Local agency federal obligation authority

Local Programs assists in the delivery of the local portion of federal transportation funds allocated to Washington State that are programmed in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). We set delivery targets based upon the annual appropriated funding in the STPBG, TA, CMAQ and CRP programs.

Distribution of the local federal transportation funds

Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO’s) and County Lead Agencies are also responsible to ensure delivery of the local portion of the federal transportation funds they program in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). WSDOT sets delivery targets for each MPO and county lead agency, based upon their annual appropriated Surface Transportation Block Grant (STPBG), Transportation Alternatives (TA), Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) and Carbon Reduction Program (CRP) funds. In addition, WSDOT monitors the bridge, safety, NHS Asset, PROTECT, NHFP, and safe routes to school projects, based upon the local agency schedule identified at time of award. These decisions are reviewed monthly and MPOs and counties coordinate to cooperatively deliver the local federal program.

Federal Transportation Acts


In November 2021, Congress and the President enacted the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), a five-year authorization of federal highway funding. Washington is unique in its approach to splitting federal funds between state and local government. There is a requirement to sub-allocate a portion of the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STPBG) funding to Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) based on population and to distribute Metropolitan Planning funds to MPOs. Beyond that, there is no requirement in U.S. Code or the Act for the state to sub-allocate the remaining portion of the Federal Highway Administration formula funds it receives each year. Washington has a history dating back to the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of collaboration between legislators, local government entities and various users of the transportation system to determine distributions of federal highway formula funds. The current distribution to the state and local governments was determined in 2022 by the IIJA Work Group (see link above for details).

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