State DOTs Leaving $4.6 Million on the Table

June 13, 2017

The AASHTO Journal writes that a number of state departments of transportation are at risk of losing millions of dollars in project incentive awards in less than four months, as a Sept. 30 deadline looms to obligate those funds or lose them altogether.

Pam Hutton, implementation manager at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials for the federally authorized second Strategic Highway Research Program, or SHRP2, told the AASHTO Journal that its incentive funding expires with the Sept. 30 end of this fiscal year.

That multiyear research program generated scores of new transportation products to help guide users in applying project innovations to improve transportation safety, add capacity, renew infrastructure and boost reliability.

So far, the Federal Highway Administration has awarded a total of $130 million in SHRP2 direct financial incentives and technical assistance to help state DOTs and other transportation agencies apply those innovations, but officials said that as of June 5 users still had $4.6 million of incentive funds they had not yet formally obligated.

"We're trying to get the word out that states are facing a use-it-or-lose-it deadline," Hutton said. The FHWA through its SHRP2 managers and state division offices is also asking award recipients to specify whether they will not be able to use all their allocated funding.

Currently, more than 400 SHRP2 projects are under way in the field, and program officials are urging sponsors to lock down their implementation incentives well before the Sept. 30 deadline to avoid risking costly last-minute problems.

Read more of Hutton's interview in the June 9, 2017 issue of the AASHTO Journal here: