands funds for pedestrian walkways and bicycle transportation facilities for projects that are not in conjunction with trails, roads, highways, and parkways.

Bond Issue Projects

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 122

Eligibility: See the discussion below

Background: The Federal-aid Highway Act of 1950 (Public Law 81-769) made provisions for a State to claim Federal reimbursement for the retirement of bonds used for certain highway purposes. This was codified in 23 U.S.C. 122.

A State that used the proceeds of bonds for the construction of Primary, Interstate, or Urban Extension projects, or Interstate Substitute highway projects could claim Federal reimbursement on that portion of the bond proceeds used to retire the bonds. [Section l07(f) of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) of 1982 added substitute highway projects approved under 23 U.S.C. l03(e)(4) as eligible bond issue projects]

Section 115(c) of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1978 (1978 STAA, Public Law 95-599) made changes in requirements governing the participation of interest costs in that interest earned and payable after November 6, 1978, on the retirement of bonds maturing after that date, the proceeds of which are expended in the construction of Interstate projects, was considered an eligible cost of construction.

Section 311 of the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 (1995 NHS Act) replaced 23 U.S.C. 122 and expanded the Federal eligibility of bond related costs. Under amended Section 122, bond related costs are eligible for Federal reimbursement on any Federal-aid project eligible under Title 23, U.S.C., including the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) demonstration projects. The definition of construction was also revised in 23 U.S.C. 101 to include a reference to bond related costs.

Eligible costs include interest payments under an eligible debt financing instrument, the retirement of principal of an eligible debt financing instrument, the cost of issuance of an eligible debt financing instrument, the cost of insurance for an eligible debt financing instrument, and any other cost incidental to the sale of eligible debt financing instrument.

Eligible debt financing instrument means a bond or other debt financing instrument, including a note, certificate, mortgage, or lease agreement, issued by a State or political subdivision of a State or public authority, the proceeds of which are used for an eligible Federal-aid project.

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) repealed redundant and outdated provisions of 23 U.S.C. 115 relating to payment of bond interest on Advance Construction projects.

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program (CMAQ)

Updated March 5, 2009

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 149

Eligibility: Eligible projects/programs include:

  1. Transportation activities in an approved State Implementation Plan,
  2. Transportation control measures to assist areas designated as nonattainment under the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1990,
  3. Pedestrian/bicycle facilities
  4. Traffic management/monitoring/congestion relief strategies,
  5. Transit (new system/service expansion or operations),
  6. Alternative fuel projects (including vehicle refueling infrastructure, clean fuel fleet programs and conversions),
  7. Vehicle inspection and maintenance (I/M) programs,
  8. Intermodal freight ,
  9. Telework/telecommuting programs
  10. Travel demand management,
  11. Development activities in support of eligible projects (e.g. NEPA studies),
  12. Public education and outreach activities,
  13. Rideshare programs,
  14. Establishing/contracting with transportation management associations (TMAs),
  15. Fare/fee subsidy programs (operating subsidies have a 3-year limit),
  16. HOV programs, including HOT lanes
  17. Diesel retrofits,
  18. Truck-stop electrification
  19. Experimental pilot projects, and
  20. Other transportation projects with air quality benefits.

Ineligible projects include:

  1. Construction of projects which add new capacity for single-occupancy vehicles.

Background: The CMAQ program was established by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) and was continued by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) and the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) under 23 U.S.C. 149. On an annual basis, the SAFETEA-LU CMAQ program is 24 percent larger than TEA-21's program with funding authorized at $8.6 billion over five years, FYs 2005-2009.

Under 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(2)(B), each State is apportioned funding based on county populations residing within ozone and carbon monoxide (CO) nonattainment and maintenance areas and the severity of the areas' air quality problems. Extra weighting is given to nonattainment or maintenance areas with both ozone and CO problems.

SAFETEA-LU highlights some of the existing eligible project types, most notably diesel retrofits. Also, the new bill makes projects in former one-hr ozone nonattainment and maintenance areas eligible for CMAQ support.

A metropolitan planning organization or State can enter into a public/private partnership agreement with any public, private, or nonprofit entity to cooperatively implement any project funded under the CMAQ program. If a State has no ozone or carbon monoxide nonattainment or maintenance areas, the funds may be used for Surface Transportation Program eligible or CMAQ eligible purposes. States also have the option to transfer up to 50 percent of their increase in CMAQ funds compared to what they would have received if the CMAQ program were funded at $1.35 billion nationwide. The funds may be transferred to other Federal-aid programs, but can only be utilized for projects in nonattainment and maintenance areas.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), Public Law 110-140 included a new provision in Section 1131. This provision increased the Federal share for the CMAQ program (23 U.S.C. Section 120(c)(2)). In enacting Section 120(c)(2), Congress established an 80 percent Federal share subject to new flexibility for a State to increase the Federal share payable on a CMAQ project up to 100 percent of the cost, if funds are obligated in fiscal year 2008 or 2009, and further subject to Section 120(i), which provides that a State may increase the non-Federal share for a project subject to criteria that the Secretary may establish. Consequently, there is no absolute minimum of 80 percent Federal share. As of December 20, 2007, funds that are obligated under the CMAQ program (23 U.S.C. 149), may be increased up to 100 percent of the total cost, at the discretion of the State, if funds are obligated in fiscal years 2008 and 2009.

Projects obligated prior to December 20, 2007, may not be modified to claim the increased Federal share. Modifications may be made to increase the Federal share on projects obligated on or after December 20, 2007, the effective date of the new legislation. The change in the Federal share is to be entered as a new detail line item in the Fiscal Management Information System.

Control of Outdoor Advertising

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 131

Eligibility: A State may use any funds apportioned to it under 23 U.S.C. 104 for the removal of any lawfully erected but now nonconforming sign, display, or device.

Background: The Control of Outdoor Advertising Program was established in its current form by the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 (Title I of Public Law 89-285), which provided one year appropriations for FYs 1966-1967 (Appropriation Codes 646 and 647). Authorizations were made later for FYs 1970-1973 and for FY 1975 (Appropriation Code 649), with obligational authority available for FYs 1969-1977.

The Federal-aid Highway Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-280) authorized funds for FYs 1977-1978 and changed the period of availability for FY 1976 and prior years' funds to the FY plus 3 years. As a result, the 649 funds lapsed at the end of FY 1978.

The Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1978 (1978 STAA, Public Law 95-599) authorized funds for FYs 1979-1982. The 1975 Budget Act had removed contract authority from General funded programs; hence, a new code (Appropriation Code 688) was created for the new funds independent of the 649 contract authority funds. The 688 funds could not be used to offset overruns on outdoor advertising projects utilizing 649 funds.

During FYs 1979-85 and through December 18, 1985, deobligated funds were only available to cover legitimate project overruns. The Continuing Appropriations Act for FY 1986 (PL 99-190) provided that funds deobligated subsequent to December 18, 1985, were available for reallocation until expended. These deobligations were controlled by Headquarters and had to be reallocated in order to be used. The funds were available for the payment of bonus claims and/or for new outdoor advertising projects under Appropriation Code 64A, but were not available to cover overruns on 649 projects. Overruns on 649 projects could be covered with 649 funds which were deobligated prior to December 19, 1985.

Bonus claims (Appropriation Code 699) were available as a reward for the States that removed all signs on certain segments of Interstate routes in conformity with national outdoor advertising control standards under the provisions of 23 CFR 750A. The bonus increases the Federal share of Interstate projects. These bonus claims were related to a program established by the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1958 (Public Law 85-381). Twenty-three (23) States signed agreements to participate in this program prior to its repeal and are still eligible for bonus payments. When a State submits a bonus voucher for payment, such payment is made from the unobligated balance in the Washington Office, if funds are available.

Section 1046 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) amended 23 U.S.C. 121 and provided that:

  1. States may use highway funds apportioned under 23 U.S.C. 104 for the removal of any lawfully erected but now nonconforming outdoor advertising sign, display, or device. However, as subsequently set forth in the Dire Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-302), use of highway funds to remove nonconforming signs is discretionary on the part of the States. If a State chooses not to acquire nonconforming signs there is no risk of penalty under provisions in the Highway Beautification Act.
  2. Outdoor advertising controls apply to the National Highway System (NHS) including the Interstate and designated intramodal NHS connectors and those roads that were on the Federal-aid Primary System as it existed on June 1, 1991, but are not part of the designated NHS.
  3. States not maintaining effective control of outdoor advertising as defined by the program requirements continued to be subject to up to a 10 percent reduction of 23 U.S.C. 104 funds.

Credit Assistance for Surface Transportation Projects

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 601-609

Eligibility: Eligible projects include highways, transit capital improvements, international bridges and tunnels, intercity passenger bus and rail facilities and vehicles, freight transfer facilities and access to port terminals. Project costs must be at least $50 million or 33 1/3 percent of the States highway apportionments ($15 million for an intelligent transportation system project).

Background: The program was authorized in TEA-21, sections 1501-1504 and revised by the TEA-21 Restoration Act, section 9007. The program was reauthorized in SAFETEA LU, section 1601. Funds will be used to provide loans, lines-of-credit, and loan guarantees to projects of national or regional significance. The following subsidy amounts were authorized:

FY 2005 $122 million
FY 2006 122 million
FY 2007 122 million
FY 2008 122 million
FY 2009 122 million

Credit for Toll Expenditures

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: Section 1905 of the 2005 SAFETEA-LU (Public Law 109-59), 23 U.S.C. 120(j)

Eligibility: A State may use certain toll revenue expenditures as a credit toward the non-Federal matching share of programs authorized by Title 23 (except Emergency Relief projects and Appalachian Development Highway System projects), and by Chapter 53 of Title 49 (transit).

To be able to earn a credit, a State must satisfy a maintenance of effort determination. This determination covers a State's non-Federal transportation capital expenditures over a 4-year period. The expenditures in the last year of the 4-year period must exceed the annual average of the expenditures in the preceding three years of the 4-year period. The calculation of the non-Federal transportation capital expenditures must include expenditures to build, improve or maintain (other than routine maintenance) public highways.

Background: Originating in Section 1044 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240), 23 U.S.C. 120(j) permits a State to use certain toll revenue expenditures as a credit toward the non-Federal matching share of programs authorized by Title 23 (except for Emergency Relief projects and Appalachian Development Highway System projects) and certain transit projects. This is in essence a "soft match" provision that allows up to 100 percent Federal funding on a project to the extent that toll credits are available.

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) codified provisions for using toll credits. It also provided another option for the maintenance of effort determination.

The amount of credit earned is based on revenues generated by the toll authority (i.e., toll receipts, concession sales, right-of-way leases, and interest), including borrowed funds (i.e., bonds, loans) supported by this revenue stream, that are used by that authority to build, improve, or maintain public highways, bridges, or tunnels that serve interstate commerce. It cannot include expenditures for routine maintenance (e.g., snow removal or mowing), debt service, or costs of collecting tolls. The toll facility generating the revenue must be open to public travel. The toll authority may be a public, quasi-public, or private entity.

Prior to SAFETEA-LU, all such expenditures must have been made entirely without Federal funds. SAFETEA-LU, Section 1905 amended 23 U.S.C. 120(j) to allow the amount of credit earned to be based on expenditures made on facilities using Federal-aid funds. However, in such a case, the toll credit amount earned is to be reduced by a percentage equal to the percentage of the total cost that was derived from Federal funds.

SAFETEA-LU also added the Appalachian development highway system program as a statutory exception to Title 23 projects that may apply the use of toll credits toward the non-Federal share. Prior to SAFETEA-LU, the only statutory exception to the use of toll credits on Title 23 projects was for the emergency relief program authorized by section 125 of Title 23.

Defense Access Roads

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 210

Eligibility: Use on public road certified as necessary for national defense.

Background: This program was established by the Defense Highway Act of 1941 and codified as 23 U.S.C. 210.

Funds appropriated for defense access roads (DAR) are transferred to the FHWA from the Department of Defense for military access and replacement roads, access and replacement roads for Atomic Energy Commission plants, NASA installations, defense industries, maneuver area roads, and missile installations and facilities. Hence, Federal participation is variable depending primarily on the degree to which usage will be out of the ordinary due to the military installation or activity.

Funds are centrally allotted to the Program Manager, Federal Lands Highway (FLH). Funds and the authority to obligate are allocated to the FLH Divisions or to a State through the FLH Program Development Office. Allocations are project specific; therefore, underruns cannot be used on other projects and unused DAR funds may be reallocated by the Washington Headquarters office or returned to the military. Unobligated balances remaining after the period of availability lapse. Overruns can be covered only by specific requests for additional allocations. Unexpended funds are canceled after 5 years after the last year of obligation.

Title 23 requirements apply to all DAR projects. However, the FHWA will be involved in approval of plans, specifications and estimates, concurrence in award, and appropriate construction monitoring on all projects involving DAR funding. Project numbers are assigned by the Washington Headquarters.

Demonstration, Priority, and Special Interest Projects Designated by Congress

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: Various public laws; 23 U.S.C. 117 (for High Priority Projects Program).

Eligibility: Information relative to eligible activities (i.e., studies, preliminary engineering, construction, etc.) is specified in the project description in the section of the law authorizing the project.

Background: From 1970 until passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240), Congress authorized more than 450 demonstration, priority, pilot, or special interest projects in various Federal-aid highway and appropriations acts. These projects were generically referred to as "demonstration" or "demo" projects, because Congress initiated this practice of providing special funding for these projects to demonstrate some new or innovative construction, financing, or other techniques on specific projects.

The first demonstration projects were rail-highway crossings safety projects authorized on the Northeast Corridor high-speed rail line and in Greenwood, SC under the provisions of section 205 of the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1970 (P.L. 91-605). In 1973, the 19 cities railroad-highway demonstration projects were authorized in section 163 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-87). With each new highway act or annual Department of Transportation (DOT) appropriations act, new demonstration projects were authorized or funding was provided for previously authorized projects.

The Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 (1987 STURAA, P.L. 100-17) was the first law that authorized a significant number of demonstration projects. The 1987 STURAA authorized 157 new demonstration projects, with most of these included in section 149, "Demonstration and Priority Projects." Section 149 authorized approximately $265 million per year for each of FYs 1987-1991, for a total of over $1.3 billion. In addition, $80 million was also provided to ensure that each State would receive a minimum funding allocation. Since the funding was distributed to each project over the 5-year period of the law, section 149 also established advance construction provisions. This permitted States to proceed with a project without the aid of Federal funds, and then be reimbursed with the Federal demo funds as they became available. Section 149 also allowed a State to use its regular apportioned Federal-aid highway funds to complete a project if the demo funds provided were not sufficient.

The DOT appropriation acts for FYs 1988-1992 authorized 239 additional demonstration projects.

In Sections 1103 through 1108 of 1991 ISTEA, 538 more demonstration projects were authorized totaling over $6.2 billion for six years. These projects were authorized by ISTEA under the following categories:

  1. High Cost Bridge Projects (Section 1103)
  2. Congestion Relief Projects (Section 1104)
  3. High Priority Corridors on the National Highway System (Section 1105)
  4. Rural Access Projects (Section 1106a)
  5. Urban Access and Urban Mobility Projects (Section 1106b)
  6. Innovative Projects (Section 1107)
  7. Priority Intermodal Projects (Section 1108)

The DOT appropriations acts for FYs 1993-1995 authorized nearly 240 additional demonstration projects.

Prior to the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178), over $12 billion had been authorized for these 1200+ demonstration projects, with about 76 percent coming from the Highway Trust Fund, and the balance coming from the General Fund. Of the nearly $3 billion that was authorized from the General fund prior to TEA-21, about $1 billion was never appropriated.

Section 1602 of TEA-21 authorized 1851 high priority projects totaling over $9.3 billion over the six-year period from FY 1998 through FY 2003. In addition, section 1601 of TEA-21 established the high priority projects program in 23 U.S.C. 117. There is a separate section for the high priority projects program in this manual.

Section 378 of the FY 2001 DOT Appropriations Act (Public Law 106-346) appropriated $1.3 billion from the Highway Trust Fund for 90 specific transportation projects. Subsequently, section 1403 of the FY 2001 Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act (Public Law 106-554) imposed a 0.22 percent government-wide rescission for FY 2001. As a result, the funding for each project in Section 378 of the DOT Appropriations Act was reduced accordingly.

Section 330 of the FY 2002 DOT Appropriations Act (Public Law 107-87) appropriated $144 million from the General Fund for 55 surface transportation projects. Subsequently, section 1106 of the FY 2002 Department of Defense Appropriations Act (Public Law 107-117) added an additional appropriation of $4.3 million to section 330 for two additional projects, making the total section 330 appropriation $148.3 million for 57 surface transportation projects.

The FY 2003 DOT Appropriations Act [Division I of the FY 2003 Consolidated (Omnibus) Appropriations Act, Public Law 108-7] appropriated $675,345,000 for 353 surface transportation projects identified in section 330 of the accompanying Conference Report, House Report 108-10. There were three separate appropriations of funds for these projects:$299,745,000 from the Federal Highway Administration's FY 2003 general operating expenses account, $90,600,000 from the General Fund in section 330; and $285,000,000 miscellaneous appropriation from the Highway Trust Fund in section 344. Section 601(3) of division N of the FY 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Act imposed an across-the-board 0.65 percent rescission for FY 2003, reducing the total available amount to $670,955,257.

Section 115 of the Transportation, Treasury and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004 (Division F of Consolidated Appropriations Act, Public Law 108-199) designated $1.027 billion to be made available from the unobligated balances of the five core formula programs in the States for 619 projects listed in section 115 of the conference report (House Report 108-401).

Section 117 of the Transportation, Treasury, Independent Agencies, and General Government Appropriations Act, 2005 (Division H of Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, Public Law 108-447) appropriated $1,211,360,000 for surface transportation projects (795 projects) identified under in section 117 in the Joint Explanatory Statement of the Managers in the Conference Report (House Report 108-792). This $1,211,360,000 was reduced to $1,201,669,120 under the provisions of the 0.80 percent across-the-board rescission in section 122 of division J of P.L. 108-447, and each project amount was decreased accordingly. These projects were funded by a 4.1 percent takedown of all sums authorized and appropriated for the following programs: the Interstate Maintenance (IM) program, National Highway System (NHS) Program, Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program (HBRRP), Surface Transportation Program (STP), Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program, the Federal Lands Highway Program (FLHP), the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) program, and the minimum guarantee program. Since the 4.1 percent takedown only provided $1,191,891,144, the $1,201,669,120 authorization and the amount available for each project was reduced accordingly.

Section 1101(a)(16) of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, P.L. 109-59) authorized $14,832,000,000 from the Highway Trust Fund for the 5,091 high priority projects (HPP) in section 1702 of SAFETEA-LU to be administered in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 117, as amended by SAFETEA-LU section 1701. See separate section on the high priority projects program in this manual.

Section 1934 of SAFETEA-LU authorized $2,555,236,000 from the Highway Trust Fund for the 466 Transportation Improvements (TI) projects listed in section 1934 of SAFETEA-LU. See separate section on the Transportation Improvements projects in this manual.

Section 112 of Division A of the Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, the District of Columbia, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006 (Public Law 109-115) provided $600 million for 519 surface transportation projects and $25 million for 24 highway priority projects identified in the Statement of the Managers in the Conference Report (House Report 109-307). These amounts were reduced to $594 million and $24.75 million respectively, due to the one percent across-the-board rescission in section 3801 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2006 (Public Law 109-148). These funds were provided through a takedown from the FY 2006 apportionments for following programs: the Federal Lands Highway Program, Surface Transportation Program, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program, the National Highway System Program, Interstate Maintenance program, Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program, the Appalachian Development Highway System program, and the Equity Bonus Program.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprises

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: Section 1101(b) of SAFETEA-LU

Eligibility: Section 1101(b) of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (Public Law 109-59) requires that not less than 10 percent of the amounts authorized to be appropriated under the provisions of Titles I, III, and V (for Title 23 highway projects, transit projects, and transportation research, respectively) must be expended with small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Annually, each State must survey and compile a list of small business concerns in the State and notify the Secretary of Transportation in writing of the percentage of such concerns that are controlled by women, by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (other than women), and by individuals who are both women and socially or economically disadvantaged individuals.

Background: The U.S. DOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program ensures equal opportunity in transportation contracting markets, addresses the effects of discrimination in transportation contracting, and promotes increased participation in Federally funded contracts for small, socially and economically disadvantaged businesses. With the passage of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Federal agencies were required to provide equitable treatment in the delivery of programs and services. The Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (1982 STAA, Public Law 97-424), the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 (1987 STURAA, Public Law 100-17) and the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-204), Section 1101(b) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) and Section 1101(b) of the SAFETEA-LU emphasized the Department of Transportation's commitment to ensure equal opportunity in contracting.

The STAA required that not less than 10 percent of the amounts authorized for federally assisted highway and transit projects be expended with small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The STURAA continued the 10 percent requirement, added women to the group presumed socially and economically disadvantaged, established a size standard for participation, and required a directory of certified firms. The ISTEA retained the provisions of the DBE program and required a study of the program by the Comptroller General. Section 1101 (b) of TEA-21 continued authorization of the DBE Program, changed the funding provisions to Titles I - Federal-aid Highways; Title III - Public Transportation; and Title V - Research, and ensured a State's continued eligibility to receive Federal funds if a Federal court issued a final order rendering the application of the State's DBE Program to be unconstitutional.

Section 1101(b) -- Authorization of Appropriations/Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) continues the DBE program as previously authorized under TEA-21. The program continues to apply to funds made available under Title I, III and V. In addition, the DBE program now applies to funds made available for highway safety under 23 USC § 403. The U.S. Congress raised the gross receipts cap to $19,570,000 to determine whether a business meets the size standard applicable to small businesses interested in participating in the DBE program. The cap is to be adjusted annually by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation for inflation.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Supportive Services (DBE/SS)

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 140(c)

Eligibility: Subject to the availability of funds under 23 U.S.C. 140(c), a State highway agency may establish procedures to develop and conduct training and provide technical assistance specifically for the benefit of disadvantaged, minority, and women-owned businesses. Supportive services funds cannot be used to finance the training of State highway employees, to provide services in support of such training or to provide bonus payments to supportive services contractors. The allocation of funds is based upon the State submitting a workstatement that identifies performance-based programs to the Division Office. The Headquarters Office Of Civil Rights (HCR) must concur in the workstatement before funds are allocated to the Division Office for obligation.

Background: DBE supportive services funding was first authorized under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (Public Law 97-424), Section 119(c) and codified in 23 U.S.C. 140(c). It is FHWA's policy to promote increased participation of DBEs in Federal-aid highway contracts, in part, through the development and implementation of cost effective supportive services programs through the State highway agencies.

