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This memorandum was canceled August 12, 2013.

DOT LogoMemorandum
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

Guidance on Transfer Provisions Contained in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century September 17, 1998
Director, Office of Budget and Finance

To: Associate Administrators
Regional Administrators
Division Administrators
Director, ITS Joint Program Office


The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) section 1310 contains uniform transfer provisions for transferring federal aid funds between categories. In addition to the new transferability provisions, many of the transfer provisions of ISTEA and 23 U.S.C. remain unchanged. In those instances where there are conflicting provisions the TEA-21 provision prevails. The ISTEA and 23 U.S.C. provisions are detailed in our memorandum, "Guidance on Transfer Provisions contained in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Act of 1991 (ISTEA)" dated June 26, 1992 (available on Staffnet under the Finance Division Home Page).

The following table outlines the major transfer provisions included in TEA-21:


  • The Uniform Transferability provisions of TEA-21, Section 1310, permit the transfer of no more than 50% of apportionments among the following programs:

    • Interstate Maintenance (IM)

    • National Highway System (NHS)

    • Surface Transportation Program (STP)

    • Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ)

    • Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation (Bridge)

    • Recreational Trails

  • Certain restrictions apply to these transfers:

    • Transfers from STP can be made from only three suballocations (Optional Safety, Transportation Enhancement, and State Flexible):

      Optional Safety and Transportation Enhancement suballocations can be transferred in amounts up to 25 percent of the difference between the amount suballocated for the fiscal year and the amount suballocated for fiscal year 1997.

      STP State Flexible suballocation can be transferred in amounts up to 50 percent of apportionments.

    • The total amount transferred (including amount transferred from optional safety, enhancement and state flexible) from STP may not exceed 50 percent of the overall apportionment.

    • Transfers to STP are not subject to suballocation and will be made to the State Flexible suballocation.

    • The amount of CMAQ apportionments eligible for transfer is limited to 50 percent of the amount by which the apportionment for the fiscal year of the transferred funds exceeds the amount that would have been apportioned for that fiscal year if the program had been funded at $1.35 billion. Transferred funds may only be used in nonattainment and maintenance areas.

    • Transfer of any Bridge funds apportioned after September 30, 1997, will result in deduction of the amount of transfer from the total cost of deficient bridges in such State and all States for the succeeding fiscal year.

    • Transfers to Bridge will be made to the combined On/Off System Bridge category.


A State may transfer IC funds to NHS under either of two provisions of TEA-21, Section 1106(b):

  • A State may transfer an amount equivalent to the Federal share of the cost to construct segments that are included in the 1991 Interstate Cost Estimate (ICE). Upon approval of the transfer, the work on which the transfer is based will be removed from the 1991 ICE and losses its eligibility for IC funding. Requests for transfer under this provision must identify the work to be removed from the cost estimate.

  • A State may transfer any surplus funds available after all work in the 1991 ICE has been fully financed. States requesting transfers under this provision may be required to provide additional information to validate their request.


TEA-21, section 1217(d), contains a special provision allowing the State of Connecticut the option to transfer any Interstate Construction unobligated funds to any other program eligible for assistance under Chapter 1 of Title 23 U.S.C.


Division Administrators are delegated the authority to approve the State's request to transfer funds between funding categories, as appropriate. The Finance Division will record the transfers in the Fiscal Management Information System (FMIS). Notification of approved transfers must be made in writing (fax or E-mail is acceptable) to Minnie Baskerville or Linda Lightfoot, Finance Division (HFS-20). The transfer worksheet "Worksheet for Review of Fund Transfers", previously used for ISTEA transfer requests, is the only documentation required. Divisions should retain a copy of the State's request in their files for future reference.

Questions concerning these transfer provisions can be addressed by E-mail or phone to Dale Gray 202-366-0978 or dale.gray@dot.gov.

Original signed by T. Merlo
for Frederick G. Wright, Jr.

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