Local Road Assistance Program (LRAP)

as defined in Maine law 23 MRSA § 1801-1804

Please Note: LRAP used to be called URIP (Urban Rural Initiative Program) between 2000 and July 1, 2013

As of February 2024, MaineDOT does not really know individual municipal allocations until the end of the Legislative Session. We do know that last year the Legislature increased the total allocation by almost $4M so all towns got more. We cannot guess what they’ll do this year or next but our new DOT Work Plan shows the same total $25.3M for the next 3 years.

For budgeting, it might be safe to use the same as this past year. And Annual Certification forms will be sent in late Spring by email through DocuSign. The statutory deadline for the Annual Certification Form is November 1. These allocations will be paid to each municipality in November.

LRAP Payment Information

  • Actual payments to every Maine town, city, Indian reservation, and county over last 10 years (PDF)
  • As of the fall of 2013, all LRAP payments are sent in one total lump sum payment by December 1. Quarterly payments are no longer to be made in September, March and June.
  • Also, the “hold harmless” clause in the law has been deleted as of 2013. If you had been a “hold harmless” town, then you had been receiving exactly what you had been receiving in 1999. In reality, this means that your lane-mile rate had been higher than 1) the statutory rates per lane-mile and, 2) the other non-hold harmless towns. Now most “hold harmless” towns are seeing a decrease in their annual amount. While this is not good news for any town, it now means that every town will be receiving the same rate per lane-mile as stated in the law. As an example, the statutory rate for rural local roads is $600 per lane-mile, so a rural Maine “hold harmless” town formerly receiving $800 is now receiving $600 per lane mile.
  • Feel free to contact Peter Coughlan for particular details at 624-3266 or  peter.coughlan@maine.gov.
LRAP Rate Information
  • Rates per lane-mile (before any administrative adjustments to reflect available revenue).
  • Rural Town rates
    • $600 per lane-mile for town ways
    • $600 per lane-mile for state aid/minor collectors
    • $300 per lane-mile for seasonal town ways
  • Urban Compact rates
    • within urban compact areas
      •  $2,500 per lane-mile for summer maintenance of state highway, and state aid highways.
      •  $1,250 per additional lane-mile for summer maintenance of state highway and state aid highways.
      •  $1,700 per lane-mile for winter maintenance of state highways only.
      •  $0 per lane -mile for town ways.
    • outside urban compact areas.
      • same rates as "rural towns".
Highlights of LRAP
  • As of July 1, 2013, the Local Road Assistance Program (LRAP) replaced the Urban-Rural Initiative Program (URIP) which was created on July 1, 1999.
  • Annual funding to municipalities "floats" with the ups and downs of the annual highway budget, rather than being a fixed amount. If Highway Fund revenues are up, then the total allocation will increase and vice versa.  As of FY' 15 (July 2014), the total LRAP allocation is 9% of the total highway budget.
  • LRAP continues to be focused on municipal aid toward highway and bridge  capital improvements. Prior to 1999, the use of these "local road" funds was only for the "maintenance or improvement of public roads." Since 1999, these funds must be used for “capital improvements” to local roads except for the 47 urban compact municipalities which have the option to spend the urban funds on capital or  maintenance needs  on any public road within the state compact area of that municipality.
  • capital improvement is defined as work on a road or bridge that has a life expectancy of at least 10 years or restores the load-carrying capacity.
  • In very limited situations, LRAP can be used for “maintenance” as of 2002 - LRAP law. (PDF)
  • LRAP Annual Certification Forms are sent out by the Community Services Division around July 1 and must be returned by November 1 of each year. The certification form informs the municipality about its upcoming year’s allocation amount and requires written signature(s) that the funds will be used pursuant to the law. No funds can be sent until that completed annual certification form is received by MaineDOT's Community Services Division by mail or scanning/email (no faxes please).
  • The “hold harmless” (HH) provision was eliminated in July 2013.  This means that any town that mathematically should be receiving less funding using the statutory rates but has been receiving the “hold harmless” amount from 1999 will be getting less funding now.  In reality, any HH town has actually been receiving more dollars per lane mile that non-HH towns.  Being inherently unfair and inconsistent, all towns will now receive the SAME lane-mile rates.
LRAP Studies
  • Maine Municipal Association Report of URIP Working Group - Jan 06 (PDF).
    • The legislative OPEGA chose to review the entire URIP process and administration in 2007. A full and condensed report can be found on the Maine Legislature's OPEGA Reports web site.
    • Two recommendations were made for the LRAP program:
      • Effective July 1, 2008, funding recipients must provide information on how URIP funds were expended from the previous fiscal year. The information collected will be used to chart the progress of improving public roads by the 502 Maine municipalities, counties, and Indian reservations that receive funding from this program.
      • Encourage program recipients to enroll in the direct deposit option instead of receiving a paper check in the mail.
Past Funding History
  • For FY 21 and due to COVID 19, the total original LRAP allocation was slightly lower than last year. However, the adjusted allocation was not determined until the end of August, 2020. The original allocation was reduced by 5% so all municipal payments were reduced by 5%. This was consistent with a projected reduction in MaineDOT’s Highway Fund budget due to reductions in state Highway Fund revenues including fuel taxes which was about 5% less than original estimates.
  • The FY20 annual allocation of $21,649,502 was determined in the last week of June 2019 after the Legislature adjourned on June 20. Payments to each municipality and county were paid in the last week of November 2019.
  • The FY 19 allocation of $21,070,063 was paid to each community in late November 2018 after annual certification forms were mailed out on June 5, 2018.
  • The FY 18 annual allocation of $21,271,563 was paid in mid-November 2017. Because of the late Legislative budget decisions, the Annual Certification forms were mailed out on July 14, 2017.
  • In 2016, the FY17 LRAP allocation (paid Nov 2016) was 9% of the Highway Budget and slightly less than FY16.
  • In 2014, the highway budget became law in late April 2014. Supplemental funds for FY' 14 and FY' 15 ($640,075) were added to the previous budget amount bringing the total FY' 15 amount to $20,750,000. This amount was distributed to all 500 municipal, county, and Indian recipients by December 1, 2014. Because the LRAP allocation is now 9% of the highway budget (formerly 10%), the total LRAP allocation has decreased for FY'15. The transit bonus was also reallocated from LRAP to DOT-funded transit programs.
  • In 2011, the Governor signed the Highway Fund budget into law on June 21, 2011 as Public Law 2011, chapter 392. The total FY' 12 URIP allocation was 2.4% higher than last year and included $600,000 for Transit Bonus. Many municipalities saw a small increase in their URIP payments while others remained at their “hold harmless” amount.
  • In 2010, at the end of the Legislative session in April, 2010, the MaineDOT budget was passed and the FY' 10 URIP "pie" was increased for the 4th quarter only by $1,102, 013 and increased for FY' 11 by $365,718. This resulted in many towns/cities seeing an increase in their 4th quarter FY' 10 URIP payment and an additional increase in their FY' 11 payment.
  • In 2009, at the end of the Legislative session on June 12, 2009, the MaineDOT budget was passed and the total URIP "pie" was decreased because the overall budget was decreased. The total amount of the FY' 10 "pie" was $21,343,364, which was $3.07M (12.6%) less than FY' 09. This did NOT equate to a 12.6% reduction for every town in Maine. Over 200 previous "hold harmless" towns saw no decrease at all. The remaining towns/cities, especially urban compact communities, saw reductions in their FY' 10 payments. In fact, an additional 200+ towns are now at their FY' 99 "hold harmless" amounts.