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North Dakota Federal-Aid Highway Program Stewardship Agreement

Developed in partnership by the North Dakota Division of FHWA and the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

2005

Table of Contents

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. EXEMPTIONS UNDER TITLE 23 SECTION 106
  3. STEWARDSHIP PLAN PROGRAM AREAS
    1. BRIDGE AND STRUCTURES
    2. CIVIL RIGHTS
    3. CONSTRUCTION AND CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION
    4. DESIGN
    5. EMERGENCY RELIEF
    6. EMERGENCY/SECURITY
    7. ENVIRONMENT
    8. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
    9. INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS (ITS)
    10. LOCAL AND TRIBAL GOVERNMENT PROCESSES
    11. MAINTENANCE
    12. PAVEMENT AND MATERIALS
    13. PLANNING
    14. RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND TECHNOLOGY
    15. RIGHT-OF-WAY
    16. SAFETY
    17. TRAFFIC OPERATIONS
  4. DISPUTE RESOLUTION

I. INTRODUCTION

This Stewardship Agreement clarifies the roles and responsibilities of both Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and NDDOT (North Dakota Department of Transportation) in implementing the Federal aid highway program. In situations where the NDDOT has accepted the responsibility for project oversight through the exemptions provided in 23 USC 106, the NDDOT is to have an action that takes the place of the prior role of FHWA. The Stewardship Agreement is intended to result in the efficient and effective management of public funds and to ensure that the Federal aid highway program is delivered consistent with laws, regulations, policies and good business practices.

Since 1991, Federal highway legislation has allowed the delegation of project level responsibilities to States for actions in design, plans, specifications, estimates, contract awards, and inspections of projects. This stewardship agreement is the documentation of the exemptions, under Section 106 of Title 23, from direct Federal oversight that are desired and accepted by NDDOT and recognized by FHWA. The exemption options of Section 106 are desirable for NDDOT for the streamlining of processes. Exemptions are desirable for FHWA because reduced project-level involvement allows for more effective application of personnel resources.

Only actions and authorities rooted in Title 23 are able to be delegated under 23 USC 106. Therefore, actions and authorities such as NEPA approvals and right-of-way approvals are not delegated when a State requests exemption of direct Federal oversight under 23 USC 106.

The Stewardship Agreement contains chapters on 17 broad program areas that address most of the Federal aid highway program. These program area chapters are arranged in alphabetical order based on a representative name given to the program area. Most of these program names reflect common divisions of work related to highway projects, such as design, construction, maintenance, etc.

II. EXEMPTIONS UNDER TITLE 23 SECTION 106

TYPE OF PROJECTPRIMARY OVERSIGHT RESPONSIBILITY
NHS-projects with construction cost >$3 millionFHWA
NHS-projects with construction cost <$3 million*NDDOT
Non-NHS-all projects*NDDOT
*Projects Selected by Mutual AgreementFHWA

NHS-projects are defined by system, irrespective of Federal funding source.

*Projects Selected by Mutual Agreement are to be selected by an FHWA & NDDOT team on an annual basis. Examples of projects likely to be selected:

  • Complex Emergency Relief Projects
  • Complex Urban Reconstruction Projects
  • Major Structure Projects
  • Environmental Impact Statement Projects

Involvement by FHWA in Projects Selected by Mutual Agreement may be limited to key steps. The steps of FHWA involvement will be determined by mutual agreement at the time of selection.

For an overview of the steps of a project that FHWA is involved in on exempt and non-exempt projects, please see the chart on the following page.

For additional information on oversight responsibility by NDDOT and FHWA, see the discussion and charts in the various program area chapters.

FEDERAL AID PROJECT INVOLVEMENT
Required FHWA Project-Level Actions

All

 

Projects

Are

Subject to

Special

Reviews

&/or

Technical

Assistance

At Any

Time

Begin Project

STIP

NEPA-Environment

Categorical Exclusion, or
Draft Environmental Assessment- Final Environmental Assessment – FONSI, or
Draft Environmental Impact Statement – Final Environmental Assessment – ROD

Authorization

Preliminary Engineering
Right-of-Way
Utility Adjustment

Project Agreement

Design Exception

Proprietary Product

State Owned/Furnished Material

Plans, Specifications, and Estimate (usually combined with Construction Authorization)

Authorization

Receipt of Bids/Construction
Construction Engineering

Concurrence in Award

Change Order

Time Extension

Claim Adjustment

Final Inspection

Final Acceptance

Final Voucher

End Project

Key: All steps shown require FHWA interaction on Full Involvement (Non-Exempt) Federal aid Projects.
The steps in Bold require FHWA interaction on Limited Involvement (Exempt) Federal aid Projects.

FHWA and NDDOT mutually agree to the exemptions defined in this section of the Stewardship Agreement as allowed by Title 23 Section 106 and further agree to abide by the procedures, practices, and business standards outlined throughout this Stewardship Agreement.

It is further agreed that incremental changes may be made to this agreement with the concurrent approval of the Deputy Director for Engineering of the NDDOT and the Assistant Division Administrator of FHWA for North Dakota, while retaining the integrity of the overall Stewardship Agreement.

 

APPROVED: Date: _______________ APPROVED: Date:_______________
 
_________________________________
David Sprynczynatyk
Director
North Dakota Department of Transportation
_________________________________
Allen R. Radliff
Division Administrator
Federal Highway Administration

Programmatic Agreement for Inherently Low-Risk Oversight Projects
on the Interstate System between the Federal Highway Administration
North Dakota Division Office (FHWA) and the North Dakota
Department of Transportation (NDDOT)

For the following reasons:

The FHWA has the responsibility for administering Federal requirements with respect to all projects constructed with funds made available under title 23, United States Code, including responsibilities relating to design, plans, specifications, estimates, contract awards, contract administration, and inspections. There are some projects on the Interstate System that are routine and inherently low risk that are generally non-controversial and in which the State DOTs have a high-level of experience and documented procedures and processes in place for ensuring compliance with federal requirements.

It is mutually desirable to both the FHWA and NDDOT to streamline the approval process of these routine and inherently low risk projects.

