Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
Q: How much money is available?
A: $833 million through FY 2009.
Q: What local funds are needed to match the federal funds?
A: The Federal share is generally 80 percent, subject to the sliding scale adjustment. When the funds are used for Interstate projects to add high occupancy vehicle or auxiliary lanes, but not other lanes, the Federal share may be 90 percent, also subject to the sliding scale adjustment. Certain safety improvements listed in 23 USC 120(c) have a Federal share of 100 percent.
Q: How will the funds be distributed?
A: By formula. Funds will be apportioned among the 15 international land Border States based on the movement of people and goods through land border ports of entry as follows:
Data for the formula will be certified by FHWA annually in partnership with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Q: What is the definition of port of entry that is used for purposes of the funding formula?
A: A location where a personal motor vehicle, bus or commercial truck can legally enter the United States, at which a Customs and Border Protection officer is authorized to allow entry into the United States and is a land crossing between the United States and Mexico or the United States and Canada. This shall include:
This shall not include:
Q: What types of projects are eligible?
A: Funds may be used in a border region for projects that improve and facilitate/expedite cross border motor vehicle and cargo movements. Projects must be border related and improve the safety of, facilitate and /or expedite cross border traffic movements and include:
Q. What is a border region?
A. Border region is defined in Section 1303 (g)(1) of SAFETEA-LU as any portion of a U.S. state that is within 100 miles of an international land border with Canada or with Mexico.
Q: Do the projects have to be border-related or just within 100 miles of the border?
A: Projects must be border-related and improve the safety of, facilitate, and/or expedite cross border movements of traffic across the border.
Q: How will FHWA ensure that the projects funded in this program are border related and not just merely located within the 100-mile limit?
A: FHWA Division Offices will review the projects to make sure they meet eligibility requirements based on information provided by the States. The general authority in Sec. 1303 (a) of SAFETEALU states that funds are to improve the safe movement of motor vehicles AT OR ACROSS the border.
Q: Who decides if the projects that a state wants to fund with the money are acceptable?
A: The FHWA Division Offices, in consultation with FHWA headquarters.
Q: What criteria will be used to determine if a project is border-related?
A: Based upon the eligibility criteria in the law, the FHWA Division Offices with appropriate consultation with FHWA headquarters will determine if a project is border-related. Examples of border related projects could include: improvements to routes that provide access to the land border ports of entry or access to intermodal facilities that serve cross border trade, construction of new ports of entry or access roads to ports of entry, operational improvements at a border port of entry such as using information technology for pre-clearance purposes or traveler information, harmonizing procedures and/or regulations that would improve flow at or across the border, and regional border planning.
Q: Can these funds be used for projects already underway?
A: Yes, the funds may be used for new phases of a project in which funds have not yet been obligated and that meets the eligibility requirements.
Q: Can the non-Federal match be waived?
A: No, this match cannot be waived.
Q: Can these funds be used for maintenance of transportation infrastructure in the border region?
A: If the project meets the CBI eligibility requirements, 23 USC Section 116(d) states that preventive maintenance activity is limited to prolonging the life of a Federal-aid highway. "Highway" does include international bridges and tunnels (23 USC 101(a)(11)).
Q: Can these funds be used for planning rail projects at the border?
A: No, rail projects are not eligible for these funds.
Q: Can CBI funds be used for public transportation projects?
A: CBI funds may be used for public transportation infrastructure under special circumstances and if the project meets CBI eligibility requirements. CBI projects must facilitate cross-border vehicle movements. Examples of CBI projects include:
Q: Are CBI funds limited to roads that are functionally classified?
A: Section 1303 of SAFETEA-LU does not require roadways to be functionally classified in order to receive funding from the CBI program. The eligible uses for CBI funding, which are listed in Section 1303, are:
Section 1303 does, however, require that CBI funds be obligated "in the same manner as if such funds were apportioned under chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code," including stipulations on the federal share for various types of projects.
Q: May a state use the funds to construct a project on the Canadian or Mexican side of the border?
