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 and CMAQ 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) and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds. In addition, WSDOT monitors the bridge, safety 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 December 2015, Congress and the President enacted the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, 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 existing distribution to the state and local governments was last discussed in 2012 by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Steering Committee.

Determination of our State's apportionment

At its July 11, 2016 meeting, the FAST Act workgroup agreed that its recommendations would be limited to new distributions of funding for the National Highway Performance Program (NHPP) and the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBGP). Other federal programs would be distributed as they have been historically. Or, in the case of the new National Highway Freight Program, based on the priorities identified by the Washington State Freight Advisory Committee.
The FAST Act programs are:

  • National Highway Performance Program (NHPP);
  • Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG);
  • Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP);
  • Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ);
  • Metropolitan Planning; and
  • National Highway Freight Program (NHFP).

Other federal programs would be distributed as they have been historically.

Further details on Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and the current one year extension through September 30, 2021.

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Improved access to 98.2 miles of upstream fish habitat

through 15 fish passage projects in 2021.

28% increase in the value of exports and imports 

from $90.2 billion in 2020 to $115.5 billion in 2021.