Legislative Update: President Obama Signs MAP-21 Legislation Reauthorizing Federal Highway Programs; ADHS to Be Funded through New Surface Transportation Program Grant
On July 6, 2012, President Barack Obama signed into law a two-year reauthorization of surface transportation programs, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21 (public law number 112-141), which authorizes federal highway programs including the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS). The legislation does not provide dedicated funding for the ADHS; instead it provides a new Surface Transportation Program grant to the states, under which work on the ADHS and local access roads would be a permissible activity. It also increases authorized federal funding for ADHS corridors and local access roads from the current 80 percent share to 100 percent, beginning in 2012 and lasting through 2021. This increase would apply to funds apportioned to the ADHS in prior years, in addition to funds apportioned to the states under other highway programs for future years.
A "Sense of the Senate" provision in MAP-21 emphasizes that the completion of the ADHS is a transportation priority in the national interest. The legislation requires that each Appalachian state establish, within one year, a plan for the completion of the designated ADHS corridors in the state, including annual performance targets and a target completion date. The law also repeals the prohibition on the use of toll credits on the ADHS.
In addition, the measure creates a new Appalachian Development Public Transportation Assistance Program within the Mass Transit Account that will apportion $20 million a year to the Appalachian states under a formula established by ARC for the ADHS. These funds may be used for highway construction.
Per MAP-21, the U.S. Department of Transportation will continue to provide funds to ARC for the administration of the ADHS.