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MAP-21 - Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century

Home / MAP-21 / Guidance / Territorial Highway Program (THP) Implementation Guidance

Note: This document was superseded on 02/25/2016 by Territorial Highway Program (THP) Implementation Guidance as Revised by The FAST Act

MAP-21 Territorial Highway Program (THP) Implementation Guidance

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U.S. Department of
Federal Highway


Subject: Information: Territorial Highway Program (THP) Implementation Guidance Date: October 24, 2012

/s/ David Nicol
for John Baxter
Associate Administrator for Infrastructure

Reply to Attn. of: HIPA-10
To: Hawaii Division
Florida Division
Puerto Rico Division
Director of Field Services
Director of Technical Services

On July 6, 2012, the President signed into law P.L. 112-141, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).  The attached Territorial Highway Program (THP) Implementation Guidance provides information on funding, eligible activities, and specific requirements under the THP.

If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Peter Kleskovic (202-366-4652) or Mr. Tony DeSimone (317-226-5307) of the Office of Program Administration.


Territorial Highway Program (THP) Implementation Guidance


    Section 1114 of MAP-21 re-establishes the THP under the Territorial and Puerto Rico Highway Program in 23 U.S.C. 165(c) and repeals 23 U.S.C. 215.

    In recognizing the mutual benefits that will accrue to the territories and the United States from the improvement of highways in the territories, the purpose of the THP is to assist each territory in the construction and improvement of a system of arterial and collector highways and necessary inter-island connectors [23 U.S.C. 165(c)(2)(A)].


    1. Authorization Levels under MAP-21: Section 1114 of MAP-21 authorizes funds for the THP under 23 U.S.C. 165(a) at $40,000,000 for FY 2013 and 2014. These funds are contract authority authorized from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).

      The Fiscal Management Information System (FMIS) program code is as shown below.

      MT10 – Territorial Highway Program

      This allocated program is subject to the provisions of MAP-21 Sec. 1102(f) Redistribution of Certain Authorized Funds. This “lop-off” provision requires that any funds authorized that exceed the amount of obligation authority provided for the program be deducted from the program and then distributed to the States for use under the Surface Transportation Program. Therefore the above authorized amounts will be reduced to the amount of obligation limitation available for the program.

    2. Funds Distribution: The Federal Highway Administrator has been delegated the authority to carry out the program established in 23 U.S.C. 165(c) and has set the following distribution formula for the territories identified in 23 U.S.C. 165(c)(1):

      1. American Samoa – 10%
      2. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands – 10%
      3. Guam – 40%
      4. U.S. Virgin Islands – 40%
    3. Period of Availability: THP funds are contract authority. THP obligations are reimbursed from the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund. THP funds are available for obligation for a period of 3 years after the last day of the fiscal year for which the funds are authorized. Thus funds are available for obligation for 4 years.

    4. Obligation Limitation: The funds are subject to the annual obligation limitation imposed on the Federal-aid highway program.

      THP funds are subject to August Redistribution as provided in Section 1102(d) of MAP-21. Any THP funds that cannot be obligated by the end of the fiscal year will be withdrawn in August and the obligation authority will be distributed to the States. The funds and carryover obligation authority will be returned to the territories in the following fiscal year if the funds have not lapsed.

    5. Federal share: The Federal share for THP funds is governed by 23 U.S.C. 120(g). Projects may be obligated at 100% Federal share.


    1. Territorial Highway System.— a system of arterial and collector highways, and necessary inter-island connectors, that is designated by the Governor or chief executive officer of each territory; and is approved by the Secretary or his designee [23 U.S.C. 165(c)(2)(A)].


    1. Eligible Projects: Funds from the THP may be used for the following project types identified in 23 U.S.C. 165(c)(6)(A)--

      1. Projects eligible for the surface transportation program under 23 U.S.C. 133(b) (see interim guidance for the Surface Transportation Program as revised by MAP-21);
      2. Cost-effective preventive maintenance consistent with 23 U.S.C. 116(e);
      3. Ferry boats, terminal facilities and approaches in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 129(b) and (c).
      4. Engineering and economic surveys and investigations for the planning, and the financing of future highway programs.
      5. Studies of the economy, safety, and convenience of highway use;
      6. Regulation and equitable taxation of highway use;
      7. Research and development as are necessary in connection with the planning, design and maintenance of the highway system.
    2. Routine Maintenance: Funds from the THP cannot be used for routine maintenance. [23 U.S.C. 165(c)(6)(B)]

    3. Location of Projects: The eligible projects authorized under this program may not be located on local roads except the types of projects listed in 23 U.S.C. 133(b)(2), (4), (7), (8), (14), and (19), [23 U.S.C. 165(c)(7)] specifically:

      1. Replacement (including replacement with fill material), rehabilitation, preservation, protection (including painting, scour countermeasures, seismic retrofits, impact protection measures, security countermeasures, and protection against extreme events) and application of calcium magnesium acetate, sodium acetate/formate, or other environmentally acceptable, minimally corrosive anti-icing and deicing compositions for bridges (and approaches to bridges and other elevated structures) and tunnels on public roads of all functional classifications, including any such construction or reconstruction necessary to accommodate other transportation modes. [23 U.S.C. 133(b)(2)]
      2. Inspection and evaluation of bridges and tunnels and training of bridge and tunnel inspectors (as defined in section 144), and inspection and evaluation of other highway assets (including signs, retaining walls, and drainage structures). [23 U.S.C. 133(b)(4)]
      3. Highway and transit safety infrastructure improvements and programs, installation of safety barriers and nets on bridges, hazard eliminations, projects to mitigate hazards caused by wildlife, and railway-highway grade crossings. [23 U.S.C. 133(b)(7)]
      4. Highway and transit research and development and technology transfer programs. [23 U.S.C. 133(b)(8)]
      5. Environmental mitigation efforts relating to projects funded under this title in the same manner and to the same extent as such activities are eligible under section 119(g). [23 U.S.C. 133(b)(14)]
      6. Projects and strategies designed to support congestion pricing, including electric toll collection and travel demand management strategies and programs. [23 U.S.C. 133(b)(19)]
      7. No longer eligible for this program on local roads are: Carpool projects, fringe and corridor parking facilities and programs, bicycle transportation and pedestrian walkways, and the modification of public sidewalks to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).

