AASHTO Journal, 15 January 2016
The Federal Highway Administration issued the formal apportionment notice and other documents that let states begin using funds allocated to their highway programs under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.
Although the FHWA had already issued estimates that told state departments of transportation how much to expect from the FAST Act, the agency’s Jan. 8 issuance of the formal documents clears the way for states to now begin tapping that money for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.
In all, the FHWA said, the FAST Act provides $39.727 billion in federal-aid highway funding, of which the agency set aside $3.5 million for safety-related activities. That leaves $39.724 billion to be distributed to the states in 2016, under the allocation formula that lets states control 92 percent of the FAST Act’s highway funds, up from $37.798 billion last year.
The state-by-state apportionments show how much each can spend in federal funds in seven categories that include the largest – the National Highway Performance Program – and the new category of the National Highway Freight Program.
A related notice spells out the limits on how much contract authority each state has for this year. The highway program’s overall obligation limitation has risen from $40.256 billion in fiscal 2015 to $42.361 billion this year.
The FHWA has set up a FAST Act website that include presentations on its features, along with the funding notices.