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Transportation Enhancements: California’s Past, Present, & Future. Stephanie M. Stoermer FHWA California Division. Historically speaking…. “California” has always been a favored destination...and there are so many “Californias” to chose from….

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Transportation Enhancements:California’s Past, Present, & Future

Stephanie M. Stoermer

FHWA California Division


Historically speaking…

“California” has always been a favored destination...and there are so many “Californias” to chose from…

good roads movement
Good Roads Movement

On July 16, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916, initiating the federal-aid highway program and providing additional impetus for the development of state highways.

"The bill is as big as the great country it represents and as broad as the humanity it would serve."

-- Southern Good Roads magazine



In “Who Framed Roger Rabbit ?”--set in 1947--Evil Judge Doom has a plan to take out Toon Town in order to acquire the land, which is in the path of a planned freeway to Pasadena. However, by 1947 there was already a freeway to Pasadena !

superhighway superhoax 1970

“We must stop listening to engineers and highway planners, men who explain the effects of displacing people and services in very vague terms. Even more vague, in the mind of the highway planner, at least, is the direct social or economic effect of taking a park or wildlife refuge for highway use.”

-Helen Leavitt, Superhighway-Superhoax

fhwa today
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides expertise, resources, and information to improve the nation's highway system and its intermodal connections.

The Federal-Aid Highway Program provides financial assistance to the States to construct and improve the National Highway System, other roads, and bridges.

The Federal Lands Highway Program provides access to and within national forests and parks, Indian reservations, and other public lands by preparing plans, letting contracts, supervising construction, and inspecting bridges.

FHWA conducts and manages a comprehensive research, development, and technology program.

FHWA Today
transportation enhancements background
Transportation Enhancements:Background
  • TE activities have been eligible for funding under the Surface Transportation Program (STP) since the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA).
  • The dedication of a portion of federal-aid highway funds specifically for TE demonstrated a significant shift in national transportation policy.
  • Prior to ISTEA, only a few of these activities had been eligible for federal-aid highway funding,and they were often not included in the normal routine of planning and building highways.
transportation enhancements background13
Transportation Enhancements:Background
  • Congress and various interests expressed concerns that Federal-aid highway funds were being used for activities not serving a transportation purpose.
  • In 1995,FHWA issued guidance stating specifically that TE activities "must have a direct relationship to the intermodal transportation system."
  • Some viewed this link as too tight or narrow.
  • In 1998, Congress amended the definition of TE activities by inserting the phrase "relates to surface transportation" as part of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century(TEA-21)
transportation enhancements background14
Transportation Enhancements:Background
  • FHWA views this phrase as a more flexible standard than the "direct relationship" standard.
  • Congress also added two eligible categories (safety and educational activities for pedestrians and bicyclists, and transportation museums), and modified others (scenic or historic highway programs, tourist and welcome centers, and reducing wildlife mortality).
transportation enhancements 12 eligible categories
Pedestrian and bicycle facilities

Pedestrian and bicycle safety and education

Scenic or historic easements and sites

Scenic or historic highway programs

Landscaping and scenic beautification

Historic preservation

Historic transportation buildings, structures, or facilities

Rail to trail conversions

Control and removal of outdoor advertising

Archaeological planning and research

Mitigate highway water pollution and wildlife mortality

Transportation museums

Transportation Enhancements:12 Eligible Categories
what is surface transportation
What is “Surface Transportation” ?
  • All elements of the intermodal transportation system, exclusive of aviation.
  • For the purposes of TE eligibility, surface transportation includes water as surface transportation and includes as eligible activities related features such as canals, lighthouses, and docks or piers connecting to ferry operations, as long as the proposed enhancement otherwise meets the basic eligibility criteria.
transportation enhancements
Transportation Enhancements
  • The majority of projects that use TE funds are small-scale projects with an average federal share of $339,000.
  • They are initiated at the local level by city or county governments or community-based organizations, referred to as sponsors.
  • Projects funded with TE dollars can also be initiated by state DOTs,other state agencies,federally-recognized tribal governments,or federal agencies.
transportation enhancements18
Transportation Enhancements
  • Like other components of the Federal-aid Highway Program, TE activities are federally funded and state administered.
  • The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) division offices located in each state, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. provide guidance, stewardship, and oversight for the use of TE funds.
  • TE Program is not a grant program. The federal-aid program operates on a reimbursement basis as work progresses. Prior to construction the project must be approved by Caltrans and FHWA.
te projects must relate to surface transportation
TE Projects must relate to surface transportation:

Some factors that can help establish this relationship:

  • Proximity to a highway or a non-motorized transportation corridor,
  • Enhances the aesthetic, cultural, or historic aspects of the travel experience, and
  • Serves a current or past transportation purpose.
te projects must relate to surface transportation20
TE Projects must relate to surface transportation:

Some factors that are notgood enough:

  • Near the road.
  • Can see it from the road.
  • People walk or travel there.
  • People used to go there before the highway was built.
Projects eligible for TE funding must meet Federal environmental, project administration, and right-of-way requirements.
federal aid financial terminology
Federal Aid Financial Terminology

Apportionments are the funds distributed among the states as prescribed by statutory formula.

  • Programmed funds have been approved at the state level by the appropriate jurisdiction, ruling body, or official. (Step 1 in spending process)
  • Obligation is the formal commitment of a specified amount of funding for a particular project. (Step 2 in spending process)
  • Reimbursements are the amount of funds FHWA has reimbursed to the state for completed work on TE projects, regardless of whether the project is only partially or fully complete. (Step 3 in spending process)

$6,141,372,604 Total (Programmed Funds)

18,127 TE Projects

FY 1992 to FY 2004

te in california fy1992 fy2003
TE in CaliforniaFY1992 – FY2003
  • Apportioned: $564,898,923
  • Programmed: $698,773,789
  • Obligated: $422,981,582
  • Reimbursed: $295,578,170
  • Average Fed Award: $648,213
chicano park mural restoration
Chicano Park Mural Restoration
  • San Diego, CA
  • TE Category 5
  • TE award: $1,428,000
  • Other: $185,000
  • Total $1,613,000
ferry building restoration
Ferry Building Restoration
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Primary TE Activity: 7
  • Secondary TE Activity: 1,3,4,5
  • TE award: $2,000,000
  • Other funds: $61,000,000
  • Total cost: $63,000,000
santa monica urban runoff recycling facility smurrf
Santa Monica Urban Runoff Recycling Facility (SMURRF)
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • Primary TE Activity: 11
  • TE award: $1,158,000
  • Other funds: $342,000
  • Total cost: $1,500,000
sundial bridge
Sundial Bridge
  • Redding, CA
  • Primary TE Activity:1
  • TE award: $1,400,000
  • Other funds: $22,100,000
  • Total cost: $23,500,000
santa fe depot restoration
Santa Fe Depot Restoration
  • San Bernardino, CA
  • Primary TE Activity: 7
  • TE award: $8,100,000
  • Other funds: $7,100,000
  • Total cost: $15,200,000
te resources
TE Resources

FHWA Enhancements

te resources37
TE Resources

National Transportation Clearinghouse Enhancements (NTEC) website: