TEA-21 - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century
Moving Americans into the 21st Century
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|U.S. Department of Transportation|
|Federal Highway Administration|
|ACTION: Interstate Highway Reconstruction/Rehabilitation Pilot Program Section 1216(b) of TEA-21 Solicitation for Candidate Proposals (Reply Due: March 31, 1999)||December 24, 1998|
Associate Administrator for Program Development
Section 1216(b) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) establishes a new pilot program to allow conversion of a free Interstate highway to a toll facility in conjunction with needed reconstruction or rehabilitation of the Interstate highway that is only possible with the collection of tolls. The following is implementing guidance for this provision as well as a call for candidate proposals from the States for consideration under the pilot program.
The selection process and the accompanying submittal of required information for candidates under this pilot program will be conducted in two phases. In Phase 1, we are seeking candidates from the States for the Interstate toll pilot program. In submitting candidates, the States are required to submit general information on the candidate(s), as described below. A State may submit more than one candidate; however, any one State will not have more than one candidate selected in that State. Candidates are due to FHWA Headquarters by March 31, 1999. Based on the information submitted and the criteria outlined below, up to three pilot projects will be selected (to be called "provisional" acceptance) to proceed to Phase 2.
In Phase 2, a candidate project will be required to satisfy compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, as described below. Although no specific time limits are established for this phase, it is expected the States will accomplish this task in a timely manner. If this does not occur, a candidate's "provisional" acceptance may be withdrawn and offered to another candidate submitted during Phase 1.
GENERAL PILOT PROGRAM PROVISIONS
ELIGIBLE INTERSTATE FACILITIES
Eligible Interstate routes under the pilot program are those included in the Interstate system as described in 23 U.S.C. 103(c). This is the originally designated Interstate system and includes those Interstate additions under former 23 U.S.C. 139(a).
Section 1216(b)(1) of TEA-21 permits the pilot program to include highways, bridges and tunnels on the Interstate system. Since existing 23 U.S.C. 129(a)(1)(C) already allows for the reconstruction or replacement of a free Interstate bridge or tunnel and its subsequent conversion to a toll bridge or tunnel, for the purposes of the Interstate pilot program we are only seeking candidates that involve reconstruction/rehabilitation of a free Interstate "highway"and its subsequent conversion to a toll facility. Bridges and/or tunnels may be included within the "highway" segment.
PHASE 1 - APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
An application from a State must address those items set forth in Section 1216(b)(3) of TEA-21, as follows:
In addition, the application should:
The States are also welcome to include with their application whatever additional information they feel would assist us in understanding the merits of their proposal.
PHASE 1 - SELECTION CRITERIA
In selecting up to three candidate projects, the criteria set forth in Section 1216(b)(4) of TEA-21 will be used to evaluate candidates. These criteria are:
In addition to the above, the environmental scoping analysis information submitted will be used in evaluating candidate projects. A candidate project perceived to have lesser environmental impacts may be given preference.
It is recognized that the NEPA impacts of a proposed pilot project under this program, not only involve those associated with the proposed reconstruction/rehabilitation activities themselves but also those associated with converting a free Interstate facility to a toll facility, such as potential changes in travel patterns, construction of toll collection facilities, and economic equity issues. The impacts associated with conversion from a free to toll facility as well as the impacts of the physical construction activities of the reconstruction/rehabilitation project need to be addressed before a candidate pilot project is given final approval as a pilot project.
Accordingly, in Phase 2 a State will be required to develop, for FHWA acceptance, appropriate NEPA documentation for the pilot project. Although no specific time limits are established for the NEPA process to be completed for a pilot project, it is expected a State will accomplish it in a timely manner. If this does not occur, a candidate's "provisional" acceptance may be withdrawn and offered to another candidate submitted during Phase 1.
A Phase 1 application from a State is to be submitted to the division office. Applications are to be received in Headquarters by March 31, 1999.
The division office is to ensure the application is complete and fully addresses the items noted above for a Phase 1 application. Incomplete applications received by Headquarters will be returned to the division office. In addition, the division office should review the application based on their knowledge of the proposed candidate project and the State's program and provide detailed comments for Headquarters consideration.
Phase 2 tasks will also be coordinated through the division office. We will provide additional guidance on this later.
Questions concerning this memorandum should be directed to Jim Overton (202-366-4653) of the Federal-Aid and Design Division.
Thomas J. Ptak