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Subject: INFORMATION: Obligation Limitation for Funds Suballocated to Urbanized Areas with Populations of Over 200,000 Individuals Date: November 30, 2016
From: Brian R. Bezio
Chief Financial Officer
In Reply Refer To:
To: Division Administrators

The purpose of this memorandum is to clarify the provisions of section 133(e) of title 23, United States Code (U.S.C.), regarding State management of obligation limitation for urbanized areas with over 200,000 in population that are entitled to suballocated Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG) funds. Ensuring compliance with this requirement is a joint responsibility of the Federal Highway Administration, the States, and the metropolitan planning organizations for the affected urbanized areas.

A State with STBG funds suballocated to urbanized areas with over 200,000 in population must make formula obligation limitation available to each of these areas based on the criteria set forth in 23 U.S.C. 133(e) (hereafter referred to as the “section 133(e) requirement”). During the period of fiscal years (FY) 2016 through 2020, a State must make available to each of these urbanized areas an aggregate (5-year) amount of obligation limitation equal to the following:

Aggregate FY 2016-2020 STBG funds suballocated to an urbanized area with a population over 200,000 X Aggregate amount of FY 2016-2020 formula obligation limitation distributed to the State
Aggregate FY 2016-2020 Fed-aid apportionments to the State (excluding amounts exempt from the obligation limitation)

The formula obligation limitation amounts used in the above calculation include amounts distributed under both the annual obligation limitation notices and August redistribution.

The section 133(e) requirement applies to the entire 5-year period. Consequently, a State may decide how much obligation limitation to make available to the area each of these fiscal years, as long as the aggregate amount over the 5-year period adheres to the total amount required under that section.

To assist States in implementing this requirement, a workbook template is provided as Attachment 1. The workbook is designed to capture data related to the section 133(e) requirement. It also calculates a target for the amount of obligation limitation that a State must make available to each of the relevant urbanized areas for FY 2016-2020 in order to ensure compliance with the section 133(e) requirement over the full 5-year period. Instructions are provided in the first tab of the workbook template.

Division Administrators should ensure that copies of this memorandum are provided to the State departments of transportation and that the States share with the affected metropolitan planning organizations. In addition, Division Administrators should periodically monitor the implementation of this provision throughout the 5-year period, ensuring that States have a plan to meet the requirement under section 133(e).  In particular, since FY 2020 serves as the last year of the requirement, monitoring and coordination with the State should be especially close during that fiscal year and that year’s August redistribution.

If you have any questions, please contact Chris Brust at 202-366-3017, Lily Kwok at 202-366-0960, or Valentina Raptis at 202-366-3906.

Attachment (.xlsx, 30 KB)

Printer-friendly version (.pdf, 745 KB)

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Page posted on December 2, 2016
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000