The Federal Highway Administration has redistributed to states a total of $973.8 million in aid that the agency hadn't yet obligated. These funds have a use-it-or-lose-it provision: Under the latest extension of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, the money must obligated by Sept. 24. If Congress passes legislation to keep the highway program going beyond Sept. 24, states would have additional time to use the $973.8 million

States aren't expected to have problems committing the new money even with the tight deadline: In a Sept. 17 notice announcing the aid redistribution, FHWA Administrator Mary E. Peters notes that states had requested a total of $10.4 billion., though only about one-tenth that amount was available.

The funds FHWA parceled out to states were money that the agency hadn't yet obligated from such categories as discretionary and research and development. The assistance was redistributed to states by formula.

California received the largest amount, $86 million, followed by Texas, with $67 million, New York, with $49 million, Pennsylvania, with $45 million, and Florida, with $44 million.