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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was created to stimulate and add balance to the economy by investing in job creation and important infrastructure improvements. The bill, which totals $787.2 billion, provides significant funding opportunities for park and recreation infrastructure and programming.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 was enacted February 16, 2009. See the link from the Government Printing Office, www.gpoaccess.gov/, or the PDF at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h1enr.pdf. The Transportation provisions begin on page 89 of 407 of the PDF file. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) programs begin on page 92.
FHWA posted information about the ARRA at www.fhwa.dot.gov/economicrecovery/index.htm.
The ARRA funds that are apportioned to the States are apportioned as Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds, see eligibility under 23 U.S.C. 133(b) at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=browse_usc&docid=Cite:+23USC133. The STP has broad eligibility for many kinds of projects. Section 133(b)(8) lists transportation enhancement activities as eligible projects: that is, TE projects are eligible for all STP funds. The ARRA funds are available at up to 100 percent Federal share (a State may choose to require a non-Federal share).
Transportation Enhancement (TE) Activities
The ARRA provides “That 3 percent of the funds apportioned to a State under this heading shall be set aside for the purposes described in subsection 133(d)(2) of title 23, United States Code (without regard to the comparison to fiscal year 2005).”
Bridge, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement, Interstate Maintenance, National Highway System, National Scenic Byways, Recreational Trails, Safe Routes to School, etc.
ARRA does not provide extra funds for these programs, but ARRA does not eliminate these programs: they continue as normal with their FY 2009 funds. Projects eligible under these programs usually are eligible for STP (except for RTP projects with no transportation purpose).
Transportation Authorization Considerations
Transportation interests continue discussions about the next surface transportation authorization legislation. Comments from people interested in the Recreational Trails Program and Transportation Enhancement Activities are at Federal-aid Highway Program Reauthorization 2009: Summary, Explanation, and Comments from Trails and Enhancements Conferences.
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