California Department of Transportation

HR3 Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is the High Risk Rural Roads safety provision dedicated exclusively to rural roads?

    Yes. The Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) includes the High Risk Rural Roads (HR3) Program as a set aside for construction and operational improvements to address safety problems and opportunities on High Risk Rural Roads. This set aside of $90 million nationwide each fiscal year for high-risk rural roads is limited to roadways functionally classified as a rural major or minor collector or as a rural local road.

  2. The HR3 Program funding is only to be used for "construction and operational improvements." Does this include planning and preliminary engineering for the project as ancillary to those ends, or are those costs strictly prohibited?

    As long as the project will ultimately involve a construction or operational improvement which is identified as part of a State's HSIP process, funds from the set aside for high risk rural roads for preliminary engineering (includes environmental approvals and final design) would be eligible.

  3. Are HR3 Program funds eligible for road safety programs such as the creation of a safety circuit rider/crash analysis assistance project for rural local agencies?

    No. HR3 Program funds as required by law [23 USC 148(f)] are available for construction and operational improvements only.

  4. How much funding is available in the HR3 program for California?

    The amount of funds apportioned to the HR3 Program is established by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).  California’s annual share of these funds will be approximately $8.25 million and should remain at or near this level throughout the duration of SAFETEA-LU.

  5. What is the maximum federal reimbursement amount for a HR3 project?

    The maximum federal reimbursement ratio for any HR3 project will be 90 percent and the maximum federal reimbursement amount for any project will be $900,000.  Projects that exceed $1,000,000 in total costs will be eligible for funding, but the maximum federal reimbursement will remain at $900,000.  Requests for additional federal funds that exceed the original amount shown in the application will not be granted except in unusual circumstances and subject to the availability of funds.

  6. Although SAFETEA-LU may not require Federally-owned roads open to public travel to be considered under the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) and the High Risk Rural Roads Program (HRRRP), are these roads eligible for HSIP and HRRRP fund if the State chooses to do so?

    Yes.  Since Federally-owned roads that are open to public travel meet the definition of a public road, they are eligible for HSIP and HRRRP funds.

  7. Are privately owned roads that are open to public travel eligible for HR3 funds?

    No.  Privately owned roads are not eligible for Federal funding.

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