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Federal Share

Main statutory citation(s): MAP-21 §1508; 23 USC 120


The maximum share of project costs that may be funded with Federal-aid highway funds (the “Federal share”) varies based on the Federal-aid program under which the project receives funding. In some cases the Federal share to which a given program is subject is also adjusted based on related statutory provisions.

“Standard” Federal share

23 USC 120 establishes a Federal share that applies to the entire Federal-aid highway program (except where other statutory language establishes a different and more specific share):

(See the table below – and program-specific fact sheets – for details on programs to which the standard Federal share does not apply)

Adjustments to Federal share

Sliding scale

23 USC 120 also allows an upward adjustment (the “sliding scale”) to the Federal share for States that contain a large amount of Federal lands. Sliding scale States are eligible for a Federal share of 90-95% for Interstate projects and 80-85% for other projects. (See prior FHWA guidance for the specific share allowable in each sliding scale State under this provision).

Adjustments to Federal share under certain apportioned programs

Other adjustments to Federal share

Transfers of funding between FHWA and FTA

Federal-aid highway funds made available for transit projects or transportation planning may be transferred to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and administered in accordance with FTA’s requirements (under chapter 53 of title 49). Similarly, Federal transit funding made available for highway projects or transportation planning may be transferred to FHWA and administered in accordance with title 23 requirements. However, in either case, the transferred funds remain subject to the Federal share that applied to their §1105; 23 USC 104(f)]

Federal Share for Selected Programs


Federal share
(%) [1]

Plus eligible for…

Sliding scale [2]

100% for designated safety projects [3]

Up to 100%
for innovative
delivery methods [4]

100% for Workforce development [5]

100% for ADHS projects [6]

National Highway Performance Program

80 / 90 [7],[8]

Surface Transportation Program

80 / 90 [7]

Highway Safety Improvement Program

90 [9]      

Railway-Highway Crossings

90 [10]          

Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality Improvement Program

80 / 90 [7]    

Metropolitan Transportation Planning

80 [7]      

State Planning and Research

80 [11]          

Transportation Alternatives Program

80 / 90 [7]        

Recreational Trails Program

80 [7], [12]        

Tribal Transportation Program

100 [13]          

Federal Lands Transportation Program

100 [13]          

Federal Lands Access Program

80 / 90[7],[14]        

Puerto Rico Highway Program

80 / 90 [7]      

Territorial Highway Program

100 [15]          

Emergency Relief

80-100 [16]          

Projects of National & Regional Significance

80 [17]          

Construction of Ferry Boats & Ferry Terminal Facilities

80 [18]          

Tribal High Priority Projects Program

100 [19]          

Highway Research & Development Program

80 [20]          

Technology & Innovation Deployment Program

80 [20]          

Training & Education

80 [20], [21]          

Intelligent Transportation Systems Program

80 [20]          

[1] The Federal share specified in this column may be subject (as specified) to one or more of the provisions referenced in the subsequent columns. In some circumstances the Federal share may also be modified by the provisions described above related to freight projects and projects requiring Federal toll authority.

[2] 90-95% for Interstate projects and 80–85% for other projects. [23 USC 120(a)-(b)]

[3] 23 U.S.C. 120(c)(1), as amended by §1508(1).

[4] 23 U.S.C. 120(c)(3), as amended by §1304.

[5] 23 U.S.C. 504(e), as amended by §52004(4)(A)(i).

[6] §1528(c).

[7] 90% for Interstate System projects (including projects to add high occupancy vehicle lanes or auxiliary lanes but excluding projects to add other lanes) and 80% for all other projects or activities. [23 USC 120(a)-(b)]

[8] Beginning in FY 2016, the NHPP Federal share for a State that has not developed and implemented an asset management plan will be reduced to 65% until it develops and implements its plan. [§1106; 23 USC 119(e)(5)]

[9] 23 U.S.C. 148(j), as amended by §1112.

[10] 23 U.S.C. 130(f)(3).

[11] The Secretary may increase this share (up to 100%) if s/he determines that this would best serve the interests of the Federal-aid highway program. [§52005(2); 23 USC 505(d)]

[12] 23 U.S.C. 206(f) (which cites to 23 USC 120, with some specified exceptions).

[13] 23 U.S.C. 201(b)(7)(A), as amended by §1119.

[14] 23 U.S.C. 201(b)(7)(B), as amended by §1119.

[15] 23 U.S.C. 120(g) (as redesignated by §1508(3)).

[16] Emergency Relief (ER) funds are typically subject to the standard Federal share: 80%, with 90% on Interstates, in both cases subject to the sliding scale. However, this share may be adjusted as follows:

[17] SAFETEA-LU §1301(i).

[18] 23 U.S.C. 147(b).

[19] §1123(h)(2)(B).

[20] Except as expressly provided by MAP-21 or otherwise determined by the Secretary, projects and activities funded under Division E (Research and Education) of MAP-21 are subject to a Federal share of 80%. [§51001(b)]

[21] This share is reduced to 50% for activities carried out by a local technical assistance center and increased to 100% for activities carried out by a tribal technical assistance center. [§52004(2); 23 U.S.C. 504(b)(3)]

Page last modified on September 3, 2015
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