Section 1208(c) of the Transportation Equity Act for the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-130) continued the Secretary's authority to deduct up to $10 million for the administration of DBE/SS programs but changed the funding source from 23 U.S.C. 104(a) to 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(3). Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), continued the Secretary's authority to deduct up to $10 million for the administration of DBE/SS programs and maintained the funding source of 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(3).

Elimination of Hazards at Railway-Highway Crossings

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. §130, 23 U.S.C. §120(c) and SAFETEA-LU Section 1401(d)

Eligibility: All at-grade public crossing safety improvement projects meeting the eligibility description in 23 U.S.C. §130 are eligible for funding, including, but not limited to, the installation of protective devices, the elimination of hazards, and grade crossing separation.

Background: Federal-aid funding for improvements at railway-highway crossings began with the Highway Safety Act of 1973 (Title II of Public Law No. 93-87). The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (Public Law No. 102-240) later funded these improvements as part of a set-aside from the Surface Transportation Program. This set-aside was in effect from Fiscal Years 1992 through 2005.

Section 1401 of the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Public Law 109-59, established the Highway Safety Improvement Program as a core Federal-aid funding program. The purpose of this new program is to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. As part of the new HSIP, SAFETEA-LU established an annual set aside of $220 million for improvements at public railway-highway crossings. Half of these funds are apportioned to the states by formula and the other half is apportioned to the states in the ration that total public railway-highway crossings in each state bear to the total of such crossings in all states. Each state receives a minimum of ½ of 1% of the $220M crossings fund. Funding code LS40 is reserved for hazard elimination while funding code LS50 is reserved for protective devices. This set-aside of HSIP funding began in FY 2006 and will continue through FY 2009.

States are required to submit annual reports, under 23 U.S.C. §130(g), on the progress being made to implement the railway-highway crossings program and on the effectiveness of the improvements implemented. Biennial reports to Congress from the Secretary of Transportation on the railway-highway crossings program are also required as of 2006.

Emergency Relief Program

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: Sections 1112 and 1937 of the 2005 SAFETEA-LU (Public Law 109-59), 23 U.S.C. 120(e) and 125,

Eligibility: Funding under this program is to aid Federal, State and local highway agencies with unusually heavy expenses of repairing serious damage to Federal-aid highways and roads on Federal lands resulting from natural disasters or catastrophic failures from an external cause.

By law, the FHWA can provide up to $100 million in ER funding for repairs to Federal-aid highways and roads on Federal lands in a State for each natural disaster or catastrophic failure that is found eligible for funding under the ER program (commonly referred to as the $100 million per State cap). Also, the total ER obligations for U.S. Territories (American Samoa, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and Virgin Islands) is limited to $20 million in any fiscal year. For a large disaster that exceeds the $100 million per State cap, Congress may pass special legislation lifting the cap for that disaster.

Detailed eligibility information concerning ER funding for Federal-aid highways may be found in the Emergency Relief Manual available online at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/reports/erm/.

Detailed information covering eligibility of repairs for roads on Federal lands may be found in the Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads Disaster Assistance Manual available online at http://www.efl.fhwa.dot.gov/erfo/manual_downloads.htm.

Background: The first legislation authorizing use of funds for the emergency repair and restoration of roads damaged by natural disasters was the Hayden-Cartwright Act of 1934, but only regularly apportioned funds could be used. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 provided the first legislation authorizing separate funds for the emergency relief program and codified emergency relief legislation in Section 125 of Title 23.

Prior to the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-599), 60 percent of the ER expenditures for any fiscal year came from the Highway Trust Fund and the remaining 40 percent came from the General Fund. For FY 1979 and subsequent years, 100 percent of the ER expenditures were authorized to be appropriated from the Highway Trust Fund.

The Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (1982 STAA, Public Law 97-424) imposed a $30 million limitation per State per disaster for occurrences.

The 1984 Highway Improvement Act (Public Law 98-229) authorized $150 million to provide funding for States that had received eligible damage beyond the $30 million limitation. These "non-cap" funds were used only for disasters subject to the cap and were controlled under the now obsolete appropriation codes 088 and 089 (ER Non-Cap and ERFO Non-Cap).

The Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 (1987 STURAA, Public Law 100-17) (a) raised the emergency relief cap to $100 million for each natural disaster and/or catastrophic failure in a State after December 31, 1985, (b) made the Territories eligible for ER funds with a cap of $5 million per fiscal year, and (c) provided that the Federal share for Federal-aid system ER projects should be the same as for the system on which the project was located, except for emergency work done in the first 90 days after an occurrence which remained at 100 percent, and except on Federal roads, where both emergency and permanent repairs were at 100 percent.

The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) limited the use of ER funds on Federal-aid highways to only National Highway System (NHS) routes. This oversight was later corrected under the provisions of the Dire Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1992, Public Law 102-302, dated June 22, 1992, which allowed ER funds to be used for repairing all Federal-aid highways.

The 1991 ISTEA also changed the time period for eligible emergency repairs with 100 percent Federal funding from 90 days to 180 days for natural disasters and catastrophic failures occurring on or after December 18, 1991.

The 1991 ISTEA also increased the total obligation limit for ER projects in any fiscal year in the Territories from $5 million to $20 million starting with Federal FY 1992.

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) continued the annual funding of $100 million through a permanent authorization in Section 125 of Title 23, United States Code; however, commencing with TEA-21, authorizations are available until expended.

The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59) continued the annual funding of $100 million through a permanent authorization in Section 125 of Title 23, United States Code. Authorizations continue to be available until expended. In addition to the permanent authorization, SAFETEA-LU authorizes, from the General Fund of the Treasury, such sums as may be necessary to supplement the permanent annual authorization in years when ER allocations exceed $100 million. Appropriation legislation would be necessary to make the additional funds available.

SAFETEA-LU, Section 1937 makes ER funds available, without requiring any further emergency declaration, for the construction of necessary measures for the continuation of roadway services or the impoundment of water to protect roads, or both, at Devils Lake in North Dakota. The maximum amount of ER funds to be provided for this purpose shall not exceed $10 million in any fiscal year, up to a total amount of $70 million. This funding limitation does not apply to ER in response to an eligible event occurring after the date of enactment of SAFETEA-LU or an authority under any other provision of law.

Equity Bonus (Formerly Minimum Guarantee)

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. Section 105, SAFETEA-LU Sections 1102, 1104

Eligibility: Same as source funds

Background:

The Equity Bonus program replaces TEA-21's Minimum Guarantee program.

The Equity Bonus ensures that each State receives a specific share of the aggregate funding for major highway programs (Interstate Maintenance, National Highway System, Bridge, Surface Transportation Program, Highway Safety Improvement Program, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement, Metropolitan Planning, Appalachian Development Highway System, Recreational Trails, Safe Routes to School, Rail-Highway Grade Crossing, Coordinated Border Infrastructure programs, and Equity Bonus itself, along with High Priority Projects), with every State guaranteed at least a specified percentage of that State's share of contributions to the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund. The specified percentage, referred to as a relative rate of return, is 90.5% for 2005 and 2006, 91.5% for 2007, and 92% for 2008 and 2009.

States with certain characteristics will receive a share of apportionments and High Priority Projects that is the greater of the relative rate of return approach described above or their average annual share of total apportionments and High Priority Projects under TEA-21. This applies to States with:

  1. a population density of less than 40 persons per square mile and of which at least 1.25% of total acreage is under Federal jurisdiction; or
  2. a total population less than 1 million; or
  3. a median household income is less than $35,000; or
  4. a 2002 Interstate fatality rate greater that 1 per 100M VMT; or
  5. a State with an indexed State motor fuel tax rate higher than 150% of the Federal motor fuel excise tax rate as of the date of enactment of SAFETEA-LU.

In any given year, no State is to receive less than a specified percentage of its average annual apportionments and High Priority Projects under TEA-21. These percentage floors are 117% for 2005, 118% for 2006, 119% for 2007, 120% for 2008, and 121% for 2009.

All but $2,639,000,000 per year is programmatically distributed to the Interstate Maintenance, National Highway System, Bridge, Surface Transportation Program, Highway Safety Improvement Program, and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement programs. Of the remainder, $639,000,000 is exempt from the obligation limitation and $2,000,000,000 receives special no year limitation.

Amounts programmatically distributed to other programs take on the eligibilities of those programs. The remaining $2,639,000,000 has the same eligibilities as STP funds, but is not subject to the STP safety set-aside, the transportation enhancement set-aside or the suballocations to sub-State areas.

Excess Funds and Funds for Inactive Projects

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: Section 1603 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy of Users (SAFETEA-LU), Public Law 109-59, 23 U.S.C. 118

Eligibility: The funds that are eligible were designated for a specific STP or activity under a public law or report accompanying a public law prior to fiscal year 1991. Funds obligated under this section must be used for projects and activities in the same State as the original earmark, and funds should be used for transportation projects and activities in the same geographic region within the State as the earmarked projects.

Background: The SAFETEA-LU established this section to improve efficiency in the administration of Federal-aid highway programs.

Under this provision funds earmarked prior to 1991 for projects can be used by a State for any STP-eligible purpose if the funds are "excess" or "inactive".

Excess funds include funds obligated for a specific project or activity that remain available after the project or activity has been completed or cancelled, and any unobligated balance of funds allocated for a project or activity that the State certifies are no longer needed for the project or activity.

Funds are determined to be inactive if they are obligated but have no expenditures during any 1-year period or are available to carry out a project but unlikely to be obligated within 1 year, as certified by the State. If a State certifies that funds, which would otherwise be identified as inactive, are still needed for their original purpose, the Secretary may determine that the funds will remain available for that original purpose. Such certification by a State must be accompanied by a report that includes the status of, and estimated completion date for, the project.

Section 1603 does not apply to Emergency Relief funds or discretionary funds allocated by the Secretary for which the Secretary has the authority to withdraw the funds for use on other projects.

Express Lanes Demonstration Program

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: Section 1604(b) of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) (Pub. L. 109-59; August. 10, 2005)

Eligibility: Section 1604(b) of the SAFETEA-LU authorizes the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) to carry out fifteen (15) demonstration projects to permit States, public authorities, or public or private entities designated by States, the authority to collect a toll from a motor vehicle on an eligible toll facility.

The ELD program permits tolling on any newly constructed Interstate or non-Interstate lanes. In addition, existing Interstate or non-Interstate facilities that are modified or constructed to create toll lanes are eligible to collect tolls on the entire facility. Additionally, existing Interstate or non-Interstate HOV facilities are eligible to collect tolls on the entire facility. As stated in SAFETEA-LU, an eligible tolling facility falls under four broad categories of new and existing highway capacity. Specifically, SAFETEA-LU lists the following as eligibility for participation in the program:

  1. A facility in existence on August 10, 2005 (date of enactment of SAFETEA-LU), that collects tolls;
  2. A facility in existence on August 10, 2005, that serves high occupancy vehicles (HOV);
  3. A facility modified or constructed after August 10, 2005, to create additional tolled lane capacity, including a facility constructed by a private entity or using private funds; and
  4. In the case of a new lane added to a previously non-tolled facility, only the new lane.

As provided at Section 1604(b)(3)(C) of SAFETEA-LU, a toll agreement must be executed prior to the collection of tolls on any toll facility under a demonstration project prior to the collection of tolls. Since authority to carry-out demonstration projects is only granted through the end of fiscal year 2009, a toll agreement must be executed prior to September 30, 2009. While a toll agreement must be executed prior to September 30, 2009, tolling may commence anytime after this date.

Background: The Express Lanes Demonstration (ELD) program is a new pilot program that permits tolling on selected new and existing Interstate lanes to manage high levels of congestion, reduce emissions in a non-attainment or maintenance area, or finance added Interstate lanes for the purpose of reducing congestion.

Ferry Boat Discretionary (FBD) Program

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 129(c) and 147; SAFETEA-LU Sections 1101(a)(13) and 1801

Eligibility: FBD funds may be used for the construction of ferry boats and ferry terminal facilities in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 129(c).

Background: Section 1064 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) created the FBD program for funding the construction of ferry boats and ferry terminal facilities in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 129(c). Section 1064 authorized $14 million for FY 1992, $17 million for each of FYs 1993 through 1996, and $18 million for FY 1997.

Section 410 of the FY 1993 DOT Appropriations Act (Public Law 102-388) amended 23 U.S.C. 129(c) to expand eligible uses of Federal-aid highway funds to ferries on any route classified as a public road except an Interstate route, and to include passenger-only ferries as well.

Section 313(c) of the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-59) amended 23 U.S.C. 129(c) to include ferry boats that operate between the United States and Canada.

Section 1207(a) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) amended 23 U.S.C. 129(c) to expand the eligibility criteria to include ferry boats and ferry terminal facilities that are publicly "operated," and those with the public authority having a "majority ownership interest" provided the operation provides substantial public benefits.

Section 1207(b) of TEA-21 amended section 1064 of ISTEA to include a required annual $20 million set-aside, beginning in FY 1999, from funds made available for the FBD program to be used for projects within marine highway systems in Alaska, New Jersey and Washington that were part of the National Highway System.

Section 1101(a)(10) of TEA-21 authorized $30 million for FY 1998, and $38 million for each of FYs 1999 through 2003.

The Surface Transportation Extension Acts of 2003, 2004 (Parts I through V), and 2005 (Parts I through VI) authorized continued funding for the FBD program at FY 2003 levels until the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59) was enacted on August 10, 2005.

Section 1801(a) of SAFETEA-LU added the FBD program to title 23 under section 147, "Construction of ferry boats and ferry terminal facilities."

Section 147(c) of title 23, as added by section 1801(a) of SAFETEA-LU, requires that priority be given in the allocation of FBD funds to ferry systems and public entities responsible for developing ferries that:

  1. provide critical access to areas that are not well-served by other modes of surface transportation;
  2. carry the greatest number of passengers and vehicles; or
  3. carry the greatest number of passengers in passenger-only service.

Section 1101(a)(13) of SAFETEA-LU authorized $285 million for the FBD program for FYs 2005 through 2009 as follows:

FY FBD Authorization
2005 $38,000,000
2006 $55,000,000
2007 $60,000,000
2008 $65,000,000
2009 $67,000,000

The amount actually available for the FBD program each year will be less than the authorized amount shown due to the imposition of the annual obligation limitation lop-off, in accordance with section 1102(f) of SAFETEA-LU. In addition, 23 U.S.C. 147(d) continues the $20 million annual set-aside for Alaska, New Jersey and Washington that was first established in TEA-21. This $20 million is set aside from the available funds after imposition of the obligation limitation lop-off under section 1102(f).

In addition to the above authorizations provided in section 1101, there is funding authorized from the General Fund of the Treasury of such sums as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of the FBD program under 23 U.S.C. 147 for FYs 2006 through 2009. These funds are subject to annual appropriation.

Section 1801(c) of SAFETEA-LU repealed section 1064 of ISTEA.

Freight Intermodal Distribution Pilot Grant Program

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference : SAFETEA-LU Sec. 1306

Eligibility: Projects that help relieve congestion, improve transportation safety, facilitate international trade, and encourage public private partnership and may include projects for the development and construction of intermodal freight distribution and transfer facilities at inland ports.

Background : The purpose of the program is to make grants to states to:

  1. facilitate and support intermodal freight transportation initiatives at the State and local levels to relieve congestion and improve safety, and
  2. provide capital funding to address infrastructure and freight distribution needs at inland ports and intermodal freight facilities.

SAFETEA-LU authorized $6,000,000 in funding amounts for this program for each of the years 2005 through 2009. From the funds made available to carry out Section 1306, the Secretary shall allocate 20% of the amount designated for each project in each of the aforementioned years.

When discretionary funding is available, funding for projects will be awarded through a selection process conducted by the Secretary that requires States to submit an application.

In awarding funding, priority will be given to projects that:

  1. Reduce congestion into and out of international ports located in the United States
  2. Demonstrate ways to increase the likelihood that freight container movements involve freight containers carrying goods
  3. Establish or expand intermodal facilities that encourage the development of inland freight distribution centers

Future Strategic Highway Research Program

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59, Section 5210

Eligibility: The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59), establishes the Future Strategic Highway Research Program (commonly referred to as SHRP II) to be carried out through the National Research Council (NRC) in consultation with AASHTO. The Program is based on the NRC Special Report 260, entitled Strategic Highway Research: Saving Lives, Reducing Congestion, Improving Quality of Life and National Cooperative Highway Research Program Project 20-58. It emphasizes the four areas of renewal, safety, congestion, and capacity.

Background: The Future Strategic Highway Research Program (commonly referred to as SHRP II), authorized in SAFETEA-LU, is the second Strategic Highway Research Program to be established by Congress. SHRP II was created to address complex goals requiring integrated and atypical approaches to reducing crashes, renewing highway infrastructure, increasing highway capacity, and providing reliable travel times.

SHRP II is being conducted under a Memorandum of Understanding among the NRC (parent organization of the Transportation Research Board, TRB), AASHTO and FHWA. Under SAFETEA-LU, the NRC is charged with managing the program through TRB. TRB is further instructed to consult with a wide variety of stakeholders in developing the program under this section.

In January 2007, TRB released a targeted SHRP-II research plan designed to advance highway performance and safety. This research plan replaces the one originally developed for the program when it was proposed to be funded at $450 million over 7 years. SHRP-II issued requests-for-proposals (RFPs) in September 2006; and proposal review for the program was completed when the Oversight Committee selected 15 proposals for contract on November 29, 2006. The Committee also approved the 2007 work program, which comprises 18 projects at an estimated cost of $31,700,000. Nine requests for proposals will be released in March 2007, the rest in July 2007. Beginning with 2007, RFPs in each SHRP II focus area will be announced twice a year, in June and December. The annual research work program will be announced each January. Notice of the announcements and other information will be available on the SHRP II web site [http://www.trb.org/shrp2/] and in the TRB e-newsletter.

The SHRP II program includes an analysis of the following:

  1. Renewal of aging highway infrastructure with minimal impact to users of the facilities.
  2. Driving behavior and likely crash causal factors to support improved countermeasures.
  3. Reducing highway congestion due to nonrecurring congestion.
  4. Planning and designing new road capacity to meet mobility, economic, environmental, and community needs.

A one-time report on implementation of the Future Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP II) results is due to Congress on February 1, 2009. Work on the report will begin late summer FY'08 for the February 2009 completion date, and will cover results to date and plans for implementation.

The report shall include:

  1. an identification of the most promising results of research under the program (including the persons most likely to use the results);
  2. a discussion of potential incentives for, impediments to, and methods of, implementing those results;
  3. an estimate of costs of implementation of those results; and
  4. recommendations on methods by which implementation of those results should be conducted, coordinated, and supported in future years, including a discussion of the administrative structure and organization best suited to carry out those recommendations.

FUNDING: Total contract authority for FY 2006 - 2009 for SHRP II is $205,000,000, with $51,250,000 authorized each year. Limitations on contract authority for the Surface Transportation Research, Development, and Deployment Program and the Obligation Ceiling established for Title V Research Programs will limit the amount available for obligation.

High Priority Projects (HPPs) Program

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 117, Sections 1101(a)(13) and 1601-1603 of TEA-21, and Sections 1101(a)(16) and 1701-1703 of SAFETEA-LU

Eligibility: Information relative to eligible activities (i.e., studies, preliminary engineering, construction, etc.) is specified in the project description in Section 1602 of TEA-21 or Section 1702 of SAFETEA-LU.

Background: Section 1601 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, P.L. 105-178, June 9, 1998), created the High Priority Projects Program under 23 U.S.C. 117. Section 1101(a)(13) of TEA-21 authorized over $9.3 billion for FYs 1998 through 2003 for the HPPs program. Section 1602 of TEA-21, as amended by the TEA-21 Restoration Act (Title IX of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, P.L. 105-206, July 22, 1998), authorized 1850 HPPs to utilize this funding.

Under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 117(b), as established by section 1601(a) of TEA-21, the funds were allocated to the States by project in accordance with the following schedule:11 percent in FY 1998, 15 percent in FY 1999, 18 percent each in FY 2000 and FY 2001, and 19 percent each in FY 2002 and FY 2003.

The allocated TEA-21 funds could only be used for the particular project for which they were provided. Under the provisions of TEA-21 section 1212(g), as re-designated by title IX of Public Law 105-206, and, as amended by section 356 of the FY 1999 DOT Appropriations Act [section 101(g) of the FY 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act (Public Law 105-277)] and section 348 of the FY 2000 DOT Appropriations Act (Public Law 106-69), the States of Alaska, Idaho, Minnesota, New Jersey, and West Virginia could pool their HPP funds to use on any of their high priority projects, as long as no project's authorized amount was reduced. This allowed these States to advance some of their HPPs during the TEA-21 years by utilizing HPP funds from their other HPPs until the full authorized TEA-21 HPP amounts were made available in FY 2003.

Section 1701(a) of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59, August 10, 2005) amended 23 U.S.C. 117 to provide for additional HPPs authorized in section 1702 of SAFETEA-LU. Section 1101(a)(16) of SAFETEA-LU authorized over $14.8 billion for FYs 2005 through 2009 for the 5,091 HPPs authorized in section 1702 of SAFETEA-LU. The HPPs in section 1702 are numbered from 1 through 5,173, but there are no projects associated with 82 of the HPP numbers in section 1702.

Under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 117(c) [first subsection (c) added by section 1701(b) of SAFETEA-LU], 20 percent of the authorized amounts for the projects in section 1702 are to be allocated in each of FYs 2005 through 2009.

Under the provisions of section 1102(c)(4)(A) of SAFETEA-LU, the obligation authority for the HPPs numbered 1 through 3676 in section 1702 of SAFETEA-LU is distributed by project. The obligation authority for HPPs numbered 3677 and above is distributed by State.

Under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 117(e), Advance Construction, a State may advance a HPP without the aid of Federal funds and be reimbursed with the Federal HPP funds as they become available.

Under the provisions of section 1936 of SAFETEA-LU, a State may advance a HPP under 23 U.S.C. 117 with Federal-aid highway funds apportioned under 23 U.S.C. 104(b), from a program for which the HPP is eligible. Apportioned funds utilized for this shall be restored from HPP funds when they are made available.

Under the provisions of section 1935 of SAFETEA-LU, States may obligate funds allocated for section 1702 HPPs numbered above 3676, section 1301 Projects of National and Regional Significance numbered above 18, section 1302 National Corridor Infrastructure Improvement Program projects numbered above 27, and all section 1934 Transportation Improvements projects for any of the other projects within these limits, as long as the authorized amount for any of these projects in SAFETEA-LU is not reduced. This provision permits States to advance some of these projects, during the SAFETEA-LU years until the full authorized amounts are available in FY 2009, by utilizing allocations amongst these programs/projects.

Under the provisions of section 1102(j) of SAFETEA-LU, States may utilize obligation authority provided for section 1702 HPPs numbered 1 through 3676 for any other section 1702 HPP in the same State. Any obligation authority used in this manner shall be restored to the original project the following fiscal year.

