U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Highway History

In 1998, with the Interstate System essentially complete, FHWA's Office of Engineering compiled information about development of the program. In making this information available to the public, we have not updated the material. All information is as of 1998 when the Office of Engineering compiled the report.

The Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways

Part VIII - Other Interstate Programs

Interstate 3R /4R Program -- Legislative History

As construction of the Interstate System progressed, it became clear that numerous section had reached or were approaching their design life. Generally, the system had been designed to accommodate traffic needs for twenty years. Maintenance was initially considered to be a State responsibility, and Federal-aid funds were not available for "maintenance" type activities.

Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1976 (P.L. 94-280)

Section 106 of the 1976 act recognized that many original Interstate segments were in need of costly repairs and reconstruction, and:

  • provided funding for resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation (I-3R) of non-toll Interstate segments in use for more than five years at $175 million each for fiscal years 1978 and 1979.
  • modified the definition of construction in 23 U.S.C. 101(a) to include 3R type work.

Section 150(b) required the Secretary to submit recommendations to Congress on the need to provide Federal assistance for I-3R work. A cost estimate of I-3R needs and a study of alternative methods of apportioning funds were also required.

The report to Congress prepared by FHWA in response to the 1976 Act showed that:

  • approximately 8,000 miles of older Interstate mileage had a backlog of I-3R work estimated to cost $2.6 billion. Thereafter, annual needs were estimated at $950 million.
  • a combination of vehicle miles of travel (VMT) and lane miles (LM) on open-to-traffic sections was deemed the most objective method of distributing funds among the States.
Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) of 1978 (P.L. 95-599)

Section 105 of the 1978 STAA continued and expanded the I-3R program by:

  • providing $175 million in annual authorizations for FY 1980 and FY 1981 and $275 million for FY 1982 and FY 1983.
  • basing apportionments on a formula combining VMT (25 percent) and LM (75 percent).
  • allowing use of I-3R funds on Interstate toll roads subject to a State/Secretarial agreement that the tolls would be removed when the bonds were retired. Toll routes under agreement were included in the LM/VMT apportionment formula.
  • providing a mechanism whereby excess I-3R funds could be transferred to the Federal-aid primary program.
Federal-aid Highway Act of 1981 (P.L. 97-134)

The 1981 act impacted the I-3R program in a major way:

  • The act expanded the I-3R program to include a fourth R, Reconstruction. This action greatly expanded the list of work items eligible for the new I-4R program and added $12.2 billion in newly eligible needs.
  • The act redefined initial Interstate System completion and shifted much work on open-to-traffic segments to the I-4R program. Estimated at $13.8 billion, these ICE kickouts included added lanes and interchanges, safety work, environmental improvements, etc.
  • The act increased the fiscal years 1983 and 1984 authorizations to $800 million annually.
  • The act revised the basis of the I-4R apportionment formula to 55 percent for LM and 45 percent for VMT.
  • The act added a provision that no State would receive less than 1/2 percent of total I-4R apportionments to all States.
  • The act removed the 5-year open-to-traffic restriction on use of I-4R funds and expanded eligibility to permit use on all free Interstate routes.
  • The act expanded I-4R fund eligibility to include apportionments to Interstate routes designated under 23 U.S.C. 139(c) in Alaska and Puerto Rico.
Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-424)

The 1982 STAA left the I-4R program generally intact, but did make a few changes:

  • increased the FY 1984 authorization to $1.95 billion.
  • provided new authorizations of $2.4 billion for FY 1985, $2.8 billion for FY 1986, and $3.15 billion for FY 1987.
  • allowed use of I-4R funds on certain Interstate routes previously approved as 23 U.S.C. 139(a) additions to the system.
Public Law 98-229

Enacted March 9, 1984, this act further expanded use of I-4R funds by permitting expenditures on Section 139(a) and (b) Interstate routes approved as of its enactment date.

Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act (STURAA) of 1987 (P.L. 100-17)

The 1987 STURAA continued the I-4R program with several important revisions:

  • Annual authorizations of $2.815 billion were established for FY 1988 through FY 1992.
  • The period of availability for I-4R funds was reduced from four years to three years.
  • Created special funding for an I-4R discretionary program by specifying that $200 million be set aside from the annual I-4R authorization. Priority in making allocations was specified for high cost projects on high traffic volume urban routes, or high truck-traffic volume rural routes.
Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 (P.L. 102-240)

The 1991 ISTEA terminated the I-4R apportioned program. Work previously eligible under the I-4R program could be funded under two new programs, the Interstate Maintenance (IM) and National Highway System (NHS) programs.

