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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 13-09Contact: Nancy Singer
Thursday, May 14, 2009Tel.: (202) 366-0660

Highway Grants to Help States Reduce Traffic Congestion

WASHINGTON - - Four states will receive more than $6 million in grants as part of a national program to encourage innovations in congestion relief, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today.

California, Minnesota, New York and Washington received this year's first grants under the Federal Highway Administration's Value Pricing Pilot Program. Additional awards will be issued in the months to come.

"Pricing" refers to varying toll levels by time of day or traffic volume in order to manage congestion. It can significantly increase the capacity of new or existing roads, by spreading out demand and reducing congestion at peak hours.

In San Francisco's Bay area, roadway pricing will be used on the SR 237 Express Connectors to relieve bottlenecks at a key gateway into Silicon Valley. Minnesota's Twin Cities and Washington's Puget Sound will use their funds to study the benefits of pricing on major highways. New York will advance a truck pricing system to cut traffic at the I-90/I-290 interchange east of Buffalo where commercial trucks account for one in four vehicles.

The Value Pricing Program was initially authorized in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) as the Congestion Pricing Pilot Program, and renewed with the passage of the "Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users." For more than a decade, the program has supported more than 70 projects in 14 states to improve transportation through pricing strategies.

FY 2009 Value Pricing Pilot Program Grants








San Francisco Bay Area

Implement roadway pricing on SR 237 Express Connectors




Twin Cities Area

Feasibility study on pricing innovative lane additions on Trunk Highway 77




Twin Cities Area

Pre-implementation study of priced managed lane on I-94



New York

Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council

Pre-implementation of study of GPS-based truck pricing system




Puget Sound/Seattle Area

Express lanes system concept study







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