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Transportation Enhancement Activities

The list of qualifying TE activities provided in 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(35) is intended to be exclusive, not illustrative. Only those projects that are listed in one of the 12 categories are eligible for transportation enhancement funds. Examples of each activity are provided below.

Under 23 U.S.C. 504(e), TE funds may be used for direct educational expenses for surface transportation workforce development, training, and education, provided the activity specifically benefits eligible TE activities. Direct costs include training costs, conference and registration fees, and travel costs, but not salaries. See Transportation Enhancements Guidance Supplement - Surface Transportation Workforce Development, Training, and Education. [Paragraph added 01/18/06]

Each project activity must demonstrate a relationship to surface transportation.

For additional clarification we have developed a set of Guiding Principles and Questions for Transportation Enhancement Activities to help the decisionmaker assess how the proposed project meets the following 12 principles, and to assess some aspects of project viability.

  Activity Examples
1. Provision of facilities for pedestrians and bicycles. New or reconstructed sidewalks, walkways, or curb ramps; wide paved shoulders for nonmotorized use, bike lane striping, bike parking, and bus racks; construction or major rehabilitation of off-road shared use paths (nonmotorized transportation trails); trailside and trailhead facilities for shared use paths; bridges and underpasses for pedestrians and bicyclists and for trails.
2. Provision of safety and educational activities for pedestrians and bicyclists. Educational activities to encourage safe walking and bicycling.
3. Acquisition of scenic easements and scenic or historic sites (including historic battlefields). Acquisition of scenic land easements, vistas, and landscapes; acquisition of buildings in historic districts or historic properties, including historic battlefields.
4. Scenic or historic highway programs (including the provision of tourist and welcome center facilities). For projects related to scenic or historic highway programs: Construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas; construction of visitor and welcome centers; designation signs and markers.
5. Landscaping and other scenic beautification. Landscaping, street furniture, lighting, public art, and gateways along highways, streets, historic highways, trails, and waterfronts. Landscaping recommendation: see FHWA's Roadside Vegetation Management website.
6. Historic preservation. Preservation of buildings in historic districts; restoration and reuse of historic buildings for transportation-related purposes.
7. Rehabilitation and operation of historic transportation buildings, structures, or facilities (including historic railroad facilities and canals). Restoration of historic railroad depots, bus stations, ferry terminals and piers, and lighthouses; rehabilitation of rail trestles, tunnels, and bridges; restoration of historic canals, canal towpaths, and historic canal bridges.
8. Preservation of abandoned railway corridors (including the conversion and use of the corridors for pedestrian or bicycle trails). Acquiring railroad rights-of-way; planning, designing, and constructing multiuse trails; developing rail-with-trail projects.
9. Inventory, control, and removal of outdoor advertising. Billboard inventories and removal of illegal and nonconforming billboards. Inventory control may include, but not be limited to, data collection, acquisition and maintenance of digital aerial photography, video logging, scanning and imaging of data, developing and maintaining an inventory and control database, and hiring of outside legal counsel.
10. Archaeological planning and research. Research, preservation planning, and interpretation of archaeological artifacts; curation for artifacts related to surface transportation and artifacts recovered from locations within or along surface transportation corridors.
11. Environmental mitigation--
(i) to address water pollution due to highway runoff; or
(ii) reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality while maintaining habitat connectivity.
For existing highway runoff: soil erosion controls, detention and sediment basins, and river clean-ups. Wildlife underpasses or other measures to reduce vehicle caused wildlife mortality and/or to maintain wildlfe habitat connectivity.
12. Establishment of transportation museums. Construction of new transportation museums; additions to existing museums for a transportation section; conversion of railroad stations or historic properties to museums with transportation themes.

Each project activity must demonstrate a relationship to surface transportation.

Updated: 01/11/2012
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