High Risk Rural Roads Program (HRRP)

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. §148(f) and SAFETEA-LU Sections 1401(a) and (f)

Eligibility: HRRP funds may be used to carry out construction and operational improvements on roadways functionally classified as a rural major or minor collector or a rural local road.

Background: Section 1401 of the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Public Law 109-59, established the Highway Safety Improvement Program as a core Federal-aid funding program. The purpose of this new program is to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. As part of the HSIP SAFETEA-LU introduced a new set-aside provision, the High Risk Rural Roads Program (HRRRP), codified as 23 U.S.C. §148(f). The HRRRP provides $90 million per year to the states from FY 2006 through FY 2009.

The purpose of the HRRRP is to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and incapacitating injuries on major or minor collectors, and/or rural local roads. 23 U.S.C. §148(a)(1) defines a high risk rural road as "any roadway functionally classified a rural major or minor collector or rural local road on which the accident rate for fatalities and incapacitating injuries exceeds the statewide average for functional classes of roadway; or that will likely have increases in traffic volume that are likely to create an accident rate for fatalities and incapacitating injuries that exceeds the statewide average for those functional classes of roadway." As part of the HSIP annual reporting requirements, States are required to report on basic program information, methods used to select high risk rural roads, and detailed information assessing the HRRRP projects.

Highway Bridge Program (HBP) (Formerly the Highway Bridge Replacement And Rehabilitation Program - HBRRP)

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 144, SAFETEA-LU Section 1101, 1114 and 1805

Eligibility: HBRRP funds may be used for:

  1. The total replacement of a structurally deficient or functionally obsolete highway bridge on any public road with a new facility constructed in the same general traffic corridor,
  2. The rehabilitation that is required to restore the structural integrity of a bridge on any public road, as well as the rehabilitation work necessary to correct major safety (functional) defects,
  3. The replacement of ferryboat operations in existence on January 1, 1984, the replacement of bridges destroyed before 1965, low-water crossings, and bridges made obsolete by Corps of Engineers (COE) flood control or channelization projects and not rebuilt with COE funds, and
  4. Bridge painting, seismic retrofitting, systematic preventative maintenance, calcium magnesium acetate applications, sodium acetate/formate, or other environmentally acceptable, minimally corrosive anti-icing and de-icing compositions or installing scour countermeasures.

Deficient highway bridges eligible for replacement or rehabilitation must be over waterways, other topographical barriers, other highways, or railroads. The condition of bridges may also be improved through systematic preventative maintenance.

Background: Section 204 of the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1970 (Public Law 91-605) established a "Special Bridge Replacement Program" which was codified in 23 U.S.C. 144. Projects under this program had to be on a Federal-aid highway system.

Section 124 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1978 (1978 STAA, Public Law 95-599) retitled and amended 23 U.S.C. 144 to provide a "Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program (HBRRP)" that was applicable to bridges both on and off the Federal-aid highway system (i.e., on and off-system bridges). It was stipulated that not less than 15 percent of the State's apportionments for FYs 1979-1982 nor more than 35 percent were to be spent off-system. The optional 20 percent of these funds, the portion between 15-35 percent, could be spent either for on-system or off-system bridge replacement or rehabilitation.

The Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (1982 STAA, Public Law 97-424) continued the HBRRP with the same 15-20-65 percent spending requirements and provided authorizations through FY 1986.

The Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 (1987 STURAA, Public Law 100-17) (a) continued the 15-20-65 percent spending requirements, (b) allowed States, beginning with the FY 1987 apportionments, to use bridge funds to replace ferryboat operations in existence on January 1, 1984, to replace bridges destroyed before 1965, for low-water crossings, and for bridges made obsolete by COE flood control or channelization projects and not rebuilt with COE funds, (c) provided States that carry out bridge improvement projects with State funding on noncontroversial off-system bridges eligible for HBRRP funding to apply 80 percent of the cost of such projects expended after April 2, 1987, as a credit for the non-Federal share of other HBRRP projects carried out by the State, and (d) made the availability period for apportioned bridge funds the fiscal year plus 3 years with lapsed funds to be reapportioned to the other States.

The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) continued the HBRRP. The formula and requirements of the program were basically unchanged from previous years.

The 1991 ISTEA also contained the following provisions:

  1. Not less than 15 percent of a State's apportionment, nor more than 35 percent, was to be spent on bridges off of Federal-aid highways (i.e., bridges on local roads and rural minor collectors). The remaining 65 percent, up to a maximum of 85 percent, of the apportionment was to be spent for bridges on Federal-aid highways,
  2. It allowed Federal participation in bridge painting, seismic retrofitting, calcium magnesium acetate applications. [Section 1028(b)],
  3. The bridge discretionary program was continued at a substantially lower funding level, and with a new timber bridge component. [Sections 1028(d) and 1039],
  4. Up to 40 percent of a State's HBRRP apportionment (i.e., mandatory 65 percent and optional 20 percent funds) could be transferred to the National Highway System (NHS) or the Surface Transportation Program (STP). Transferred amounts were not subject to the STP set-asides and sub-State distribution requirements. [Section 1028(g)], and
  5. New requirements were established concerning Indian reservation road (IRR) bridges. Each fiscal year, not less than 1 percent of the amount apportioned to each State which had an Indian reservation within its boundaries was transferred to the Secretary of the Interior. These funds were to be expended to replace, rehabilitate, paint, or apply calcium magnesium acetate to deficient highway bridges located on Indian reservation roads. [Section 1028(f)].

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) authorized $20.4 billion for FYs 1998-2003 for the HBRRP. It also continued the HBRRP discretionary program component and authorized the set-aside of $100 million for each of FYs 1999-2003 for discretionary allocation by the Secretary for major bridges with the provision that not to exceed $25 million would be available only for seismic retrofit of bridges, including projects in the New Madrid fault region. It also authorized set-aside of $25 million for FY 1998 for seismic retrofit of the Golden Gate Bridge.

TEA-21 changed the HBRRP eligible work activities to include: sodium acetate/formate, or other environmentally acceptable, minimally corrosive anti-icing and de-icing compositions or installing scour countermeasures. Also, the IRR and timber bridge set-asides were eliminated.

The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59) authorized $21.6 billion (Section 1101) for FY 2005 - 2009 for the Highway Bridge Program (Section 1114). It discontinued the HBRRP discretionary program replacing it with $100 million of set-aside projects specified in statute. SAFETEA-LU added systematic preventative maintenance as eligible activity on bridges. Seismic retrofit, systematic preventative maintenance and scour mitigation have been specified as eligible activities for all structure irrespective of the deficiency status. Bridge painting and the application of sodium acetate/formate or other environmentally acceptable, minimally corrosive anti-icing and de-icing compositions are eligible activities, together with replacement and rehabilitation, for deficient bridges.

In SAFETEA-LU, the criteria for expenditure of funds on bridges off of the Federal-aid system was modified. The minimum of 15% of the apportionment was retained but the maximum of 35% was eliminated (Section 1114). SAFETEA-LU also modified the Federal participation. Federal participation rates are set by 23 USC 120.

SAFETEA-LU added a provision (Section 1805) whereby bridge owners must make debris from bridge demolition activities under the Highway Bridge Program eligible for beneficial use. Beneficial use is defined as the application for purposes of shore erosion control or restoration, ecosystem restoration and marine habitat creation. Recipients of the debris bear all additional costs and assume all the responsibilities of complying with standards and laws.

Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP)

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. §148 and SAFETEA-LU Sections 1101(a)(6) and 1401

Eligibility: HSIP funds may be used to carry out highway safety improvement projects on any public road or publicly owned bicycle or pedestrian pathway or trail.

Background: The HSIP funds infrastructure-related highway safety improvements. The HSIP began with the Highway Safety Act of 1973 (Title 23 of Public Law No. 93-87) and was later consolidated into the Railway-Highway Crossings Program (23 U.S.C. 130) and the Hazard Elimination Program (23 U.S.C. 152). The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (Public Law No. 102-240) later funded these programs as part of the Surface Transportation Program (STP), under which 10% of the States' STP funds were set aside for these programs.

The program continued with set-aside funding from the STP through FY 2005 until the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Public Law 109-59, established the HSIP as a new core Federal-aid funding program. SAFETEA-LU authorized $5.06 billion to carry out this program over four years through FY 2009 and expanded the types of projects that can be defined as highway safety improvement projects. If a State meets certification and follows implementation requirements, a State may use up to ten percent of its HSIP funding for non-infrastructure safety activities. These activities are tracked using the LS10 funding code which is set up as a draw down from the general HSIP funding code LS30 and limits the state to the ten percent amount.

The purpose of the HSIP is to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. The HSIP emphasizes a data-driven, strategic approach to improving highway safety that focuses on results. To obligate funds under the HSIP, a state must develop and implement a Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), produce a program of projects or strategies based on data analysis, evaluate the SHSP on a regular basis, and submit annual reports such as the HSIP report, which includes reporting on the high risk rural roads program. In addition, as part of the new HSIP States are required to submit an annual report describing not less than 5 percent of their highway locations exhibiting the most severe safety needs.

The HSIP contains the following set-asides:

  1. $220 million per year for railway-highway crossing improvements (See separate write-up for the railway-highway crossing improvement program)
  2. $90 million per year for construction and operational improvements on high-risk rural roads (See separate write-up for the High-Risk Rural Roads Program)

Highway Use Tax Evasion Projects

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 143, Section 1115 of the Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59)

Eligibility: Funds for Highway Use Tax Evasion Projects are to be used to:

  1. Expand efforts to enhance motor fuel tax enforcement
  2. Fund additional Internal Revenue Service (IRS) staff, but only to carry out functions described in 23 U.S.C. 143(c)
  3. Supplement motor fuel tax examinations and criminal investigations
  4. Develop automated data processing tools to monitor motor fuel production and sales
  5. Evaluate and implement registration and reporting requirements for motor fuel taxpayers
  6. Reimburse State expenses that supplement existing fuel tax compliance efforts
  7. Analyze and implement programs to reduce tax evasion associated with other highway use taxes
  8. Support efforts between States and Indian tribes to address issues relating to State motor fuel taxes
  9. Analyze and implement programs to reduce tax evasion associated with foreign imported fuel
  10. Intergovernmental enforcement efforts, including research and training

Background: Highway Use Tax Evasion Projects were first authorized by the Section 1040 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240).

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (1998 TEA-21, Public Law 105-178), as amended, authorized funding to be appropriated from the Highway Trust Fund for Highway Use Tax Evasion Projects. Section 1114 of TEA-21 extended the program eligibilities and added as a priority, the requirement for the IRS to establish and operate an automated fuel reporting system. Funds were allocated to the IRS and the States at the discretion of the Secretary. Also, section 1114 of TEA-21 authorized 1/4 percent of the Surface Transportation Program funds apportioned to a State each fiscal year to be used on initiatives to halt the evasion of payments of motor fuel taxes.

Section 1115 of the Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (2005 SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59) expanded the eligibilities and added the opportunity for intergovernmental enforcement efforts. Funding is provided to IRS for the development, operation and maintenance of highway use excise tax reporting systems. The IRS and States using tax compliance funds are required to provide an annual report on projects, examinations, audits and criminal investigations. The report must include an estimated annual yield from such activities. IRS is required to provide an additional report on the status of the development, operation and maintenance of the automated systems for use in excise tax enforcement.

Highways For Life

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: SAFETEA-LU Sections 1101 and 1502, Public Law 109-59

Eligibility: The proposed HfL project must construct, reconstruct, or rehabilitate a route or connection on a Federal-Aid highway eligible for assistance under Chapter 1of Title 23, United States Code and the project must use innovative technologies, manufacturing processes, or contracting methods that improve safety, reduce congestion due to construction, and improve quality.

Background: A new discretionary program of SAFETEA-LU that provides funding to demonstrate and promote state-of-the-art technologies, elevated performance standards, and new business practices in the highway construction process that result in improved safety, quality and user satisfaction, faster construction, and reduced congestion from construction. The purpose is to significantly accelerate the adoption to standard practice of technologies to dramatically improve the Nation's highway system.

Program Elements Include:

  1. Projects: Provide incentive funding to State DOTs for the construction of highway projects that incorporate innovations that improve safety, reduce construction congestion and improve quality. A highway project is eligible to apply for Highways for LIFE funding if it constructs, reconstructs or rehabilitates a route or connection on an eligible Federal-aid highway and uses innovative technologies, manufacturing processes, financing or contracting methods that meet performance goals for safety, congestion and quality. Based on the level of incentive funding provided in SAFETEA-LU, it is anticipated that individual project funding levels will be in the $500,000 to $1,000,000 range per project.
  2. Technology Partnerships: Provide incentive funding for the adaptation of proven innovations from outside the U.S. highway community so that the innovations are ready for use by the U.S. highway community.
  3. Technology Transfer: Markets innovations to highway practitioners and managers; introduces and delivers ready to use innovations to the highway community and provides training and technical assistance.
  4. Information Dissemination: Provides information to the States, industry, public and FHWA about Highways for LIFE, project success stories and innovations.
  5. Stakeholder Input and Involvement: Provides information for States, industry and highway users about Highways for LIFE and provide mechanisms to solicit feedback for the implementation of the program.
  6. Monitoring and Evaluation: Gathers information on all the program elements to improve the performance of the elements, document the benefits and explain the expenditures.

Idling Reduction Facilities in Interstate Rights-of-Way

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: Section 1412 of the 2005 SAFETEA-LU (Public Law 109-59)

Eligibility: States may allow idling reduction facilities for commercial vehicles to be placed in rest or recreation areas, and in safety rest areas constructed or located on rights-of-way of the Interstate System. The idling reduction facilities may not reduce the existing number of truck parking spaces at a given rest or recreation area. States may charge a fee, or permit charging of a fee, for parking spaces actively providing idling reduction measures.

Background: SAFETEA-LU Section 1412 allows States to provide facilities in Interstate System rights-of-way that allow operators of commercial vehicles to reduce truck idling or provide alternative power to support driver comfort while parked in a rest, recreation, or safety area.

Indian Reservation Roads (IRR)

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 101, 202, 203 and 204

Eligibility: Indian Reservation Roads (IRR) funds may be used on eligible IRR facilities as defined in 23 U.S.C. 101 and included in Appendix A to Subpart B of 25 CFR 170.

Background: The IRR Program is co-administered by the FHWA's Federal Lands Highway Office and the BIA. The specific responsibilities of each agency are included in 23 U.S.C. 204 and 25 U.S.C. 318(a). The IRR Program was established on May 26, 1928, by Public Law 520 (Codified at 25 U.S.C. 318(a)). Up to 1982, the program was funded through annual DOI appropriations. The IRR Program became part of the coordinated Federal Lands Highways Program (FLHP) with the passage of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (1982 STAA, Public Law 97-424), which also changed the funding source from General Funds to the Highway Trust Fund. On May 24, 1983, a BIA and the FHWA Memorandum of Agreement was executed to carry out 1982 STAA provisions. All subsequent Highway Authorizations have included the IRR Program as part of the Federal Lands Highway Program. SAFETEA-LU establishes funding levels of $300 million in FY05, and concludes in FY09 at a level of $450 million after yearly increases in between.

The IRR system inventory consists of approximately 25,800 miles of public road on Indian reservations that are owned by the BIA, approximately 31,000 miles of State and local public roads that provide access both to and within the reservations, roughly 1700 miles of tribally owned roads, and 875 miles of other miscellaneous roads. IRR Program funds can be used to pay the non-Federal share of the cost of any project whose Federal share is funded under Title 23 or Chapter 53 of Title 49.

In FY 05, a new relative need distribution factor (RNDF) was developed through negotiated rulemaking. The funds are provided to the BIA or the DOI Office of Self-Governance for allocation to the tribes. RNDF is based on population (20 percent), vehicle miles traveled (30 percent), and cost-to-construct (50 percent). Information regarding transportation planning, the development of a tribal priority list or TIP, long-range transportation plans, IRR inventory, and all other facets of the IRR Program can be found in 25 CFR 170.

Changes to the IRR Program as a result of SAFETEA-LU include: funding the Indian Reservation Roads Bridge Program (IRRBP) at a level of $14 million per fiscal year (23USC 202(d)(4)(B)); providing the option for eligible tribes to enter into funding agreements with FHWA (23 USC 202(d)(5)); requiring the FHWA to conduct a comprehensive inventory of the IRR system by August 2007; and allowing a tribe to utilize up to 25 percent of its share of IRR Program funds for maintenance (23 USC 204(c)).

Indian Reservation Roads Bridge Program (IRRBP)

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 202(d)(4)(B)

Eligibility: IRRBP funds may be obligated for projects to replace, rehabilitate, seismically retrofit, install scour protection, paint, or apply anti-icing compositions on highway bridges located on Indian reservation roads. Bridges must be structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

Background: The need to provide funding for IRR bridges was first recognized during ISTEA, when each year not less than 1 percent of the amount apportioned to a State having an Indian reservation within its boundaries was transferred to the Secretary of the Interior to expend for eligible projects. In TEA-21, a $13 million set-aside from the IRR Program was established to specifically address IRR Bridges. Eligible activities only included those related to construction and construction monitoring. SAFETEA-LU eliminates the set-aside from the IRR Program and provides an additional $14 million of HTF for an IRRBP. In addition, SAFETEA-LU has expanded the eligible activities to include those related to planning and design.

Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment (IBRD) Program

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 503(b) added by Section 5202 of the Safe, ACCOUNTABLE, FLEXIBLE, EFFICIENT Transportation EQUITY ACT: A LEGACY For UseRS (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59)

Eligibility: The IBRD program was established by Congress to promote, demonstrate, evaluate and document the application of innovative designs, materials, and construction methods in constructing, repairing, and rehabilitating bridges and other highway structures. The intent is to promote and demonstrate innovation in its broadest sense to advance technologies through research, deployment and education and to move market-ready technologies into conventional practice. Portion of the Funds is available for bridge projects for each of Fiscal Years (FYs) 2005 through 2009 that meet one or more of the eight program goals as listed in Section 5202 (b) of SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59. Congress authorized $13.1 million per year through fiscal year 2009 for the IBRD program, $4.125 million of which is designated for high performance concrete technology research and deployment. The actual amount available can vary in yearly congressional appropriations. Funds are available until expended.

The program allows for grants, cooperative agreements and contracts with the States, other Federal agencies, universities and colleges, private sector entities, and non-profit organizations to pay the Federal share of the cost of bridge repair, rehabilitation, replacement, and new construction to demonstrate the application of innovative design, materials, and construction methods.

Background: The Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment Program (IBRD) is a continuation of FHWA's previous Innovative Bridge Research and Construction (IBRC) program, which was established under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). The IBRC program was authorized by Congress for six years, FY1998 - FY2003. The program was extended for 20 months (through May 31, 2005) with full funding for FY 2004 and with partially funding for FY 2005 due to extensions of TEA-21. Total funds appropriated for the construction portion of the IBRC program were approximately $150 million, which were provided to the States for projects to demonstrate innovative materials relating to repair, rehabilitation, and construction of bridges and other highway structures. As of 2006, approximately 470 projects have been funded under the IBRC program.

Through the passage of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) in August 2005, the IBRD program was established by Congress to promote, demonstrate, evaluate, and document the application of innovative designs, materials, and construction methods in constructing, repairing, and rehabilitating bridges and other highway structures. The intent is to research, promote and demonstrate innovation in its broadest sense to advance technologies through research, deployment and education, and to move market-ready technologies into conventional practice. Funds are available for bridge projects for each of Fiscal Years 2005 through 2009 that meet one or more of the eight program goals as listed in 23 U.S.C. Section 503(b)(2).

The goals of the program are:

Section 5202 (b)(3)(A) of SAFETEA-LU, authorizes $13.1 million for each of FYs 2005 through 2009 for the IBRD program. $4.125 million of this amount is designated to conduct research and deploy technology related to high-performance concrete bridges.

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Integration

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: In SAFETEA-LU, Section 5101(a)(6). Sections 5208 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178)

Eligibility: ITS integration funds may be used to accelerate ITS integration and interoperability in metropolitan and rural areas and must be selected through competitive solicitation and meet certain detailed criteria. In metropolitan areas, funding shall be used primarily for integration; for projects outside metropolitan areas, funding may also be used for installation costs.

Background: SAFETEA-LU authorizes ITS Deployment funds for 1 year only: Section 5101(a)(6) provides $122 million in fiscal year 2005. Section 5001(a)(6) of the TEA-21, however, authorized $679 million for FYs 1998-2003 for the ITS deployment program. Section 5001(c)(4)(A) directs the following amounts be made available to carry out Section 5208 relating to ITS integration: $74 million for FY 1998, $75 million for FY 1999, $80 million for FY 2000, $83 million for FY 2001, $85 million for FY 2002, and $85 million for FY 2003. It also stipulates that at least 10 percent of these funds will be directed toward rural areas.

In metropolitan areas, the funds may only be used for integrating existing (legacy) systems, or integrating new systems funded from other sources. Deployment of ITS infrastructure components are not eligible for metropolitan projects. In rural areas, the funds may be used for integrating legacy systems, as well as for deploying new ITS infrastructure components.

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Research and Development

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: Sections 5001 and 5201 through 5213 of the transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178)

Eligibility: Priority will be given to projects that:

  1. address traffic management, incident management, transit management, toll collection, traveler information or highway operations systems,
  2. focus on crash-avoidance and integration of in-vehicle crash protection technologies with other on-board safety systems, including interaction of air bags and safety belts,
  3. incorporate human factors research, including the science of driving process,
  4. facilitate the integration of intelligent infrastructure vehicles and control technologies, including magnetic guidance control systems or other materials or magnetics research, or
  5. incorporate research on the impact of environmental, weather, and natural conditions on intelligent transportation systems, including the effects of cold climates.

Background: Section 5001(a)(5) of the TEA-21 authorized $603.2 million for FYs 1998-2003 for ITS standards, research, operational tests and development.

The purpose of the ITS Research and Development program is to carry out a comprehensive program of intelligent transportation system research, development and operational tests of intelligent vehicles and intelligent infrastructure systems.

The above funds are available for obligation in the same manner as if they were apportioned under Chapter 1 of Title 23.

A National ITS program plan must be maintained and updated as necessary and transmitted to the Congress as a part of the Surface Transportation Research and Development Strategic Plan.

