Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: How are the transportation projects selected for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)?

    A: In December 2008, Governor Patrick established ten task forces to mobilize the Commonwealth for the potential receipt of hundreds of millions of federal dollars for "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects. To put as many people to work as quickly as possible, the Commonwealth has focused on project readiness and potential job creation as two key criteria for the selection of projects. Other criteria have included regional equity - ensuring that ARRA funding is distributed throughout the Commonwealth - and the promotion of Governor Patrick's goals for sustainable growth. To learn more about the project delivery task forces and to read the task force reports please visit:

  • Q: What is a "shovel-ready" project?

    A: Ideally, a "shovel-ready" project would meet the following criteria:

    • The project meets the normal eligibility requirements under the existing Federal highway, transit, and other grant program.
    • The project has completed all necessary design work and right-of-way acquisition. The project has also completed all environmental reviews.
    • The project is on the State Transportation Improvement Program and, if applicable, the corresponding Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Transportation Improvement Program.
  • Q: Which projects are eligible to use Federal funding for projects?

    A: Eligibility will have different requirements for each mode:

    Highway: Generally, most state numbered routes and the interstate system are eligible for funds. Projects are considered to be Federal-aid eligible if they meet the requirements of 23 U.S.C. 133(c). Roads functionally classified as local or rural minor collectors are not typically considered eligible. To check on your road's federal aid eligibility status please visit MassDOT's Road Inventory Interactive Map.

    Transit: The law states that funds will be available for capital expenditures authorized under 49 U.S.C. 5302(a)(1), which describes eligible capital expenses. Operating costs are not eligible under ARRA.

    ARRA projects (highway and transit) must also be included in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). For more information about the STIP please visit this link: STIP.

  • Q: Where can I find more information on (ARRA) project requirements?

    A: The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) website through the USDOT provides information on ARRA transportation initiatives and also provides links to the various federal transportation agencies administering ARRA programs.

  • Q: Where can I find information on advertisements for construction contracting opportunities for ARRA projects?

    A: This website will continue to be a resource for you to track the status of projects being advertised with ARRA funds. In addition, a full listing of the advertised projects as well as information for interested contractors can also be found on the Highway Division Website.

  • Q: Where can I find more information about reporting requirements associated with ARRA?

    A: The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) website through the USDOT is a good resource to keep track of what is happening at a national level. For information specific to Massachusetts, including copies of ARRA certifications, and reporting documentation check this website frequently as well as

  • Q: Where can I find the full text of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009?

    A: The text of the law can be found here: ARRA - Title XII which is the section specific to transportation begins on P. 89