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FHWA Home / Policy & Governmental Affairs / Legislative Affairs and Policy Communications / Appendix H

Funding Federal-aid Highways Cover

Funding Federal-aid Highways

Office of Policy and Governmental Affairs

Publication No. FHWA-PL-17-011
January 2017

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Appendix H. Federal share

The maximum share of project costs that may be funded with Federal-aid highway funds (the “Federal share”) varies based upon the Federal-aid program from which the project receives funding. In some cases this share is also adjusted based on related statutory provisions. The FAST Act made relatively few changes to Federal share; those changes are shown in boldface below.

“Standard” Federal share

23 U.S.C. 120 provides that except as otherwise provided, the Federal share payable shall be—

There are a number of exceptions and adjustments to the “standard” Federal share. See below (and program-specific fact sheets) for information about, and the applicability of, these exceptions and adjustments.

Adjustments to Federal share

Sliding scale

23 U.S.C. 120(a) and (b) authorize an upward adjustment (the “sliding scale”) to the Federal share for a State containing Federal and nontaxable Indian lands. A sliding scale State is eligible for an increased Federal share based upon the location of the project—90-95% for an applicable Interstate project and 80-95% for any other project. The amount of the upward adjustment is based on the percentage of Federal and nontaxable Indian lands in the State.

Other adjustments to Federal share

Increased non-Federal share

23 U.S.C. 120(h) authorizes a State to contribute an amount in excess of the non-Federal share of any project under title 23 U.S.C., thus decreasing the Federal share for the project.

Transfers of funding between FHWA and FTA

Federal-aid highway funds made available for a transit project 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 a highway project or transportation planning may be transferred to FHWA and administered in accordance with title 23 requirements. In either case, the transferred funds remain subject to the Federal share that applied to the category from which the funding was derived. [23 U.S.C. 104(f)]

Program Federal share
(%) [1]
Plus eligible for…
Sliding scale [2] 100% for designated types of projects [3] Up to 100%
for innovative
delivery methods [4]
100% for workforce development [5] Up to 100% for ADHS projects [6] 100% within Indian reservations, national parks, and monuments[7]
National Highway Performance Program 80 / 90 [8],[9]
Surface Transportation Block Grant Program 80 / 90 [8]
Highway Safety Improvement Program 90 [8],[10]    
Railway-Highway Crossings 90 [11]            
Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality Improvement Program 80 / 90 [8]    
National Highway Freight Program 80 / 90 [8]    
Metropolitan Planning 80 [8]        
State Planning and Research 80 [12]            
Transportation Alternatives 80 / 90 [8]      
Recreational Trails Program 80 [13]          
Tribal Transportation Program 100 [14]            
Federal Lands Transportation Program 100 [14]            
Federal Lands Access Program 80 / 90 [8],[15]        
Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects Program Up to 90 [16]            
Puerto Rico Highway Program 80 / 90 [8]        
Territorial Highway Program (or any project in the specified territories) 100 [17]            
Emergency Relief 80-100 [18]          
Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads 100 [19]            
Construction of Ferry Boats & Ferry Terminal Facilities 80 [20]            
Highway Research & Development Program 80 [21]            
Technology & Innovation Deployment Program 80 [21]            
Training & Education 80 [21], [22]            
Intelligent Transportation Systems Program 80 [21]            
Advanced Transportation & Congestion Management Technologies Deployment Up to 50 [23]            
Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives Up to 50 [24]            
Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects 60/80/100 [25]            

[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 projects requiring Federal toll authority.

[2] 23 U.S.C. 120(a)-(b).

[3] 23 U.S.C. 120(c)(1).

[4] 23 U.S.C. 120(c)(3), as amended by FAST Act § 1408(a).

[5] 23 U.S.C. 504(e).

[6] MAP-21 § 1528(c), as amended by FAST Act § 1435. Increased Federal share applies through FY 2050.

[7] 23 U.S.C. 120(f).

[8] “Standard Federal share” of 90% for a project on the Interstate System (including a project to add high occupancy vehicle lanes or auxiliary lanes but excluding a project to add other lanes) and 80% for any other project or activity. [23 U.S.C. 120(a)-(b)]

[9] With respect to the second fiscal year beginning after the date of establishment of the process for State development of an asset management plan as required by 23 U.S.C. 119(e)(8), 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. [23 U.S.C. 119(e)(5)]

[10] 23 U.S.C. 148(j).

[11] 23 U.S.C. 130(f)(3).

[12] The Secretary may increase this share (up to 100%) if he or she determines that this would best serve the interests of the Federal-aid highway program. [ 23 U.S.C. 505(d)]

[13] 23 U.S.C. 206(f) (which cites to 23 U.S.C. 120(b), with some specified exceptions).

[14] 23 U.S.C. 201(b)(7)(A).

[15] 23 U.S.C. 201(b)(7)(B).

[16] FAST Act §1123(g). Federal funds other than those made available under titles 23 or 49 U.S.C. may be used for the non-Federal share.

[17] 23 U.S.C. 120(g).

[18] 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:

  • Up to 100% for eligible emergency repairs within 180 days of the disaster or catastrophic failure. The Secretary may extend this time period, taking into consideration any delay in the ability of the State to access damaged facilities to evaluate damage and the cost of repair. [23 U.S.C. 120(e)(1) & (3)]
  • Up to 90% for eligible permanent repairs to restore facilities to pre-disaster condition if the State’s ER-eligible expenses for the FY exceed the State’s combined NHPP/STP/HSIP/CMAQ/NHFP/Metropolitan Planning apportionment for that FY. [23 U.S.C. 120(e)(4)]

[19] 23 U.S.C. 120(e)(2) as amended by FAST Act § 1408(b). Prior to the amendment, eligible Federal Lands Access Transportation Facilities qualified for a Federal share of 100%. Per § 421 of the Department of Transportation Appropriations Act, 2016 (P.L. 114-113 , the FAST Act amendment applies to projects to repair or reconstruct facilities damaged as a result of a qualifying natural disaster or catastrophic failure that occurs after October 1, 2015.

[20] 23 U.S.C. 147(b).

[21] Except as expressly provided by the FAST Act or otherwise determined by the Secretary, projects and activities funded under Title VI (Innovation) of the FAST Act are subject to a Federal share of 80%. [FAST Act § 6002(c)]. The Federal share of activities carried out under a cooperative research and development agreement entered into under chapter 5 of 23 U.S.C. shall not exceed 80%, except that the Secretary may approve a greater Federal share if there is substantial public interest or benefit. [23 U.S.C. 502(c)(3)]

[22] 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. [23 U.S.C. 504(b)(3)]

[23] FAST Act §6004, 23 U.S.C. 503(c)(4)(J).

[24] FAST Act §6020(g).

[25] The standard Federal share is up to 60%, but Federal assistance from other sources may increase this to 80%. Federal funds from sources other than 23 U.S.C. or 49 U.S.C. may be used to pay the non-Federal share of the cost of a project carried out under this program by a Federal land management agency. [FAST Act §1105, 23 U.S.C. 117(j)]

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