The ISTEA did continue the I-4R Discretionary program with funding set-asides of $54 million for FY 1992, $64 million annually for FY 1993 through FY 1996, and $65 million for FY 1997.

Authorizations

During the 15-year life of the I-3R/4R program, funds were authorized for the program as shown in the table below:

Annual Interstate 3R/4R Authorizations ($Millions)
FiscalYearAnnual AuthorizationsAccumulatedAuthorizationsPro-rata ShareSource Legislation
1978
1979
175
175
175
350
75-251976 Act
1980
1981
1982
175
175
275
525
700
975
75-251978 STAA
19838001,77590-101981 Act
1984
1985
1986
1987
1,950
2,400
2,800
3,150
3,725
6,125
8,925
12,075
90-101982 STAA
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
2,815
2,815
2,815
2,815
2,815
14,890
17,805
20,520
23,335
26,150
90-10 1987 STURAA
Interstate 4R Discretionary Program

The Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act (STURAA) of 1987 created special funding for an I-4R discretionary program by specifying that $200 million be set aside from the annual I-4R authorization for allocations at the discretion of the Secretary. Priority in making allocations was specified in STURAA for high-cost projects on any high-traffic volume urban route, or high truck traffic volume rural route.

Section 149 of the STURAA provided for a takedown from several discretionary programs to fund demonstration and priority projects. The takedown applied to I-4R Discretionary allocations in each of the fiscal years 1987 through 1991 and ranged up to about $20 million per year.

The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 terminated the I-4R apportioned program. Work previously eligible under the I-4R program could be funded under two new programs, the Interstate Maintenance (IM) and National Highway System (NHS) programs. However, ISTEA continued the I-4R Discretionary program with funding set-asides from the National Highway System authorizations of $54 million for FY 1992, $64 million annually for FY 1993 through FY 1996, and $65 million for FY 1997.

I-4R Discretionary Fund Set-Asides
Fiscal YearSet-aside
Amount ($Millions)
Source Law
FY 1987 thru 1991200 *1987 STURAA, Section 114(b)
FY 1992
FY 1993 thru 1996
FY 1997
54
64
65
1991 ISTEA, Section 1020(b)(3)
Total1,375
* Does not reflect takedowns per Section 149 of 1987 STURAA.
INTERSTATE 4R DISCRETIONARY FUNDS (IDR)
ALLOCATIONS FOR FY 1987 - 1997
(Millions of Dollars)
 FY 1987FY 1988FY 1989FY 1990FY 1991FY 1992FY 1993FY 1994FY 1995FY 1996FY 1997Total FY 87-96
Alabama16.2------------------------------16.2
California------------46.6------------------46.6
Colorado------17.937.024.010.015.011.912.012.05.6145.3
Connecticut---16.920.020.6------12.9(2.1)15.0------83.3
Dist of Col.---2.4---------------------------2.4
Florida13.2---16.4---(1.0)------------------28.5
Illinois60.149.050.56.225.016.017.017.0---5.4---246.1
Iowa---20.3------------------8.4------28.7
Kentucky------13.418.021.2------------------52.6
Louisiana------------24.2------------------24.2
Maryland19.618.8------------(0.5)------------38.0
Michigan---27.8------4.6---------------9.642.0
Minnesota------11.1(0.3)---(0.8)---------------10.0
Montana------------------------------5.25.2
Nebraska---16.2---15.1---10.09.310.0---------60.6
Nevada------------16.2------------10.010.036.2
New Jersey13.8---16.544.5------------(1.0)------73.9
New York---12.9---------------------------12.9
Oregon---------------14.99.810.0---25.819.780.3
Pennsylvania42.325.916.218.120.45.0---10.0---------137.9
Rhode Island---------------------------9.04.513.5
South Dakota---------------------------4.06.810.8
Tennessee------21.821.3---------------------43.1
Texas---------------------10.030.0------40.0
Utah------------------------------5.05.0
Vermont------------------0.5------------0.5
Totals165.2190.1183.8180.6181.055.164.166.864.466.266.41,283.6
Footnotes:
  • The 1982 STAA established the Interstate 4R Discretionary program by making available to other States I-4R apportionments not obligated in any State within the prescribed period.
  • The 1987 STURAA provided for $200 million per year setasides from the I-4R authorizations for each of FY 1988-1992.
  • The 1991 ISTEA provided from the NHS funds, setasides of $54 million for FY 1992, $64 million for each of FY 1993-1996 and $65 million for FY 1997.

