The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced $15.5 million in grants to six states that are exploring new ways to fund highway and bridge projects.

FHWA selected seven proposals from six states – California, Colorado, Delaware, Missouri, Washington, and Oregon.

“To ensure the U.S. road system is the best in the world, we can no longer rely solely on the federal gas tax and the Highway Trust Fund,” said acting FHWA Administrator Brandye L. Hendrickson. “New sources of funding for the design, construction and repair of our nation’s roadways have never been more necessary, and these grants will help open the door to new financial innovations.”

FHWA said the projects would evaluate on-board vehicle technologies that charge drivers based on miles traveled, and multi-state or regional approaches to road user charges.

They will address challenges involved with implementing user-based fees such as public acceptance, privacy protection, equity, and geographic diversity. 

In addition, FHWA will monitor the reliability and security of the technologies available to implement mileage-based fees. The grants come from the Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives program created in the federal FAST Act.