Title 23 U.S.C. 106(c) (4) provides that the Secretary of the United States Department Transportation may not assume greater responsibility than the Secretary is permitted on September 30, 1997.

On September 30, 1997, 23 U.S.C. 106(b) permitted the States to 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 further permitted the States to request that the Secretary no longer review and approve highway projects on the NHS with an estimated construction cost of less than $1,000,000.

The FHWA and NDDOT agree as follows:

  1. Inherently low risk oversight projects include those that are routine, low risk projects and generally non-controversial in which the State DOTs have a high-level of experience and documented procedures and processes in place for ensuring compliance with federal requirements. These projects would not include complex or unique engineering features, would not traditionally involve major changes in scope or cost, satisfy design standards, and would not jeopardize the safety or operation of the Interstate System. Complex projects that are classified as "major projects," or involve new partners (Public/private partnerships), or involve new, innovative contracting methods, or are viewed as high risk, are not considered inherently low risk oversight projects. For purposes of this agreement, inherently low risk oversight projects include all Interstate projects over $1,000,000 and under $5,000,000.

  2. For the projects listed in paragraph 1, FHWA is granting its approval, in advance of the actual delivery of the projects, for these projects' designs, plans, specifications, estimates, contract awards, contract administration, and inspections. These advance approvals are not deemed to occur until after the completion of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process and the satisfaction of other related environmental laws and procedures.

  3. For the projects listed in paragraph 1, FHWA's oversight will be satisfied by a risk management framework and process/progran1 reviews. It is understood that FHWA's approval of funds for these projects at either the pre-construction or construction phase constitutes a determination that the project in question is eligible for Federal-aid and that the appropriate federal requirements have been met to date or defined steps are to be taken to ensure that requirements will be met. Notwithstanding this determination, FHWA continues to retain overall responsibility for all aspects of Federal-aid programs and, as such, shall be granted full access to review any aspect or record of a Federal-aid project at any time.

III. STEWARDSHIP PLAN PROGRAM AREAS

  1. BRIDGE AND STRUCTURES
  2. CIVIL RIGHTS
  3. CONSTRUCTION AND CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION
  4. DESIGN
  5. EMERGENCY RELIEF
  6. EMERGENCY/SECURITY
  7. ENVIRONMENT
  8. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
  9. INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS (ITS)
  10. LOCAL AND TRIBAL GOVERNMENT PROCESSES
  11. MAINTENANCE
  12. PAVEMENT AND MATERIALS
  13. PLANNING
  14. RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND TECHNOLOGY
  15. RIGHT-OF-WAY
  16. SAFETY
  17. TRAFFIC OPERATIONS

1. BRIDGE AND STRUCTURES

  1. Program Overview

    The FHWA is responsible for administering the Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program (HBRRP). The purpose of the Program is to replace or rehabilitate public highway bridges over highways, railroads, waterways, or other topographical barriers, when it has been determined that a bridge is deficient because of structural or physical deterioration, or functional obsolescence.

    Reimbursable scopes of work include:

    • replacement,
    • rehabilitation, and
    • low water crossing replacement.

    The FHWA is responsible for administering the National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS) and National Bridge Inventory (NBI). The NBIS requires that all highway bridges over 20 feet in length be inspected at least once every two years. Certain structures, such as box culverts, may be inspected at a lesser frequency if past experience and favorable past experience and analysis justify the increased interval of inspection. NDDOT currently has received approval from FHWA to decrease inspection frequency of concrete box culverts from 2 years to 4 years.

    The NBI also requires the State to ensure that all bridges within its borders including county and municipal owned bridges are inspected in accordance with the NBIS. All bridges over 20 feet in length are also required to be listed on the State's inventory and their inventory information is to be submitted annually to FHWA to be included in the NBI.

    Other Federal aid highway funds administered by FHWA may also be used to construct or rehabilitate bridges. Project approval actions are similar to those that apply to the HBRRP program except the existing bridge need not be deficient.

    Federal bridge funds may also be used for preventive maintenance on bridges included in the national inventory that are not owned by a federal agency. Other eligible items may include but are not limited to:

    • Seismic retrofits,
    • Scour countermeasures,
    • Bridge painting,
    • Bridge approach slab corrections,
    • Bridge rail replacement or retrofit.
  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

    • Title 23 USC 144 Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program
    • Title 23 USC 151 National Bridge Inspection Program
    • 23 CFR 650 Bridges, Structures, and Hydraulics
  3. Program Approval Actions and Required Submittals

    • FHWA will make an annual determination of compliance with the NBIS.
    • NDDOT will submit the annual NBI data to FHWA Headquarters.
    • NDDOT will submit bridge unit cost data, to be reviewed by the FHWA Division Office and forwarded to FHWA Headquarters.
    • NDDOT will submit biannual reports of scour-critical bridges to the FHWA Division Office. Scour Plans of Action (POA) will be submitted to the Division Office as they are developed or updated.
  4. Project Approval Actions

    • FHWA will approve eligible bridge projects that are on the NHS according to the stewardship chart.
    • Unusual or complex bridge projects on the Interstate System will require FHWA Headquarters review and approval of the preliminary Type Size and Location (TS&L) report.
    • Unusual, complex, or large bridges located off of the Interstate or NHS system may be designated for increased FHWA oversight ranging from technical assistance, to preliminary plan review and approval, to complete PS&E approval, as appropriate. The NDDOT and the North Dakota Division Office will make this determination on a case-by-case basis.
    • NDDOT is required to carry out a Value Engineering (VE) analysis for:
      • All Federal-aid highway funded projects on the Federal-aid system with an estimated total cost of $25 million or more,
      • A bridge project with an estimated cost of $20 million or more,
      • Any other Federal-aid project that the FHWA determines appropriate.
  5. Monitoring

    FHWA North Dakota Division Office will:

    • Screen bridges for eligibility for HBRRP based on the selection list.
    • Review environmental documents.
    • Review project concept reports.
    • Review Critical Bridge Inspection reports.
    • Review Quarterly reports for bridge posting, critical findings, and inspection frequency.
    • Review semi-annual scour evaluation and underwater inspection program.
    • Perform special process reviews of specific program elements such as hydraulics, geotechnical, design, or construction on a periodic basis.
    • Perform annual reviews to establish compliance with the NBI.
    • Review Bridge Construction Unit costs submittal.
    • Perform Bridge Maintenance Inspections.
  6. Business Standards

