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Fact Sheet
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Various provisions of TEA-21 will improve efficiency in the administration of Federal-aid highway programs and divest authority, where appropriate, to the State transportation agencies. A brief description of each of these provisions follows.

Contracting for Engineering and Design Services [1205]

Options are eliminated for States to adopt by statute alternate procedures for procurement of consultant services.

States that have developed their own procedures by statute may continue to use their own procedures; no new ones can be used for Federal-aid contracts.

A State may procure services of a consultant to prepare environmental assessments and environmental statements and subsequent engineering work if the State assesses the objectivity of the environmental analysis before its submission to FHWA.

Tapered Match [1302]

The Secretary may allow the Federal share to vary up to 100 percent on individual progress payments on a project as long as the final contribution of Federal funds does not exceed the maximum Federal share authorized for the project.

Engineering Cost Reimbursement [1304]

FHWA may approve a time extension for a Preliminary Engineering project that needs to be kept open beyond 10 years, if warranted.

Project Approval and Oversight [1305]

FHWA’s approval of the Plans, Specifications, and Estimate and execution of the Project Agreement are merged and execution of the Project Agreement constitutes a contractual obligation of the Federal government to pay its share of the project costs.

Responsibilities for design, plans, specifications, estimates, contract awards, and inspection of projects are as follows:

The FHWA and the State must enter into an agreement showing the extent of the State’s assumption of the Secretary’s responsibilities.

The FHWA cannot assume any greater responsibility for project oversight than what existed prior to enactment of TEA-21, unless the State and FHWA agree.

Responsibilities outside of Title 23 such as NEPA, Civil Rights, Davis-Bacon, and the Uniform Act are not affected by these provisions.

Value Engineering [1305]

Value Engineering analyses will continue to be required for NHS projects costing $25 million or more.

The provision which allows the Secretary to determine other projects on which Value Engineering analyses or other cost reduction analysis would be appropriate is also retained.

Construction Engineering Reimbursement [1305]

The provisions of Section 106(c) of Title 23 USC which limited estimates for construction engineering to 15 percent of the estimated cost of all projects financed during the year in a State are repealed.

Financial Plans for $1 billion Projects [1305(b)]

An annual financial plan is required for any highway project estimated to cost $1 billion or more.

The plan is to be based on detailed annual estimates of the cost of remaining elements and reasonable assumptions of future increases.

Life Cycle Cost Analysis [1305(c)]

FHWA is to develop recommendations for States to develop Life Cycle Cost analyses.

Recommendations are to be based on Executive Order 12893 and be developed in consultation with AASHTO.

The analysis is voluntary.

Standards [1306]

States are no longer required to certify annually that the Interstate is being maintained in accordance with the Interstate Maintenance Guidelines.

Design-Build Contracting [1307]

A State or local transportation agency may award a design-build contract under regulations to be developed by FHWA.

The regulations will contain criteria for design-build projects and shall be developed in consultation with AASHTO and affected industries.

ITS projects costing at least $5 million and other projects costing at least $50 million qualify for design-build contacting.

Prior to development of the regulations, and for projects outside these limits, FHWA will continue evaluation and approval procedures for Design-Build under SEP-14.

Metric Conversion

The grace period allowed for State conversion to metric on Federal-aid highway projects eligible for assistance under Title 23 is extended indefinitely.

September 14, 1998

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