Based on the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), signed into law on August 10, 2005, a Major Project is defined as "a project with a total estimated cost of $500 million or more that is receiving financial assistance."
The FHWA also has the discretion to designate a project with a total cost of less than $500 million as a Major Project. The FHWA may choose to do so in situations where the projects require a substantial portion of the State Transportation Agency (STA)'s program resources; have a high level of public or congressional interest; are unusually complex; have extraordinary implications for the national transportation system; or are likely to exceed $500 million in total cost.
Generally the Project Owner of a Major Project is the STA, but major projects can also be developed by other State Agencies (Toll Agencies), Local Public Agencies, and/or Private Ventures (e.g. Public Private Partnerships.)