    • NDDOT will allow FHWA 2 weeks, from receipt date, to review Project Concept Reports.
    • NDDOT will submit the annual update of NBI data to FHWA by April 1st of each year.
    • NDDOT will submit the Construction Unit Cost data by March 1st of each year.
  7. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • NDDOT Design Manual
    • NDDOT Standard Specifications
    • NDDOT Bridge Inspection Procedures
    • NDDOT Local Government Manual
    • FHWA Bridge Inspection Coding Guide
    • AASHTO Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges
    • AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications
    • Technical Advisory T 5140.21, REVISIONS TO THE NATIONAL BRIDGE INSPECTION STANDARDS
PROJECT ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART
PROJECT ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Approval ActionReference DocumentNHS Projects
Non-delegated
NHS Projects
Delegated
Non-NHS Projects DelegatedOther Projects by Mutual Agreement Non-delegated
HBRRP eligibility determinations23 CFR 650 Subpart DFHWANDDOTNDDOTFHWA/NDDOT
Bridge Project Concept Reports FHWANDDOTNDDOTFHWA/NDDOT
TS & L23 USC 106
23 CFR 630
FHWANDDOTNDDOTFHWA/NDDOT
PS & E23 USC 106
23 CFR 630
FHWANDDOTNDDOTFHWA/NDDOT
Exempt bridge from Coast Guard permit requirements23 CFR 650.805FHWAFHWAFHWAFHWA
PROGRAM ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART
PROGRAMREFERENCEAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
NBIS Review23 CFR 650 Subpart CFHWA
Bridge Unit Cost submittal23 CFR 650 Subpart DNDDOT
Discretionary Bridge Candidate submittals23 CFR 650 Subpart GNDDOT
Innovative Bridge Research and Construction Program candidate submittals23 USC 503 (b)NDDOT
Construction InspectionsFAPG G 6042.8FHWA/NDDOT
Buy America Requirements23 CFR 635.410FHWA
Semi-Annual scour updates NDDOT
Quarterly reports for: Bridge Posting, Critical Findings, and Inspection Frequency NDDOT

2. CIVIL RIGHTS

  1. Program Overview

    The FHWA Division Office is committed to effectively implement and enforce civil rights programs within NDDOT in its planning, construction, and management of the multimodal North Dakota transportation system. Federal law establishes the State as responsible for nondiscrimination as the recipient of Federal aid, but does not allow the delegation of FHWA Civil Rights federal responsibilities to NDDOT at any project level. If projects are managed by a sub-recipient, NDDOT must ensure that the sub-recipient is well qualified and suitably equipped to perform the work (23 CFR 1.11). If sub-recipients are involved, NDDOT is obligated to ensure nondiscrimination in all programs and activities, and in the provisions of all services and benefits, as a basis for continued receipt of FHWA funds. NDDOT can delegate the activity but cannot delegate their responsibility.

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

    • Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
    • Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972
    • Rehabilitation Act of 1973
    • Age Discrimination Act of 1975
    • Americans with Disabilities Acts of 1967 & 1990
    • Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987
    • 23 USC 140, 142, 324
    • 49 CFR Part 21 & 26
    • 23 CFR Part 230, 633
    • 13 CFR Part 121
    • 29 CFR Part 1,3,5,6,7
    • Executive Order 11246
  3. Program Approval Actions

PROJECT ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Approval ActionReference DocumentReviewApproveRemarks
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program and Supportive Service Plans49 CFR Part 26
Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
23 CFR Part 230 Subpart B
13 CFR Part 121 SBA, Size Standards
FHWAFHWACoordination of approval with Washington Office Review Team. Division Administrator approves program. Division office reviews DBE/SS work plan and approves.
State Highway Agency Affirmative Action (External/ Internal) Plans23 USC 140
23 CFR Part 230 Subpart C
Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972
American with Disabilities Acts of 1967 & 1990
FHWAFHWAPrograms are reviewed annually and approved by the Division Administrator
Contract Compliance Review ProgramSection 22(a.) 1968 Federal-Aid Highway Act (23 USC 140)
23 CFR Part 230 Subparts A & D
Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
Exec. Order 11246
23 CFR Part 633
NDDOTFHWAFederal-aid highway contracts of $10,000 or more are monitored by NDDOT. Contract compliance reviews/audits are conducted by NDDOT. Reviews are audited by FHWA at annual review period.
Equal Employment Opportunity On-the-Job Training/ Supportive Services Programs23 USC 140
23 CFR Part 230 Subpart A & C
Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972
American with Disabilities Acts of 1967 & 1990
FHWA/ NDDOTFHWAOJT Training Programs are reviewed and approved by NDDOT and FHWA concurrence. FHWA reviews the Supportive Services work plan and approves each year.
Labor Compliance29 CFR Parts 1, 3, 5, 6 & 7FHWAFHWAForwarded to HQ
Title VI/ Non-discriminationTitle VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
49 CFR Part 21
23 CFR Part 200
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
49 CFR Part 27
Age Discrimination Act of 1975
Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987
Uniform Relocation Act of 1987
23 USC 142
23 USC 324
FHWAFHWAPrograms are developed by NDDOT and reviewed and approved annually by FHWA Division Office
  1. Project Approval Actions

    Not applicable for Civil Rights Program.

  2. Monitoring

    FHWA will review and approve NDDOT's programs on an ongoing basis through process and program reviews, and through active participation in continuous program evaluation and improvement. Appropriate FHWA representatives will actively participate in NDDOT's initiated reviews, task forces, and other civil rights initiatives upon request and to the extent feasible. Finally, FHWA will analyze civil rights reports submitted by NDDOT to help identify trends and provide feedback and recommendations to NDDOT.

