FHWA Grants $15 Million to Explore New Highway Funding

October 10, 2017
Seven projects will test alternative highway funding methods

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced $15.5 million in Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives (STSFA) grants to six states that are exploring new ways to fund highway and bridge projects.

Alternatives to conventional financing are seen as imperative, FHWA officials said, due to the Highway Trust Fund’s gradual inability to keep pace with increasing construction and repair costs nationwide.

“To ensure the U.S. road system is the best in the world, we can no longer rely solely on the federal gas tax and the Highway Trust Fund,” said Acting FHWA Administrator Brandye L. Hendrickson. “New sources of funding for the design, construction and repair of our nation’s roadways have never been more necessary, and these grants will help open the door to new financial innovations.”

The STSFA grants fund projects to test the design, implementation and acceptance of user-based alternative revenue tools. FHWA officials selected seven proposals from six states – California, Colorado, Delaware, Missouri, Washington and Oregon.

The seven projects will investigate and evaluate various user-based approaches to raising revenue, including on-board vehicle technologies to charge drivers based on miles traveled and multi-state or regional approaches to road user charges. They will address common challenges involved with implementing user-based fees such as public acceptance, privacy protection, equity and geographic diversity. The projects will also evaluate the reliability and security of the technologies available to implement mileage-based fees.

State DOT
Recipients and Partners


Funding Amount

California Dept. of Transportation (Caltrans)   The project will explore mechanisms to collect revenue at pay-at-the-pump charging stations. $1,750,000
Colorado Dept. of Transportation (CDOT) The project will investigate data collection mechanisms.  $500,000
Delaware Dept. of Transportation (DelDOT) in partnership with the I-95 Corridor Coalition The project will study equitability and privacy issues in a multi-state region. $975,000
Missouri Dept. of Transportation (MoDOT) The project will conduct public outreach on concerns related to equity and data security issues.  $2,772,500
Oregon Dept. of Transportation (ODOT) The project will initiate improvements to Oregon’s existing road usage charge program. $2,315,000
Oregon Dept. of Transportation (ODOT) in partnership with the Western Road User Charge Consortium (WRUCC)  The project will launch a pilot between California and Oregon to connect the two states’ per-mile road user charging systems, to ultimately expand the concept regionally. $2,590,000
Washington Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) in partnership with the Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) The project will conduct public outreach with users regarding method for assessing and collecting fees.  $4,600,000