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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

The Odd Couple: Historic Preservation and Transportation Enhancements

Who is FHWA?

What's so odd about transportation and historic preservation?

Transportation Enhancements

Photo of a former boarding house in Ybor City
I-4 Mitigation: Ybor City, Tampa FL

Photo of the 442-foot long bridge crossing the Eau Claire River
Soo Line "S" Bridge (WI) - 1910

The I-4 Historic Relocation and Rehabilitation Project took great care to preserve structures, like this former boarding house, that represents the diversity, of architectural styles present in Ybor City.

Surface Transportation. Surface transportation means all elements of the intermodal transportation system, exclusive of aviation. For the purposes of TE eligibility, surface transportation includes water as surface transportation and includes as eligible activities related features such as canals, lighthouses, and docks or piers connecting to ferry operations, as long as the proposed enhancement otherwise meets the basic eligibility criteria.

Project Example: Soo Line "S" Bridge (Eau Claire, WI)
Built in 1910, 442-foot long bridge crossing the Eau Claire River. Because the bridge was an essential link in the bicycle and pedestrian system, the city acquired the bridge from the Wisconsin DOT to prevent its removal. Eau Claire's trail system provides pedestrian and bicycle access to many area neighborhoods, the downtown, the public library, a regional arts center and City Hall.

Federal TE Award: $ 304,000
Other Funds: $105,545
Total Project Cost: $409,545

Transportation Enhancement Activities: 12 Eligible Categories

  1. Pedestrian and bicycle facilities
  2. Pedestrian and bicycle safety and education
  3. Scenic or historic easements and sites
  4. Scenic or historic highway programs
  5. Landscaping and scenic beautification
  6. Historic preservation
  7. Historic transportation buildings, structures, or facilities
  8. Rail-trail conversions
  9. Inventory, control, and removal of outdoor advertising
  10. Archaeological planning and research
  11. Mitigate highway water pollution and wildlife mortality
  12. Transportation museums

    See detailed list.

TE Projects: must relate to surface transportation

Some factors help establish this relationship:

Some factors, by themselves, are not good enough:

Project Example: Ben Schroeder Saddletree Factory, Madison, IN
Photo of the Ben Schroeder Saddletree Factory The Ben Schroeder Saddletree Factory in Madison, Indiana, serves as a rare, detailed reminder of a traditional craft industry in America. Saddletrees, the internal framework of a saddle, were constructed at the factory from 1878 to 1972. Demand for the wooden saddletrees grew in the mid-to-late 1800s with the California Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the settling of America's western territories. The factory's 1972 closure marked the end of the nation's oldest continually operated family-owned saddletree factory. The following year, Historic Madison, Inc. acquired the Schroeder Factory and all its contents with plans to reopen the facility as a museum and interpretive center. Preventive maintenance measures were taken throughout the 1970s and 1980s while various funding options were pursued. The actual restoration, rehabilitation, and interpretation of the Ben Schroeder Saddletree Factory began in 1996 when Historic Madison, Inc. received a Transportation Enhancements award for historic preservation. The facility is now a living history museum and interpretive center.
TE award: $932,000 / Other funds: $233,200 / Total cost: $1,166,000.

Project Example: Historical Roadside Marker Restoration Program: Statewide, TX
Photo of a roadside marker The Texas Historical Commission (THC) protects cultural and historic landmarks across the State. Part of that mission entails keeping historical signs and markers in good condition. With the help of the TE program, the THC preserved nearly 1500 roadside markers that years of wear and tear had nearly transformed into artifacts. The THC used TE funds to re-etch and clean illegible markers and to create a comprehensive inventory database of all the markers in the state. These rehabilitation efforts helped to preserve the markers for the benefit of local communities and travelers, and to ensure the protection of the markers in the future.
TE award: $337,929 / Other funds: $67,586 / Total cost: $405,515.

Overall TE Requirements

States must keep the aggregate non-Federal not less than their share under 23 U.S.C. 120(b) (80%/sliding scale). However:

Transportation Enhancement Apportionments and Obligations
FY 1992 - FY 2006.

FY 2007-2009 Apportionments will be the same or slightly higher than FY 2005.

A chart of TE Apportionment figures - Source data - datasource.cfm#chart

National obligation rate was increasing, but some States were reluctant to make new commitments until after reauthorization. This happened in 1996-1998 and again in 2003-2006. Some States rescinded a lot of TE funds in 2005 and 2006.

Programming Across TE Activities

Source: National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse

A pie chart showing how different TE funds are being spent - Source data - datasource.cfm#piechart

Programming Trends - FY 1992 - 2005
Source: National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse

Historic Preservation Considerations



Updated: 10/20/2015
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