International Highway Transportation Outreach Program

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 506 and Section 5206 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59)

Eligibility: Activities carried out under this program may include:

  1. development, monitoring, assessment, and dissemination in the U.S. of information about highway transportation innovations in foreign countries that could significantly improve highway transportation in the U.S.,
  2. research, development, demonstration, training and other forms of technology transfer or exchange,
  3. informing foreign countries about the technical quality of U.S. highway transportation goods and services through participation in trade shows, seminars, expositions, and other such activities,
  4. offering technical services of the FHWA that cannot be readily obtained from U.S. private sector firms to be incorporated into the proposals of U.S. private sector firms undertaking highway transportation projects outside the U.S., if the costs of such services will be recovered under the terms of the project,
  5. conducting studies to assess the need for or feasibility of highway transportation improvements in foreign countries, and
  6. gathering and disseminating information on foreign transportation markets and industries.

Background: Section 5206 of SAFETEA-LU provides a set-aside of funds authorized in Section 5101(a)(1) of $300,000 for each of FYs 2005-2009 to carry out international outreach.

Interstate Construction

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 101(b), 103(c), 103(d), 118(b), 119(b), and 120(c). Sections 108(b) and (c) of the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1956 (Public Law 84-627). Section 1001 of the 1991 ISTEA.

Eligibility: IC funds may be used for the initial construction of remaining portions of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. However, only work eligible under the provisions of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1981 and included in the 1981 Interstate Cost Estimate is eligible for IC funding.

Background: Planning for the Interstate System began in the late 1930's. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1938 (Public Law 75-584) directed the Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) to study the feasibility of a toll-financed system of three east-west and three north-south super highways. The BPR's report, Toll Roads and Free Roads, which was submitted to Congress in 1939, demonstrated that a toll network would not be self-supporting and advocated a 26,700-mile interregional highway network.

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed a National Interregional Highway Committee to evaluate the need for a national expressway system. The committee's January 1944 report, Interregional Highways, supported a system of 33,900 miles, plus an additional 5,000 miles of auxiliary urban routes.

In response to these recommendations, the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1944 (Public Law 78-521) authorized the designation of a national system of Interstate highways, of up to 40,000 miles, but provided no specific funds for such construction. The designation of the system, in cooperation with the States, was initially accomplished in 1947. However, even though primary and urban system funds were available for Interstate work, no funds had yet been authorized specifically for the Interstate System, and, as a result, progress on construction was slow.

The Federal-aid Highway Act of 1952 (Public Law 82-413) provided the first specific funding for Interstate construction, but it was only a token amount, $25 million per year for each of FYs 1954-1955. The Federal pro rata share was 50 percent.

The Federal-aid Highway Act of 1954 (Public Law 83-350) authorized $175 million for each of FYs 1956-1957 and increased the Federal pro rata share to 60 percent.

In response to prompting by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Congress enacted the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1956 (Public Law 84-627), which brought the Interstate System to its current status. The 1956 Act:

  1. Provided annual authorizations totaling $25 billion through FY 1969, the year the Interstate System was to be completed. It also established a new method for apportioning funds among the States; increased Federal participation to 90 percent; increased the proposed length of the Interstate System to 41,000 miles; added "Defense" to the system name (i.e., "National System of Interstate and Defense Highways"); and authorized the inclusion of toll roads in the system, but denied Federal participation in toll roads.
  2. Required that the Interstate System be built using uniform geometric and construction standards adequate for 1975 anticipated traffic. Standards were developed by State highway agencies, acting through the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and adopted by the FHWA. They included requirements for 12-foot wide travel lanes, 10-foot wide right hand shoulders, full control of access, and up to 70 mph design speeds. The 1975 traffic volume requirement was later changed to a more general 20-year design period to allow for evolution of the system.
  3. Created the Highway Trust Fund. Revenue from the Federal gas and other motor-vehicle user taxes was to be credited to the Highway Trust Fund to pay the Federal share of Interstate and all other Federal-aid highway projects. This guaranteed construction on a "pay-as-you-go" basis and satisfied one of President Eisenhower's primary requirements, that the program be self-financing without contributing to a Federal budget deficit.

The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968 (Public Law 90-495) authorized expansion of the Interstate System to 42,500 miles. Subsequent legislation made slight modifications to the authorized mileage. When completed, the Interstate System will include approximately 42,795 miles.

The Federal-aid Highway Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-280) established the Interstate Gap Closing Program (Program Code 0450), and provided the first funding for resurfacing, restoring, and rehabilitating the Interstate System, in what later became the Interstate 4R Program (Program Code 0440) in the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1981 (Public Law 97-134).

In order to accelerate construction of the Interstate System, the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1978 (1978 STAA, Public Law 95-599) reduced the period of availability of apportioned funds from 4 years to 2 years, and stipulated that each State was to receive at least a minimum of 1/2 percent of the total Interstate apportionments for each of FYs 1980-1983. When such amounts exceeded the costs of completing the Interstate System in a State, the excess could be used for Interstate 4R projects. If not needed for Interstate 4R work, the excess could be approved for use on primary, secondary, and urban system projects, and on hazard elimination projects within a State.

The Federal-aid Highway Act of 1981 (Public Law 97-134) approved the 1981 Interstate Cost Estimate (ICE) and further limited the eligibility for Interstate construction funding to previously approved work included in the 1981 ICE. As a result of the growing concern over the length of time it was taking to complete the initial construction phase of the Interstate System, Congress provided a new definition for the eligibility of Interstate construction funds. The new definition generally restricted Interstate funding to the work necessary to provide a minimum level of acceptable service. Work no longer eligible for Interstate construction under this definition became eligible for Interstate 4R funding.

Section 218 of the Urgent Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1982 (Public Law 97-216) provided an alternative for the use of certain Interstate construction funds that were in danger of lapsing. It allowed the Secretary to approve the use of Interstate construction funds (a) on projects for resurfacing, restoring, rehabilitating, and reconstructing the Interstate System in accordance with the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 119, or (b) for those purposes for which funds apportioned for the primary, secondary, and urban systems might be expended, in a State that had received no more than 1/2 percent of the total Interstate apportionment for FY 1983, and where necessary in order to fully utilize Interstate System funds apportioned through FY 1982.

Section 116(c) of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (1982 STAA, Public Law 97-424), permitted the transfer of a State's Interstate apportionment to the Interstate 4R Program. The amount eligible for transfer was limited to the Federal share of the cost to complete segments of the Interstate System open to traffic as shown in the most recent ICE, up to a maximum of 50 percent of the total Interstate apportionment. Subsequent legislation dropped the 50 percent requirement. If a transfer was requested and approved, the latest ICE was reduced by the amount transferred.

The Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 (1987 STURAA, Public Law 100-17) authorized apportionments through FY 1993 for completion of the Interstate System. The 1987 STURAA also retained the 1/2 percent minimum apportionment to States for Interstate construction; approved the 1987 ICE for apportioning the FY 1988 authorization; required the submission of a 1989 ICE to be used for apportioning FY 1991-1992 authorizations and a 1991 ICE to be used for apportioning the FY 1993 authorization; stipulated that if, before the apportionment of funds for any fiscal year, the Secretary and a State agreed that all of the amount to be apportioned to that State were not needed for a fiscal year, the amount not needed could be put into the Interstate discretionary fund prior to the apportionment in accordance with the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 118(b)(2); stipulated that upon the request of a State, the availability period for Interstate construction funds apportioned prior to October 1, 1989, could be reduced to one year, and funds apportioned on or after October 1, 1989, would be available until expended; and permitted all States, except Massachusetts, to transfer their Interstate construction apportionment to their Interstate 4R or primary apportionments in an amount not to exceed the Federal share of the costs of open-to-traffic segments included in the most recent ICE.

On October 15, 1990, Public Law 101-427 changed the name to "The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways".

The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) continued the Interstate Construction program, but declared in Section 1001(a) that the IC funds authorized by the 1991 ISTEA would be the final authorizations of funding to complete construction of the Interstate System. In addition, the 1991 ISTEA:

  1. Authorized $1.8 billion per year for each of FYs 1993-1996 to be appropriated out of the Highway Trust Fund for completion of the Interstate System. These funds could be supplemented with other funds, such as National Highway System (NHS) funds. Low priority work could be dropped from the Interstate Program. (Section 1001(f) of the 1991 ISTEA).
  2. Approved the 1991 Interstate Cost Estimate (ICE), but did not change the eligibility criteria for IC funds. Only work eligible under the provisions of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1981 and included in the 1981 ICE is eligible for IC funding. (Section 1001(b) of the 1991 ISTEA).
  3. Discontinued the 1/2 percent minimum apportionment to States for Interstate construction. (Section 1001(h) of the 1991 ISTEA).
  4. Retained 23 U.S.C. 119(d), providing for the transfer of IC apportionments, essentially unchanged, except that transfers will be from IC funds to NHS or Interstate Maintenance (IM) funds. Requests to transfer IC funds are limited to the Federal share of the cost to complete open-to-traffic work included in the 1991 ICE and must be made in writing to the Office of Budget and Finance.
  5. Made available up to $20 million for each of FYs 1993-1996 for the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, to use for the reconstruction of highways, or portions of highways, located outside the United States that are important to the national defense. (Section 1006(h) of the 1991 ISTEA). These funds were used on the Alaska Highway in Canada.

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) provided that a State can request and receive approval to transfer IC funds to their NHS account up to the Federal share of the cost of construction of unbuilt elements including gap segments not open to traffic. The Interstate completion work represented by the transferred funds loses its eligibility for IC funding.

It also provided that a State can request and receive approval to transfer surplus IC funds to their NHS account if the State has fully financed all work eligible under the 1991 ICE. Surplus funds that are transferred are subject to the laws (including regulations, policies and procedures) relating to the apportionment to which the funds are transferred.

The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59) did not change the IC funds transfer provisions under TEA-21. Therefore, they continue as follows:

  1. Under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 119(b), a State may transfer an amount of its IC funds, that is equivalent to the Federal share of the cost of work to complete its Interstate segments open to traffic in the 1991 ICE, to its NHS or IM apportionments.
  2. Under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 103(d)(1), a State may transfer an amount of its IC funds, that is equivalent to the Federal share of the cost of work to complete any unfinished Interstate segments including gap segments not open to traffic, to its NHS apportionment. The Interstate completion work represented by the transferred IC funds loses its eligibility for IC funding.
  3. Under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 103(d)(2), a State may transfer surplus IC funds to its NHS apportionment, if it has fully financed all work eligible under the 1991 ICE.

Interstate Discretionary

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: Originally 23 U.S.C. 118(b)

Eligibility: Interstate Discretionary (ID) funds may be used for the same purposes as Interstate Construction funds. That is, ID funds may be used for the initial construction of remaining portions of the Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways. However, only work eligible under the provisions of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1981 and included in the 1981 Interstate Cost Estimate is eligible for ID funding.

Background: In order to accelerate construction of the Interstate System, Section 115(a) of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1978 (1978 STAA, Public Law 95-599) created the ID Program by shortening the lapse period for Interstate funds from 4 years to 2 years. It provided that lapsed funds could be made available to any other State applying for them for the Interstate System if that State (a) had obligated all its apportionments (except for amounts too small to pay for a project submitted for approval), (b) could obligate the funds within one year of the date they were made available, (c) could apply them to a ready-to-commence project, and (d) for construction projects, could begin construction within 90 days of obligation. Lapsed sums made available were to remain available until expended.

The Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (1982 STAA, Public Law 97-424) continued the Interstate Discretionary Program, but (a) eliminated the requirement to obligate the funds within one year of the date they are made available, (b) specified priorities for distributing the discretionary funds, and (c) supplemented the funds for this program by setting aside $300 million from annual apportionments of Interstate construction funds beginning in FY 1984, and by transferring amounts of Interstate construction funds for routes (or portions) withdrawn from the system after enactment of the 1982 STAA.

The Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 (1987 STURAA, Public Law 100-17) retained the $300 million Interstate discretionary fund set-aside and revised the priorities for distributing the funds as follows: First Priority -high cost projects which directly contribute to the completion of an Interstate segment which is not open to traffic, and high cost projects for construction of high occupancy vehicle lanes and other lanes on the Harbor Freeway in Los Angeles County, California; Second Priority - projects of high cost in relation to a State's apportionment; and Third Priority--conversion of Advance Construction Interstate projects.

The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) continued the Interstate Discretionary program, but made the following revisions:

  1. Reduced the amount of funds set aside from the Interstate Construction Program for the Interstate Discretionary Program from $300 million annually to $100 million annually.
  2. Eliminated the priorities previously used in allocating Interstate Discretionary funds.

Conditions accompanying allocations of Interstate Discretionary funds were:

  1. When funds are allocated to a project, any unobligated balance cannot be used on another project without prior Headquarters clearance in writing. In addition, project underruns should be returned promptly.
  2. Allocated funds cannot be substituted for other funds already obligated.
  3. Funds are to be made available for ready-to-commence projects.
  4. Construction must begin within 90 days of obligation.
  5. Allocations must be obligated and administered in strict accord with the allocation memorandum.

Interstate Maintenance (IM)

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(4) and 23 U.S.C. 119; SAFETEA-LU Sections 1101(a)(1) and 1111

Eligibility: Types of work eligible for IM funding include:

  1. Projects for resurfacing, restoration, rehabilitation, and reconstruction;
  2. Projects for the reconstruction or new construction of bridges, interchanges, and over crossings along existing Interstate routes, including the acquisition of right-of-way where necessary;
  3. Capital costs for operational, safety, traffic management, or intelligent transportation systems (ITS) improvements (operating costs are not eligible for IM funds); and
  4. Projects for preventive maintenance.
  5. Under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 119(d), construction of new travel lanes, other than high occupancy vehicle (HOV) or auxiliary lanes, is not eligible for IM funding.

Background: The Interstate Maintenance Program was established by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240). It replaced the 3R portions of the I-4R Program, whereas the National Highway System (NHS) funding addressed the reconstruction (fourth "R") portion of the Interstate 4R Program. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) expanded the IM program to include the fourth "R", reconstruction.

The Interstate 3R program was established by the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-280). It provided for resurfacing, restoring and rehabilitating those lanes on the Interstate System which had been in use for more than 5 years and were not on toll roads. Authorizations were made for FYs 1978 and 1979.

Section 116 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1978 (1978 STAA, Public Law 95-599) codified the Interstate 3R Program as 23 U.S.C. 119, and required the States to (a) develop an Interstate System maintenance program and (b) certify annually that they were maintaining the system in accordance with the program. Section 105 of the 1978 Act permitted the States to transfer their Interstate 3R funds to their primary account upon certification that the funds were in excess of Interstate 3R needs.

The Federal-aid Highway Act of 1981 (Public Law 97-134) expanded the Interstate 3R program to a 4R program with the addition of reconstruction as an eligible item. Work eligible for I-4R funding included restoration, rehabilitation, resurfacing, and reconstruction for (a) activities included in the 1981 Interstate Cost Estimate but no longer eligible for Interstate construction funding, and (b) other work on the Interstate System not previously eligible for Interstate construction funding. Maintenance work that was not previously eligible under the 3R Program was still excluded. I-4R funds were generally not eligible for use on Interstate toll roads, but could be used on Interstate toll roads in use for more than 5 years if an agreement was reached between the State and the Secretary that (a) the toll road would become free upon the collection of enough tolls to pay for the road, and (b) the State would maintain it during the time tolls were collected. Interstate 4R funds were also made eligible for all Interstate routes designated under 23 U.S.C. 103 and 139(c), rather than just those in use for more than 5 years as specified in the 1976 Act.

Section 218 of the Urgent Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1982 (Public Law 97 216) provided an alternative for the use of certain Interstate construction funds that were in danger of lapsing. It allowed the Secretary to approve the use of Interstate construction funds on projects for resurfacing, restoring, rehabilitating, and reconstructing the Interstate System in accordance with the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 119, or for those purposes for which funds apportioned for the primary, secondary, and urban systems might be expended, in a State that had received no more than 1/2 percent of the total Interstate apportionment for FY 1983, where necessary in order to fully utilize Interstate System funds apportioned through FY 1982.

Federal participation for this program was changed by various legislative actions. The Federal share was 90 percent prior to November 6, 1978; 75 percent from November 6, 1978 to December 28, 1981; and 90 percent from December 29, 1981, to the present.

The Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (1982 STAA, Public Law 97-424) provided for the I-4R Discretionary program which is mentioned in the Interstate Maintenance Discretionary (IMD) section of this publication.

The Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 (1987 STURAA, Public Law 100-17) reduced the availability period for I-4R funds from 4 years to 3 years (i.e., the FY for which funds were authorized, 1 year before, and 1 year after). Section 116 of the 1987 STURAA (a) permitted all States, except Massachusetts, to transfer their Interstate construction apportionment to their I-4R or primary apportionments, (b) permitted a State to transfer up to 20 percent of its I-4R apportionment to the primary apportionment in any fiscal year without showing that the funds were in excess of I-4R needs, and (c) codified toll agreement language in 23 U.S.C. 119.

The 1991 ISTEA established the IM Program, which replaced the 3R portions of the superseded I-4R Program. The NHS funding was intended to address the fourth "R".

The 1991 ISTEA modified 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(5)(B) to provide a new apportionment formula utilizing the same lane-mile (55 percent) and vehicular miles of travel (45 percent) factors, but including computations for Interstate routes designated under 23 U.S.C. 103 and 139(c), and for Interstate routes designated under 23 U.S.C. 139(a) before March 9, 1984. Each State was guaranteed at least 1/2 percent of the total IM funds apportioned annually. It also amended 23 U.S.C. 119(a) to permit the Secretary to approve IM funded projects for resurfacing, restoring, and rehabilitating routes on the Interstate System designated under 23 U.S.C. 103 and 139(c), and routes designated prior to March 9, 1984, under 23 U.S.C. 139(a) and (b).

The 1991 ISTEA also amended 23 U.S.C. 119(e) to allow IM funding for preventive maintenance activities when a State can demonstrate through its pavement management system that such work would cost-effectively extend the Interstate pavement life. It further modified 23 U.S.C. 119(f) to allow a State to unconditionally transfer up to 20 percent of its IM apportionment to its NHS or Surface Transportation Program. Amounts in excess of 20 percent may also be transferred if a State (a) certified that the sums to be transferred were in excess of its needs for Interstate 3R work, and (b) certified that it was adequately maintaining the Interstate System.

The TEA-21 expanded the IM program to include reconstruction which allows IM funding to be used for new interchanges, new rest areas, additional noise walls, etc. The TEA-21 also extended IM fund usage to the following routes:

  1. routes on the Interstate System designated under 23 U.S.C. 103(c)(1) and in Alaska and Puerto Rico, under 23 U.S.C. 103(c)(4)(A);
  2. routes on the Interstate System designated before June 9, 1998, under subsections 139 (a) and (b) (as in effect before enactment of TEA-21);
  3. segments that become part of the Interstate System under Section 1105(e)(5) of the ISTEA, and
  4. toll roads, if subject to a 23 U.S.C. 129 agreement with the Secretary or continued in effect by Section 1012(d) of the 1991 ISTEA and not voided by the Secretary under Section 120(c) of the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987.

The TEA-21 also authorized $23.8 billion for FYs 1998-2003 for the IM program. After deducting $50 million in FY 1998 and $100 million in each of FYs 1999-2003 for the Interstate Maintenance Discretionary Program, the remainder was apportioned under the following formula:

  1. 33 and 1/3 percent based on each State's share of total lane miles all Interstate routes open to traffic;
  2. 33 and 1/3 percent based on each State's share of vehicle miles traveled on lanes on Interstate System routes open to traffic; and
  3. 33 and 1/3 percent based on each State's share of annual contributions to the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account) attributable to commercial vehicles.
  4. Each State is to receive a minimum of 1/2 percent of the total combined NHS and Interstate Maintenance (IM) apportionments.

Prior to the TEA-21, IM fund eligibility was limited to 3R work (resurfacing, restoration and rehabilitation) plus reconstruction of bridges, interchanges and overpasses along existing Interstate routes, including acquisition of right-of-way where necessary, but eligibility did not include the construction of new travel lanes other than high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes or auxiliary lanes.

Section 1107(a) of the TEA-21 modified 23 U.S.C. 119 and expanded IM eligibility to include reconstruction, the fourth "R". As a result, the construction of new interchanges and overpasses and the addition of new features, like rest areas, additional noise walls, etc., are now eligible for IM funding. The TEA-21 retained in 23 U.S.C. 119(d) the prohibition against funding added capacity. Therefore, the construction of new travel lanes other than HOV lanes or auxiliary lanes continues to be ineligible for IM funding.

The TEA-21 repealed provisions of 23 USC 119 dealing with preventive maintenance. However, preventive maintenance activities for all features of an Interstate highway are eligible for IM funding under the general eligibility provisions for preventive maintenance established in 23 U.S.C. 116(d).

Under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 126, Uniform Transferability of Federal-Aid Highway Funds, a State may transfer up to 50% of its IM apportionment to its National Highway System, Surface Transportation Program, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, Bridge Program, or Recreational Trails Program apportionments..

The Surface Transportation Extension Acts of 2003, 2004 (Parts I through V), and 2005 (Parts I through VI) authorized continued funding for the IM program at FY 2003 levels until the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59) was enacted on August 10, 2005.

SAFETEA-LU authorized $25.2 billion for FYs 2005-2009 for this program. After setting aside $100 million in each of FYs 2005 through 2009 for the IM Discretionary Program, in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 118(c)(1), as amended by section 1111(a) of SAFETEA-LU, the remaining funds are apportioned to the States using the same formula described above for TEA-21.

Interstate Maintenance Discretionary (IMD)

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 118(c); SAFETEA-LU Section 1111(a)

Eligibility: IMD funds may be allocated to the States for resurfacing, restoring, rehabilitating, and reconstructing most existing routes or portions thereof on the Interstate System, including providing additional Interstate capacity.

Background: The IMD Program continues the I-4R Discretionary Program which was established by Section 115(a) of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (1982 STAA, Public Law 97-424). Funds for the initial I-4R Discretionary Program were derived from lapsed I-4R apportionments and were available to States that (a) had obligated all their I-4R apportionments, except for amounts too small to pay for a project submitted for approval, and (b) were willing and able to obligate the funds within 1 year of the date they were made available, apply them to a ready to commence project, and, for construction work, begin work within 90 days of obligation.

Section 114 of the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 (1987 STURAA, Public Law 100-17) provided for a $200 million per year set-aside for each of FYs 1988-1992 from the I-4R authorization for continuation of the I-4R Discretionary Program and provided criteria/factors to be used in distributing the discretionary funds.

Section 1020 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) provided funds for the continuation of the I-4R Discretionary Program. These funds were set-asides from the National Highway System funds.

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) continued this program by authorizing set-asides from the IM funds of $50 million in FY 1998 and $100 million in each of FYs 1999-2003. These funds are provided for resurfacing, restoration, rehabilitation and reconstruction of any route or portion thereof on the Interstate System (other than a route designated under 23 U.S.C. 139 as in effect before the enactment of TEA-21 and any toll road on the Interstate not subject to a Secretarial agreement under 23 U.S.C. 119(e) as in effect on December 17, 1991.

