The Annual List of Obligated projects report is a requirement of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST Act) legislation enacted by Congress on December 4, 2015. This document responds to the FAST directive, and lists all transportation projects in the Rockingham Planning Commission region to which federal funds were obligated during federal fiscal year.
Publication of Annual Listings of Projects:
“An annual listing of projects, including investments in pedestrian walkways and bicycle transportation facilities, for which Federal funds have been obligated in the preceding year shall be published or otherwise made available by the cooperative effort of the State, transit operator and metropolitan planning organization for public review. The listing shall be consistent with the categories identified in the TIP.”
FHWA defines “obligated” as “the federal government’s legal commitment (promise) to pay or reimburse the states or other entities for the federal share of a project’s eligible costs” (Financing Federal Aid Highways Glossary, March, 2007). It is the commitment to reimburse an entity (usually the New Hampshire Department of Transportation or a transit agency) the incurred costs for an approved project during the fiscal year. This reimbursement can be for projects that have been initiated in previous years, or will not be completed until future years, and the final cost of a project may be different from the amount obligated as well. Funding can also be “deobligated” for projects in response to lower than expected costs, project cancellation, or other factors, and these released resources are often redirected to other projects.
The MPO publishes the Annual List of Obligated Projects for the region in December each year.
“Obligated” projects are those that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) or Federal Transit Administration (FTA) have committed to reimbursing a share of the cost of construction or implementation. Pursuant to Federal Regulations in CFR §450.332, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO’s), as the entities responsible for maintaining the metropolitan transportation planning process, must make public an annual listing of projects for which federal transportation funds were obligated in the preceding fiscal year. These are generally projects that have been recently completed, are under construction, or are nearing construction, where federal transportation funds have been officially committed with a signed project agreement. The full report contains additional detail regarding these projects however some highlights include:
$ 37.2 million dollars in Federal Highway funds committed in the RPC region in 31 contracts addressing bridge, roadway, bicycle, and pedestrian oriented projects.
$ 15.9 Million in Federal Transit funds committed to COAST, CART, and UNH Wildcat Transit to support their operations and capital needs.
$10.7 million obligated towards the replacement of the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge between Portsmouth, NH and Kittery, ME.
$9.3 million obligated in the RPC region facilitating continued work on the I-93 expansion from Salem to Manchester.
$2.4 million in previously programmed federal transportation funds freed for use in current and forthcoming projects around New Hampshire.