The Tri-State Transportation Campaign conducted a line-by-line analysis of each state’s statewide transportation improvement program for the most recent years available at the time of the analysis. TSTC categorized each project listed in the statewide transportation improvement program in one of the following nine categories:1 new road capacity, bridge capacity expansion, road minor widening/maintenance, bridge maintenance/replacement, bicycle/pedestrian, safety, road/bridge projects with bicycle/pedestrian components, transit, and other. Projects were assigned a project category by examining the project descriptions in the statewide transportation improvement programs and transportation improvement programs, reviewing the state department of transportation’s website for additional information about the project, conducting online research, and reaching out to the state department of transportation, staff at the metropolitan planning organization involved with the project, or local organizations. TSTC confined its analysis to spending proposed during the statewide transportation improvement program years. Table One shows elements which were not included and included in the analysis.

Table One

  • Not Included in Analysis.
  • Debt service payments
  • Indian Reservation Roads and Bridges
  • Federal Lands Highways
  • Aviation
  • Ports
  • Included in Analysis
  • GARVEE-funded projects
  • ARRA-funded projects
  • State and local spending on projects not receiving federal funds (if included in document)
  • Advance Construction2
  • Advance Construction Conversion2

Category Descriptions TSTC categorized each item on the statewide transportation improvement program to one of the following categories.

New Road Capacity: Any road project that adds capacity (either a new lane or a new road), as well as interchanges that cost more than $2 million during the years addressed by the state-wide transportation improvement program and road relocation projects. Costs associated with adding capacity, including mitigation and planning fees for new road capacity projects are also included.

Bridge Capacity Expansion: Any bridge project that increases capacity by adding new lanes. Costs associated with adding capacity, including mitigation and planning fees for specific projects, are also included.

Road Maintenance/Minor Widening: Any maintenance or repair work done to a road, such as repaving, as well as any minor addition of pavement including shoulders, turn lanes, intersection improvements, and any interchanges that cost less than $2 million (within the years ad-dressed by the statewide transportation improvement program).

Bridge Maintenance/ Replacement: Any maintenance, repair, replacement or rehabilitation work done to a bridge.

Bicycle/Pedestrian: Bike paths, sidewalks, trails, greenways, bicycle facilities, streetscape improvements, and all items funded by Transportation Enhancements.3

Road/Bridge Projects with Bicycle/Pedestrian Components: Road and bridge maintenance and capacity expansion projects that include bicycle/pedestrian elements such as sidewalks and bike lanes. If a project was noted as having a bicycle/pedestrian component the entire project was placed in this category. To identify projects with bicycle/pedestrian components, Tri-State primarily used project descriptions provided in the statewide transportation improvement program. In addition, any projects identified by on-the-ground advocates, department of transportation employees or metropolitan planning organization employees as having bicycle/pedestrian components and any projects that further research showed to have these components were included in this category.

Safety: All projects categorized by state departments of transportation as “safety,” as well as signals, signing, guard rails and projects funded by the Highway Safety Improvement Program.

Transit: All items identified as transit, high speed passenger rail projects, ferries, and park and rides and programs that educate/encourage alternative transportation including car pooling. Federal funds as well as state and local match for these funds for capital, administration, and operating assistance is included in the analysis. State and local transit operating assistance (other than state and local match for federal transit operating funds) was taken out from the analysis.

Other: Items that are not directly related to a specific road, bridge or transit project including general planning funds, general studies, mitigation costs, set-asides, consulting fees. Beautification projects (unless funded by Transportation Enhancements), rest areas, administrative costs and building renovations are also included in this category. In addition, this category includes projects that did not fall into one of the eight other categories.

1 Tri-State used these nine categories for almost all the states. However, in three states, the analysis strayed from these categories. In some cases, road and bridge projects were bundled together in the STIP. In order to classify these projects, Tri-State contacted the state’s department of transportation to get information on the costs associated with each part of the project. Using this information, Tri-State split the project by the costs associated with each part. However, when information on the cost of the components was not available, Tri-State used information from the STIP to re-classify the “bundled” project into either a road or bridge category. The exceptions to this approach are Alaska and Connecticut. Alaska’s Department of Transportation lumps some of its road and bridge projects together due to geographic concerns. Tri-State has left these projects as bundled together. Tri-State’s earlier analysis of Connecticut’s STIP did not distinguish between road and bridge capacity expansion projects or between road and bridge maintenance/minor widening/ replacement projects. In addition, because Washington State’s Alaskan Viaduct project could not be classified as a road new capacity or road maintenance/replacement project, Tri-State left this project in its own category.
2 Advance construction projects allow a state to spend state, local or private funds on a project that may be eligible to receive federal funding. When federal funds become available, these funds can be used for the project. The use of federal funds for advance construction projects is advance construction conversion.
3 In the forthcoming federal transportation law, Transportation Enhancements are eliminated. The Transportation Alternatives program, which includes projects formerly eligible for TE and other similar programs like Safe Routes to School, was created in its place.