The funds could be used by any State that had:

  1. Obligated or demonstrated that it would obligate in the fiscal year all its Interstate Maintenance apportionments, except for amounts too small to pay the Federal share of the cost of a project for resurfacing, restoring, rehabilitating, or reconstructing the Interstate System which had been submitted for approval, and
  2. Indicated it was willing and able to obligate the funds within 1 year of the date they were made available, apply them to a ready to commence project, and, for construction work, begin work within 90 days of obligation.
  3. Previous years transfer of IM funds to other core programs do not count as obligation of funds.

SAFETEA-LU continued funding for the IMD program by authorizing $100 million for each of FYs 2005 through 2009, under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 118(c)(1), as amended by section 1111(a) of SAFETEA-LU. Under the provisions of section 1102(f) of SAFETEA-LU, only the amount of this $100 million for which obligation authority is provided is actually available for obligation. Therefore, the available funds are reduced by any obligation limitation imposed for the fiscal year.

These available IMD funds continue to be allocated to the States on the basis of applications in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 118(c)(2). However, since FY 2002, Congress has been designating all of the available IMD funds each year for specific projects they list in the conference report accompanying the annual appropriations act. In addition, Congress has included a provision each year in the appropriations act that declares these designated projects to be eligible for IMD funds "notwithstanding any other provision of law." This eligibility provision overrides the statutory eligibility and priority consideration criteria in 23 U.S.C. 118(c).

Interstate System Construction Toll Pilot Program

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: Section 1604(c) of the 2005 SAFETEA-LU (Public Law 109-59)

Eligibility: Tolls may be collected by a State or an interstate compact of States on a highway, bridge or tunnel on the Interstate System for the purpose of constructing new Interstate highways. Up to three separate facilities on the Interstate System may participate in this toll pilot program. It is not necessary that each facility be in a different State. If an interstate compact of States is formed, then a single project may span more than one State. To be eligible under this pilot program, an applicant must demonstrate that financing the construction of the facility with the collection of tolls is the most efficient and economical way to advance the project.

Applications for eligible candidates will include: an identification of the eligible facility; in the case of a facility that affects a metropolitan area, an assurance that the metropolitan planning organization for the area has been consulted concerning the placement and amount of tolls on the facility; an analysis showing that financing the construction of the facility with the collection of tolls is the most efficient and economical way to advance the project; and a facility management plan outlining the implementation of the tolls, schedule and financing for the construction of the facility, a description of the public transportation agency administering the pilot program, and a description of whether consideration will be given to privatizing the maintenance and operations of the facility.

Background: SAFETEA-LU Section 1604(c) established a new program authorizing up to 3 toll pilot facilities on the Interstate System for the purpose of constructing new Interstate highways.

Before participating in the toll pilot program, a State must execute an agreement with FHWA that provides that all toll revenues will only be used for:

  1. debt service,
  2. reasonable return on investment of any private person financing the project, and
  3. costs necessary for the improvement of and proper operation and maintenance of the facility including reconstruction, resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation.

There is no special Federal funding specifically authorized for this program. During the term of the pilot program, Interstate Maintenance funds may not be used on the facility for which tolls are being collected under this program.

Other program features include:

  1. the State plan for implementing tolls on the facility takes into account the interests of local, regional, and interstate travelers;
  2. the State will develop, manage, and maintain a system that will automatically collect tolls;
  3. non-compete agreements are prohibited -- a State may not enter into an agreement with a private entity that prevents the State from improving or expanding capacity of adjacent roads to address conditions resulting from diverted traffic;
  4. all applications for participation in this pilot program must be received by FHWA before August 10, 2015.

Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program

March 13, 2009

Statutory Reference: Section 1216(b) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178)

Eligibility: Tolls may be collected on 3 Interstate highways for the purpose of reconstructing and rehabilitating highways that could not otherwise be adequately maintained or functionally improved without collecting tolls. Each of the 3 Interstate highways are to be located in different States.

Applications for eligible candidates will include the age, condition and intensity of use of the facility; if applicable, consultation with the MPO regarding placement and amount of tolls; an analysis showing that the facility could not be maintained or improved to meet current or future needs from the State s apportionments and other revenues without tolls; and a facility management plan outlining the implementation of the tolls, schedule and financing for the reconstruction or rehabilitation, a description of the public transportation agency administering the tolls, and a description of whether the maintenance and operations will be privatized.

Background: Each State selected under the toll pilot program must execute an agreement with FHWA that all toll revenues will be used only for:

  1. debt service,
  2. reasonable return on investment of any private person financing the project and
  3. costs necessary for the improvement of and proper operation and maintenance of the facility including reconstruction, rehabilitation, resurfacing, and restoration.

The pilot program shall be conducted for at least 10 years and during that period Interstate Maintenance funds under 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(4) may not be used on the toll facility.

The toll pilot program may include any route on the Interstate system as described in 23 U.S.C. 103(c)

Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) [Formerly the Rural Technical Assistance Program (RTAP)]

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 504(b)

Eligibility: To provide training and technical assistance to rural, small urban and tribal governments on roads, bridges, and public transportation.

Background: The FY 1982 Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriation Act (Public Law 97-102) made $5 million available for rural technical assistance. Congress directed that the funding be used for technical assistance to meet the growing demands placed on rural roads from increased urban sprawl and the increased size and weight of trucks carrying goods from farm to market.

To further develop the rural technical assistance concept, Congress, in FY 1983, directed that the funding be used to develop a RTAP program and implementation schedule setting forth the special needs of rural transportation and to identify how the RTAP program could help meet these needs.

FHWA was designated the lead agency for the program because of its experience with rural roads and its network of division offices working directly with the States.

To accomplish these goals, the FHWA, in cooperation with State highway agencies (SHA's) and universities, established a nationwide system of technology transfer (T2) centers in the 50 States and Puerto Rico. These T2 centers provide essential training to counties, small cities, and towns, and distribute a wide range of new technology to local agencies.

The centers operate under agreements with their respective SHA s which, in turn, have Federal-aid agreements with the FHWA. In most cases the centers receive assistance from SHA s and the FHWA field offices in the form of course instructors, technical advice, and technical materials. The program is operated principally through universities continuing education offices or special units designed to provide technical assistance to local officials, with some centers part of the SHA operation.

Section 6004 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) continued and expanded the RTAP under 23 U.S.C. 326 in the following manner:

  1. Technology transfer and technology assistance may be provided to urban local governments with populations between 50,000 and 1,000,000 in those States with two or more urbanized areas. This prompted a name change for the program to Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP).
  2. Technical assistance packages are to be prepared and provided for pavement management systems, bridge management systems, safety management systems, use of travel and tourism for economic development, and intergovernmental transportation planning and project selection.
  3. At least two T2 centers were to be established to serve the needs of the American Indian tribal governments and provide training on intergovernmental transportation planning and project selection and the use of tourism and recreation travel for economic development purposes. The FHWA and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) have established six centers to serve the needs of the American Indians.

Section 5104 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) as amended by Title IX of Public Law 105-206 continued and expanded the LTAP under Title 23 United States Code, including an additional 5 TTAP Centers, and added the requirement to provide access to surface transportation technology to contractors that do work for local agencies served by LTAP.

The LTAP/TTAP goals are to:

  1. Provide local transportation agencies and American Indian tribal governments access to modern highway technology.
  2. Assist rural local transportation agencies and American Indian tribal governments to develop and expand their expertise in roads and transportation areas.
  3. Assist rural local transportation agencies and American Indian tribal governments to improve roads and bridges, and to enhance programs for the movement of passengers and freight.
  4. Promote effective networking and cooperation among Federal, State, local, tribal, and T2 centers.

Annual funding for T2 centers is 50 percent Federal LTAP funds of $140,000 and 50 percent or more matching funds obtained from (a) State, university, and local funds, (b) contributed resources and services, (c) training funds, (d) SPR (formerly HPR) funds, and (e) safety funds. The TTAP centers are 100 percent Federally funded (50 percent FHWA, 50 percent BIA through the Federal Lands Highway Office).

The initial funds for FY 1982 were to remain available until expended. From FY 1982 through FY 1996, the FHWA has continued to include funding for LTAP, about $4 million per year, in its annual General Operating Expenses (GOE) budget. The 1991 ISTEA provided contract authority for LTAP of $6 million per year. These funds added to the annual GOE provided for an approximately $10 million per year for the program.

Under TEA-21, LTAP received $7 million contract authority for FYs 1998-1999, $8 million for FY 2000, $9 million for FY 2001 and $10 million for FYs 2002-2003. These amounts are subject to the obligation limitation. For FYs 1998-1999 the obligation limitation reduced the available funds for LTAP from the contract authority amount of $7 million to approximately $6.2 million per year. No GOE funds are available to supplement the program.

Under SAFETEA-LU, LTAP/TTAP received $11.1 million contract authority for FYs 2005-2009. These amounts are subject to the obligation limitation. No GOE funds are available to supplement the program.

Metropolitan Planning Funds

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 104(f) and 134

Eligibility: PL funds are available for MPOs to carry out the metropolitan transportation planning process required by 23 U.S.C. 134, including development of metropolitan area transportation plans and transportation improvement programs. Eligible activities include conducting inventories of existing routes to determine their physical condition and capacity, determining the types and volumes of vehicles using these routes, predicting the level and location of future population, employment, and economic growth, and using such information to determine current and future transportation needs. Under 23 U.S.C. 134, MPOs are responsible for developing, in cooperation with the State and affected transit operators, a long-range transportation plan and a transportation improvement program (TIP) for the area. Both the plan and the TIP must be fiscally constrained. The TIP also must be prioritized, and consistent with the transportation plan, and must include all projects in the metropolitan area that are proposed for funding with either Title 23 or Federal Transit Act (Title 49, U.S.C., Chapter 53) money.

Background: Section 9 of the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1962 (Public Law 87-866) added Section 134 to Title 23, U.S.C., which required a continuing, comprehensive, and cooperative planning process in urban areas of 50,000 or more population. Prior to 1973, funding for this planning process was provided from existing programs. Section 112 of the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-87) added Section 104(f) to Title 23, to provide PL funds for MPOs to carry out the Section 134 process. One-half percent of certain categories of funds authorized under 23 U.S.C. 104 were deducted before apportionment and apportioned to the States for metropolitan planning based on each States share of population in urbanized areas. The optional use of 1/2 percent of minimum allocation funds for PL was added by Section 124 of the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 (1987 STURAA, Public Law 100-17). The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) increased the deduction for PL funds to 1 percent. The Safe Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59) increased the deduction for PL funds to 1.25 percent and specified the programs (IM, NHS, STP, CMAQ, and Bridge) that PL funds would be taken down from.

The Federal-aid Highway Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-280) amended 23 U.S.C. 104(f) to allow States receiving the minimum apportionment of PL funds to use these funds to finance transportation planning activities outside the urbanized areas, subject to approval of the Secretary, if the funds were in excess of that needed for urbanized area planning. In accordance with 23 U.S.C. 134(n), which was added by the 1991 ISTEA, any PL funds in any State that are not used for metropolitan planning under Section 134, may be made available by the MPO(s) to the State for statewide transportation planning under 23 U.S.C. 135. SAFETEA-LU moved this provision form section 134(n) to 23 USC 104(f)(3)(B).

The Federal share for the PL funds was initially administratively linked to the ratio for Highway Planning and Research (HPR) funds (now State Planning and Research funds). When the HPR Federal share was increased to 85 percent beginning in FY 1983, per Section 156 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (1982 STAA, Public Law 97-424), the PL ratio was also increased to 85 percent. Prior to FY 1983, the PL ratio was generally 80 percent. The 1982 STAA also provided (codified as 23 U.S.C. 120(j)) that the sliding scale rates were applicable to HPR; therefore, it was administratively determined that the sliding scale rates also applied to PL funds. Section 6001 of the 1991 ISTEA changed the name of HPR funds to State Planning and Research (SPR) funds and set the SPR matching ratio at 80 percent without sliding scale. At the same time, Section 120(j) was removed from 23 U.S.C.; thus the matching ratio for PL funds is now 80 percent with sliding scale in accordance with the general matching provisions of 23 U.S.C. 120.

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) did not alter the basic provisions for PL funds. However, with the restructuring of the Federal-aid highway program under the TEA-21, the categories of funds that PL funds are derived from has changed. In addition to increasing the PL takedown to 1.25 percent, SAFETEA-LU added a new provision [23 USC 104(4)(B)] that requires States to reimburse an MPO for PL funds expended within 30 days of receipt of a request for reimbursement form the MPO.

National Corridor Infrastructure Improvement Program (NCIIP)

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: SAFETEA-LU Section(s): 1101(a)(10), 1102, 1302, 1935, 1936, 1953;

Eligibility: Highway construction projects in corridors of national significance

Background: SAFETEA-LU authorized the following funding amounts for this program:

Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Authorization $195 M $390 M $487M $487M $390 M

Funds are subject to the overall Federal-aid obligation limitation. In addition, an unspecified amount of funding is authorized from the General Fund, which would require appropriation action to become available [SAFETEA-LU Section(s): 1102, 1953]

For each project designated in section 1302, the Secretary shall allocate a portion of the amount designated for that project: 10% in 2005, 20% for 2006, 25% for 2007, 25% for 2008 and 20% for 2009

The funds designated for a project in section 1302 are available only for that project with the following exception: Funds allocated for a project specified below may be obligated for any other of these projects in the same State:

  1. High Priority Projects listed in section 1702 and numbered 3677 or higher;
  2. Projects of National and Regional Significance listed in section 1301 and numbered 19 or higher;
  3. National Corridor Infrastructure Improvement Program projects listed in section 1302 and numbered 28 or higher; or
  4. Any Transportation Improvements project listed in section 1934

Except that the authorization for a project from the category list may not be reduced. [SAFETEA-LU Section 1935]

Corridor projects also may be advanced with funds apportioned under 23 U.S.C. 104(b) from a program under which the project would be eligible, and the funds are to be restored to that program from future allocations for the project. [SAFETEA-LU Section 1936]

In addition to the funding shown above for FY 2005, $140 M is provided for the National Corridor Planning and Development and Coordinated Border Infrastructure programs combined under sections 1118 and 1119 of TEA-21 to be administered under the terms of those sections. [SAFETEA-LU Section 1101(a)(19)]

When discretionary funding is available, funding for projects will be awarded through a selection process conducted by the Secretary that:

  1. requires States to submit an application
  2. gives priority to projects in corridors that are part of, or will be part of, the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways after completion, and to projects that will be completed within 5 years of allocation of funds for the project

Projects will be selected with consideration of the extent to which:

  1. the corridor links two existing segments of the Interstate System
  2. the project facilitates major multi-state or regional mobility, economic growth, and development in areas underserved by highway infrastructure
  3. commercial traffic in corridor has increased since enactment of NAFTA and where traffic is projected to increase in the future
  4. international truck-borne commodities movement through the corridor
  5. the project will reduce congestion on an existing segment of the Interstate
  6. the project will reduce commercial and other travel time through a major freight corridor
  7. Federal funds will be leveraged - including use of innovative funding, other SAFETEA-LU or Title 23 funding, and other sources of Federal, State, local or private funding
  8. and the value of the cargo carried by commercial vehicle traffic in the corridor and the economic costs arising from congestion in the corridor

National Highway Institute

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 504

Eligibility: See Below

Background: The National Highway Institute (NHI), a staff office in FHWA Headquarters, is responsible for identifying current and future technical training needs and for developing training to satisfy the identified needs in cooperation with FHWA program and field offices and State highway agencies (SHA). The NHI primary mission is to provide education and training to Federal, State, and local employees associated with Federal-aid highway work. The NHI provides this training and education primarily through a program of short courses aimed at States and the Local Transportation Assistance Program (LTAP) which is geared to serve local agencies.

The NHI focus is on training courses that are not readily available from consulting firms or educational institutions and which SHAs would not ordinarily develop for themselves. The training course offerings are geared toward topics involving new and rapidly changing technology and are frequently an integral part of the FHWA's overall technology transfer effort to communicate the results of recent research and new technology.

The NHI was established by Section 115 of the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1970 (Public Law 91-605) to provide funding for the education and training of State and local highway agency employees. It was codified as 23 U.S.C. 321.

Section 131 of the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 (1987 STURAA, Public Law 100-17), modified 23 U.S.C. 321 and provided that a State could use up to 1/4 percent of its apportioned Interstate Construction, Interstate 4R, and Primary funds [previously a State could use up to 1/2 percent of Primary, Secondary, and Urban funds] for payment of up to 75 percent of the cost of tuition and direct educational expenses (but not travel, subsistence, or salaries) for the education and training of State and local highway agency employees. The period available and lapse prevention were to be controlled by the system funds being utilized.

Section 6002 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) amended 23 U.S.C. 321 and provided that a State could use up to 1/16 percent of all funds apportioned to a State for the Surface Transportation Program (STP) for payment of up to 80 percent of the cost of tuition and direct educational expenses (but not travel, subsistence, or salaries) for the education and training of State and local highway agency employees.

Section 5104 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) changed 23 U.S.C. 321 to 23 U.S.C. 504, and provided that a State could use up to 1/2 percent of all funds apportioned to a State for the STP for payment of up to 80 percent of the cost of tuition and direct educational expenses (excluding salaries) for the education and training of State and local highway agency employees.

Section 5204(e) of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) provides that funds from the Surface Transportation Program (STP), National Highway System (NHS), Bridge Program, Interstate Maintenance, and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) may be used, at the discretion of the states, for workforce development, training and education purposes. Funds may be used for training and education for in-service workers, and for transportation career "pipeline" activities including surface transportation career awareness, student internships and university or community college support. Funds used for workforce development, training and education purposes are available at 100% federal funding. A SHA match for funding is not required.

SAFETEA-LU did not explicitly replace the TEA-21 ½ percent of STP funds provision, and both the TEA-21 ½ percent provision and SAFETEA-LU 5204(e) are codified in 23 U.S.C. 504. While both provisions have been codified, the scope of SAFETEA-LU 5204(e) is much broader than the ½ percent STP provision in TEA-21, and will for practical application purposes supersede the TEA-21 ½ percent provision.

National Highway System (NHS)

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 103 and 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(1); SAFETEA-LU Sections 1101(a)(2), 1103, and 6006

Eligibility: Funds apportioned to a State for the NHS may be obligated for:

  1. Construction, reconstruction, resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation of segments of the NHS;
  2. Operational improvements for segments of the NHS;
  3. Construction of, and operational improvements for, a Federal-aid highway not on the NHS, and construction of a transit project eligible for assistance under chapter 53 of title 49 if (a) such highway or transit project is in the same corridor as, and in proximity to, a fully access-controlled NHS highway, (b) the construction or improvements will improve the level of service on the fully access-controlled NHS highway and improve regional travel, and (c) the construction or improvements are more cost-effective than improvements on the fully access controlled NHS highway would be to provide the same benefits;
  4. Highway safety improvements for segments of the NHS;
  5. Transportation planning in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 134 and 135;
  6. Highway research and planning in accordance with chapter 5 of title 23;
  7. Highway-related technology transfer activities;
  8. Capital and operating costs for traffic monitoring, management, and control facilities and programs;
  9. Fringe and corridor parking facilities;
  10. Carpool and vanpool projects;
  11. Bicycle transportation and pedestrian walkways in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 217;
  12. Development, establishment, and implementation of management systems under 23 U.S.C. 303;
  13. In accordance with all applicable Federal law (including regulations), participation in natural habitat and wetland mitigation efforts related to projects funded under this title, which may include participation in natural habitat and wetland mitigation banks, contributions to statewide and regional efforts to conserve, restore, enhance, and create natural habitats and wetland, and development of statewide and regional natural habitat and wetland conservation and mitigation plans, including any such banks, efforts, and plans authorized under the Water Resources Development Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-640) (including crediting provisions). Contributions to the mitigation efforts described in the preceding sentence may take place concurrent with or in advance of project construction; except that contributions in advance of project construction may occur only if the efforts are consistent with all applicable requirements of Federal law (including regulations) and State transportation planning processes. With respect to participation in a natural habitat or wetland mitigation effort related to a project funded under this title that has an impact that occurs within the service area of a mitigation bank, preference shall be given, to the maximum extent practicable, to the use of the mitigation bank if the bank contains sufficient available credits to offset the impact and the bank is approved in accordance with the Federal Guidance for the Establishment, Use and Operation of Mitigation Banks (60 Fed. Reg. 58605 (November 28, 1995)) or other applicable Federal law (including regulations);
  14. Publicly-owned intracity or intercity bus terminals;
  15. Infrastructure-based intelligent transportation systems capital improvements;
  16. Environmental restoration and pollution abatement in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 328; and
  17. Control of noxious weeds and aquatic noxious weeds and establishment of native species in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 329.

Background: The NHS, as authorized by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240), was designated by law in section 101(a) of the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 (1995 NHSDA, Public Law 104-59).

The purpose of the NHS is to provide an interconnected system of principal arterial routes which serve major population centers, international border crossings, ports, airports, public transportation facilities, other intermodal transportation facilities, and other major travel destinations; meet national defense requirements; and serve interstate and interregional travel. As of January 2005, the NHS contained 164,923 miles of highways, including all Interstate routes, a large percentage of urban and rural principal arterials, connectors to major intermodal terminals, the defense strategic highway network, and major strategic highway connectors. About 2700 NHS miles are not yet open to traffic.

The 1991 ISTEA authorized $21.0 billion to be appropriated out of the Highway Trust Fund for FYs 1992-1997. These funds were apportioned to the States based on a State's percentage share of apportionments for FYs 1987-1991.

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) authorized $28.5 billion for FYs 1998-2003 for this program. After deducting $36.4 million per fiscal year for the Territories and $18.8 million per fiscal year for the Alaska Highway, the remainder was apportioned to the States under the following formula:

  1. 25 percent in the ratio of mileage of principal arterials (excluding Interstate) in each State bears to total mileage of principal arterials (excluding Interstate) in all States.
  2. 35 percent in the ratio that total vehicle miles of travel on principal arterials (excluding Interstate) in each State bears to total vehicle miles of travel on principal arterials (excluding Interstate) in all States.
  3. 30 percent in the ratio that the total diesel fuel used on highways in each State bears to the total diesel fuel used on highways in all States.
  4. 10 percent in the ratio that the quotient from dividing total mileage of principal arterials in a State by the total population in a State bears to the quotient from dividing total mileage of principal arterials in all States by total population in all States.
  5. Each State is to receive a minimum of 1/2 percent of the total combined NHS and Interstate Maintenance (IM) apportionments.

The TEA-21 added designated connectors to major intermodal terminals to the initial NHS designated system and provided that the authorized maximum mileage of the NHS is 178,250 miles. It also provided authority for the Secretary to approve modifications to the NHS if the modification meets criteria in 23 U.S.C. and enhances the NHS.

