The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides expertise, resources, and information to improve the nation's highway system and its intermodal connections.
The Federal-Aid Highway Program provides financial assistance to the States to construct and improve the National Highway System, other roads, bridges, and trails.
The Federal Lands Highway Program provides access to and within national forests and parks, Indian reservations, and other public lands by preparing plans, letting contracts, supervising construction, and inspecting bridges.
FHWA conducts and manages a comprehensive research, development, and technology program.
Funds primarily come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund.
The Federal-aid highway program is the largest single source of Federal funds for historic preservation available to the States.
Some historic preservation is mitigation for Federal-aid highway projects.
Historic preservation related to surface transportation is eligible for Transportation Enhancement funds.
10% of STP (including Equity Bonus attributed to STP): $800 million per year (2005-2009)
12 eligible categories for projects that relate to surface transportation.
$7.1 billion for nearly 21,000 projects for FY 1992-2005.
> $1.1 billion for historic and archaeological projects.
The I-4 Historic Relocation and Rehabilitation Project took great care to preserve structures, like this former boarding house, that represents the diversity, of architectural styles present in Ybor City.
Surface Transportation. Surface transportation means all elements of the intermodal transportation system, exclusive of aviation. For the purposes of TE eligibility, surface transportation includes water as surface transportation and includes as eligible activities related features such as canals, lighthouses, and docks or piers connecting to ferry operations, as long as the proposed enhancement otherwise meets the basic eligibility criteria.
Project Example: Soo Line "S" Bridge (Eau Claire, WI)
Built in 1910, 442-foot long bridge crossing the Eau Claire River. Because the bridge was an essential link in the bicycle and pedestrian system, the city acquired the bridge from the Wisconsin DOT to prevent its removal. Eau Claire's trail system provides pedestrian and bicycle access to many area neighborhoods, the downtown, the public library, a regional arts center and City Hall.
Federal TE Award: $ 304,000
Other Funds: $105,545
Total Project Cost: $409,545
Some factors help establish this relationship:
Project Example: Ben Schroeder Saddletree Factory, Madison, IN
The Ben Schroeder Saddletree Factory in Madison, Indiana, serves as a rare, detailed reminder of a traditional craft industry in America. Saddletrees, the internal framework of a saddle, were constructed at the factory from 1878 to 1972. Demand for the wooden saddletrees grew in the mid-to-late 1800s with the California Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the settling of America's western territories. The factory's 1972 closure marked the end of the nation's oldest continually operated family-owned saddletree factory. The following year, Historic Madison, Inc. acquired the Schroeder Factory and all its contents with plans to reopen the facility as a museum and interpretive center. Preventive maintenance measures were taken throughout the 1970s and 1980s while various funding options were pursued. The actual restoration, rehabilitation, and interpretation of the Ben Schroeder Saddletree Factory began in 1996 when Historic Madison, Inc. received a Transportation Enhancements award for historic preservation. The facility is now a living history museum and interpretive center.
TE award: $932,000 / Other funds: $233,200 / Total cost: $1,166,000.
Project Example: Historical Roadside Marker Restoration Program: Statewide, TX
The Texas Historical Commission (THC) protects cultural and historic landmarks across the State. Part of that mission entails keeping historical signs and markers in good condition. With the help of the TE program, the THC preserved nearly 1500 roadside markers that years of wear and tear had nearly transformed into artifacts. The THC used TE funds to re-etch and clean illegible markers and to create a comprehensive inventory database of all the markers in the state. These rehabilitation efforts helped to preserve the markers for the benefit of local communities and travelers, and to ensure the protection of the markers in the future.
TE award: $337,929 / Other funds: $67,586 / Total cost: $405,515.
States must keep the aggregate non-Federal not less than their share under 23 U.S.C. 120(b) (80%/sliding scale). However:
FY 2007-2009 Apportionments will be the same or slightly higher than FY 2005.
National obligation rate was increasing, but some States were reluctant to make new commitments until after reauthorization. This happened in 1996-1998 and again in 2003-2006. Some States rescinded a lot of TE funds in 2005 and 2006.
A historic preservation project must relate to surface transportation. This is Highway Trust Fund money: we need to protect the integrity of the program.
A historic preservation project must result in historic preservation consistent with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Preservation Projects.
States may define "historic": most require a facility to be on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
The project should primarily provide a public benefit rather than private benefit.
Although TE projects must relate to surface transportation, nothing in Federal law prohibits TE funded trails from allowing recreational use. The restriction in 23 U.S.C. 217(i) only applies only bicycle projects, not to other uses.
A House of Representatives proposal in Summer 2003 to eliminate TE funds failed: 327-90. A Senate proposal to cut TE funds in May 17, 2005 failed 84-16.
Accessible trails must have a firm and stable surface, but this does not necessarily require paving. It is also possible to have dual tracks: one accessible (firm and stable) track, and one soft surface track.
States may have more restrictive requirements. Project sponsors can limit uses based on safety considerations.
The project development process requires open public involvement for all possible stakeholders. Equestrians, mountain bicyclists, snowmobilers, and others have a right to participate in any trail or highway project development process.
See Equestrian and Other Nonmotorized Use on Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/guidance/design_guidance/allow_uses_eqnm.cfm.
FHWA encourages States to use Youth Corps on TE projects. See www.enhancements.org/download/connections/Connections_archive.asp for examples. (See Volume 9 #2)