  3. Business Standards

WORK ACTIVITYNDDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTIONREMARKS
DBE Program Plan RevisionsPrepare and Submit as RequiredReview and Act On (20 Days)Updates Accurately Reflect Appropriate Program Changes
Title VI Program UpdatePrepare and Submit upon CompletionReview and Act Upon (20 Days)Updates Accurately reflect NDDOT's Title VI Program
State Internal AA/EEO and Contract Compliance Program Reports (Title VII)
(Includes EEO-4 Report)
Prepare and Submit Within One Year From the Date of Approval of the Preceding ProgramReview and Act Upon (20 Days)Report is Accurate and Meets CFR Requirements
Annual Contractor Employment Report-PR1392Prepare and Submit No Later Than September 25Review and File. Submit to FHWA HQ 
Contractor Compliance Review Schedule and ReportsPrepare and Submit Upon CompletionReview and Act Upon (14 days) 
DBE and OJT Supportive Service Work Requests/ ReportsPrepare and Submit per ContractReview and Act Upon (14 days) 
On-the-Job Training ProgramPrepare and Submit (No Later than March 1)Review and Act Upon (20 Days) 
On-the-Job Training Goals and AccomplishmentsPrepare and Submit (No Later Than November 30)Review and Act Upon (14 Days)Previous year's accomplishments and current year's projection
  1. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • DBE Program Administration Document – March 2001
    • Other Manuals Used by NDDOT Not Requiring FHWA Approval:
      1. External Civil Rights Manual-March 2003 (Updated Every 2 Years)
      2. Davis-Bacon Wage & Payroll Requirements Manual

3. CONSTRUCTION & CONTRACT ADMININSTRATION

  1. Program Overview

    The FHWA is required to assure compliance with Federal-aid contract provisions on all projects that utilize Federal-aid funds. Federal responsibility includes assurance that specific procedures are followed in the advertisement and award of Federal-aid contracts. The FHWA specific contract administration responsibilities in accordance with Federal law include (but are not limited to):

    • Project Authorization
    • Competitive Bidding
    • Contract Awards
    • Buy America provisions

    By law, FHWA is responsible for the inspection of construction projects utilizing Federal-aid funds. The primary purpose of FHWA review and administration in construction is to protect the public investment, assure effective quality controls, and to verify that the project is completed in accordance with the plans, specifications, and Special Provisions. Title 23 of the US Code (23 USC) allows the delegation of FHWA construction review, oversight, and administration responsibilities, except those based on non-Title 23 Federal requirements to the state DOT. The FHWA specific construction monitoring responsibilities include stewardship in the following areas (but not limited to):

    • Quality Control and Improvement
    • Contract Claims
    • Change Orders
    • Payment to Contractor

    FHWA also provides technical assistance in problem solving and recommendations for improvements to State and local construction programs to ensure that high quality products are constructed.

    FHWA also provides sharing of identified state-of-the-art practices and innovations in materials, equipment, construction practices, and contracting methods for the purposes of highlighting best practices.

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

    • 23 USC, 102, 106, 112, 114, 117, 121
    • 40 USC 276(a) Davis-Bacon Act
    • 23 CFR 635 Construction and Maintenance
    • 23 CFR 637 Construction Inspection and Approval
  3. Program Approval Actions

    • FHWA will have specific approval authority for the authorization and obligation of Federal-aid funds for all Federal-aid projects.
    • FHWA will approve NDDOT Standard Specifications and Supplemental Specifications.
    • FHWA will approve the updates to the Liquidated Damages specification every two years. (Every even numbered year.)
  4. Project Approval Actions

    • FHWA will approve all project and construction authorizations.
    • FHWA will approve project agreements, modified project agreements, and final vouchers on all projects.
    • FHWA will conduct routine project and final inspections on new construction or reconstruction of Interstate and NHS non-delegated highway projects and other projects as mutually selected by FHWA and NDDOT.
    • FHWA may conduct inspections, including finals, on any Federal-aid project. This may be on a specific project basis or, more typically, on a statewide sampling basis through annual QA reviews.
    • The NDDOT will conduct inspections including final inspections on delegated projects, as part of providing construction oversight of Federal-aid projects by local governments.
  5. Monitoring

    FHWA Division Office will:

    • Evaluate the State and local agencies' transportation construction programs, including their procedures and controls for assuring transportation improvements are constructed in accordance with approved standards and acceptable contracting methods.
    • Evaluate the quality of materials, equipment, construction practices, and work force used for the purpose of evaluating the quality of the constructed product.
    • Track the cost of a sample of construction projects to determine the relationship of the final cost to the amount bid for the project.
    • Conduct and document construction inspections on
    • non-delegated projects, and in special circumstances, on delegated projects.
  6. Business Standards

    • The NDDOT will allow FHWA 2 weeks, from receipt date, to review Supplemental Specifications, PS&E's, construction plans, and major Change Orders. The 2-week time frame may be reduced in emergency or unusual situations.
    • In conjunction with reducing the current backlog of projects requiring closeout, FHWA will establish a goal of completing 80% of its final acceptance reports for non-delegated NHS projects within 12 months of receipt of NDDOT final acceptance letter.
  7. Recognized Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • NDDOT Design Manual
    • NDDOT Work Zone Safety and Mobility Program
    • NDDOT Construction Records Manual
    • NDDOT Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction
    • NDDOT Supplemental Specifications
    • FHWA Contract Administration Manual
    • NDDOT Design Guidelines
    • Federal-Aid Policy Guide (FAPG) See website for this guidance.

      http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/fapgtoc.htm
  8. Program Measures

    The following are mutually considered helpful measures or indicators of program effectiveness and efficiency:

    • Percent of contracts completed within the contract time plus approved time extensions.
    • Percent of project completed within 10% of the bid amount.
PROJECT ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART
PROJECT ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Approval ActionReference DocumentNHS Projects
Non-delegated
NHS Projects
Delegated
Non-NHS Projects DelegatedOther Projects by Mutual Agreement Non-delegated
Authorize Construction23 CFR 635.112FHWAFHWAFHWAFHWA
Approve exceptions to competitive bidding23 CFR 635.104 & 204FHWAFHWANDDOTFHWA
Approve advertisement & addenda23 CFR 635.112FHWAFHWANDDOTFHWA
Approve advertising period of <3 weeks23 CFR 635.112FHWAFHWAFHWAFHWA
Concur in award of contracts23 CFR 635.114FHWANDDOTNDDOTFHWA
Concur in rejection of bids23 CFR 635.114FHWANDDOTNDDOTFHWA
Approve change and extra work orders23 CFR 635.120FHWANDDOTNDDOTFHWA
Approve time extensions23 CFR 635.121FHWANDDOTNDDOTFHWA
Accept material certifications23 CFR 637.207FHWANDDOTNDDOTNDDOT
Concur in settlement of claims23 CFR 635.124FHWAFHWANDDOTFHWA
Concur in termination of contracts23 CFR 635.125FHWAFHWANDDOTFHWA
Final Acceptance/Inspection23 USC 114a & 121FHWANDDOTNDDOTFHWA
Construction inspectionsFAPG G 6042.8FHWANDDOTNDDOTNDDOT
Emergency Relief *23 CFR668FHWANDDOTNDDOTFHWA
PROGRAMREFERENCEAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Buy America23 CFR 635.410FHWA
Local Public Agency Projects **23 CFR 635.105NDDOT
Project/ Construction Authorization23 CFR 635.112FHWA
Quality Assurance (Program) reviews23 USC Section 114FHWA

* See Emergency Relief Section
** See Local Government Section

DESIGN

  1. Program Overview

    Design is a phase of project development that can begin in the planning stage; occurs through the environmental stage; and, following the environmental decision, concludes in the final Plans, Specification, and Estimate (PS&E) development stage; and, as the project transitions to advertisement, bid and award. The FHWA-NDDOT stewardship arrangement provides for a mix of project-level and program-level Federal oversight of design.

    To increase involvement and input in early project planning, FHWA participates in preconcept field reviews for projects in which FHWA retains full involvement (non-delegated NHS projects) and projects selected by mutual agreement. This allows FHWA to get a better understanding of early conceptual project planning and design considerations, and to participate in the transition between the transportation planning process and the earliest stage of plan development. It will also provide FHWA an opportunity for early input into the design considerations/parameters. This process will tie in with the long-range planning and management systems as a means of selecting projects. FHWA and NDDOT view this as an important step toward improving the partnership association and cooperation in joint stewardship.

    For NHS projects delegated to NDDOT (limited FHWA involvement), periodic in-depth process review/product evaluations (PR/PE's) may be undertaken by FHWA or by FHWA and NDDOT. These reviews will normally be scheduled as part of FHWA annual work plan following discussion with NDDOT management. Such reviews may focus on design standards, as well as design exceptions, that NDDOT has executed. Other elements, such as pavements, structures, safety, materials, construction zone signing, and utilities, may also be selected for review. In addition, NDDOT's internal plan development and review process of these projects could also be included.

    Non-NHS projects are excluded from detailed FHWA involvement in the project level design process. The Division conducts only limited checks for eligibility and limits involvement in project level design to issues directly related to environmental determinations and provides response to NDDOT requests for technical assistance.

    FHWA operations staff will continue being involved on a programmatic basis in other elements of design irrespective of NDDOT's assumption of design responsibilities on certain projects. Examples of this involvement include pavement design, hydraulic design, and specification development.

    FHWA will ensure that appropriate NDDOT personnel are informed of changes to Federal requirements; innovative processes, procedures, and equipment; and technological advances which may affect the design process and are likely to result in a better product.

    FHWA will continue to promote and participate in design-related training.

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

    • Title 23 USC, Chapter 1, Subchapter I, Section 109 – Standards
    • 23 CFR 470 Highway Systems
    • 23 CFR 620 Engineering
    • 23 CFR 625 Design standards for highways
    • 23 CFR 627 Value engineering
    • 23 CFR 630 Preconstruction procedures
    • 23 CFR 635 Construction and Maintenance
    • 23 CFR 636 Design-build contracting
    • 23 CFR 645 Utilities
    • 23 CFR 650 Bridges, structures, and hydraulics
    • 23 CFR 652 Pedestrian and bicycle accommodations and projects
    • 23 CFR 655 Traffic Operations
    • 23 CFR 710 Right-of Way and Real Estate
    • 28 CFR 35 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services
    • 28 CFR 36 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities
    • 49 CFR 27 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance
    • 49 CFR 37 Transportation Services for Individuals with Disabilities [Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)]
  3. Program Approval Actions

    The following are approved on a program basis (as opposed to project-by-project) by FHWA:

    • NDDOT Standard Drawings
    • NDDOT Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction
    • Supplemental Specification updates
    • NDDOT Design Guidelines (which include 3R and preventive maintenance standards)
    • Work Zone Safety and Mobility Program
    • The Statewide Preliminary Engineering Agreement
    • NDDOT's consultant selection procedures
  4. Project Approval Actions

    • FHWA will approve all full involvement (non-delegated) project's and mutually agreed upon project's final plans, estimates, and Special Provisions. Various project approval actions applicable to design are included in the PROJECT ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART below.
    • NDDOT is required to carry out a Value Engineering (VE) analysis for:
      • All Federal-aid highway funded projects on the Federal-aid system with an estimated total cost of $25 million or more,
      • A bridge project with an estimated cost of $20 million or more,
      • Any other Federal-aid project that the FHWA determines appropriate.
  5. Monitoring

    • FHWA will monitor project design through step-by-step involvement in full involvement (non-delegated) projects on the NHS as well as on other mutually agreed upon projects.
    • For delegated NHS projects (excluding Interstate), Design Exceptions are to be documented by NDDOT and will be monitored and reviewed by FHWA on a periodic basis. Design exceptions involving the Interstate, including delegated projects, must be approved by FHWA.
    • Other facets of design including cost and cost growth and including NDDOT's oversight of local agency design for Federal-aid projects, will be monitored on a programmatic basis, with special reviews normally precipitated through FHWA's risk assessment process and FHWA-NDDOT mutual risk assessment discussions.
    • Additional monitoring will be done through quarterly sampling of delegated projects authorized by FHWA. A checklist of basic –Federal-aid requirements will be used to review the selected projects.
  6. Business Standards