The Surface Transportation Extension Acts of 2003, 2004 (Parts I through V), and 2005 (Parts I through VI) authorized continued funding for the NHS program at FY 2003 levels until the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59) was enacted on August 10, 2005.

SAFETEA-LU authorized $30.5 billion for FYs 2005-2009 for this program. After deducting $40 million in each of FYs 2005 and 2006 and $50 million in each of FYs 2007 through 2009 for the Territories, and $30 million per fiscal year for the Alaska Highway, the remaining funds are apportioned to the States using the above formula.

Section 6006 of SAFETEA-LU expanded eligibility for NHS funds to include environmental restoration and pollution abatement, and control of noxious weeds and establishment of native species, as described under sections 328 and 329 of title 23.

National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: Sec. 1224 of the TEA-21, as amended. Section 1804 of SAFETEA-LU, as amended.

Eligibility: Projects are to provide for rehabilitation or repair of a historic covered bridge (listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places); and for preservation of an historic covered bridge by installation of a fire protection system, including a fireproofing or fire detection and sprinklers. Projects may also include installation of a system to prevent vandalism and arson, or relocation of a bridge to a preservation site.

Additionally, funds may be used to collect and disseminate information concerning historic covered bridges, to foster educational programs relating to the history and construction techniques of such structures, conduct research on their history, and conduct research and study techniques on protecting them from rot, fire, natural disaster or weight-related damage.

Projects must be carried out in the most historically appropriate manner and preserve the existing structure. Projects must also provide for replacement of wooden components with wooden components unless the use of wood is impractical for safety reasons.

Background: Section 1224 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178), as amended, authorized to be appropriated $10 million for each of FYs 1999-2003 for a National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program. Funding was made available for FY 2000 - 2003 through appropriations by Congress under the budget authority established for this program by TEA-21. The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59) reauthorized the program at $10 million for each of FY 2006 - 2009. Funding will only be available if future appropriations are made by Congress under budget authority established for this program by SAFETEA-LU

National Scenic Byways Program

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 162; Section 1802 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act:A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU Public Law 109-59l; Section 1219 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178); and Section 1047 of the 1991 ISTEA (Public Law 102-240);

Eligibility: Funds may be used to undertake eligible projects along All-American Roads, National Scenic Byways, State scenic byways and Indian tribe scenic byways and for the planning, design, and development of State scenic byways programs. Eligible projects include: making safety improvements to a highway designated as a scenic byway; construction of facilities along such a highway for use of pedestrians and bicyclists, such as rest area turnouts, overlooks, and interpretive facilities; improvements to the highway to improve access to recreational purposes; protecting historical and cultural resources along the highway; tourist information and scenic byways marketing plans and programs.

Background: The National Scenic Byways Program was established in Section 1047 of ISTEA. TEA-21 codified the program in 23 U.S.C. 162. SAFETEA-LU continues the program.

The Secretary recognizes roads having outstanding scenic, historic, cultural, natural, recreational, and archaeological qualities by designating the roads as National Scenic Byways or All-American roads. These roads are promoted collectively under the term America's Byways. To be considered for designation, a road must be nominated by a State, and Indian tribe, or a Federal land management agency and must first be designated as a byway by the State, an Indian tribe, or Federal land management agency.

Funds are available for technical assistance to the States and for the planning, design, and development of State scenic byways programs. Section 1101(a)(12) of the SAFETEA-LU made the following amounts available out of the Highway Trust Fund: $26.5 million in FY 2005, $30.0 million in FY 2006, $35.0 million in FY 2007, $40 million in FY 2008, and $43.5 million in FY 2009.

Additionally, eligible scenic byways activities may be funded through the 10 percent set-aside of Surface Transportation Program funds for transportation enhancement activities.

On-the-Job Training

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 140(a)

Eligibility: State highway agencies determine which Federal-aid highway contracts shall have special training provisions, identify the trades, and set the number to be trained in highway construction skilled crafts and transportation technology related careers. States are expected to require highway contractors to make every effort to enroll minority and women trainees/apprentices in those trades and careers in which they are under represented. Highway construction contractors utilizing registered training programs are exempt from payment of minimum wage rates to trainees enrolled in such programs.

To assist States in fulfilling their responsibilities under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) permits a State to reserve ) On-the-Job Training (OJT) positions established under 23 U.S.C. 140(a) for persons who receive welfare assistance from such State. Implementation of this provision shall not cause current employees to be displaced or current positions to be supplanted. Workers participating in apprenticeship or skill improvement programs registered with the Department of Labor or the appropriate State agency will not be precluded from referral to and hiring for OJT positions on projects funded by Title 23.

Under Section 5204(e), SAFETEA-LU (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, Public Law (Pub.L.No.) 109-59) expands the types of eligible OJT activities beyond training and education for employees to "pipeline" programs that will help students prepare for transportation careers. Examples of "pipeline" programs include, but are not limited to education activities, including outreach, to develop interest and promote participation in surface transportation careers.

Background: The primary objective of the OJT Program is to train and upgrade minorities and women into higher paying skilled trades and transportation technology related careers to meet the projected labor needs. Under Section 22 of the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1968 (Public Law 90-495), State highway agencies are required to certify that there are available apprenticeship, skill improvement or other upgrading programs registered with the Department of Labor or the appropriate State agency. The Transportation Research Board estimates that approximately 50% of the State Transportation Agency workforce will be eligible to retire within the next 10 years. Section 5204(e) of SAFETEA-LU will provide a greater opportunity to develop the current transportation workforce.

On-the-Job Training Supportive Services

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 140(b)

Eligibility: These funds are to be used to increase the overall effectiveness of States' OJT highway construction and transportation technology related career training programs and cannot be used to finance the training of State highway employees or to provide services in support of such training.

Under Section 5204(e)(1)(A)(B), (C), (D), (E), of SAFETEA-LU, surface transportation workforce development, training, and education includes: tuition and direct educational expenses, excluding salaries, in connection with the education and training of employees of State and local transportation agencies; employee professional development; student internships; university or community college support; and education activities, including outreach, to develop interest and promote participation in surface transportation careers. Under Section 5204(e)(3), surface transportation workforce development, training and education is defined as activities associated with surface transportation career awareness, student transportation career preparation, and training and professional development for surface transportation workers, including activities for minorities and women.

These funds are to be used to increase the overall effectiveness of States' OJT highway construction and transportation technology related career training programs and cannot be used to finance the training of State highway employees or to provide services in support of such training.

Background: Method No. 1: Section 337 of the General Provisions in the FY 1990 DOT Appropriations Act (Public Law 101-164) provided States the option to utilize 1/4 percent of their apportionments of Interstate, Primary, Secondary, Urban, Bridge, Hazard Elimination, and Rail-Highway Crossing funds in FY 1990-1991 for the 23 U.S.C. 140(b) skills training program. Section 412 of the Department of Transportation Appropriations Act of 1993 (Public Law 102-388) continued authorization for the States' option to use available OJT/SS funds and increased the funding level to 1/2 percent of the apportionments.

Method No. 2: Funds for skill training and supportive services were first authorized under Section 110 of the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1970 (Public Law 91-605) at a funding level of $5 million. Section 120 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-87) increased the funding not to exceed $10 million per fiscal year. The source of funding from which the Secretary may deduct these funds was changed by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) from 104(b) to 104(b)(3).

Section 1208(b) of the TEA-21 amended 23 U.S.C. 140(b) to broaden the scope of the OJT/SS program by including transportation technology related training and funding for the Summer Transportation Institutes.

Under Section 5204(e) of SAFETEA-LU, and subject to project approval by the Secretary, a State may obligate funds apportioned to the State under sections 104(b)(1), 104(b)(2), 104(b)(3), 104(b)(4), and 144(e) for surface transportation workforce development.

Operation Lifesaver

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 104(d)

Eligibility: Operation Lifesaver funds may be used to carry out public information and education programs intended to help reduce motor vehicle accidents, injuries, and fatalities, and to improve driver performance at highway-rail grade crossings and on railroad rights-of-way.

Background: Section 1010 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) revised 23 U.S.C. 104(d) so as to require the Secretary of Transportation to provide funds for the Operation Lifesaver Program. Section 1103(c)(1) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) continued funding for this program.

The TEA-21 authorized the deduction from STP funds for Operation Lifesaver to be $500,000 per fiscal year.

This program was continued as a part of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), funding was increased to $560,000.

Park Roads and Parkways Program

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 101, 201, 202, 203, and 204

Eligibility: Parkways and Park Roads funds may be used on eligible roads as defined in 23 U.S.C. 101 and discussed in 23 U.S.C. 204. No legislative formula was established for allocating PRP funds. Funds are allocated to each NPS region, based on an administrative formula.

Background:

The Park Roads and Parkways (PRP) program provides funding for the planning, design, construction, or reconstruction of designated public roads that provide access to or within national parks, recreation areas, historic areas, and other units of the National Park Service.

The NPS and FHWA jointly administer the program, in accordance with Interagency Agreements:

  1. FLH undertakes a majority of the design, construction, and oversight work.
  2. NPS develops a priority program of projects and is responsible for planning, environment, and protection of NPS values.

The FHWA began providing technical and engineering assistance in the early 1920's to the National Park Service. The Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (1982 STAA, Public Law 97-424) established a coordinated Federal Lands Highways Program (FLHP) consisting of forest highways, public lands highways, parkways and park roads, and Indian reservation roads. A formal interagency agreement was signed in 1983.

Subsequent reauthorizations of the transportation bill have provided fluctuating funding amounts of the program. Currently, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, or SAFETEA-LU (Public Law 109-59), authorizes the following dollar amounts for the program:

  1. FY 2004 $165,000,000
  2. FY 2005 $180,000,000
  3. FY 2006 $195,000,000
  4. FY 2007 $210,000,000
  5. FY 2008 $225,000,000
  6. FY 2009 $240,000,000

Projects of National and Regional Significance (PNRS)

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: SAFETEA-LU Sections: 1101(a)(15), 1102, 1301; 1935; 1936; 1953; 1959; 1964

Eligibility: An eligible project is any surface transportation project eligible for assistance under 23 USC, including a freight railroad project eligible under that title, that has a total eligible cost greater than or equal to the lesser of (1) $500,000,000 or (2) 75 percent of the amount of Federal highway funds apportioned to the State in which the project is located for the most recently completed fiscal year.

Background : The Projects of National and Regional Significance Program provides funding beyond the State apportionment levels for high cost transportation infrastructure facilities for critical national economic and transportation needs that are not adequately funded within existing surface transportation program categories. The program seeks to improve economic productivity, facilitate international trade, relieve congestion, and enhance movement of passengers and freight.

Applications for funding will be solicited by the Secretary of Transportation and funding for projects will be awarded competitively through an evaluation process modeled on the Transit New Starts program and based on the results of preliminary engineering. Projects are evaluated on the ability of the project to:

  1. generate national economic benefits
  2. reduce congestion
  3. improve transportation safety
  4. enhance the national transportation system
  5. garner support for non-Federal financial commitments and the degree to which Federal investment is leveraged
  6. provide evidence of stable and dependable financing for construction, maintenance, and operation of the facility
  7. use new technologies that enhance project efficiency
  8. help maintain or protect the environment

SAFETEA-LU requires the Secretary of Transportation to establish regulations on the manner in which the proposed PNRS projects will be evaluated and rated, in order to determine which projects shall receive grant funding.

A project financed under this program shall be carried out through a Full Funding Grant Agreement. The Secretary shall enter into a full funding grant agreement based on the evaluations and ratings of projects.

Full Funding Grant Agreements provided through the PNRS program can be used for eligible project costs. Eligible costs are development phase activities (including planning, feasibility analysis, revenue forecasting, environmental review, preliminary engineering and design work, and other preconstruction activities) and the costs of construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and acquisition of real property, environmental mitigation, construction contingencies, acquisition of equipment, and operational improvements.

SAFETEA-LU authorized the following funding amounts for this program:

Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Authorization $178M $356M $445M $445M $356M

The funds designated for a project in section 1301 are available only for that project with the following exception: Funds allocated for a project specified below may be obligated for any other of these projects in the same State:

  1. High Priority Projects listed in section 1702 and numbered 3677 or higher;
  2. Projects of National and Regional Significance listed in section 1301 and numbered 19 or higher;
  3. National Corridor Infrastructure Improvement Program projects listed in section 1302 and numbered 28 or higher; or
  4. Any Transportation Improvements project listed in section 1934; except that the amount of funds authorized for a project from the category list may not be reduced. [SAFETEA-LU Section 1935]

PNRS projects may be advanced with funds apportioned under 23 U.S.C. 104(b) from a program under which the project would be eligible, and the funds are to be restored from future allocations of the PNRS project funds for the project. [SAFETEA-LU Section 1936]

All of the funds authorized for this program from the Highway Trust Fund are designated for projects listed in section SAFETEA-LU Section 1301(m). Notwithstanding the selection process defined in section 1301 and described above, for each project designated in section 1301(m), the Secretary shall allocate a portion of the amount designated for that project: 10% in 2005, 20% for 2006, 25% for 2007, 25% for 2008 and 20% for 2009. The allocation of SAFETEA-LU authorized funding for the 25 projects designated in Section 1301(m) of SAFETEA-LU is not subject to the criteria that will be established and these projects will not be subject to the evaluation and rating to receive this directed funding.

FHWA has developed implementing guidance for the 25 SAFETEA-LU PNRS grantees and posted it on the web in early 2006. All grant recipients for projects designated under PNRS are asked to submit project descriptions to the FHWA in order to expedite the release of designated funds. The project description includes sections on project purpose, scope, cost, planning and finance information and is submitted to the FHWA Division Office through the State DOT where the project is located. The FHWA Division Office will review and comment on the project description and forward the description to the FHWA Headquarters where U.S. DOT staff from the relevant modal agencies, along with the Office of the Secretary, will review the proposal and provide comment through the FHWA Division Office to the applicant. Upon project review, funds will be released to the State for the identified work per the submitted project description.

This Program requires the Secretary of Transportation to submit an annual report to Congress' Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Environment and Public Works in February of each year. The report includes a proposal on the allocation of amounts to be made available to finance grants under this section and recommendations of projects for funding based on the evaluations and ratings required under this program and on existing commitments and anticipated funding levels for the next 3 fiscal years and for the next 10 fiscal years based on information currently available to the Secretary.

Public Lands Highways - Discretionary and Forest Highways

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 201, 202, 203 and 204; SAFETEA-LU Sections 1101(a)(9)(D) and 1119

Eligibility: Under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 202(b)(1), public lands highways (PLHD and FH) funds shall be used to pay the cost of:

  1. Transportation planning, research, and engineering and construction of, highways, roads, parkways, and transit facilities located on public lands, national parks, and Indian reservations; and
  2. Operation and maintenance of transit facilities located on public lands, national parks, and Indian reservations.

Under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 202(b)(5) public lands highways (PLHD and FH) shall be available for any eligible transportation project that is within or adjacent to, or that provides access to, the areas served by a forest highway or public lands highway.

Under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 204(h), eligible projects could also include:

  1. Transportation planning for tourism and recreational travel including the National Forest Scenic Byways Program, Bureau of Land Management Back Country Byways Program, National Trail System Program, and other similar Federal programs that benefit recreational development.
  2. Adjacent vehicular parking areas.
  3. Interpretive signage.
  4. Acquisition of necessary scenic easements and scenic or historic sites.
  5. Provision for pedestrians and bicycles.
  6. Construction and reconstruction of roadside rest areas including sanitary and water facilities.
  7. Other appropriate public road facilities such as visitor centers as determined by the Secretary.
  8. A project to build a replacement of the federally owned bridge over the Hoover Dam in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area between Nevada and Arizona.

Under the provisions of section 1119(m) of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59), of the public lands highways funds (PLHD and FH) authorized for FYs 2005 through 2009:

  1. Up to $20 million per fiscal year may be used for maintenance of forest highways;
  2. Up to $1 million per fiscal year may be used for signage identifying public hunting and fishing access; and
  3. Up to $10,000,000 per fiscal year shall be used by the Secretary of Agriculture to pay the costs of facilitating the passage of aquatic species beneath roads in the National Forest System, including the costs of constructing, maintaining, replacing, or removing culverts and bridges, as appropriate.

Background:

Federal Lands Highways Program (FLHP)

Section 126 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (1982 STAA, Public Law 97-424) established a coordinated FLHP consisting of forest highways, public lands highways, parkways and park roads, and Indian reservation roads. The Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 (1987 STURAA, Public Law 100-17) continued the FLHP with the same four funding categories. Section 1032 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) also continued the FLHP, but reduced the funding categories from four to three by combining forest highways and discretionary public lands highways under public lands highways. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (1998 TEA-21, Public Law 105-178), the Surface Transportation Extension Acts of 2003, 2004 (Parts I through V), and 2005 (Parts I through VI), and the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59) continued the combined categories with no significant changes.

PLH - Discretionary

The PLH program was initially established by the Amendment Relative to Construction of Roads through Public Lands and Federal Reservations of 1930. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1970 changed the funding source for the program from the General Fund to the Highway Trust Fund, effective FY 1972. The program has been continued with each highway or transportation act since then.

Under 23 U.S.C. 204(b), the PLHD funds are available for any kind of transportation project eligible for assistance under Title 23, United States Code, that is within, adjacent to, or provides access to the areas served by the public lands highway. A "public lands highway," as defined in 23 U.S.C. 101, is a forest road or any highway through unappropriated or unreserved public lands, nontaxable Indian lands, or other Federal reservations that is under the jurisdiction of and maintained by a public authority and open to public travel.

Under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 202(b)(1), the PLHD portion of the funds authorized for public lands highways is 34 percent. These PLHD funds are allocated to the States on the basis of applications submitted by the State transportation departments. Under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 202(b)(1)(B), preference is to be given to projects which are significantly impacted by Federal land and resource management activities proposed by States which contain at least 3 percent of the public lands in the Nation (i.e., Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming).

Since FY 2002, Congress has been designating all of the available PLHD funds each year for specific projects they list in the conference report accompanying the annual appropriations act. In addition, Congress has included a provision each year in the appropriations act that declares these designated projects to be eligible for PLHD funds "notwithstanding any other provision of law." This eligibility provision overrides the above statutory eligibility and priority consideration criteria.

PLH - Forest Highway

Congress created National Forests in 1891. The 1916 Federal-Aid Road Act provided funds for forest roads and trails serving National Forests. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1921 divided forest roads and trails into a) Forest Highway and b) Forest Development roads and trails. Forest highways are public roads that are owned by State or local agencies and serve the National Forest system. They should not be confused with forest development roads which are owned by the Forest Service. Forest highways are designated by FHWA's Federal Lands Highway Division Engineers in consultation with State departments of transportation, local agencies, and the Forest Service.

A 1977 General Accounting Office (GAO) report directed the FHWA and the Forest Service to jointly assure that transportation needs of the National Forest system were adequately considered when projects were being selected. This resulted in an amendment to the FH definition in the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1978, and also to the issuance of an amended 23 CFR 660A in 1982.

Section 126 of the 1982 STAA (Public Law 97-424) provided for allocating FH funds according to relative needs of the National Forest system instead of apportioning FH funds to the States.

Section 1032(a) of the 1991 ISTEA stipulated in amended 23 U.S.C. 202 that66 percent of the allocated PLH funds shall be allocated for FH routes in accordance with the formula established in Section 134 of the 1987 STURAA with equal consideration given for funding roads providing access to and within the National Forest system as identified by the Secretary of Agriculture through renewable resource and land use planning and the impact of such planning on transportation facilities. The conference report also directed that these funds be allocated by Forest Service Regions.

TEA-21 and SAFETEA-LU continued the FH allocation procedure established in ISTEA, and currently found in 23 U.S.C. 202(b)(2), as amended by section 1119(d) of SAFETEA-LU.

Section 1101(a)(9)(D) of SAFETEA-LU authorized over $1.4 billion to be appropriated out of the Highway Trust Fund over a 5-year period for PLH, as follows:

FY PLH Authorization PLHD Portion 23 U.S.C. 202(b)(1) FH Portion 23 U.S.C. 202(b)(2)
2005 $260,000,000 $88,400,000 $171,600,000
2006 $280,000,000 $95,200,000 $184,800,000
2007 $280,000,000 $95,200,000 $184,800,000
2008 $290,000,000 $98,600,000 $191,400,000
2009 $300,000,000 $102,000,000 $198,000,000

Railway-Highway Crossing Hazard Elimination in High Speed Rail Corridors

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 104(d), SAFETEA-LU Section 1103 (f), 23 U.S.C. 120 (c)

Eligibility: These funds may be used for the elimination of hazards at railway-highway crossings along 11 designated high-speed rail corridors.

Background: Section 1010 of the 1991 ISTEA revised 23 U.S.C. 104(d) (continued in TEA-21, Section 1103(c) and in SAFETEA-LU Section 1103 (f)) to require the Secretary to set aside Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds for railway-highway crossing hazard elimination in high-speed rail corridors.

Funds to carry out this program are set aside from funds provided for the STP before any STP apportionments are made for a fiscal year. Before making an apportionment of STP funds for a fiscal year, the Secretary must set aside $5.25 million for FY 2005; and there is authorized to be appropriated from the HTF (other than the Mass Transit Account) $7.25M for FY 2006, $10 M for FY 2007, $12.5 M for FY 2008, and $15M for FY 2009; and of such set-aside, not less than $250,000 for FY2005, $1M for FY 2006, 1.75M for FY 2007, $2.25 for FY 2008, and $3M for FY 2009 are earmarked for the Minneapolis/St. Paul-Chicago segment of the Midwest Highway Speed Rail Corridor (which in reality added an additional corridor from Milwaukee to Minneapolis for a total of 12)) for the elimination of hazards of railway-highway crossings. Corridors selected must include rail lines where railroad speeds of 90 mph are occurring or can reasonably be expected to occur in the future. Other considerations include projected rail ridership volumes, the percentage of the corridor over which a train will be able to operate at maximum cruise speed, projected benefits to non-riders (congestion relief), expected State and local financial support, and cooperation of the owner of the right-of-way.

This program is jointly administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). During the past few years, Congress has earmarked the funds in this program either for a specific State or for a Specific approved corridor.

Real-Time System Management Information Program

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: Section 1201 of the 2005 SAFETEA-LU (Public Law 109-59)

Eligibility: The Real-Time System Management Information Program will be established in all States. Activities relating to the planning and deployment of real-time monitoring elements that advance the goals and purposes of the Real-Time System Management Information Program are eligible for Federal-aid funding under the National Highway System program, the Surface Transportation Program, and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program.

