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The history of TTAP at EWU

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    LTAP History

    The Rural Technical Assistance Program: 1982-1992

    In fiscal year 1982, the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriation Act (Public Law 97-102) made $5 million available for rural technical assistance. Congress instructed that the funding be used to provide technical assistance to help rural local governments provide roads that met the growing demands placed upon them by urban expansion and increased truck loads.

    In fiscal year 1983, Congress directed that the funding be used to develop a program and implementation schedule identifying the special needs of rural transportation and ways to meet those needs. This program was to be implemented under the provisions of 23 United States Code (U.S.C.) 104(a). FHWA was designated as the lead agency for the program because of its experience with rural roads and network of division offices.

    The Rural Technical Assistance Program, the predecessor to LTAP, was originally funded at $5 million per year through 1985. These funds were included as a "set aside" in FHWA's budget request to Congress for General Operating and Expenses (GOE). RTAP began in October 1982 with ten centers as a pilot program.

    Gradually, additional centers joined the program. In order to extend the program coverage with the available dollars, a requirement that funds used in the center be matched on a 50/50 basis was implemented in fiscal year 1987.

    ISTEA Expands Program

    The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 renewed the program and widened its scope to include urban areas with populations up to 1 million and promised funding at $6 million per year through 1997. This new "contract authority" was additive to that which continued to be available through the annual GOE appropriation.

    Thus, RTAP became the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP). This new authorization also emphasized intergovernmental transportation planning as well as travel and tourism, for American Indian tribal governments, through training and technical assistance.

    From its beginning of 10 centers, LTAP is now a nationwide system of 57 centers, located in universities and state highway agencies, serving each state and Puerto Rico (except the District of Columbia). Six Tribal Technical Assistance (TTAP) centers serve American Indian Tribal Governments.

    TEA-21 Continues Program - 1998 to 2005

    The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) continued the program as follows:


    The Secretary shall carry out a local technical assistance program that will provide access to surface transportation technology to:

    Grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts

    The Secretary may make grants and enter into cooperative agreements and contracts to provide education and training, technical assistance, and related support services to:

    SAFETEA-LU - 2005 to 2012

    Congress approves continued funding for LTAP/TTAP as part of the federal-aid highway bill, the Safe Accountable Efficient Transportation Equity Act—A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) (Public Law 109-59, Title V Section 5204(b)). Annual funding for the program was increased to $11.1 million through fiscal year 2009.

    MAP-21 - 2012

    Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (P.L. 112-141), was signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012. Funding surface transportation programs at over $105 billion for fiscal years (FY) 2013 and 2014, MAP-21 is the first long-term highway authorization enacted since 2005.

    Revised: 6-21-2016

    Contact Information

    Northwest TTAP
    668 N. Riverpoint Blvd., Rm 384
    Spokane, WA 99202-1660

    phone: 509.828.1411

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