    1. In accordance with 23 U.S.C. 165(c)(4), the THP is subject to all provisions of Chapter 1 of title 23 U.S. Code as amended by MAP-21, except for those provisions identified below or otherwise identified in the territory specific program agreement that are determined to be inconsistent with the needs of the territory and the intent of this program. The applicable sections will be included in each territory agreement as described below in H, “Territorial Highway Program Agreement”.

    2. The following provisions of Chapter 1 of title 23 U.S. Code which either apply only to States as defined in 23 U.S.C. 101, or to a specific program and based on previous territorial program agreements, do not apply to the THP:

      1. Section 103 – National Highway System
      2. Section 107 – Acquisition of rights-of-way - Interstate System
      3. Section 111 – Agreements relating to use of and access to rights-of-way –Interstate System
      4. Section 119 – National highway performance program
      5. Section 126 – Transferability of Federal-aid highway funds
      6. Section 127 – Vehicle weight limitations – Interstate System
      7. Section 130 – Railway-highway crossings
      8. Section 131 – Control of outdoor advertising
      9. Section 134 – Metropolitan transportation planning
      10. Section 135 – Statewide transportation planning
      11. Section 136 – Control of junkyards
      12. Section 137 – Fringe and corridor parking facilities
      13. Section 141 – Enforcement of Requirements
      14. Section 143 – Highway use tax evasion projects
      15. Section 144 – Highway bridge replacement and rehabilitation program
      16. Section 147 – Construction of ferry boats and ferry terminal facilities
      17. Section 148 – Highway safety improvement program
      18. Section 149 – Congestion mitigation and air quality improvement program
      19. Section 150 – National goals and performance management measurement
      20. Section 152 – Hazard elimination program
      21. Section 153 – Use of safety belts and motorcycle helmets
      22. Section 154 – Open container requirements
      23. Section 158 – National minimum drinking age
      24. Section 159 – Revocation or suspension of drivers’ licenses of individuals convicted of drug offenses
      25. Section 161 – Operation of motor vehicles by intoxicated minors
      26. Section 162 – National scenic byways program
      27. aa. Section 163 – Safety incentives to prevent operation of motor vehicles by intoxicated persons
      28. bb. Section 164 – Minimum penalties for repeat offenders for driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence
      29. cc. Section 166 – HOV facilities
  6. Technical Assistance: Pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 165(c)(3), the FHWA Division Office or the Office of Federal Lands Highways, as appropriate, upon request by a territory and as included in the Territorial Program Agreement, may provide technical assistance to enable the territories:

    1. to engage in highway planning;
    2. to conduct environmental evaluations;
    3. to administer right-of-way acquisition and relocation assistance programs; and
    4. to design, construct, operate, and maintain a system of arterial and collector highways, including necessary inter-island connectors.
  7. Transfers: General guidance on fund transfers can be found at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/policy/fundtrans20070719.htm. Transfers of funds under the THP to another State, FHWA, or another agency for administration should be coordinated with the Office of Program Administration. Transfers to the Federal Transit Administration will be made under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 104(f)(1) (as amended by MAP-21).

  8. Territorial Highway Program Agreement: The Division Office will work with each territory to revise its agreement with the Administrator as delegated by the Secretary to include the following elements per 23 U.S.C. 165(c):

    1. Implementation of a program in accordance with applicable provisions of Chapter 1 of Title 23 of the U.S.C. [23 U.S.C. 165(c)(5)(A)(i)]
    2. Confirmation that the territory will design and construct the Territorial Highway System in accordance with standards appropriate for the territory and approved by the Secretary or his designee. [23 U.S.C. 165(c)(5)(A)(ii)]
    3. Agreement by the territory to maintain all facilities constructed or operated under this program to meet the needs of present and future traffic. [23 U.S.C. 165(c)(5)(A)(iii)]
    4. Implementation of standards for traffic operations and uniform traffic control devices that are approved by the Secretary or his designee. [23 U.S.C. 165(c)(5)(A)(iv)]
    5. Inclusion of a listing of all applicable sections of chapter 1 of title 23 U.S.C. [23 U.S.C. 165(c)(4)(B)]
    6. Identification of the kind of technical assistance to be provided to the territory. [23 U.S.C. 165(c)(5)(B)(i)]
    7. Inclusion of the appropriate provisions for information sharing among the territories. [23 U.S.C. 165(c)(5)(B)(ii)]
    8. Identification of the oversight role and responsibilities of the territory and the division office. [23 U.S.C. 165(c)(5)(B)(iii)]
    9. Attach to the agreement a listing or map of the highways designated and approved as the Territorial Highway System. Highways may include arterials, collectors and necessary inter-island connectors per 23 U.S.C. 165(c)(2)(A).
    10. The agreement shall be reevaluated at a minimum of every two years from the date of the last approval.
    11. Existing agreements shall remain applicable until new agreements under these revised provisions have been implemented.
Page last modified on September 12, 2013
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