Mark Debald, Transportation Program Administrator
Federal Aid Eligibility
In order to receive federal transportation funding, a road or other facility must be “federal-aid eligible.” Federal-aid eligibility is based on the functional classification of the road. Functional classification groups roads into classes according to their character and the role they play in the network. This hierarchy ranges from roads for long interstate trips (Interstates) to roads providing access to individual properties (local roads). In between are arterials, which provide limited access to adjacent land, and collectors, which collect traffic from local roads and connect it to arterials. All roads are further classified as either urban or rural based on where they are located.
The Transportation Council, in conjunction with NYSDOT and local agencies, periodically reviews and updates the functional classification of public roads based on how they are used. Federal-aid eligible highways are all public roads not functionally classified as “local” (rural or urban) or “rural minor collector.” All publicly-owned bridges are eligible for federal aid. In Dutchess County, federal-aid highways include 98% of State roads, 38% of County roads, 21% of City and Village roads, and 3% of Town roads. In total, approximately 26% (634 lane miles) of the road mileage in Dutchess County is federal-aid eligible, which is consistent with the national average. Functional Classification maps for Dutchess County can be found on NYSDOT’s website (pdf files) and via NYSDOT's interactive online map.
On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (Pub. L. No. 114-94) into law—the first federal law in over a decade to provide long-term funding certainty for surface transportation infrastructure planning and investment. The FAST Act authorizes $305 billion over fiscal years 2016 through 2020 for highway, highway and motor vehicle safety, public transportation, motor carrier safety, hazardous materials safety, rail, and research, technology, and statistics programs. The FAST Act maintains the focus on safety, keeps intact the established structure of the various highway-related programs we manage, and continues efforts to streamline project delivery.
National Highway Performance Program (NHPP)
The NHPP provides support for the condition and performance of the National Highway System (NHS), for the construction of new facilities on the NHS, and to ensure that investments of Federal-aid funds in highway construction are directed to support progress toward the achievement of performance targets established in a State's asset management plan for the NHS. NHPP projects must be on an eligible facility and support progress toward achievement of national performance goals for improving infrastructure condition, safety, mobility, or freight movement on the NHS, and be consistent with Metropolitan and Statewide planning requirements and plans, such as Moving Dutchess 2. Major eligible activities include the reconstruction and rehabilitation of NHS road segments and NHS bridges and tunnels, and highway safety improvements on the NHS. More information is available on FHWA's NHPP webpage.
Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG)
The Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG) provides flexible funding that may be used by States and localities for projects to preserve and improve the conditions and performance on any Federal-aid highway, bridge and tunnel projects on any public road, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and transit capital projects, including intercity bus terminals. A percentage of a State’s STBG apportionment (after set-asides for Transportation Alternatives) is to be obligated in the following areas in proportion to their relative shares of the State’s population. Major eligible activities include the construction and rehabilitation of federal-aid eligible highways and bridges on any public road. More information is available on FHWA's STBG webpage.
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program
The CMAQ program is continued in the FAST Act to provide a flexible funding source to State and local governments for transportation projects and programs to help meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act. Funding is available to reduce congestion and improve air quality for areas that do not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone, carbon monoxide, or particulate matter (nonattainment areas) and for former nonattainment areas that are now in compliance (maintenance areas). Eligible projects include those that improve traffic flow, such as improved signalization, intersection improvements, adding turning lanes, and improving transportation systems management and operations. More information is available on FHWA's CMAQ webpage.
Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP)
The FAST Act continues the HSIP program to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads, including non-State-owned public roads and roads on tribal lands. The HSIP requires a data-driven, strategic approach to improving highway safety on all public roads that focuses on performance. More information is available on FHWA's HSIP webpage.
Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) Program Set-aside (former TAP)
The FAST Act eliminates the MAP-21 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and replaces it with a set-aside of Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) program funding for transportation alternatives (TA). These set-aside funds include all projects and activities that were previously eligible under TAP, encompassing a variety of smaller-scale transportation projects such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities, recreational trails, safe routes to school projects, community improvements such as historic preservation and vegetation management, and environmental mitigation related to stormwater and habitat connectivity. More information is available on FHWA STBG Set-aside webpage.