How can I take advantage of Transportation Enhancements funding?

In 1991, Congress passed the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) to promote balanced, multimodal transportation. The creation of Transportation Enhancements (TE), which has provided funding for more than 24,000 projects, was one of the most important features. Subsequent transportation legislation has expanded the TE program to comprise a 10% set-aside of the Surface Transportation Program, which translates to more than $800 million (FY 2005-2009).

As TE funds are administered to states, the details of individual state programs are different, but each state works with FHWA to ensure that projects meet the specified criteria. Descriptions and state profiles are available through the TE web site. In addition to relating to surface transportation, projects also must pertain to one of the following twelve eligible activities:

  • Provision of pedestrian and bicycle facilities
  • Provision of pedestrian and bicycle safety and education activities
  • Acquisition of scenic or historic easements and sites
  • Scenic or historic highway programs including tourist and welcome centers
  • Landscaping and scenic beautification
  • Historic Preservation
  • Rehabilitation and operation of historic transportation buildings, structures, or facilities
  • Conversion of abandoned railway corridors to trails
  • Control and removal of outdoor advertising
  • Archaeological planning and research
  • Environmental mitigation of highway runoff pollution, reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality, maintain habitat connectivity
  • Establishment of transportation museums

TE funds are administered as a reimbursable cost share program that has standard Federal requirements regarding highways, environmental controls, planning, and accessibility. Generally, applicants can expect an 80% Federal share, but additional funding from other sources can contribute to the 20% required match. Funding administration can vary by state, with innovative measures including advance payment and consideration of the value of local land, services, and materials.

More Information

The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse website contains a database of programmed TE projects and case studies of successfully completed projects.

Example TE Programs:

Other Government Funding Sources -