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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* $5,911M $6,005M $6,111M $6,208M $6,307M
*Authorizations shown here will be augmented by a portion of the Equity Bonus Program funds

Program Purpose

The program provides funding for improvements to rural and urban roads that are part of the NHS, including the Interstate System and designated connections to major intermodal terminals. Under certain circumstances, NHS funds may also be used to fund transit improvements in NHS corridors.

Statutory References

SAFETEA-LU Section(s): 1101(a)(2), 1103, 6006

Other: 23 USC 103, 104(b)(1)


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

A State may transfer up to 50% of its NHS apportionment to its Interstate Maintenance, Surface Transportation (STP), Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement, Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation, or Recreational Trails apportionment. Up to 100% may be transferred to the STP if approved by the Secretary and if sufficient notice and opportunity for public comment is given.

The following funds are to be set aside from the authorized amounts:

Alaska Highway

$30 million to be set aside in each of fiscal years 2005 through 2009 for the portion of the Alaska Highway from the Alaskan border to Haines Junction in Canada and the Haines Cutoff Highway from Haines Junction in Canada to Haines. [1103(b), 23 USC 218]


$40 million to be set aside in each of fiscal years 2005 and 2006 and $50 million to be set aside in each of fiscal years 2007 through 2009 for the territories of Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands. [1103(c)]

Apportioned funds are to be distributed based on the following factors [104(b)(1)]:

  • 25% based on total lane miles of principal arterials
  • 35% based on total vehicle miles of travel on principal arterials
  • 30% based on diesel fuel used on all highways
  • 10% based on total lane miles of principal arterials per capita

Each State is to receive a minimum of ½% of combined NHS and Interstate Maintenance apportionments.

Eligible Use Of Funds

Expands NHS eligibility to include the following activities:

  • Environmental restoration and pollution abatement [6006]
  • Control of terrestrial and aquatic noxious weeds and establishment of native species [6006]

Federal Share

The Federal share is generally 80 percent, subject to the sliding scale adjustment. When the funds are used for Interstate projects to add high occupancy vehicle or auxiliary lanes, but not other lanes, the Federal share may be 90 percent, also subject to the sliding scale adjustment. Certain safety improvements listed in 23 USC 120(c) have a Federal share of 100 percent.

High Priority Corridors on the National Highway System

The list of high priority NHS corridors established in section 1105 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) is amended to modify corridor descriptions and identify additional corridors. The identification of evacuation routes is added as a purpose of this section. Such sums as may be necessary are authorized to carry out projects on the corridors designated in section 1105(c) of ISTEA, as amended, subject to appropriation, from the General Fund. [1304, 1105 of ISTEA, as amended]

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