    • NDDOT will provide FHWA two weeks, from receipt date, to review and comment on Project Concept Reports. (See also Section 7, Environment)
    • NDDOT will provide FHWA two weeks, from receipt date, to review/approve PS&E's.
    • FHWA will respond to NDDOT on changes to the Design Manual within 30 days of a request by NDDOT for input.
  7. Recognized Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • NDDOT Design Manual
    • NDDOT Erosion Control Manual
    • Accommodation of Utilities on State Highway Right-of-Way – Policies and Procedures
    • Utility Relocations, Adjustments, and Reimbursement – Policies and Procedures
    • NDDOT Right-of-Way Operations Manual (FHWA approved)
    • NDDOT Local Government Manual
    • NDDOT Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction and the approved supplements (FHWA approved)
    • 2007 NDDOT Design Guidelines, as amended. (FHWA approved)
    • Statewide Preliminary Engineering Agreement (Also see Financial Management) (FHWA approved)
    • Work Zone Safety and Mobility Program (FHWA approved)
    • Federal Aid Policy Guide (FAPG) See website for this guidance.
  8. Program Measures

    The following are mutually considered helpful measures or indicators of program effectiveness and efficiency:

    • Percent of projects bid within 20% of the environmental documents estimate. [or STIP estimate?]
    • Percent of projects bid that meet approved standards (i.e., without a design exception).
PROJECT ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART
PROJECT ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Approval ActionReference DocumentNHS Projects
Non-Delegated
NHS Projects
Delegated
Non-NHS Projects
Delegated
Other Projects by Mutual Agreement
Design standards, policies and standard specifications, for applications to geometric and structural design23 CFR 625.1 & 2FHWAFHWANDDOTFHWA
Design exceptions 23 CFR 625.3(f)FHWANDDOT*NDDOTNDDOT
Value engineering 23 CFR 627.5, SAFETEA-LU Section 1904 FHWANDDOTNDDOTNDDOT
Monitoring Federal-aid highway design projects 23 CFR 630.205 FHWANDDOTNDDOTFHWA & NDDOT
PS&E review and approval / project authorization 23 CFR 630.106 FHWANDDOTNDDOTFHWA & NDDOT
Traffic control plans 23 CFR 630.1002
23 CFR 655.601
FHWANDDOTNDDOTFHWA & NDDOT
Interstate highway new, revised, or temporary access 23 CFR 470
23 CFR 710
FHWAFHWANANA
Material or product selection: proprietary products, recycled materials, public interest findings 23 CFR 635.411 FHWANDDOTNDDOTNDDOT
Design-build 23 CFR 636
TEA-21, Section 1307
SEP-14
FHWAFHWAFHWAFHWA
Utilities 23 CFR 645.113 FHWANDDOT*NDDOTNDDOT
Hydraulics design, erosion and sediment control design 23 CFR 650.115
23 CFR 650.211
FHWANDDOTNDDOTNDDOT
Pedestrian and bicycle accommodations and design23 CFR 652.13 FHWANDDOTNDDOTFHWA & NDDOT
ADA criteria and design 23 CFR 652
28 CFR 35 & 36
49 CFR 27 & 37
FHWANDDOTNDDOTFHWA & NDDOT

* Except on Interstate, where FHWA approval is required.

5. EMERGENCY RELIEF

  1. Program Overview

    Emergency Relief (ER) is a special program that uses non-formula funds for the repair or reconstruction of Federal-aid highways that have suffered serious damage as a result of (1) natural disasters or (2) catastrophic failures from an external cause. This program supplements the commitment of resources by States, their political subdivisions, or other Federal agencies to help pay for unusually high expenses resulting from extraordinary conditions.

    ER funds are not intended to cover all damage repair costs nor interim emergency repair costs that will necessarily restore the facility to pre-disaster conditions. Disasters must be of such magnitude as to be considered extraordinary to be considered for ER funding. To be considered extraordinary, the estimated Federal portion of the damage must meet a threshold of $700,000. Individual sites must reach a threshold of $5,000 in total cost to be eligible. This threshold is to distinguish a qualifying disaster site from maintenance.

    See the attached flow chart for a graphic program overview.

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

    • Title 23, Section 125
    • 23 CFR 668
  3. Program Approval Actions

    • The NDDOT must specifically request assistance under the ER program for each natural disaster or catastrophic event. This should be initiated with a letter of intent to seek ER funds as soon as it is evident that there is eligible damage. (See FHWA ER manual for sequence of events.)
    • FHWA will respond to written requests for ER assistance with a letter of acknowledgement and brief instructions on how to proceed. Typically, the letter of acknowledgement establishes a beginning date of potential eligibility for immediate emergency repairs.
    • Following a site-by-site inspection, the NDDOT prepares a Damage Survey Summary Report, which is submitted to FHWA in support of the request for ER funding.
    • FHWA will respond to the report with a determination of ER eligibility. The list of sites outlined in the report constitutes the program of projects required prior to authorization of permanent repairs.
  4. Project Approval Actions

    • FHWA's Acknowledgement Letter will establish a date of eligibility for those emergency repairs and protective measures that must be undertaken immediately. These type of repairs are categorically excluded from NEPA by definition. Contracts to do this type of emergency repair may be accomplished through abbreviated procedures, but care should be taken to include applicable Federal aid requirements.
    • FHWA's Determination of Eligibility letter will inform the NDDOT of which projects are to be considered full involvement by FHWA and which projects may proceed under delegated authority. Because of the nature of the ER program, the thresholds used for this purpose for regular Federal aid apportioned funds, may or may not be found applicable for a particular disaster or particular damage sites.
    • For ER projects determined in the Determination of Eligibility letter to be fully involved, normal Federal aid oversight procedures will apply: design/concept approval, PS&E approval/advertise for bids, concurrence in award, change order approval, etc.
    • All ER projects that do not fall into the category of work needed immediately to protect the facility from further damage or keep the route open for the safe flow of traffic (first response type work) will require environmental approval by FHWA. See Chapter 7, Environment.
  5. Monitoring

    • The FHWA will either inspect separately or co-inspect with the NDDOT a sample of the damage sites during the development of the disaster estimate.
    • FHWA will conduct final inspections of all ER projects that it determines to be full involvement.
    • FHWA may conduct final inspection of additional ER projects on a sample or random basis.
  6. Business Standards

