Jan 12, 2021
States Can Get Relief Money
In last week’s American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Journal online, Executive Director Jim Tymon said, “This COVID relief bill enables state DOTs to stay on track and support the efficient movement of critical goods and services as they maintain their transportation systems.”
Tymon referenced the $900 billion COVID-19 relief measure passed by Congress as part of a final year-end legislative package, and specifically the $9.8 billion in emergency aid state departments of transportation (DOTs) can receive.
AASHTO’s policy team offered the blog post analyzing what can and cannot be done with the monies. “In terms of the COVID-19 relief aid, state DOTs will receive funds based on each state’s share of the FY 2021 FAST Act obligation limitation. The Federal Highway Administration has 30 days from the time the bill became law—in this case Dec. 27, 2020—to distribute those funds.”
That gives us a short window.
The Rebuild SoCal Partnership interpreted this in its enewsletter this week: “AASHTO’s analysis indicated that the relief money can be used by state DOTs to fund projects that are eligible for Surface Transportation Block Grants (STBG). Also administered by the FHWA, the STBG program provides flexible funding to States for use on programs that preserve and improve the conditions and performance on any Federal-aid highway, bridge and tunnel project. STBG funds can also be used for transit capital projects, including intercity bus terminals.”
SoCal Partnership also commented on its interpretation as it relates to highway and bridge infrastructure: “In terms of the FY 2021 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development funding approved as part of this broad fiscal package, some $46.4 billion is provided for Federal-aid Highways obligation limitation along with nearly $2 billion in a general fund supplement to help support a highway bridge rehabilitation program based on 2018 National Bridge Inventory data.”
For more information and estimated state-by-state apportionments, visit “Breaking Down State DOT COVID-19 Relief Fund” here.