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Tolling Points

House Guidelines Issued for Transportation Project Earmarks

Mark Muriello


Goverment Affairs Update


Leadership from the US House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee and Highways and Transit Subcommittee issued guidance on March 22, 2021 on how projects can be considered as Member Designated Projects (i.e., earmarks) in the upcoming surface transportation reauthorization bill.  House members will not be limited in the number of projects that may be nominated for consideration but will be asked to rank their top five projects. 


Project nominations will be submitted by Members of the House of Representatives via an electronic database established for that purpose. Members must register up to three points of contact for their Member Designated Projects by March 25, 2021. Electronic project submissions will then be accepted between April 1-16, 2021. 


Hearing on Reauthorization Priorities:
In a separate letter, T&I Chair DeFazio (D-OR) and Ranking Member Graves (R-MO) invited House members to testify about surface transportation program reauthorization priorities at a T&I Committee Members’ Day hearing on April 14 at 11 am ET via Zoom.


Earmark Project Eligibility:
Project eligibility for T&I earmark requests are capital projects eligible under title 23, United States Code, and chapter 53 of title 49, United States Code. The best way to ensure project eligibility is to select projects already included on the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) or a metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Projects included on the STIP or TIP have already been certified as eligible for FHWA or FTA funding and do not require further verification of eligibility. For projects not on the STIP or TIP, the Committee will require additional documentation, including: verification that the project can be added to the STIP or TIP in a reasonable timeframe; whether the project is on a long-range transportation plan; and verification of eligibility for the proposed activity under title 23 or chapter 53 of title 49 by the relevant federal agency.


Guidelines for project submission are available here: 

*2021-03-23 Member Project Designation Instruction Booklet - Final2.pdf (


What Toll Operators Need to Do: 
Toll operators will need to have their project nominations submitted through their representatives in the House of Representatives in accordance with the established guidelines. Check with your Congressional representative’s office to understand any specific requirements for advancing a project.  Traditionally, US toll operators do not have all of their capital projects included in the state and local transportation improvement planning process. IBTTA members interested in having projects earmarked within the surface transportation legislation should have conversations now with their state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, transit agencies, and other local transportation organizations to ensure project eligibility. 


House Appropriations Committee Community Project Designations: 
In a separate process, the House Appropriations Committee’s  Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development is also soliciting project submissions from its members for community projects. Eligible projects include highway and transit projects, but in a more competitive setting, pitted against other infrastructure projects for funding for only the upcoming federal fiscal year’s appropriations process.  More details are available at: Guidance for Economic Development Initiatives.pdf (


If you have questions or need more information, please contact Mark Muriello, Director of Policy and Government Affairs, IBTTA at



Newsletter publish date: 
Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 08:45


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