The current U.S. Transportation Bill requires the Central Lane Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to publish for public review an annual listing of projects for which federal funds have been obligated (23 CFR 450.334). This provision is intended to increase the transparency of government spending on transportation projects and strategies in the MPO area to state and local officials, and to the public at large. It also helps to ensure that the public will have an accurate understanding of how federal funds are actually being spent on transportation projects.
What are "project obligations"?
In order to begin work on any phase of a transportation project, the funds specified for the project must be obligated. This means that the money is set aside for that particular project and associated phases. Work can then be charged to the project, including design expenses, construction, and payroll costs for local or state employees working on the project.