    • FHWA will respond to an NDDOT letter of intent to seek ER funding within 3 working days.
    • The NDDOT is expected to complete a reasonable survey of the damage (Damage Survey Summary Report) with associated estimates of cost within 4 to 6 weeks of the event. This may vary depending on the area of impact of the disaster.
    • FHWA will respond to NDDOT requests for ER disaster eligibility supported by the Damage Survey Summary Report within 2 weeks with a Determination of Eligibility.
  7. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • FHWA Emergency Relief Manual (August 2003)
    • NDDOT Emergency Relief Procedures Manual
ER Program Overview Chart

Text Version: Show/Hide | status: open

Description of ER PROGRAM OVERVIEW CHART

Start
From DISASTER OCCURANCE
To
Governor's Proclamation/President's Declaration
To
NDDOT's Letter of Intent to ND Division Office Letter of Acknowledgement
To
Acknowledgement provides an eligibility date for immediate repairs to occur and be reimbursable. This type of repair is categorically excluded from NEPA by definition. Contracting procedures may be abbreviated, but contracts need to include basic Federal aid requirements.
To
Disaster Assessment
To
Traditional, Traditional/Expedited, or Quick Release
If to Traditional to Detailed Site Inspections, then to NDDOT Requests ER funds to Damage Survey Summary Report, o ND Division Office Review/Division administrator approval and requisition for HQ fund allocation
Or
If to Traditional/Expedited, then to Windshield Survey, Damage Survey Summary Report, to ND Division Office Review/Division administrator approval and requisition for HQ fund allocation
Or
If to Quick Release to Media Reports/Aerial Survey, to Damage Survey Summary Report, to Damage Survey Summary Report, o ND Division Office Review/Division administrator approval and requisition for HQ fund allocation
From
Damage Survey Summary Report, to ND Division Office Review/Division administrator approval and requisition for HQ fund allocation
To
FHWA Headquarters Allocates Funds
To
NDDOT Submits Program of Projects (if not previously included in Damage Survey Report)
To
ND Division Approves Program
To
NDDOT Secures Environmental Clearance for projects not categorically excluded by definition - See Chapter 7, Environment
To
NDDOT Requests Project Authorization
To
Permanent Repairs Begin
End

6. EMERGENCY/SECURITY

  1. Program Overview

    The purpose of this plan is to establish procedures to respond to national and local emergencies. These procedures are intended to address security, emergency preparedness, and response capability in the face of disaster and emergency situations.

    One purpose of this program is to establish notification procedures to rapidly advise the Federal Highway Administrator, the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, the Office of Emergency Transportation, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Regional Emergency Transportation Coordinators (RETCO's) of significant events affecting highway transportation, and to provide for follow up reports, as appropriate.

    The other purpose of this program is to share our policies and guidance and keep FHWA and the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) at an acceptable level of readiness in the event of an emergency.

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

    • Executive Order 12656
    • FHWA Order 5181.1
    • FHWA Order 1910.2C
    • DOT Order 1900.9
    • DOT Order 1910.8
  3. Program Approval Actions

    FHWA approval is not required at the program level. The emergency/security program is based on cooperation between FHWA and NDDOT.

  4. Project Approval Actions

    The emergency/security program is not project related and is based on cooperation between FHWA and NDDOT.

  5. Monitoring

    • FHWA relies on the NDDOT to report information regarding significant highway related incidents. The incident types and reporting criteria are listed in FHWA Order 5181.1. These incidents should be reported to the FHWA at the earliest possible time. FHWA will maintain a list of contacts that would be available during non-working hours. See website for FHWA Order 5181.1.
    • FHWA will submit incident reports to the FHWA Emergency Coordinator based on the information supplied by the NDDOT.
  6. Business Standards

    • FHWA will allow NDDOT 3 weeks, from receipt date, to review FHWA's Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP).
    • NDDOT will allow FHWA 3 weeks, from receipt date, to review the NDDOT Emergency Plan.
    • Changes in the point of contact list should be shared with FHWA as soon as possible.
  7. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • FHWA COOP
    • NDDOT Emergency Plan
EMERGENCY/SECURITY ACTIVITY CHART
EMERGENCY/SECURITY ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
ActivityReference Document
Data collecting and reportingFHWA Order 5181.1NDDOT
Submitting Alert BulletinsFHWA Order 5181.1FHWA
Maintain emergency contact listFHWA Order 5181.1FHWA
Emergency CommunicationsFHWA Order 1910.2C FHWA
Maintain COOPFHWA Order 1910.2CFHWA
National Security CoordinationFHWA Order 1910.2CFHWA
Federal Response Plan ParticipationFHWA Order 1910.2CFHWA
NDDOT Emergency PlanEO 12656NDDOT
Emergency Highway Traffic Regulation (EHTR) PlanEO 12656NDDOT

7. ENVIRONMENT

  1. Program Overview

    For projects using Federal funds administered by FHWA, FHWA is the lead Federal agency in integrating the full range of environmental requirements under a single, unified process that results in effective and sound transportation decisions.

    Under current law and regulation, FHWA may delegate responsibility to NDDOT for activities to address the various environmental laws, Executive Orders, and regulations, but environmental approval authority has not been delegated to NDDOT. Therefore NDDOT is obligated to submit most environmental documents to FHWA for approval.

    These documents include among others: Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Environmental Assessment (EA), and categorical exclusion (CE) decisions for projects not specifically defined as categorically excluded from environmental documentation in regulation. An EIS is applicable to projects that significantly affect the environment. An EA is applicable to projects where the significance of the environmental impact is not clearly established. A CE is applicable to projects that do not have a significant environmental effect (excluded from the requirement to prepare an EIS or an EA). The final environmental documents will be prepared by NDDOT. Following a satisfactory final review, FHWA will issue the Record of Decision (ROD) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

    • Title 1, Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990
    • Section 404 of the Clean Water Act
    • Section 401(b) of the Clean Water Act
    • Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act
    • 42 USC 4321-4347, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as amended (P.L. 91-190) (P.L. 94-83)
    • 49 USC 303 and 23 USC 138, Section 4(f) and 6(f)
    • 23 USC 109(h), FHWA Environmental Guidelines
    • 23 USC 128 and 23 CFR 140, Public Hearings/Public Involvement
    • 23 CFR 771, 772, and 777, FHWA Environmental Regulations
    • 36 CFR 800, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act
    • 40 CFR 1500, Council on Environmental Quality
    • Executive Order 11514, Protection and Enhancement of Environmental Quality, as amended by Executive Order 11991
    • Executive Order 11990, Protection of Wetlands
    • SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59, 8/10/05
  3. Program Approval Actions

