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American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Forest Highway Program Redistribution Guidance
Purpose: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5 (Recovery Act), provides the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with $27.5 billion for highway infrastructure investment. Of that amount, $60 million was provided to supplement the Forest Highway (FH) Program. The purpose of this guidance is to establish the process by which the redistribution of Recovery Act funds made available to the FH Program will be carried out.
Authority: The authority to carry out the redistribution is contained in the Recovery Act language. Specifically, the language of the Highway Infrastructure Investment appropriation says: "Provided further, that of the funds provided under this heading, $550,000,000 shall be for investments in transportation at Indian reservations and Federal lands: Provided further, That of the funds identified in the preceding proviso,..., $60,000,000 shall be for the Forest Highway Program,..., Provided further, That for investments at Indian reservations and Federal lands, priority shall be given to capital investments, and to projects and activities that can be completed within 2 years of enactment of this Act: Provided further, That 1 year following the enactment of this Act, to ensure the prompt use of the $550,000,000 provided for investments at Indian reservations and Federal lands, the Secretary shall have the authority to redistribute unobligated funds within the respective program for which the funds were appropriated."
Applicant: Any agency of the FH Program Tri-party (FHWA, State Highway Agency (SHA), or U.S. Forest Service (FS)) may apply for redistributed funds on behalf of the Tri-party with the concurrence of the other two agencies. For the purpose of this guidance, it is assumed that the Tri-party will be represented in one of the following three ways: by the SHA, by the Federal Lands Highway (FLH) Division Office for the FHWA unless otherwise noted, or by the FS Regional Office for the FS unless otherwise noted.
Obligation: The Federal Government's commitment to pay the Federal share of a project's eligible cost. This commitment occurs when the project is approved/authorized for advertisement and the project agreement is executed. It is the point at which the designated funds can begin to be expended.
TIP: Transportation Improvement Program indicating that the FS or FLH administered project is programmed for Recovery Act-FH funding. It also provides project activity information in such a manner so as to meet the public information requirements of 23 U.S.C. § 204.
STIP: Statewide Transportation Improvement Program indicating that the SHA/FS/FLH administered project is programmed for Recovery Act-FH funding. It also provides project activity information in such a manner so as to meet the public information requirements of 23 U.S.C. § 204. The STIP must include the TIP as defined above.
Shovel ready project: A project that is fully designed, has completed all required planning and National Environmental Policy Act and applicable other permit/approval requirements, has obtained Right-of-Way and/or easements, and permits, and is ready to proceed to construction or bid.
This guidance contains the procedures that FHWA will follow for the redistribution of Recovery Act-FH funds. The purpose of this guidance is to ensure that all Recovery Act-FH funds are obligated prior to September 30 per the Act, and to identify the critical dates and criteria that will be utilized in the redistribution process. Two dates are most critical in this guidance. On February 17 Recovery Act-FH funds not identified on an FHWA approved STIP will be subject to redistribution. On June 25 any unobligated Recovery Act-FH funds will be subject to redistribution. Additional information is shown below:
- What are the critical dates associated with redistribution of Recovery Act-FH funds?
- January 15 – On or about this date, FHWA Headquarters will notify the Tri-party of any State with an unobligated balance of Recovery Act-FH funds, in writing of their "obligation of Recovery Act-FH funds" status. The notification shall include a statement that in accordance with the Recovery Act, Recovery Act-FH funds not obligated by February 17 may be withdrawn and redistributed by the Secretary and made available for use in another State. To facilitate the withdrawal and redistribution process, the letter will also state that by February 17 the agency of the Tri-party administering the Recovery Act-FH project(s) must complete and submit a certification of intent to use the allocated Recovery Act-FH funds. The certification must indicate that their initially proposed Recovery Act project(s) are on an FHWA approved STIP and that the project(s) will be ready for obligation by the June 25 redistribution deadline.
- January 15 – On or about this date, FHWA Headquarters will issue a "call for projects" that will contain the requirements and the due date for project application requests to be considered for use of any redistributed Recovery Act-FH funds. The due date for project applications will be April 1.
- February 17 – On or about this date, Recovery Act-FH funds for those Tri-parties that do not submit the necessary certification shall be withdrawn. A letter of notification will be provided to those agencies indicating that the funds have been withdrawn for redistribution.
- April 1 – Applications due for redistributed Recovery Act-FH funds.
- May 15 – FHWA Headquarters will submit the highest ranking applications for redistributed Recovery Act-FH funds, in accordance with the project ranking criteria shown on the Recovery Act-FH Redistribution Project Ranking Criteria Table below, to the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST) for preliminary approval. If any Recovery Act-FH funding is available for redistribution at this time, it will be redistributed to the highest ranking projects after approval by OST.
- June 25 – On or about this date, FHWA Headquarters will review Recovery Act-FH documentation and withdraw any remaining unobligated Recovery Act-FH funds for redistribution. If additional Recovery Act-FH funding is available for redistribution at this time, FHWA Headquarters will submit the remaining highest ranking applications for redistributed Recovery Act-FH funds to OST for final approval, based on final calculations of funding available.
- July 12 – Available Recovery Act-FH funds will be redistributed to highest ranking applicants with the approval of the OST.
- September 30 – The date by which all Recovery Act funds must be obligated on a contract award.
- How much do we expect to redistribute and what process must the Tri-party follow to submit a project for consideration of redistributed funds?
- It is estimated that between $0 and $15 million in Recovery Act-FH funding will be available for redistribution.
- FHWA Headquarters will issue a "call for projects" which will identify the required documentation to apply for redistributed Recovery Act-FH funding.
- The applicant must submit all of the required documentation to FHWA Headquarters by the due date of April 1.
- In order to be considered, a project must be in accordance with 23 CFR 660. The project must also be shovel ready and able to be awarded by September 30. The administering agency must ensure that the submitted project is on an FHWA approved STIP. Previously awarded projects will not be considered for redistributed Recovery Act-FH funding, except in the case of contract modifications for additional work.
- What are the critical dates to submit a project for and utilize redistributed funds?
- April 1 – Applications due for redistributed Recovery Act-FH funds.
- July 12 – Any available funds for redistribution will be made available to those applicants with the highest scoring projects on the Recovery Act-FH Redistribution Project Queue, regardless of regional location, until all available Recovery Act-FH funds are depleted.
- September 30 – All Recovery Act-FH funds must be obligated on an awarded project.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
FH Redistribution Guide
Project Ranking Criteria
||Project is located in an Economically Distressed Area (yes/no)
||Project will be completed by September 30, 2011 (yes/no)
||Estimate number of jobs created by project (1 job = ½ point)
||Please address how the project scope incorporates consideration of the following criteria for Forest Highway project selection as provided in 23 CFR 660.109:
||(1) The development, utilization, protection, and administration of the National Forest Service and its resources
||(2) The enhancement of economic development at the local, regional, and national level, including tourism and recreational travel
||(3) The continuity of the transportation network serving the NFS and its dependent communities
||(4) The mobility of the users of the transportation network and the goods and services provided
||(5) The improvement of the transportation network for economy of operation and maintenance and the safety of its users
||(6) The protection and enhancement of the rural environment associated with the NFS and its resources
||(7) The results for FHs from the pavement, bridge, and safety management systems
||Highest possible score: