Obligation Reports

Transportation Council
Eoin Wrafter, Commissioner



Our TIP is a five-year list of federally-funded transportation projects in Dutchess County. The TIP includes projects that will be wholly or partially paid for with funds from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The current FFY 2017-2021 TIP went into effect on October 1, 2016.

The TIP lists the schedule and estimated cost for each phase of a project. Project schedules and costs change periodically, usually as the result of personnel, consultant, or resource availability, and the refinement of a project’s scope as it is advanced. The TIP, though updated to reflect project schedules and costs prior to obligation, does not provide real-time, accounting-level precision of project costs and schedules. To ensure that the public has an accurate understanding of how federal funds are actually spent on transportation projects, the current federal transportation law, the FAST Act, includes a requirement that organizations responsible for approving the TIP publish an annual listing of project obligations. See our Annual Listing of Obligated Projects for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2017 (.pdf).

What are project obligations?

Think of setting up a checking account for a purchase and then making an initial deposit. In order to begin work on any phase of a transportation project, federal funds must be obligated. This means that money is set aside for that project (i.e. deposited in the "checking account" for the project), which can then be used to pay bills. Project expenses may include costs from an engineering consultant or construction contractor, or for actual construction materials.

Do project obligations mean the work is underway?

Not always. Project obligations are made to allow a project to begin, but it takes time to get work underway once a phase is obligated. For example, once the construction phase is obligated, the project can then be advertised for bids. The advertisement period can vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. Bids are then opened and verified and the project awarded to a contractor. This process can create a three-month lag between initial obligation and noticeable work performed by the contractor at the site.

There are cases when a project phase is obligated, but work is never started or not completed in a timely manner; these are generally due to competing sponsor priorities and funding constraints. If you have a question on the status of a specific project, we recommend contacting the project sponsor.

Project Listing

Our current Obligation Report (.pdf) lists projects that had federal funds obligated during FFY 2017 (October 1, 2016–September 30, 2017). The report is split into two parts, for FHWA and FTA funded projects. The report includes basic data about each obligated project, such as the Project Identification Number (PIN), project description and sponsor, total federal cost, the amount of federal funds programmed, and the amount of federal funds obligated.

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