The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has released a total of $246.3 million from the new infrastructure act to 11 states to continue progress on the Appalachian Development Highway Program.
The funding apportionment, announced on Jan. 25, is the fiscal year 2022 portion of a total $1.2-billion over five years for the program in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The measure, whose cost is estimated at $1 trillion to $1.2 trillion, was enacted on Nov. 15.
DOT said that the annual funding under IIJA for the Appalachian program represents a 146% increase over the fiscal 2021, pre-IIJA level.
[View FHWA funding notice, including state-by-state breakdown, here.]
Stephanie Pollack, deputy administrator of U.S. DOT’s Federal Highway Administration, said in a statement, “Ensuring rural regions are connected to the rest of America’s cities and towns is key to our nation’s economic success.” Pollack said that the specified funding for the Appalachian highway system is a priority for the Biden administration.
The system, launched in 1965, includes 33 corridors totaling about 3,000 miles in 13 states from New York to northern Mississippi. About 85% of the system is finished and DOT says the entire network is expected to be completed by 2040.
Of the $246.3-million allocation, Alabama will receive the largest share, $73.9 million. West Virginia ranks second, with $37.3 million. Virginia is third, with slightly less than $20 million; Ohio is fourth, with $18.5 million; and Pennsylvania ranks fifth, with $17.1 million.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said in a statement that she had worked to get the Appalachian highway set-aside included in the infrastructure act.
Capito, the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said in a statement that finishing the Appalachian highway system's Corridor H in her state "has been and remains one of my top priorities." The committee was the lead Senate panel in drafting the highway portion of the IIJA.
She added that the newly announced funding "will make a meaningful difference towards finishing the last segment of Corridor H."
[View an August 2020 ENR MidAtlantic feature story on construction of the Appalachian system’s Corridor H here.]