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DOT LogoMemorandum
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

ACTION: Allocation of FY 1999 Funds Ferry Boat Discretionary (FBD) Program
(Reply Due: November 30, 1998)
November 3, 1998
Chief, Federal-Aid and Design Division


Division Administrators
Alaska, New Jersey and Washington


Section 1207 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) provides discretionary funding for the construction of ferry boats and ferry terminal facilities. The TEA-21 includes a requirement that $20 million from FY 1999 be set-aside for marine highway systems that are part of the National Highway System (NHS) for use by the States of Alaska, New Jersey and Washington.

We are pleased to advise you that FY 1999 FBD funds, appropriation code Q95, are allocated to you for ferry boat and ferry terminal projects that are part of the NHS for the amount shown below. The Federal share is 80 percent.

Alaska $10,000,000
New Jersey $5,000,000
Washington $5,000,000

These funds are available for the construction or refurbishing of ferry boats and ferry terminals and their approaches that are part of the NHS. In general, a proposed project must meet the eligibility criteria set forth in 23 U.S.C. 129(b) and (c), with the following requirements specifically applying to location of the projects and the type of activity eligible for funding:

  1. For a ferry facility that provides a direct link on the NHS, both the ferry boat (must transport four wheel vehicles) and the ferry terminals, including approaches, are eligible for funding.

  2. For a ferry facility that lies at the end of an approved connector to the NHS, only the ferry terminal (can serve either vehicle or passengers) and approach is eligible for funding. The ferry boats serving the ferry terminal are not eligible for funding.

For FY 1999, obligation of the FBD funds is controlled by a special requirement included in the FY 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act (P.L. 105-277). The Act limits obligation of FBD funds during FY 1999 to $38 million. However, the FY 1999 allocations for FBD funds, which combine FY 1998 and FY 1999 authorizations, will amount to approximately $59 million. This includes the $39 million being allocated to States under the competitive portion of the FBD program plus $20 million in FBD funds earmarked to three States by statute. Consequently, there is not enough obligation authority available to the FBD program to cover all of the allocated funds.

We will be distributing the obligation authority on an “as needed” basis. To manage this, please advise my office by November 30, 1998, of the amount of the FBD allocation provided by this memorandum that the State can obligate by December 31, 1998. Based on the responses we receive, we will decide how to distribute the available obligation authority.

Please note that a State cannot use its regular obligation authority on the FBD funds distributed by this memorandum. These FBD funds may only be advanced with obligation authority specifically distributed by my office for these funds. For that portion of these FBD funds that are not obligated during FY 1999, we will withdraw the funds later in FY 1999 and will return them to the State in FY 2000.

By copy of this memorandum, we request the Budget Division of the Office of Budget and Finance to process these allocations. You may call Mr. Jack Wasley of the Federal-Aid and Design Division at 202-366-4658 if you have questions.

Signed by
Dwight A. Horne

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