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Federal Tolling Programs

Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program

FHWA External Presentation
Eligibility and Requirements

James Ray

James Ray
Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Infrastructure
United States Department of Transportation


Cynthia Essenmacher

Cynthia Essenmacher
Federal Tolling Program Manager
Center for Innovative Finance Support

Mark Sullivan

Mark Sullivan
Center for Innovative Finance Support

Tolling Programs

There are four separate and distinct tolling programs that allow exceptions to 23 U.S.C 301 "Freedom from Tolls":

  • Section 129
  • Section 166
  • Value Pricing Pilot Program

ISRRPP: Background

  • Authorized under Section 1216(b) of TEA-21 (1998), amended in Section 1411(c) of the FAST Act (2015)
  • Allows conversion of toll-free Interstate highways into toll facilities "for the purpose of reconstructing or rehabilitating Interstate highway corridors that could not otherwise be adequately maintained or functionally improved without the collection of tolls"
  • Up to 3 facilities in 3 different states
  • No special funding

ISRRPP: FAST Act Changes

  • Additional selection criterion: "State has the authority required for the project to proceed"
  • 3 year timeframe for a State with a provisional approval to fully satisfy program criteria
  • One-year time extension available if substantial progress has been made

ISRRPP: Eligibility

  • Facility/Corridor on the Interstate System; A facility/corridor is generally a single Interstate route, including approaches
  • Cannot be stand-alone bridge or tunnel (already eligible under Section 129 mainstream toll program)
  • Improvement costs exceed available funding sources; work cannot be advanced without toll collection

Section 1216(b)(1) of TEA-21

ISRRPP: Project Requirements

Any State receiving a provisional approval has 3 years from the date of the approval to:

  • Fully satisfy program criteria
  • Complete environmental review and permitting process under NEPA
  • Execute a toll agreement

Section 1411(c)(3) of the FAST Act

ISRRPP: Project Requirements (cont'd)

  • Tolls collected can only be used for the facility/corridor
  • Regular audits to ensure compliance with provisions regarding toll revenue usage; transmitted to FHWA

Section 1216(b)(5) of TEA-21

ISRRPP: Toll Revenue Uses

  • Improvement and proper operation and maintenance of the toll facility
  • Debt Service
  • A reasonable return on investment

Section 1216(b)(5) of TEA-21

ISRRPP: Application Process

  • Federal Register Notice soliciting candidate projects
  • Application to respective FHWA Division Office, due by February 20, 2018
  • No more than 25 pages (excluding supporting documentation)

ISRRPP: FHWA Division Role

  • Promote the opportunity
  • Assess project feasibility and eligibility
  • Coordinate technical assistance

ISRRPP: Application Content

  • Project description
  • MPO Consultation
  • Financial Analysis

Section 1216(b)(3)-(4) of TEA-21

ISRRPP: Application Content (cont'd)

  • Facility Management Plan
    • A plan for implementing tolls .
    • A proposed schedule and finance plan.
    • A description of the agency that will be responsible for implementation and administration.
    • A description of whether consideration will be given to privatizing the maintenance and operation of the facility.
    • Statement on State's current authority required for the toll project to proceed.

Section 1216(b)(3)-(4) of TEA-21

ISRRPP: Rating Criteria

Rating criteria, as defined in statute, is as follows:

  • The State is unable to reconstruct or rehabilitate the proposed facility using existing apportionments
  • The facility has sufficient intensity of use, age, or condition to warrant the collection of tolls
  • The State plan for implementing tolls on the facility takes into account the interests of locals, regional, and interstate travelers

Section 1216(b)(4) of TEA-21 as amended by section 1411(c)(1) of the FAST Act

ISRRPP: Rating Criteria (cont'd)

  • The State plan for reconstruction or rehabilitation of the facility using toll revenues is reasonable
  • The State has given preference to the use of a public toll agency with demonstrated capability to build, operate, and maintain a toll expressway system meeting criteria for the Interstate System
  • The State has the authority required for the project to proceed

ISRRPP: Candidate Selection

  • FHWA Division Office will assess project feasibility and eligibility
  • FHWA Headquarters evaluation team will assign a rating to each project submitted by the FHWA Division Offices
    (Not Recommended, Recommended, Highly Recommended)
  • Projects will be advanced to the FHWA Administrator for selection

ISRRPP: Provisional Approval

  • The FHWA Administrator will select up to 3 projects to proceed with provisional approval
  • The State will have 3 years (plus one-year extension if needed) to meet program criteria
  • The FHWA Headquarters and Division Office will regularly assess the progress of each provisionally approved project
  • The FHWA reserves the right to revoke provisional approval if it is evident a project will not meet statutory deadlines

Section 1411(c)(3) of the FAST Act

For further information, please contact:

Cynthia Essenmacher
Federal Tolling Program Manager
(202) 780-6178

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