The U.S. Department of Transportation this week released a memo outlining the Biden Administration’s priorities to guide Federal Highway Administration staff in regards to the use of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding when working with state DOTs.
The memo reinforces that states have the final determination which of their projects are financed either fully or partially by federal aid. The Biden Administration maintains that addressing roads and highways in disrepair should work hand-in-hand with improving transportation safety, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and delivering access to underserved areas as priorities when upgrading the nation’s existing infrastructure.
However, “Different states have different needs when it comes to transportation assets that must be reconfigured and modernized, expanded and added or retired and replaced,” the memo reads. “FHWA recognizes and values the authority and role of the states in deciding how to prioritize the use of their federal-aid highway dollars.”
The February 2023 memo supersedes a December 2021 memo on the same topic. Congressional Republicans, led by Shelley Moore Caputo (R-W.Va.) and Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), had argued that the December 2021 memo went too far in limiting where states could use federal dollars.
Read the full memo here: FHWASupersedingPolicyMemo