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Highways for LIFE

Arrow ACTION: Solicitation for FY2013 Candidate Projects for Highways for LIFE

Subject: Action: ACTION: Solicitation for FY2013
Candidate Projects for Highways for LIFE
Date: November 28, 2012
From: Victor M. Mendez
In Reply Refer To: HIHL-1
To: Directors of Field Services
Division Administrators
Highways for LIFE Coordinators

The purpose of this memorandum is to announce the FY 2013 solicitation for candidate projects for the Highways for LIFE (HfL) discretionary grant program. The HfL program was not authorized in Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). However, funds remain from previous years through the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), and extended in the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012 for one final solicitation. Approximately $15 million is currently available for the HfL discretionary grant program.

To date, 38 States have been selected for participation in the pilot demonstration project program (see attachment). Because Section 1502(b)(6) of SAFETEA-LU requires the Secretary to approve (to the maximum extent possible) at least one project in each State, States meeting the criteria that have not been selected as an HfL recipient will receive first consideration for available funds. If your State has not had an HfL project, I encourage you to work with State officials to find and submit a candidate.

The incentive grants under the HfL Pilot Program are limited to 20 percent of the total project construction cost with a maximum of up to $5,000,000. The purpose of these incentives is to encourage States to build projects that use proven innovations that have never been used by that State or are infrequently used to accelerate the deployment and implementation process of innovation and shall not be used as a supplemental funding source.

When allocating funds to carry out the FY 2013 HfL discretionary grant program, FHWA will also give consideration to providing an equitable and geographic distribution of funds (ideally with at least one project in each State).

The State must submit all applications to their FHWA Division Office. The Division Office is to provide a recommendation memorandum and forward the State's application to the Center for Accelerating Innovation with information that:

  • Identifies the features in the application that are truly innovative in their State (not a standard practice);
  • Determines if the project meets the minimum requirements of HfL;
  • Identifies the measurable HfL goals that will be met by the innovations;
  • Determines if the innovations will make a significant improvement in the State's construction program;
  • Provides a recommendation if this project should be selected as a HfL project; and
  • Determines if the State is willing to consider making a standard practice of the innovation after a successful demonstration.

Since enactment of SAFETEA-LU, HfL projects have clearly demonstrated that we can build highways and bridges in weeks rather than years, with minimal impact to motorists, with significantly better safety results, of higher quality, and sometimes at a lower cost. This final solicitation is a great opportunity to encourage your State to use the appropriate innovations promoted in the second round of Every Day Counts Initiative. Projects that include Every Day Counts innovations designed to meet the criteria will receive additional consideration.

Our goal is to put the currently available funding to work as quickly as possible to provide needed transportation improvements and support economic growth. To that end, FHWA is announcing this solicitation to advance these programs and put Americans back to work. Additional consideration will also be given to projects that go to construction in FY 2013.

If you have any question, please contact Ms. Ewa Flom at or 202-366-2169 or Mr. Byron Lord at or 202-366-1325. Detailed information about the program and eligibility requirements can be found at

Eligible applicants will have until COB Thursday, January 31, 2013, to submit their application(s) to HfL.

More Information



Ewa Flom
Center for Accelerating Innovation

Updated: 12/12/2012

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration