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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* $6,860M $6,270M $6,370M $6,473M $6,577M
* Authorizations shown here will be augmented by a portion of the Equity Bonus Program funds

Program Purpose

The Surface Transportation Program provides flexible funding that may be used by States and localities for projects on any Federal-aid highway, including the NHS, bridge projects on any public road, transit capital projects, and intracity and intercity bus terminals and facilities.

Statutory References

SAFETEA-LU Section(s): 1101(a)(4), 1103(f), 1113, 1603, 1960, 6006

Other: 23 USC 133, 104(b)(3), 140


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

Prior to the apportionment of STP funds, the following sums are to be set aside from the authorized amounts:

Operation Lifesaver – $560,000 is to be set aside for fiscal year 2005. For fiscal years 2006 through 2009, the Operation Lifesaver Program will be funded by a separate authorization of $560,000 each year for that program. [1103(f)]

Rail-Highway Crossing Hazard Elimination in High Speed Rail Corridors – $5.25 million is to be set aside for fiscal year 2005. For fiscal years 2006 through 2009, The Hazard Elimination Program will be funded by a separate authorization for that program ($7.250M for 2006, $10M for 2007, $12.5M for 2008 and $15M for 2009). From this Hazard Elimination funding, there is a setaside for the Minneapolis/St. Paul – Chicago Segment of the Midwest High Speed Rail Corridor. [1103(f)]

On-the-Job Training/Supportive Services – An amount not to exceed $10 million will be set aside for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2009 for the administration of this program. [23 USC 140(b)]

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Training - An amount not to exceed $10 million will be set aside for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2009 for the administration of this program. [23 USC 140(c)]

Apportioned funds are to be distributed based on the following factors:

  • 25% based on total lane miles of Federal-aid highways
  • 40% based on vehicle miles traveled on lanes on Federal-aid highways
  • 35% based on estimated tax payments attributable to highway users in the States into the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund (often referred to as "contributions" to the Highway Account

Each State is to receive a minimum of ½% of the funds apportioned for STP.

Eligible Use of Funds

Continues existing STP eligibilities and adds the following:

  • Advanced truck stop electrification systems [1113]
  • Projects relating to intersections that: have disproportionately high accident rates; have high congestion; and are located on a Federal-aid highway [1113]
  • Environmental restoration and pollution abatement – on a 4R project the expenditures for this activity may not exceed 20 percent of the total cost of the project. [6006]
  • Control of terrestrial and aquatic noxious weeds and establishment of native species [6006]

Program Features

For FY 2005, the setasides for Safety programs, Transportation Enhancements (TE) and the allocations to sub-State areas continue, except the ability to use STP funds from the set aside for areas with less than 5,000 population on rural minor collectors does not continue.

For 2006 and thereafter—

  • The Safety setaside is eliminated as the new Highway Safety Improvement Program takes over the funding of the safety programs. [1113(b)]
  • The TE setaside is modified to be the greater of 10% of the State's STP apportionment or the dollar amount of the TE setaside for the State for 2005. [1113(c)]
  • 62.5 percent of the amount remaining after the TE setaside is divided among sub-State areas based on population. [1113(b)]

The provision requiring States to make available obligation authority to urbanized areas over 200,000 population in two 3-year increments (2004-2006 and 2007-2009) is extended. [1113(d)]

State of Alaska – in any fiscal year up to 15 percent of the State's STP apportionment may be transferred to the Denali Access System. Such a transfer of STP funds will have no effect on the TE setaside. [1960]

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.

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