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Highways Affected by Water Resources Development Projects

Formerly Federal-aid Policy Guide Non-Regulatory Supplement G 6011.4,
December 9, 1991, Transmittal 1
See Order 1321.1C FHWA Directives Management

Par.

  1. Purpose
  2. Application
  3. Policy
  4. Participation
  5. Procedures
  1. Purpose. To prescribe the policies and procedures of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for the coordination of highway and water resources development projects; the financing of the relocation, reconstruction, alteration, or improvement of highways affected by the construction of reservoirs or other water resources development projects; and the financing of new highway projects through areas that may be inundated by proposed water resources development projects.
  2. Application. The provisions of this directive apply to projects financed with Federal highway funds that are affected by federally financed water resources development projects, or by State and other publicly or privately financed water resources development projects to the extent they do not contravene private rights or applicable law.
  3. Policy. It is the policy of the FHWA to cooperate with Federal, State, and other public and private agencies in the early identification of existing or planned highway segments that may need to be relocated, reconstructed, altered, or improved to accommodate water resources development projects, and to coordinate subsequent activities among affected parties to avoid the unnecessary expenditure of public funds and to ensure the equitable sharing of costs.
  4. Participation. Federal highway funds are eligible to participate in the cost of constructing a new highway or relocating, reconstructing, altering, or improving an existing highway to accommodate a water resources development project, provided the participation does not exceed the pro rata Federal share of the highway financing furnished by the highway authority acting in accordance with the following principles:
    1. New highways affected by water resources development projects that already exist or are under construction. Federal highway funds may participate in the cost of constructing a new highway located and designed to accommodate a water resources development project that is already existing or under construction at the time the plans, specifications, and estimate (PS&E) for the highway project are approved. Water resources development projects are considered to be under construction when funds for construction have been appropriated and/or made available.
    2. Existing highways affected by water resources development projects that already exist or are under construction. Federal highway funds may not participate in the cost of relocating, reconstructing, altering, or improving an existing highway to accommodate a water resources development project that already exists or is under construction (i.e., funded for construction), except as specifically permitted by law or as permitted under paragraph 4b(3)(b).
      1. An existing highway that remains in service without improvement until a water resources development project is funded should be relocated to a mutually acceptable location, or reconstructed, altered, or improved at the existing location, and should serve, as nearly as practicable, in the same manner and as well as the existing road. It should be designed to current standards adequate to accommodate the existing traffic.
      2. For water resources development projects undertaken by the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation, funding for roads isauthorized under Section 13 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-251), which is codified in the United States Code, Title 33, Section 701r-1 (Attachment 1). The Chief of Engineers and the Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation "are authorized to construct substitute roads to the design standards which the State or owning political division would use in constructing a new road under similar conditions of geography and under similar traffic loads (present and projected)." A projection of traffic for up to 20 years may be included in accordance with a defined State custom or established practice.
      3. For water resources development projects undertaken by agencies other than the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation,funding for affected roads should conform to the following principles:
        1. If the design of the existing highway is adequate for future traffic (20 year projection), no additional improvement should be made and the full cost of the highway relocation, reconstruction, or alteration should be borne by the water resources development agency.
        2. If the design is not adequate for future traffic, the highway may be relocated, reconstructed, altered, or improved to standards adequate for future traffic. In this case, the water resources development agency should bear the estimated cost of relocating, reconstructing, or altering the highway to current standards for existing traffic and Federal highway funds may participate in the additional cost of improving the highway to the higher standards necessary to accommodate future traffic.
    3. New or existing highways affected by proposed water resources development projects that are not under construction. Federal highway funds may participate inthe cost of constructing a new highway or relocating, reconstructing, altering, or improving an existing highway to accommodate a proposed water resources development project that is not under construction (i.e., has not been funded for construction), but only to the extent of the estimated cost of such a project without consideration of the proposed water resources development project. In addition:
      1. If a water resources development project has been authorized but not funded for construction:
        1. The water resources development agency should be advised that, if it so desires, the affected highway can be relocated at a new location that will not interfere with the future construction of the water resources development project, or reconstructed, altered, or improved on the existing location to accommodate the proposed water resources development project.
        2. The water resources development agency should finance any costs over and above the estimated cost of relocating, reconstructing, altering, or improving an existing highway without consideration of the proposed water resources development project.
        3. If it is found that a water resources development agency's cooperation in the joint financing of the relocation or improvement of an existing highway cannot be obtained and it is essential that the highway be relocated or improved prior to the construction of the water resources development project, Federal highway funds may participate in the cost of relocating the existing highway without consideration of the water resources development project, or reconstructing, altering, or improving the existing highway to the minimum extent necessary for the traffic estimated to exist during the interim period until the water resources development project is under construction. When thewater resources development project is later constructed, the highway should then be improved to accommodate it in accordance with paragraph 4b.
      2. If a water resources development project is under study but has not been authorized:
        1. The construction of new highways or the relocation, reconstruction, alteration, or improvement of existing highways through areas that may be inundated by reservoirs or other water resources development projects that are under study but not authorized should be called to the attention of the agency having jurisdiction over the water resources development project in order that it might attempt to obtain authorization for the project prior to the construction, relocation, reconstruction, alteration, or improvement of the highway.
        2. If it appears that such an authorization might be obtained within a reasonable time, every effort should be made to defer the highway work until such authorization is obtained. If the authorization is obtained, the policies outlined in paragraph 4c(1) should be followed.
        3. If it becomes apparent that the water resources development project will not be authorized for some time, if at all, the highway may be constructed, relocated, reconstructed, altered, or improved without regard to the possible water resources development project.
    4. Federal highway funds may not be used to defray any part of the cost of relocating, reconstructing, altering, or improving highways that local interests agree to assume as a condition to the undertaking of a water resources development project.
    5. State or local highway agencies may provide advance financing for the water resources development agency's share of the highway relocation, reconstruction, alteration, or improvement necessary to accommodate a water resources development project. The highway agencies can be reimbursed for such expenditures on authorized Corps of Engineers' projects as provided for in the Title 42, United States Code, Section 1962d-5a, Reimbursement to States.
  5. Procedures
    1. The FHWA Division Administrators should urge State and local highway agencies to initiate actions to assure they are on the mailing list of water resources development agencies to receive all notices of hearings and studies regarding proposed water resources development projects that may affect existing or proposed highways. After receipt of such notices, any concerns should be discussed with representatives of the appropriate water resources development agency. When it appears that a proposed water resources development project might affect existing or proposed highway facilities, the water resources development agency should be requested to furnish available design, location, and cost information. On the basis of such information, details concerning the anticipated effect on existing or proposed highways should be prepared by the highway agency and furnished to the water resources development agency.
    2. The highway agency, and, if necessary the FHWA Division Administrator, should present available information regarding the effect of proposed water resources development projects on highway transportation at public hearings held in connection with water resources development projects.
    3. Where Federal highway funds are involved in the relocation, reconstruction, alteration, or improvement of a highway affected by a water resources project, an agreement should be executed conforming to the memorandum of understanding outlined in the December 22, 1969, Bureau of Public Roads letter to General Clarke, Chief of Engineers (Attachment 3). References to the Bureau of Public Roads in that letter should beconsidered as references to the FHWA. Such an agreement should contain the basic statutory, regulatory, and procedural requirements to be met as a prerequisite to the participation of Federal highway funds in the cost of highway construction.
 
Updated: 12/18/2014
 

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