Interstate Maintenance Program

Background

The FHWA first became involved with funding for maintenance activities on the Interstate System as a result of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1976 (P.L. 94-280) which established the 3R program to fund Interstate resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation.

The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1981 (P.L. 97-134) expanded the program by adding a fourth R, Reconstruction.

The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 (P.L. 102-240) terminated the I-4R program. Activities previously eligible for I-4R funding could instead be funded under one or more of several new programs including National Highway System (NHS), Surface Transportation Program (STP), or Interstate Maintenance (IM).

ISTEA Creates the IM Program

The 1991 ISTEA terminated the Interstate 4R program, except for a small discretionary setaside, established a new IM program, and a separate NHS program which includes the Interstate System.

The ISTEA provisions modified 23 U.S.C. 119 and included:

  • creation of the IM program using the same Vehicular Miles Travelled/Lane Mile (VMT/LM) formula previously used for the I-4R program. The IM funds may be used on the Interstate System for 3R work and for reconstruction of bridges, interchanges, and over crossings along existing Interstate routes, but may not be used for the construction of new travel lanes other than high occupancy vehicle lanes or auxiliary lanes.
  • extension of eligibility to preventive maintenance activities that are cost-effective means of extending pavement (and bridge) life.
  • establishment of the Federal share of the cost of IM projects is 90 percent.
TEA-21 Modifies the IM Program

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) expanded eligibility for funding under the IM program to the 4th R, reconstruction. As a result the addition of new interchanges, new rest areas, new noise walls, etc. became eligible for IM funding. However, renumbered and retained the provision in 23 U.S.C. 119(d) prohibiting IM funding of added lanes, except HOV and auxiliary lanes.

TEA-21 also created a setaside from the IM authorizations to become a new IM Discretionary program. The setaside amounts are $50 million for FY 1998 and $100 million annually for FY 1999 through 2003. The prohibition against IM funding for added lanes does not apply to the discretionary portion of the program.

Authorizations

Funds were authorized for the IM program as shown in the table below:

Annual Interstate Maintenance Authorizations
Fiscal YearAnnual AuthorizationsAccumulated AuthorizationsPro-rata ShareSource Legislation
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
2,431
2,913
2,914
2,914
2,914
2,914
2,431
5,344
8,258
11,172
14,086
17,000
90-101991 ISTEA
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
3,427
3,957
3,995
4,073
4,140
4,218
20,427
24,384
28,379
32,452
36,592
40,810
90-101998 TEA-21

Interstate Reimbursement Program

Section 1014 of the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) added a new section 160 to Title 23 providing for the "Reimbursement for Segments of the Interstate System Constructed Without Federal Assistance". The reimbursement concept is an outgrowth of Section 114 of the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1956 which directed the Bureau of Public Roads "to determine whether or not the Federal Government should equitably reimburse any State for a portion of a highway which is on the Interstate System, whether toll or free, the construction of which has been completed subsequent to August 2, 1947, or which is either in actual use or under construction by contract, for completion, awarded not later than June 30, 1957".

The results of that study were reported to Congress on January 7, 1958, and identified $4.967 billion as the equitable reimbursement amount, split almost evenly between the non-Federal shares of toll and free roads.

The 1991 ISTEA authorized $2 billion annually for FY 1996 and 1997 for distribution to the States on the equitable basis determined by the 1958 study under the Interstate Reimbursement Program. Section 160 further provides that the reimbursement funds are transferred to the Surface Transportation Program (STP) category and are administered in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 133, except that 50% of the transferred amounts are exempt from the requirements of 23 U.S.C. 133(d)(1), (d)(2), and (d)(3).

The ISTEA also dictates specific Kansas projects to be funded with the amounts allocated to that State in fiscal years 1996 and 1997, and that the provisions of section 160(d) and 133(d)(3) of title 23 do not apply to the allocations to Kansas in those years.

The Administration's 1997 Reauthorization proposal (NEXTEA) would continue the Interstate Reimbursement program with authorizations of $1 billion annually for FY 1998 through FY 2003.

Updated: 10/15/2013
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000