As State and local governments develop or update regional intelligent transportation system architectures, they shall explicitly address real-time highway and transit information needs and the systems needed to meet such needs, including addressing coverage, monitoring systems, data fusion and archiving, and methods of exchanging or sharing highway and transit information. States shall also incorporate the data exchange formats that will be established by the Secretary under section 1201(b) to ensure that the data provided by highway and transit monitoring systems may readily be exchanged with State and local governments and may be made available to the traveling public.

Background: Section 1201 of SAFETEA-LU requires the Secretary to establish a Real-Time System Management Information Program to provide, in all States, the capability to monitor, in real-time, the traffic and travel conditions of the nation's major highways and to share that information to improve the security of the surface transportation system, to address congestion problems, to support improved response to weather events and surface transportation incidents, and to facilitate national and regional highway traveler information.

The purposes of the real-time system management information program are to:

  1. establish, in all States, a system of basic real-time information for managing and operating the surface transportation system;
  2. identify longer range real-time highway and transit monitoring needs and develop plans and strategies for meeting such needs; and
  3. provide the capability and means to share that data with State and local governments and the traveling public.

There is no special Federal funding specifically authorized for this program. Section 1204(d) explicitly notes that a State may obligate funds apportioned to the State under sections 104(b)(1), 104(b)(2), and 104(b)(3) of title 23, United States Code, for activities relating to the planning and deployment of real-time monitoring elements that advance the goals and purposes of the Real-Time System Management Information Program.

Other program features include:

  1. As State and local governments develop or update regional intelligent transportation system architectures, described in section 940.9 of title 23, Code of Federal Regulations, such governments shall explicitly address real-time highway and transit information needs and the systems needed to meet such needs, including addressing coverage, monitoring systems, data fusion and archiving, and methods of exchanging or sharing highway and transit information.
  2. Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish data exchange formats to ensure that the data provided by highway and transit monitoring systems, including statewide incident reporting systems, can readily be exchanged across jurisdictional boundaries, facilitating nationwide availability of information.
  3. States shall incorporate the data exchange formats established by the Secretary to ensure that the data provided by highway and transit monitoring systems may readily be exchanged with State and local governments and may be made available to the traveling public.

Recreational Trails Program (RTP)

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 104(h) and 206. Sections 1101(a)(7), 1103(f), and 1112 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178). Sections 1101(a)(8) and 1109 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59).

Eligibility: The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides funds to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses. Examples of trail uses include hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving, or using other off-road motorized vehicles.

Each State administers its own program, usually through a State resource or park agency. Each State develops its own procedures to solicit and select projects for funding. Funds may be used to:

  1. Maintain and restore existing trails.
  2. Develop and rehabilitate trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages.
  3. Purchase and lease of trail construction and maintenance equipment.
  4. Construct new trails (with restrictions for new trails on Federal lands).
  5. Acquire easements or property for trails.
  6. Assess trail conditions for accessibility and maintenance.
  7. Develop and disseminate publications and operation of educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection related to trails (including supporting non-law enforcement trail safety and trail use monitoring patrol programs, and providing trail-related training) (limited to 5 percent of a State's funds).
  8. State administrative costs related to this program (limited to 7 percent of a State's funds).

States may make grants to private organizations, or to municipal, county, State, Federal, or other government agencies. Some States do not provide funds to private organizations. Projects may be on public or private land, but projects on private land must provide written assurances of public access.

States are encouraged to enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with qualified youth conservation or service corps to perform construction and maintenance of recreational trails.

Background: The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) included the National Recreational Trails Fund Act (Section 1302), which established the National Recreational Trails Funding Program. The program was authorized at $30 million per year but without contract authority.

The National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-59) established funding for the RTP in 23 U.S.C. 104(h) and authorized $15 million annually for FY 1996 and 1997 from FHWA administrative funds and made some program amendments (Section 337).

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-85) replaced the National Recreational Trails Fund Act with the Recreational Trails Program. Section 1101(a)(7) authorized $30 million for FY 1998, $40 million for FY 1999 and $50 million for each of FYs 2000-2003. Section 1103(f) amended 23 U.S.C. 104(h) to establish the RTP apportionments. Section 1112 of TEA-21 amended 23 U.S.C. 206 creating the Recreational Trails Program (RTP).

Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59) continued the RTP with amendments. Section 1101(a)(8) authorized $60 million for FY 2005, $70 million for FY 2006, $75 million for FY 2007, $80 million for FY 2008, and $85 million for FY 2009. Section 1109 amended 23 U.S.C. 104(h) and 206.

Refuge Roads Program

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 101, 201, 202, 203 and 204

Eligibility: Refuge Roads Program funds are limited to:

  1. payment of costs for maintenance and improvements of refuge roads
  2. maintenance and improvements of adjacent vehicular parking areas
  3. maintenance and improvements of provisions for bicycles and pedestrians including modification of existing public sidewalks to comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  4. maintenance and improvements of rest areas located in or adjacent to wildlife refuges
  5. administrative costs associated with such maintenance and improvements.

Allocations are based on a long range transportation improvement program developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Background: Section 1115(e) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, P.L. 105-178) expanded the Federal Lands Highways Program to include Refuge Roads, those roads in the refuges of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It also provided that the funds are to be allocated according to the relative needs of the various refuges, and taking into account the:

  1. comprehensive conservation plan for each refuge,
  2. need for access as identified through land use planning, and
  3. impact of land use planning on existing transportation facilities.

Currently, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, or SAFETEA-LU (Public Law 109-59), authorizes $29,000,000 annually through FY 2009.

Safe Routes to School

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: Pub. L. 109-59, SAFETEA-LU Section(s): 1101(a)(17), 1404

Eligibility: Funds are made available for infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects, and to administer Safe Routes to School programs that benefit elementary and middle school children in grades K - 8.

Each State must use a sufficient amount of the funds (infrastructure) to fund a full-time position of coordinator of the State's safe routes to school program. Not less than 10 percent and not more than 30 percent of each State's apportionment is required to be spent on non-infrastructure activities.

Infrastructure - Eligible infrastructure-related projects include the planning, design, and construction of infrastructure-related projects that will substantially improve the ability of students to walk and bicycle to school, including:

  1. sidewalk improvements,
  2. traffic calming and speed reduction improvements,
  3. pedestrian and bicycle crossing improvements,
  4. on-street bicycle facilities,
  5. off-street bicycle and pedestrian facilities,
  6. secure bicycle parking facilities, and
  7. traffic diversion improvements in the vicinity of schools

Construction and capital improvement projects must be located within approximately two miles of a primary or middle school (grades K - 8). The State SRTS Coordinator position in each State is funded from the infrastructure portion of the State's SRTS Program apportionment.

Noninfrastructure - Each State must set aside from its SRTS annual apportionment not less than 10 percent and not more than 30 percent of the funds for noninfrastructure-related activities to encourage walking and bicycling to school, including:

  1. public awareness campaigns and outreach to press and community leaders,
  2. traffic education and enforcement in the vicinity of schools (within approximately 2 miles)
  3. student sessions on bicycle and pedestrian safety, health, and environment, and
  4. funding for training, volunteers, and managers of safe routes to school programs.

Background: The Federal-aid Safe Routes to School program was created by Section 1404 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Pub. L. 109-59).

Program Purpose : To enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school; to make walking and bicycling to school safe and more appealing; and to facilitate the planning, development and implementation of projects that will improve safety, and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.

Program Features : The SRTS Program is funded at $612 million and provides Federal-aid highway funds to State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) over five Federal fiscal years in accordance with a formula specified in the legislation. These funds are available for infrastructure and noninfrastructure projects, and to administer SRTS programs that benefit elementary and middle school children in grades K - 8.

The SRTS legislation requires three major initiatives:

  1. Implement SRTS Program nationwide. This section also requires that each State DOT and the District of Columbia use a sufficient amount of its annual SRTS apportionment to fund a full-time position of coordinator of the State's safe routes to school program.
  2. Create Clearinghouse. Make grants to a national nonprofit organization engaged in promoting safe routes to school to operate a national safe routes to school clearinghouse, develop information and educational programs on safe routes to school, and provide technical assistance and disseminate techniques and strategies used for successful safe routes to school programs.
  3. Establish Task Force and submit report. The FHWA will form a national SRTS Task Force composed of leaders in health, transportation, and education. The Task Force will study and develop a strategy for advancing Safe Routes to School programs nationwide and will be responsible for submitting to the Secretary of Transportation a report for Congress detailing the results of their work.

Funding/Formula : Funded by contract authority, to remain available until expended. Contract authority is not subject to transfer and is subject to the overall Federal-aid obligation limitation. Each year after deducting $3 million for the administrative expenses of the program, the Secretary shall apportion the funds to States based on their relative shares of total enrollment in primary and middle schools (kindergarten through eight grade), but no State will receive less than $1 million. Funds are to be administered by State departments of transportation to provide financial assistance to State, local, and regional agencies, including non-profit organizations, that demonstrate the ability to meet the requirements of the program.

Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Authorization $54 M $100 M $125 M $150 M $183 M

Safety Incentive Grants For Use of Seat Belts

Updated March 11, 2009

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 157

SAFETEA-LU Title I, Subtitle D, Section 1406

Eligibility: These incentive funds are available for highway and bridge construction, highway safety infrastructure safety improvements, seatbelt projects, programs to combat drunk driving, pedestrian walkways and trails, etc. -- any eligible activity under Title 23 United States Code (all four chapters: Federal Aid, Other Highways, General Provisions, and Highway Safety). The U.S. DOT has requested that each State qualifying for these incentive funds submit a plan to identify in writing how the States wish to distribute these funds -- specifying the amount for highway safety and the amount for Federal-aid highway programs.

Background: Section 1403 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) established 23 U.S.C. 157 to provide incentive grants to States to improve statewide use rates at seat belts. It authorizes to be appropriated $82 million for FY 1999, $92 million for FY 2000, $102 million for FY 2001, $112 million for FY 2002 and $112 for FY 2003.

It also provides that the States submit State seat belt use rates for calendar years 1996 and 1997 and for each year thereafter through 2001. These rates will be adjusted to ensure national consistency in methods of measurement and used to determine which States have had, for each of the (2) previous calendar years, State seat belt use rates greater than the national average.

Each State with a State seat belt use rate higher than the national average will receive an allocation equal to the savings to the Federal government (the amount of budget savings relating to Federal medical costs, including savings to Medicare and medical costs, including savings to Medicare and Medicaid programs) due to the amount by which the State seat belt use rate for the previous calendar year exceeds the national average for that year. These allocations may be used for projects eligible under Title 23, United States Code.

Each State with a State seat belt use rate lower than the national average shall be allocated an amount equal to the savings to the Federal Government due to any increase in the State seat belt use rate for the previous calendar year over the base seat belt use rate, which is the highest State seat belt use rate for any calendar year during the period 1996 through the calendar year preceding the previous calendar year. These allocations may be used for projects eligible under Title 23 U.S.C.

If the amount authorized for FY 1999 exceeds the total amounts to be allocated to the States above, the excess amounts are apportioned to the States as Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds, not subject to set asides, eligible for purposes under the STP. For FYs 2000-2003 any excess authorization is allocated to States to carry out innovative projects to promote increased seat belt use rates. The innovative projects are to be included in a plan developed by the State and submitted to NHTSA by March 1. The plans shall be selected for implementation based on criteria established by December 1, 1998, which shall include demographic and geographic diversity and a diversity of seat belt use rates among the States selected. The amount of the allocation shall be at least $100,000 per fiscal year covered by a State plan. These allocations are to carry out the innovative projects in the State plan, at 100 percent Federal share, and are available for the fiscal year allocated plus 3 years.

NOTE: SAFETEA-LU does not include provisions for funding Section 157 Incentive Grants beyond FY2005, however under Title II, Section 2004 and Section 2005 SAFETEA-LU funds are provided to NHTSA for administering Section 406. Safety belt performance grants.

Safety Incentives to Prevent Operations of Motor Vehicles by Intoxicated Persons

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 163SAFETEA-LU Title I, Subtitle D, Section 1407

Eligibility: Funds under this program may be used for any project eligible under Title 23, United States Code.

Background: Section 1404 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) authorized incentive grants to a State that has enacted and is enforcing a law that provides that any person with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or greater while operating a motor vehicle in the State shall be deemed to have committed a per se offence of driving while intoxicated (or an equivalent offense). Each fiscal year, Federal funds for such incentives will be apportioned to eligible States that have enacted and are enforcing such law. Apportionment will be according to the formula in 23 U.S.C. 402 (75 percent based on the State s population and 25 percent based on the number of public road miles in the State).

These funds are authorized to be appropriated, $55 million for FY 1998, $65 million for FY 1999, $80 million for FY 2000, $90 million for FY 2001, $100 million for FY 2002, and $110 million for FY 2003.

See section 1407 of Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, Public Law 109-59 (SAFETEA-LU)

NOTE: SAFETEA-LU does not include provisions for funding Section 163 (Incentives) beyond FY2005, however the penalty section remains.

State Highway Safety Data Improvement Grants

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 411

Eligibility: Grant funds may be used to implement data improvement program activities to improve the timeliness, accuracy, completeness, uniformity, and accessibility of State data needed to identify priorities for national, State and local highway and traffic safety programs. Grant funds may also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of efforts to make such improvements, and to link these State data systems, including traffic records, with other data systems, and to improve compatibility with national data systems and data systems of other States.

Background: Section 2005 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) established a new program of incentive grants at Section 411 of Title 23 United States Code. Section 2009 of TEA-21 authorized $5 million for FY 1999, $8 million for FY 2000, $9 million for FY 2001, and $10 million for FY 2002 for State Highway Safety Improvements under Section 411.

A State has three options to qualify for a first year grant:

Option A -- To qualify, a State must demonstrate that it has:

  1. Established a multi-disciplinary highway safety data and traffic records coordination committee.
  2. Completed a highway safety data and traffic records assessment or audit within the last five years.
  3. Initiated development of a multi-year highway safety data and traffic records strategic plan (with performance-based measures) -- approved by the coordinating committee.

Option B -- To qualify, a State must:

  1. Certify that the State has met the first two criteria in Option A above.
  2. Submit a data and traffic records multi-year plan, identifying goals, performance-based measures, and priorities; and that specifies how incentive funds will be used.
  3. Certify that the coordinating committee continues to operate and support the plan.

Option C -- The Secretary may award a grant of up to $25,000 for 1 year to any State that does not meet the criteria for Option A. The funds may only be used to conduct activities needed to enable the State to qualify for a first year grant.

States that receive a first year grant then would be eligible to receive 2nd and subsequent year grants. To qualify, a State must:

  1. Submit or update a Submit and traffic records multi-year plan, identifying goals, performance-based measures and priorities; and that specifies how incentive funds will be used.
  2. Certify that the coordinating committee continues to support the multi-year plan.
  3. Report annually on the progress made to implement the plan.

No State may receive a data grant in more than six years.

Eligible States may include the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Each State that qualifies for a grant under Option A receives $125,000. Each State that qualifies under Option B receives a proportional amount based on 23 U.S.C. 402 FY 1997 apportionments, but not less than $250,000. Each State that qualifies under Option C receives $25,000. Each State that qualifies for a second and subsequent year grant receives a proportional amount based on 23 U.S.C. 402 FY 1997 apportionments, but not less than $25,000.

State Infrastructure Banks (SIB) Pilot Program (2005)

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: Section 1602 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU Public Law 109-59); 23 USC 610

Eligibility: A SIB is an investment fund at the State or regional (multi-State) level with the ability to make loans and provide other forms of credit assistance to public and private entities to carry out highway construction, transit capital, rail (using rail funds), or other surface transportation projects.

Background: Section 1602 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU Public Law 109-59) established a new SIB pilot program in August 2005 under which all States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Territories may capitalize their banks with Federal transportation funds authorized for fiscal years 2005 - 2009. The program is codified at 23 USC 610.

A State may capitalize the highway account of the bank with funds from the following categories; Interstate Maintenance, National Highway System, the Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program, the Surface Transportation Program, and funds allocated under the Equity Bonus Program. A maximum 10 percent of anyone category can be used to capitalize the SIB. Separate accounts shall be established if the SIB is capitalized with FTA and Rail funds. Federal requirements apply to all SIB assisted projects, including those financed with repayments from non-Federal sources (so-called "second round" projects).

State Planning and Research (SPR)

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 505

Eligibility: As specified in section 505 of 23 U.S.C., SPR funds may be used for:

  1. Engineering and economic surveys and investigations.
  2. The planning of future highway programs and local public transportation systems and the planning of the financing of such programs and systems, including metropolitan and statewide planning under sections 134 and 135 [of 23 U.S.C.].
  3. Development and implementation of management systems under section 303 [of 23 U.S.C.].
  4. Studies of the economy, safety, and convenience of surface transportation systems and the desirable regulation and equitable taxation of such systems.
  5. Research, development, and technology transfer activities necessary in connection with the planning, design, construction, management, and maintenance of highway, public transportation, and intermodal transportation systems.
  6. Study, research, and training on the engineering standards and construction materials for transportation systems described in paragraph (5), including the evaluation and accreditation of inspection and testing and the regulation and taxation of their use.
  7. The conduct of activities relating to the planning of real-time monitoring elements.

In addition, SPR funds may be used for the non-Federal share of a University Transportation Research grant under section 5506 of 49 U.S.C. [49 U.S.C. 5506(j)]

Background: The Hayden-Cartwright Act of 1934 marked the beginning of the optional use of 1 1/2 percent of Federal-aid funds apportioned for several programs for surveys, planning, and engineering investigations for future highway improvements. This subsequently was broadened to a wider planning and research program. The Federal-aid Highway Act of 1962 (Public Law 87-866) changed the use of the 1 1/2 percent amount from optional to exclusive and allowed an additional 1/2 percent of Primary, Secondary, and Urban System funds (PR funds) to be used at a State's option for planning and research purposes. Section 124 of the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 (1987 STURAA, Public Law 100-17) amended 23 U.S.C. 157(c) to allow the States to use up to 1 1/2 percent of their minimum allocation funds for HPR activities. Also, States are allowed to contribute up to 5 1/2 percent (4 1/2 percent prior to FY 1989) of their annual HPR apportionment for research under the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). Prior to passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240), HPR funds were derived from the sums apportioned for Interstate Construction, Interstate Substitute, Primary, Secondary, Interstate 4R, Urban, and Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation programs.

Prior to FY 1983 the maximum percentage for Federal participation was determined in accordance with clause (A) or (B) of 23 U.S.C. 120(a) and was based on the relative amounts of Interstate and non-Interstate funds apportioned for the year. Beginning in FY 1983, a standard Federal share of 85 percent was established for the HPR program by Section 156 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (1982 STAA, Public Law 97-424). The 1982 STAA also provided that the sliding scale rates for States with large areas of public lands were applicable to HPR.

The 1991 ISTEA continued the HPR program but renamed it State Planning and Research (SPR), increased the set-a-side to 2 percent, and changed the matching ratio to 80 percent for all States. Beginning in FY 1992, SPR funds were set-a-side from the sums apportioned to the States for the Interstate Construction (through FY 1996), Interstate Substitution (through FY 1996), Interstate Reimbursement (beginning in FY 1996), Interstate Maintenance (IM), National Highway System (NHS), Surface Transportation (STP) (including Hold Harmless and 90 percent of Payment Adjustment funds transferred to the STP), Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ), and Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation (HBRR) programs. In addition, up to 1 1/2 percent of a State's Minimum Allocation (MA) and any amount of NHS and STP funds may be used for SPR activities.

With enactment of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), the SPR program was moved to section 505 of new Chapter 5 of Title 23 United States Code. From FY 1998 through FY 2004, SPR funds were 2 percent of the funds apportioned/allocated to a State for the IM, NHS, STP, CMAQ, and HBRR programs and the Minimum Guarantee (MG) program which replaced the MA and other ISTEA equity programs. Eligible activities remained unchanged.

Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) added the conduct of activities relating to the planning of real-time monitoring elements. Beginning with FY 2005, SPR funds are 2 percent of the funds apportioned/allocated to a State for the IM, NHS, STP, CMAQ, and HBRR programs, the new Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), and the Equity Bonus (EB) program which replaced the TEA-21 MG program.

Beginning in FY 1992, at least 25 percent of the SPR funds apportioned annually must be used for the research, development, and technology transfer activities described above, unless the State certifies that total expenditures for transportation planning will exceed 75 percent of the amount of such funds and the FHWA concurs.

STP Funds Suballocated to Urbanized Areas With Over 200,000 Population

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 133(d)(3) and 133(f)

Eligibility: STP funds suballocated for urbanized areas with over 200,000 population may be used for any of the eligible STP purposes set forth in 23 U.S.C. 133(b).

Background: The STP was established by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) on December 18, 1991. It is codified in 23 U.S.C. 133. STP funds may generally be used by the States and localities for any roads, including National Highway System (NHS) roads that are not functionally classified as local or rural minor collectors. These roads are collectively referred to as Federal-aid highways.

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) and the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59) continued the suballocation of STP funds to urbanized areas of more than 200,000 population.

It is required in 23 U.S.C. 133(d)(3) that:

  1. 62.5 percent of the remaining 90 percent after deduction for transportation enhancement activities must be divided between urbanized areas over 200,000 population and the remaining areas of the State. The funds that are suballocated for urbanized areas over 200,000 population must be distributed to individual urbanized areas on the basis of population, unless the State and relevant metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) jointly request the use of other factors and the Secretary of Transportation grants the request. These funds may be used anywhere in the metropolitan area.
  2. For the period FYs 1992-1997, a State with STP funds suballocated to urbanized areas over 200,000 population must make obligation authority available over this 6-year period to each of these areas at the same percent that obligation authority was made available to the State over this period. The TEA-21 changed this provision to require that such obligation authority be made available over each of two 3-year periods, FYs 1998-2000 and FYs 2001-2003. Section 1108(e) of TEA-21 also amended 23 U.S.C. 133(f) to make it a joint responsibility of the State and MPOs to ensure compliance with the obligation authority requirements under 23 U.S.C. 133(f). Section 1113(d) of SAFETEA-LU continued the two 3-year period provision under TEA-21 by amending 23 U.S.C. 133(f) to cover FYs 2004 through 2006 and FYs 2007 through 2009.

STP Set-Aside For Safety Improvements

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 133(d)(1) [Repealed on 10/1/2005 by Section 1113(b) of SAFETEA-LU]

Eligibility: STP funds set aside for safety may be used on any public road for any of the activities set forth in 23 U.S.C. 130 and 152 (rail-highway crossings and hazard elimination activities, respectively).

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178) amended 23 U.S.C. 152 to allow funding of safety improvements at public transportation facilities and public pedestrian and bicycle pathways and trails.

Background: The Surface Transportation Program (STP) was established by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240). It is codified in 23 U.S.C. 133. It is required in 23 U.S.C. 133(d)(1) that 10 percent of the STP funds apportioned to a State each fiscal year (through FY 2005) must be used for carrying out the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 130 and 152 (rail-highway crossings and hazard elimination activities, respectively).