A: Yes, a border State may use these funds to construct a project in Canada or Mexico if the project directly and predominantly facilitates cross-border vehicle and cargo movement at an international port of entry in the border region of the State, provided the state is able to do so legally within its own provisions. To do so, appropriate Canadian or Mexican officials must assure that the project will be constructed to standards equivalent to those in the United States, and be maintained and used over the useful life of the facility only for the purpose for which the funds were allocated. Division offices will decide whether a particular project meets the criteria of directly and predominantly facilitating cross-border vehicle and cargo movement at the border.
Q: What approval does a State need from FHWA in order to use funds on the Canadian or Mexican side of the border?
A: The State must get prior approval of the US DOT/ FHWA before using funds in this manner. FHWA will ascertain that either Canadian or Mexican officials have provided satisfactory assurances that the project will be constructed to standards equivalent to those in the United States and that it will be properly used over its life for the purpose related to the use of the funds. The State must specify the matching funds and the project be approved by FHWA.
Q: For projects in Canada and Mexico, how are the funds transferred to the foreign government or spent in Canada or Mexico?
A: Each state must determine the best way to transfer funds to or spend funds in Canada or Mexico, including the non-federal match per the state’s law. FHWA has no special authority to transfer money to foreign governments.
Q: What parts of Canada and Mexico are eligible to have projects funded with these funds and does the 100-mile border region apply?
A: No, the 100-mile border region does not apply. Although there are no regional limits, there are eligibility requirements. The project must directly and predominantly facilitate cross-border vehicle and cargo. This suggests that infrastructure projects will be closely tied to the ports of entry. On the other hand, projects utilizing information technology could be further from the actual border crossing while still directly improving operational activities at a port of entry. FHWA will evaluate each proposed project on case-by-case basis.
Q: What is the Federal government’s priority for border facilitation?
A: The federal priority is for projects “to improve the safe movement of motor vehicles at or across the border between the United States and Canada and the border between the United States and Mexico, ” as stated in the law. In addition, the projects must meet program eligibility requirements.
Q: Is technical assistance available for developing projects in border regions?
A: Yes, the State should contact the appropriate FHWA Division Office.
Q: Can these funds be combined with private funds to form public-private partnerships for border projects?
A: Yes, they must follow normal FHWA procedures and meet program requirements.
Q: Will projects under this program have special Federal-Aid procedures?
A: The projects under this program will follow the normal Federal-Aid procedures and comply with established processes for that type of project proposed (i.e. Planning, ITS, STP, NHS, Bridge, etc.).
Transferring funds to GSA
Q: Can these funds be combined with funds from other federal agencies (such as the Department of Homeland Security or the General Services Administration) to build border projects?
A: Yes, with limitations. If a border State requests, the Secretary approves, and GSA agrees, then up to 15 percent or $5 million (whichever is less) of the State’s yearly apportionment of border program funds may be transferred to GSA to carry out one or more eligible projects. The State must provide the non-Federal share directly to GSA.
Q: Can funds from other federal agencies be used as a match in the CBI program?
A: Federal funds may not be used to match other Federal funds unless expressly provided in law. There is no such provision for the CBI program. .
Q: Who approves transfer of funds to GSA?
A: The FHWA will approve the transfer, after consultation with the GSA.
Q: Can FHWA transfer these funds to GSA?
A: If the States are not able to transfer the funds to GSA for a specific project or their procedures are overly cumbersome, FHWA will assist in transferring the funds to GSA. However, FHWA was not given special authority to transfer these funds directly to GSA.
Q: What is the FHWA Division Office responsibility for approving projects under this program?
A: The FHWA Division Office will ensure that all of the program and normal Federal-Aid requirements are met before approving projects under this program including the following:
Q: What will be required of the FHWA Division Offices in order to document that each project meets the eligibility requirements?
A: The FHWA Division Office will ensure that the state has provided appropriate documentation describing the eligibility of each project approved for funding under this border program. An eligibility checklist form has been developed that can be used for this purpose. This information will be forwarded from the Division Offices to the Office of Interstate and Border Planning (electronically or otherwise). An eligibility checklist form is attached to this guidance.
Q: What assistance is available to the FHWA Division offices for implementing this program?
A: Technical assistance is available from the FHWA Office of Interstate and Border Planning. Staff contact: Roger Petzold, HEPI-10, firstname.lastname@example.org.