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Federal Highway Administration Federal-Aid Highways (Additional Obligation Limitation) (Highway Trust Fund) Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, Division K, Title I

Attachment A Background

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Division K, Title I of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 110-161), Federal Highway Administration, Federal-Aid Highways (Additional Obligation Limitation) (Highway Trust Fund) provided additional obligation limitation, $1,000,000,000, for the purpose of 23 U.S.C. 144(e). As required, the additional obligation limitation was distributed to the States using the formula in 23 U.S.C. 144(e). This memorandum provides information on purpose, eligible activities, availability, participation, and procedures for use of the additional obligation limitation.

  • A. Purpose

    The additional obligation limitation provided in Division K, Title I of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, Federal Highway Administration, Federal-Aid Highways (Additional Obligation Limitation) (Highway Trust Fund), is in addition to the amount of any other limitation imposed on obligations, e.g., the limitation imposed on the obligation of formula funds. The additional obligation limitation shall be used only for a purpose eligible for obligation with funds apportioned under 23 U.S.C. 144(e) and such obligation shall supplement and not supplant planned obligations for such purposes.

  • B. Eligible Activities

    The additional obligation limitation is to be used for the full range of activities eligible for funding apportioned under section 144(e) of title 23, United States Code, including bridge inspection activities.

  • C. Availability

    The additional obligation limitation is available for a period of three fiscal years, i.e., FY 2008, FY 2009, and FY 2010. If this additional obligation limitation is not used by the end of FY 2010, it will no longer be available. The additional obligation limitation is not subject to August redistribution.
  • D. Participation

    The additional obligation limitation is to be used to supplement planned obligations for activities that are eligible for obligation with funds apportioned under 23 U.S.C. 144(e). A State may, for example, use the additional obligation limitation for an eligible activity that would not have been advanced during FY 2008, 2009, or 2010 (based on the State's approved Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)), absent the availability of this additional obligation limitation.

    This memorandum suggests several methods for use by Division Offices to ensure that obligations using the additional limitation are, in fact, supplemental to planned obligations of Highway Bridge Program (HBP) funds. Two tables of the States' history of obligations of HBP funds have been created as optional thresholds:

    1. Table 1 (Attachment B) is a 6-year (FY 2002 - FY 2007) average ratio of a State's obligation of HBP funds to a State's apportionment of HBP funds.
    2. Table 2 (Attachment C) is a 6-year (FY 2002 - FY 2007) average of a State's obligations of HBP funds.

    A 6-year period for both tables was selected in order to capture two cycles of past obligations of HBP funds. A cycle is related to the availability of the funds (FY +3 years). Six years was also chosen to minimize the statistical outliers in the trends of obligations of HBP funds and because of the anomalies associated with obligation rates under the extension acts after expiration of TEA-21.

    If Table 1 is to be used, Division Offices should verify that the sum of the supplemental obligations and planned obligations versus the apportionment of HBP funds for a State result in a ratio that is greater than the value in Table 1. If Table 2 is to be used, Division Offices should verify that the sum of the supplemental obligations and planned obligations for a State result in an amount that is greater than the value in Table 2.

    If an unusual circumstance arises or a Division Administrator believes an alternative approach is warranted, other methods will be considered and reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Alternative methods should include a rational explanation of how the additional obligation limitation is being used consistent with the requirements of the statute.

  • E. Procedures

    The process for requesting use of the additional obligation limitation is as follows:

    1. When a State wishes to use the additional obligation limitation, the State should submit a formal request to the FHWA Division Office to use the additional obligation limitation for an eligible activity that would not be undertaken absent the availability of the additional obligation limitation. Requests should include the FHWA Transfer Request, FHWA-1575 (Attachment D (.xls, 1 mb)), and supporting documentation demonstrating that the proposed activities are supplemental to the State's planned obligations of HBP funds. The FHWA Transfer Request, FHWA-1575, should include a detailed project description as well as bridge identification information. Approved STIPs (original and modified) that clearly demonstrate supplemental obligations in conjunction with one of the suggested methods is an example of the type of documentation that may be submitted to support the supplemental nature of the request. Note that the data requested on the FHWA Transfer Request, FHWA-1575 is collected under OMB control number 2125-0620 issued on January 31, 2008.
    2. The FHWA Division Office will review the State's request and determine whether the requested obligation would result in an obligation supplemental to that State's planned obligations. The determination will be based on the supporting documentation and the method used to demonstrate supplemental obligations. For example, if using approved STIPs and Table 1, the determination will be based on a comparison of the original STIP versus the modified STIP. To ensure the supplemental nature of obligations, the ratio of HBP obligations planned for the fiscal year as identified by the State in the modified STIP to the State's apportionment of HBP funds should be greater than the average ratio of a State's obligation of HBP funds to a State's apportionment of HBP funds from the 6-year table. The Division Office will then forward the State's request and documentation, along with the Division Office's recommendation, to the FHWA Office of Bridge Technology.
    3. The FHWA Office of Bridge Technology will review the submissions and, if the request is approved, will notify the FHWA Division Office, the FHWA Office of Budget, and the Fiscal Management Information System (FMIS) Team for appropriate actions.

    In order for a State to draw on the additional obligation limitation for supplemental eligible activities as well as to transfer contract authority (FHWA Transfer Request, FHWA-1575), new FMIS program codes, HQ00, HQ10, HQ20, HQC0, LQC0, LQ10 have been established and are to be used.

    1. Extension - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century
      • (1) HQ00 - Transfers from FMIS Code H100 (65% of HBP funds for On-System bridges)
      • (2) HQ10 - Transfers from FMIS Code H110 (15% of HBP funds for Off-System bridges)
      • (3) HQ20 - Transfers from FMIS Code H120, 20% of HBP funds for either On/Off-System bridges)
      • (4) HQC0 - Transfers from FMIS Code H1C0 (85% of HBP funds for either On/Off-System bridges)
    2. Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users
      • (1) LQC0 - Transfers from FMIS Code L1C0 (85% of HBP funds for On/Off-System bridges)
      • (2) LQ10- Transfers from FMIS Code L110 (15% of HBP funds for Off-System bridges)

    The new FMIS codes must be used in order to differentiate regular obligation limitation, i.e., formula obligation limitation, from the additional obligation limitation for supplemental eligible activities. Bridge improvement type codes are to be used with the new FMIS codes.

    Division Administrators shall verify at the time of the request and annually thereafter that the additional obligation limitation is being used in a manner consistent with the requirements of the statute and with this memorandum. If inconsistencies are discovered, the FHWA Office of Bridge Technology should be notified of actions taken by the Division Office.

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Updated: 06/27/2013
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000