Guidebook for Effective Policies and Practices for Managing Surface Transportation Debt

State departments of transportation (DOTs) have a wide range of policies and practices in place to guide management of their surface transportation debt programs. Despite these existing practices, agencies have to respond to a significant increase in the amount and types of financing being used to pay for transportation investments coupled with an increasingly complex regulatory environment for issuing and managing municipal debt. As a result, state DOTs are facing a number of challenges in administering and managing their debt programs. These challenges include the following: (1) Implementing prudent and efficient financial management practices; (2) Determining the appropriate debt tool to use to meet financing needs; (3) Selecting the appropriate issuance method; (4) Selecting qualified advisors including bond counsel, financial advisors, investment bankers, and trustees, among others; (5) Maintaining an affordable level of debt; and (6) Complying with post issuance requirements. To overcome such challenges, state DOTs are looking for new approaches to build on and improve debt management policies and practices. NCHRP Synthesis 513: Evolving Debt Finance Practices for Surface Transportation revealed that, while there is significant research on general debt management policies, practices, and debt affordability measures, there is limited literature on these topics as they relate specifically to transportation debt. State DOTs can benefit from a consolidated source of information and guidance on effective debt management policies and practices. The objective of this study is to produce a guidebook and supporting material to help state DOTs develop and implement effective debt management policies and programs related to financing surface transportation facilities. The guidebook will focus on methods and procedures to improve the decision-making process for issuing debt while building effective policies and practices for overall debt program management. The primary audience for the guidebook will be state DOT financial managers, but it may also have relevance to elected officials, state DOT chief executive officers, and others providing technical assistance and oversight as it relates to state DOT financial management.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $300000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 19-15

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Goldstein, Lawrence

  • Performing Organizations:


    One Penn Plaza
    250 W 34th Street
    New York, New York  United States  10119
  • Principal Investigators:

    Macek, Nathan

  • Start Date: 20180625
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 41644

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01634977
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 19-15
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 19 2017 1:00AM