Of the 10 percent of STP funds set aside for safety, amounts must be reserved separately in each State for rail-highway crossing activities and for hazard elimination activities that are at least as much as were apportioned for those purposes in FY 1991. Any additional funds remaining in a State after those reservations may be used for either rail-highway or hazard elimination activities. If enough funds are not available in a State for the above reservations, the two categories are reduced proportionately.

TEA-21, the Surface Transportation Extension Acts of 2003, 2004 (Parts I through V), and 2005 (Parts I through VI), and the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59) continued the STP set-aside for safety improvements through FY 2005.

Under the provisions of section 1113(b) of SAFETEA-LU, the STP set-aside for safety under 23 U.S.C. 133(d)(1) is ended after FY 2005, and safety funding is provided to the States for FYs 2006 through 2009 under section 1101(a)(6) of SAFETEA-LU, for the Highway Safety Improvement Program in 23 U.S.C. 148, as amended by section 1401 of SAFETEA-LU.

STP Set-Aside For Transportation Enhancements

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(35) and 133(d)(2). Sections 1108(b) and (g), and 1201 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178). Sections 1113 and 1122 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59).

Eligibility: Transportation enhancement activity.--The term "transportation enhancement activity" means, with respect to any project or the area to be served by the project, any of the following activities as the activities relate to surface transportation:

  1. Provision of facilities for pedestrians and bicycles.
  2. Provision of safety and educational activities for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  3. Acquisition of scenic easements and scenic or historic sites (including historic battlefields).
  4. Scenic or historic highway programs (including the provision of tourist and welcome center facilities).
  5. Landscaping and other scenic beautification.
  6. Historic preservation.
  7. Rehabilitation and operation of historic transportation buildings, structures, or facilities (including historic railroad facilities and canals).
  8. Preservation of abandoned railway corridors (including the conversion and use of the corridors for pedestrian or bicycle trails).
  9. Inventory, control, and removal of outdoor advertising.
  10. Archaeological planning and research.
  11. Environmental mitigation--
  12. to address water pollution due to highway runoff; or,
  13. reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality while maintaining habitat connectivity.
  14. Establishment of transportation museums.

Each State administers its own program and develops its own procedures to solicit and select projects for funding.

States are encouraged to enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with qualified youth conservation or service corps to perform appropriate transportation enhancement activities (TEA-21 Section 1108(g)).

Background: The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) established the STP, including transportation enhancements (Section 1107). Under 23 U.S.C. 133(d)(2), 10 percent of the STP funds apportioned to a State each fiscal year may only be used for transportation enhancement activities.

The National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-59) established an advanced payment option for TE projects in 23 U.S.C. 133(e)(3) and streamlining procedures in §133(e)(5) (Section 316).

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-85) amended TE as follows: Section 1108(b) amended §133(e)(5) to provide additional cost sharing flexibilities. Section 1108(g) required the Secretary to encourage States to use qualified youth conservation or service corps. Section 1201 of TEA-21 amended the eligible categories.

Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59) amended TE as follows: Section 1113(c) guaranteed a minimum funding level for TE to be no less than the amount available in FY 2005. Section 1122 of SAFETEA-LU clarified the eligible categories.

Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: Section 5207 of SAFETEA-LU; 23 U.S.C. 507

Eligibility: The objective of the STEP is to improve the understanding of the complex relationship between surface transportation and the environment. The SAFETEA-LU reference amends Title 23 U.S.C. 507 and establishes the Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP). Research under this section may:

  1. Develop accurate models for evaluating transportation control measures and system designs;
  2. Improve understanding of transportation demand factors;
  3. Develop indicators of economic, social and environmental performance of transportation systems to facilitate alternatives analysis;
  4. Meet additional priorities determined through the transportation research and development strategic planning process (section 5208 of SAFETEA-LU); and
  5. Refine the scope and research through outreach and consultation with stakeholders

Background: Section 5207 of the ''Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users'' (SAFETEA-LU) provided $16.875 million for each of the FYs 2006-2009 to carry out the STEP. Due to obligation limitations, rescissions and the over-designations of Title V Research in SAFETEA-LU, it is anticipated that approximately $11.7 million of the $16.875 million authorized will be available in future years.

Surface Transportation Program (STP)

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 133, 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(3); SAFETEA-LU Sections 1101(a)(4), 1103(f), 1113, 1603, 1960, 6006

Eligibility: Funds apportioned to a State for the STP may be obligated for:

  1. Construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, resurfacing, restoration, and operational improvements for highways (including Interstate highways) and bridges (including bridges on public roads of all functional classifications), including any such construction or reconstruction necessary to accommodate other transportation modes, and including the seismic retrofit and painting of and application of calcium magnesium acetate, sodium acetate/formate, or other environmentally acceptable, minimally corrosive anti-icing and de-icing compositions on bridges and approaches thereto and other elevated structures, mitigation of damage to wildlife, habitat, and ecosystems caused by a transportation project funded under Title 23, United States Code;
  2. Capital costs for transit projects eligible for assistance under chapter 53 of Title 49, United States Code, including vehicles and facilities, whether publicly or privately owned that are used to provide intercity passenger service by bus;
  3. Carpool projects, fringe and corridor parking facilities and programs, bicycle transportation and pedestrian walkways in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 217, and the modification of public sidewalks to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.);
  4. Highway and transit safety infrastructure improvements and programs, hazard eliminations, projects to mitigate hazards caused by wildlife, and railway-highway grade crossings;
  5. Highway and transit research and development and technology transfer programs;
  6. Capital and operating costs for traffic monitoring, management, and control facilities and programs, including advanced truck stop electrification systems;
  7. Surface transportation planning programs;
  8. Transportation enhancement activities;
  9. Transportation control measures listed in Section 108(f)(1)(A) (other than clause xvi) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7408(f)(1)(A));
  10. Development and establishment of management systems under 23 U.S.C. 303;
  11. In accordance with all applicable Federal law (including regulations), participation in natural habitat and wetland mitigation efforts related to projects funded under this title, which may include participation in natural habitat and wetland mitigation banks, contributions to statewide and regional efforts to conserve, restore, enhance, and create natural habitats and wetland, and development of statewide and regional natural habitat and wetland conservation and mitigation plans, including any such banks, efforts, and plans authorized under the Water Resources Development Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-640) (including crediting provisions). Contributions to the mitigation efforts described in the preceding sentence may take place concurrent with or in advance of project construction; except that contributions in advance of project construction may occur only if the efforts are consistent with all applicable requirements of Federal law (including regulations) and State transportation planning processes. With respect to participation in a natural habitat or wetland mitigation effort related to a project funded under this title that has an impact that occurs within the service area of a mitigation bank, preference shall be given, to the maximum extent practicable, to the use of the mitigation bank if the bank contains sufficient available credits to offset the impact and the bank is approved in accordance with the Federal Guidance for the Establishment, Use and Operation of Mitigation Banks (60 Fed. Reg. 58605 (November 28, 1995)) or other applicable Federal law (including regulations);
  12. Projects relating to intersections that--
  13. have disproportionately high accident rates,
  14. have high levels of congestion, as evidenced by--
  15. interrupted traffic flow at the intersection; and
  16. a level of service rating that is not better than "F" during peak travel hours, calculated in accordance with the Highway Capacity Manual issued by the Transportation Research Board, and
  17. are located on a Federal-aid highway;
  18. Infrastructure-based intelligent transportation systems capital improvements;
  19. Environmental restoration and pollution abatement in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 328; and
  20. Control of noxious weeds and aquatic noxious weeds and establishment of native species in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 329.Â

Background: The STP was established by Section 1007 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240), which added Section 133 to Title 23, United States Code. The 1991 ISTEA authorized $23.9 billion to be appropriated out of the Highway Trust Fund for the 6-years FYs 1992-1997. These funds were apportioned to the States based on a State s percentage share of apportionments for FYs 1987-1991.

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, Public Law 105-178), enacted on June 9, 1998, authorized $33.3 billion from the Highway Trust Fund for FYs 1998 through 2003 for the STP. The authorized amounts were subject to deductions of $500,000 each year for Operation Lifesaver, and $5,250,000 each year for elimination of hazards at railway-highway crossings in high-speed rail corridors.

The TEA-21 also established a formula for apportionment of STP funds to the States as follows:

  1. 25 percent in the ratio that total lane miles of Federal-aid highways in a State bears to total lane miles of Federal-aid highways in all States;
  2. 40 percent in the ratio that total vehicle miles of travel on lanes on Federal-aid highways in a State bears to the total vehicle miles of travel on lanes on such highways in all States; and
  3. 35 percent in the ratio the estimated tax payments attributable to highway users in each State paid into the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account) in the latest fiscal year bears to the total of such payments in all the States.
  4. Each State was to receive a minimum of 1/2 percent of the funds apportioned.
  5. In addition, a portion of a State's Minimum Guarantee program funds was added to its STP apportionment.

Each State's apportioned STP funds were suballocated in the following manner:

  1. Ten percent of each State's apportionment was set-a-side for safety construction activities (i.e., hazard elimination and rail-highway crossings);
  2. Ten percent was set-a-side for transportation enhancement activities;
  3. Fifty percent (62.5 percent of the remaining 80 percent) of the funds were divided between urbanized areas over 200,000 in population and the remaining areas of the State. (The portion that goes to urbanized areas over 200,000 population must be distributed on the basis of population unless the State and relevant MPOs request the use of other factors and the FHWA approves. This provision is not applicable to Alaska and Hawaii.);
  4. The remaining 30 percent (37.5 percent of the remaining 80 percent) could be used in any area of the State. (This provision is not applicable to Alaska and Hawaii.),
  5. Areas of less than 5,000 population were guaranteed an amount that was not less than 110 percent of a State's FY 1991 pre-ISTEA secondary road program apportionment. For FYs 1998-2003, up to 15 percent of the funds for areas less than 5,000 population could be used on roads functionally classified as rural minor collectors;
  6. For the period FYs 1992-1997, a State with STP funds suballocated to urbanized areas over 200,000 population had to make obligation authority available over this 6-year period to each of these areas at the same percent that obligation authority was made available to the State over this period. The TEA-21 changed this provision to require that such obligation authority be made available over each of two 3-year periods, FYs 1998-2000 and FYs 2001-2003; and
  7. If a State or local government had failed to comply substantially with any provision of 23 U.S.C. 133 and the State failed to take corrective action within 60 days from the date of receipt of notification of noncompliance, future STP apportionments were to be withheld until appropriate corrective action had been taken.

The Surface Transportation Extension Acts of 2003, 2004 (Parts I through V), and 2005 (Parts I through VI) authorized continued funding for the STP program at FY 2003 levels until the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59) was enacted on August 10, 2005.

Section 1101(a)(4) of SAFETEA-LU authorized $32.5 billion for the STP for FYs 2005 through 2009.

For FY 2005, $560,000 of this STP authorization is set aside for the Operation Lifesaver Program. For FYs 2006 through 2009, Operation Lifesaver is funded with its own authorization.

For FY 2005, $5.25 million of this STP authorization is set aside for Rail-Highway Crossing Hazard Elimination in High Speed Rail Corridors. For FYs 2006 through 2009, this program is funded with its own authorization.

In addition, under 23 U.S.C. 140(b) and 23 U.S.C. 140(c), up to $10 million each is set aside for administration of OJT Supportive Services and DBE Training, respectively.

The remaining STP authorization under SAFETEA-LU continues to be apportioned to the States in accordance with the above formula established in TEA-21. Each State must still receive a minimum of ½ percent of the total STP funds apportioned. In addition, each State's STP apportionment is augmented by a portion of the Equity Bonus Program (previously Minimum Guarantee Program under TEA-21) under 23 U.S.C. 105.

The set-asides and sub-allocations of a State's STP apportionment under SAFETEA-LU continue as under TEA-21 with the following modifications:

Surface Transportation Research Strategic Planning

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: 23 U.S.C. 508

Eligibility: N/A

Background: Section 5208 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) amends 23 U.S.C. 508. The Secretary is to establish a strategic planning process to determine national transportation research and technology development priorities, coordinate Federal surface transportation research and technology development, and measure its results. Specifically, the Secretary is to develop a 5-year transportation research and development strategic plan to guide Federal transportation research and development activities. Annual performance reports and plans are to include a summary of the R&D activities for the previous fiscal year in each topic area; and the amount of funding spent in each topic area. In addition, the Secretary is required to submit to Congress an annual report, in conjunction with the annual budget request, describing the amount spent in the last completed fiscal year on transportation research and development and the amount proposed in the current budget for transportation research and development. The strategic plan, performance plan and performance reports must be reviewed by the National Research Council.

Surface Transportation Research, Development, and Deployment

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59, Section 5101(a)(1)

Eligibility: The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59), authorizes a program consisting of research, development, and technology transfer activities related to:

  1. motor carrier transportation,
  2. all phases of transportation planning and development (including construction, operation, modernization, development, design, maintenance, safety, financing and traffic conditions); and
  3. the effect of State laws on activities above.

Background: SAFETEA-LU combines Surface Transportation Research and Technology Deployment into a unified program with a clarified Federal role; establishes principles and procedures for involvement in research and technology, including stakeholder input, competition and peer review, and performance review and evaluation. The eligibility of transportation system management and operations research and development activities is clarified, and freight security research initiatives are added as eligible components. An overall 5-year strategic plan is required for the Department, to integrate the R&D programs of all modes.

Research and technology deployment programs include:

  1. Exploratory Advanced Research Program: enhances program to address longer-term, higher-risk research, including 1) highway infrastructure materials, 2) health effects, 3) safety, 4) environment, 5) system condition and performance monitoring, and 6) hour-to hour operational decision-making.
  2. Long Term Pavement Performance (LTPP): continues program for pavement research to meet future technology needs.
  3. Seismic Research: continues program to reduce the vulnerability of surface transportation systems to seismic activities.
  4. Biobased Transportation Research: establishes program to conduct biobased research of national importance at the National Biodiesel Board and at other research centers.
  5. Long Term Bridge Performance Program: parallel to LTPP, this new initiative targets bridge research to meet future technology needs.
  6. Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment Program: enhances program to promote deployment of innovative bridge technologies, including high performance concrete and steel bridges.
  7. Innovative Pavement Research and Deployment Program: establishes program to promote innovative pavement technologies, including set-aside for NHS pavements.
  8. Safety Innovation Deployment Program: establishes a program to demonstrate the application of innovative technologies in highway safety.
  9. Demonstration projects and studies: Wood Composite Materials Demonstration Project, Asphalt Reclamation Study, Alkali Silica Reactivity
  10. Transportation Technology Innovations: Fundamental Properties of Asphalts and Modified Asphalts and Transportation, Economic, and Land Use System
  11. Future Strategic Highway Research Program:establishes program to be carried out through the National Research Council in consultation with AASHTO. Program to be based on NRC Special Report 260 and NCHRP Project 20-58 and emphasizes the four areas of: renewal, safety, congestion, and capacity.

Operation of the highway system:

  1. National Cooperative Freight Transportation Research Program: new program, to be conducted through the National Academy of Sciences; advisory committee will recommend a national research agenda, including estimates of the public benefits derived from freight transportation and the uses of technology to improve freight transportation.
  2. Surface Transportation Congestion Relief Solutions Research Initiative: two research initiatives to assist States in addressing surface transportation congestion problems - 1) improved congestion management system measures, and 2) analytical techniques for action on congestion.

Facilitating partnerships:

  1. Transportation Pooled Fund Program: Encourages DOT to pool resources with State DOTs and other transportation and research organizations for R&T activities of mutual interest.
  2. Secretary may directly initiate contracts, agreements to fund, and accept funds from TRB, State DOTs, cities, and counties to conduct joint R&T programs.
  3. International Highway Transportation Outreach Program: continues program 1) to inform the United States highway community of technological innovations in foreign countries, 2) to promote United States highway transportation expertise, goods, and services in foreign countries, and 3) to increase transfers of United States highway transportation technology to foreign countries.
  4. Centers for Surface Transportation Excellence: provides for the establishment of 4 centers -- environmental excellence, surface transportation safety, rural safety, and project finance to provide services such as technical assistance, training, information sharing, and outreach.
  5. Surface Transportation-Environmental Cooperative Research Program: to improve understanding of the complex relationship between surface transportation and the environment.
  6. Center for Transportation Advancement and Regional Development: establishes the Center to assist, through training, education, and research, in the comprehensive development of small metropolitan and rural regional transportation systems responsive to the needs of businesses and local communities.

Other

  1. Infrastructure Investment Needs Report: due date set at July 31, 2006, and every two years thereafter must include information necessary for comparison with conditions and measures in previous reports.
  2. Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center: The Center is recognized as a leader in nationwide research to meet the transportation needs of the 21st century.
  3. Promotional Materials: provides authority to the FHWA to purchase promotional items of nominal value for use in educational outreach and recruitment.
  4. Transportation Safety Information Management System Project: provides for the further development of TSIMS software application to provide for the collection, integration, management, and dissemination of safety data.
  5. Commercial Remote Sensing Products and Spatial Information Technologies: program to validate commercial remote sensing products and spatial information technologies for application to national transportation infrastructure development and construction.
  6. Advanced Travel Forecasting Procedures Program: continues program for deployment of the Transportation Analysis Simulation System (TRANSIMS) as a planning tool and to develop additional applications and uses of the model. [5512]

Section 5101 of SAFETEA-LU authorized $196.4 million for each FY 2005-2009 for Surface Transportation Research under Sections 502, 506, 507, 509 and 510 of Title 23, United States Code and sections 5201, 5203, 5204, 5309, 5501, 5502, 5503, 5504, 5506, 5511, 5512, and 5513 of SAFETEA-LU.

Transportation, Community, and System Preservation Program

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: Section 1117 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59)

Eligibility: Funds authorized are eligible for planning, developing and implementing strategies to integrate transportation, community, and system preservation plans and practices. The allocations are available for any project eligible under Title 23 or Chapter 53 of Title 49, United States Code or any other activity relating to transportation and system preservation.

Background: Section 1117 of SAFETEA-LU authorizes $25 million for FY 2005 and $61.25 million for each of FYs 2006-2009, for a program to facilitate the planning, development, and implementation of strategies to integrate transportation, community, and system preservation plans and practices. The program is to cooperate with appropriate State, tribal, regional, and local governments. Funds are intended to:

  1. Improve the efficiency of the transportation system of the United States.
  2. Reduce impacts of transportation on the environment.
  3. Reduce the need for costly future investments in public infrastructure.
  4. Provide efficient access to jobs, services, and centers of trade.
  5. Examine community development patterns and identify strategies to encourage private sector development that achieves the purposes of the goals above.

Allocations are available for any project eligible under Title 23 or Chapter 53 of Title 49 United States Code or any other activity relating to transportation, community, and system preservation that the Secretary of Transportation determines to be appropriate, including corridor preservation activities that are necessary to implement: transit-oriented development plans, traffic calming measures, or other coordinated transportation, community, and system preservation practices.

Transportation Improvements (TIs)

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: Section 1934 of SAFETEA-LU

Eligibility: Information relative to eligible activities (i.e., studies, preliminary engineering, construction, etc.) is specified in the project description in section 1934 of SAFETEA-LU.

Background: Section 1934 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59, August 10, 2005) authorized $2,555,236,000 from the Highway Trust Fund for the 466 Transportation Improvements (TI) projects listed in section 1934.

Under the provisions of section 1934(a)(2), the amounts specified for each project in section 1934(c) are to be allocated as follows: 10 percent in FY 2005, 20 percent in FY 2006, 25 percent in FY 2007, 25 percent in FY 2008, and 20 percent in FY 2009.

Under the provisions of section 1936 of SAFETEA-LU, a State may advance a TI project in section 1934 with Federal-aid highway funds apportioned under 23 U.S.C. 104(b), from a program for which the TI project is eligible. Apportioned funds utilized for this shall be restored from TI funds when they are made available.

Under the provisions of section 1935 of SAFETEA-LU, States may obligate funds allocated for section 1702 high priority projects numbered above 3676, section 1301 Projects of National and Regional Significance numbered above 18, section 1302 National Corridor Infrastructure Improvement Program projects numbered above 27, and all section 1934 Transportation Improvements projects for any of the other projects within these limits, as long as the authorized amount for any of these projects in SAFETEA-LU is not reduced. This provision permits States to advance some of these projects, during the SAFETEA-LU years until the full authorized amounts are available in FY 2009, by utilizing allocations amongst these programs/projects.

Truck Parking Facilities

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) (Pub. L. 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144)

Eligibility: States, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and local governments are eligible recipients of program funds. To receive funds, a State, MPO or local government must submit an application.

Background: The Parking Facilities program is a pilot program that provides funding to address the shortage of long-term parking for commercial vehicles on the National Highway System.

Value Pricing Pilot Program

Updated April 20, 2007

Statutory Reference: Section 1012(b) of the 1991 ISTEA (Public Law 102-240), amended by Section 1216(a) of TEA 21 (P.L. 105-178), Section 9006(b) of the TEA-21 Restoration Act (P.L. 105-206), and Section 1604(a) of SAFETEA-LU (Public Law 109-59).

Eligibility: The FHWA may enter into cooperative agreements with as many as 15 State or local governments or public authorities to establish, maintain, and monitor value pricing programs. Value pricing projects included in these programs may involve tolls on Interstate highways. Federal funds may support: (1) pre-implementation study costs, including for public participation and planning, for up to 3 years, and; (2) implementation costs, including development and start-up costs for at least 1 year, and thereafter until revenues are sufficient to cover operating costs without Federal participation, except that in no case may implementation costs be reimbursed for more than 3 years.

Background: The Congestion Pricing Pilot Program was authorized by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (1991 ISTEA, Public Law 102-240) to solicit the participation of State and local governments and/or public authorities to establish, maintain, and monitor congestion pricing projects. The program was renamed the Value Pricing Pilot Program by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. By statute, local pilot programs have flexibility to encompass a variety of value pricing approaches, but USDOT/FHWA has chosen to focus all available funds on programs that are designed, consistent with the DOT National Strategy to Reduce Congestion on America's Transportation Network, to bring about broad and significant congestion pricing in the near term. Projects are to be monitored for 10 years. Reports are to be provided to the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives every 2 years. Reports are to include information on the effects such programs are having on driver behavior, traffic volume, transit ridership, air quality, and availability of funds for transportation programs.

Funds to carry out the Value Pricing Pilot Program are authorized at $11 million for FY 2005, and $12 million for each of FYs 2006-2009, with $3 million of the $12 million available only for projects not involving highway tolls. Unallocated funds in excess of $8 million at the end of any fiscal year shall be apportioned to the States as if the excess were Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds (without distributions to local governments).

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