United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway AdministrationSkip to content FHWA HomeFeedback
Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)

Fact Sheets on Highway Provisions


Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Authorization $0 $15 M $20 M $20 M $20 M

Program Purpose

A new discretionary program that provides funding to demonstrate and promote state-of-the-art technologies, elevated performance standards, and new business practices in the highway construction process that result in improved safety, faster construction, reduced congestion from construction, and improved quality and user satisfaction.

Statutory References

SAFETEA-LU Section(s): 1101(a)(20), 1502


Funded by contract authority, to remain available for 4 years. Funds are subject to the overall Federal-aid obligation limitation.

To participate in the program, States are required to submit an application that includes a description of the proposed project(s). Priority will be given to projects that:

  • address Highways for LIFE performance standards for quality, safety and speed of construction
  • deliver and deploy innovative technologies, manufacturing processes, financing, contracting, and performance measures
  • include innovation that will lead to change in the administration of the State's transportation program
  • are or will be ready for construction within 1 year of approval of the project proposal

Eligible Use of Funds

A project is eligible if it:

  • constructs, reconstructs or rehabilitates a route or connection on an eligible Federal-aid highway
  • uses innovative technologies, manufacturing processes, financing or contracting methods that improve safety, reduce congestion due to construction, and improve quality
  • meets additional criteria as determined by the Secretary

Program Features

For the period 2005 – 2009 at least 1 project in each State shall be approved for program participation, if possible. The maximum number of projects that may be approved in any 1 fiscal year is 15.

The amount allocated for a Highways for LIFE project may be up to 20% but not more than $5 million, of the total project cost. Such funds may be used as the non-Federal share of a project constructed under 23 USC.

A State may obligate up to 10 percent its apportionments for one or more of the Interstate Maintenance, National Highway System, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement or Surface Transportation programs for projects approved under the Highways for LIFE program.

The Secretary may make grants and enter into cooperative agreements to foster the development, improvement and creation of innovative technologies and facilities to improve safety, enhance the speed of construction, and improve highway quality and durability.

A Highways for LIFE technology transfer program will be conducted. The information and technology used, developed, or deployed through Highways for LIFE will be made available to the transportation community and the public.

A process will be established for stakeholder input and involvement in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Highways for LIFE Pilot Program.

The Secretary will monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of any activity carried out by the program.

Federal Share

The Federal share for projects approved under this program may be up to 100 percent. Program funds may be applied to the non-Federal share of the cost of construction of a project under 23 USC.

The Federal share for Technology Partnerships may be up to 80 percent.

FHWA Home | Feedback