Skip to contentUnited States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration FHWA HomeFeedback

Federal Aid Project Oversight Agreement
April 1, 1999

This Federal Aid Project Oversight Agreement between the Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) and the Iowa Division of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is intended to implement the program efficiencies of Section I305(c) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), Project Approval and Oversight.

By signing this agreement, the Iowa DOT and the FHWA agree to comply with the provisions and responsibilities contained in this document The Iowa DOT and the FHWA further agree to carry out their responsibilities in a true spirit of cooperation. FHWA and Iowa DOT will collaborate prior to the beginning of each Federal Fiscal Year in the development of FHWA's annual work plan which when implemented will accomplish FHWA's strategic and oversight responsibilities. FHWA and Iowa DOT will also commit the resources needed to effectively implement the work plan action items.

Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to relieve the Iowa DOT from ultimate accountability for compliance with Federal laws and regulations with respect to the expenditure of federal-aid highway funds in the State of Iowa, including those funds passed through to local governments.

The effective date for this agreement is April 1, 1999. This agreement may be canceled or modified at any time by mutual agreement of the Iowa DOT and the FHWA.

Iowa Department of Transportation:Federal Highway Administration:

Darrel Rensink

Date: April 6, 1999

Bobby Blackmon
Division Administrator

Date: April 2, 1999


On December 18, 1991, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (IS-MA) was signed into law. Section 1016, Program Efficiencies, provided a means where a State could request that: 1) the State may approve on a project by project basis, plans, specifications, and estimates for projects to resurface, restore, and rehabilitate highways on the National Highway System (NHS); and 2) that the FHWA no longer review and approve plans, specifications, and estimates for any project on the NHS with an estimated construction cost of less than $1,000,000 or not on the NHS

On September 6, 1996, the Iowa DOT issued a letter of intent that they would be taking advantage of ISTEA Section 1016 for all highway projects on the NHS with estimated constructions costs of less than $1,000,000. The effective date of this undertaking was October 1, 1996.

On June 9, 1998, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (1.EA21) was signed into law. Section 1305 of TEA-21 amended Section 106 of 23USC. Amended Section 106 provides considerable flexibility to individual states and FHWA division offices in reaching agreement on responsibilities for design, plans, specifications, estimates, right-of-way certification statements (part of PS&E), contract awards, and inspections/final acceptance of Federal-aid highway projects. It is important to realize that responsibilities refer only to the project actions noted in the preceding sentence. States cannot assume responsibility for other Federal actions required under laws outside of Title 23 (as an example, NEPA). Further, general Title 23 requirements that apply to all projects, such as metropolitan and statewide planning, procurement of services or contracts, disadvantaged business enterprises, wage rates, etc." continue to apply to projects where the State has assumed the responsibilities noted.

Agreement Elements:

This Federal Aid Project Oversight Agreement between the Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will be used to establish responsibilities for the design, and construction of Federal-aid Transportation projects in accordance with the flexibilities provided by the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and the 1998 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).

Under Section 1016 of ISTEA and Section 1305 of TEA21, Iowa DOT ling elected to assume the project by project responsibility and accountability for adherence to Federal requirements for design, right-of-way certificates, contract letting and awards, and inspection of Federal-aid highway projects on the following systems and project types, regardless of the type of funding involved:

  1. All Interstate projects except for reconstruction projects
  2. All NHS projects except a limited number to maintain a workload of 20 projects for FHWA staff.

TEA-21 requires states to assume the responsibiIity for design and construction. of Non-NHS projects. Projects of this type shall be designed, constructed, operated, and maintained in accordance with State laws, regulations, directives, safety standards, design standards, and construction standards.

For those projects that Iowa DOT has agreed to assume oversight responsibility, Iowa DOT will follow all applicable FHWA policies, regulations, Title 23, and non-Title 23 requirements as if FHWA were involved. Attached to this document is 1) a list of federal laws and regulations that apply to all federal aid projects and 2) a list of MOT procedures, processes and guidelines that also apply to all projects.

FHWA has elected to remain fully involved in all Interstate reconstruction (defined below) projects and a limited number of projects on the NHS system to maintain a project workload of 20 projects. These projects will be established initially at the implementation of this agreement and additional projects may be added each year, as they are programmed in the Five-Year Program. These projects along with process reviews will enable the FHWA to maintain a degree of involvement in the Federal-aid program to ensure the stewardship of the program, provide an opportunity to add value to the program, and enable technical opportunities for FHWA staff development.

For the purpose of this agreement, Reconstruction will be defined as follows:

For roadway applications, reconstruction includes:

For bridge applications, reconstruction includes removal and replacement of any significant part of the substructure or the superstructure.

For projects with FHWA oversight responsibility, FHWA will have direct involvement in design activities, PSI&E approval, concurrence in award and construction activities, including final construction inspection/ first acceptance.

FHWA will also provide engineering support for project development activities on major and/or unique structures (>S10 M), and on non-federally funded Interstate Reconstruction projects FHWA will be requested to participate in design activities including a review of final plans. On non-federally funded Interstate Reconstruction projects, FHWA will be requested to approve final plans FHWA will also provide engineering support for project development and/or construction activities on other projects when requested by Iowa DOT. The extent of FHWA involvement will be defined by Iowa DOTs request.

Table 1

Table 1 Continuation

Table 1 Continuation

MOT Standard Specifications for Highway and Bridge Construction (English and Metric)

MOT Design Manual (English and Metric)

MOT Maintenance Instructional Memoranda DOT Standards for Maintenance Activities

MOT Office of Materials Instructional Memoranda

MOT Standard Road Finns Manual (English and Metric)

MOT Road Design Details (English and Metric)

MOT Office of Materials Laboratory Manual

MOT Construction Manual

MOT Special Provisions and Supplemental Specifications

MOT Policies and Procedures

MOT Right of Way Manual

Project Development Information Packet for Federal-aid City and County Projects

FHWA Home | E-CAL Home | Feedback