    • NDDOT has been delegated programmatic approval authority for specific categorical exclusions and categorical exclusion by 23 CFR 771.117(c) definition.
    • NDDOT, as joint lead agency, performs the informal Section 7 ESA consultation and Section 106 consultation.
    • NDDOT public involvement procedures are approved by FHWA.
  4. Project Approval Actions

    • As early as practicable in a project's development, NDDOT and FHWA will collaborate on the proper environmental (NEPA) classification for a project: Class I = EIS, Class II = CE (except for programmatic CEs and CE by definition), Class III = EA.
    • For all projects that require an action to be taken by FHWA, FHWA and NDDOT will work together in the project pre-engineering phase to ensure compliance with NEPA and other applicable laws before an alternative is selected. The level of involvement is commensurate with the level of environmental impacts or project complexity.
    • All projects that meet the approved Programmatic Categorical Exclusion agreement between FHWA and NDDOT are to be documented in accordance with FHWA and NDDOT agreements. Other Categorical Exclusions (except those clearly determined categorical exclusion by definition), EAs, EISs, Programmatic Section 4(f) Evaluations, and Section 4(f) Evaluations are prepared by NDDOT and submitted to FHWA for review and approval. Projects deemed categorical exclusion by definition are so marked on the project authorization documents transmitted to FHWA by NDDOT.
    • FHWA is also an active member of individual project teams and helps guide the project planning.
    • All documents requiring legal sufficiency review (Final EIS and Final Section 4(f) Evaluations) are sent to FHWA Legal Counsel by the Division Office prior to approving these documents. It is the goal of FHWA Legal Counsel to provide legal sufficiency review comments to the Division Office within 30 days after receipt of the document.
    • Environmental reevaluations are conducted through informal consultation and formal written documentation, when appropriate.
  5. Monitoring

    • The FHWA will monitor compliance with environmental requirements through project-by-project approval actions. Additional monitoring may be done on a program-wide basis using process reviews.
    • The NDDOT will review and monitor environmental documents produced by local governments and consultant firms to the degree necessary for NDDOT to determine that the project fits a defined programmatic categorical exclusion or to recommend those environmental documents for action by FHWA.
    • The NDDOT Environmental Section will review all EAs and EISs to assure the documents are of adequate quality and that the documents are in compliance with all Federal laws and regulations, as well as the policies and procedures outlined in NDDOT's Design Manual.
  6. Business Standards

    See chart below.

Work ActivityNDDOT ActionFHWA ActionResult
Programmatic Categorical Exclusion (CE)Prepare and ApprovePeriodic AuditApproved CE
Draft Project Concept Report (PCR) Non-Programmatic CEPrepare, review, and submit to FHWA for reviewReview and Comment (14 days)Comments
Final Project (PCR) Non-Programmatic CEPrepare, review, and submit to FHWA for approvalReview and approve CE (14 days)Approved CE
Draft Environmental Assessment (EA)Prepare, review, and submit to FHWA for reviewReview and comment (30 days)Comments
EAPrepare, review and submit to FHWA for approvalReview and approve EA for circulation or return for revision (14 days)Approved EA or instructions for revision
Draft Final EnvironmentalPrepare, review, and submit to FHWA for reviewReview and comment (30 days)Comments
Final Environmental DocumentPrepare FONSI request including approval of Final Environmental Document and conclusions and submit to FHWAPrepare and issue FONSI Statement or notify NDDOT of need for EIS (14 days)FONSI or NOI
Notice of Intent (NOI)Prepare Draft Notice of Intent and forward to FHWAReview and revise NOI and publish in the Federal Register (14 days)Published NOI in the Federal Register
Cooperating/Participating Agency Request LettersNonePrepare and distribute request lettersCooperating Agency identified
Preliminary Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)Prepare, review, and submit to FHWA for reviewReview and comment (30 days)Comments
DEISPrepare, review, and submit to FHWA for approvalReview and approve DEIS for circulation or return for revision (21 days)DEIS or instructions for revision
Preliminary Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)Prepare, review, and submit to FHWA for reviewReview and comment (45 days)Comments
FEIS Legal SufficiencyPrepare, review, and submit to FHWA for reviewLegal Sufficiency by Legal Counsel (30 days)FEIS Legal Sufficiency
FEISPrepare, review, and submit to FHWA for approvalReview and approve FEIS or return for revision (21 days)FEIS or instructions for revision
Work ActivityNDDOT ActionFHWA ActionResult
Record of Decision (ROD)Prepare, review, and submit a Draft ROD to FHWA for reviewReview, revise, and issue ROD (30 days)ROD
Programmatic Section 4(f) EvaluationPrepare, review, and submit for FHWA approvalReview and approve Programmatic Section 4(f) Evaluation or return for revision (14 days)Approved Section 4(f) Evaluation or instructions for revision
Draft Section 4(f) EvaluationPrepare, review, and submit to FHWA for reviewReview and comment (14 days)Comments
Section 4(f) Legal SufficiencyPrepare, review, and submit to FHWA for reviewLegal Sufficiency by Legal Counsel (30 days)Section 4(f) Legal Sufficiency
Final Section 4(f) EvaluationPrepare, review, and submit for FHWA approvalReview and approve or return for revision (14 days)Final Section 4(f) Evaluation or instructions for revision
Section 106 Adverse Effect DeterminationPrepare, review, and submit to FHWA for DeterminationMake determination and forward to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (30 days)Adverse Effect Determination
Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)Negotiate MOA, acquire other approvals, approve, and submit to FHWA for approvalSign MOA or return for revision (14 days)Executed Section 106 MOA or instructions for revision
Draft written ReevaluationPrepare, review, and submit to FHWA for reviewReview and comment (30 days)Comments
Written ReevaluationPrepare, review, and submit to FHWA for approvalReview and approve Reevaluation or return for revision (14 days)Reevaluation or instructions for revision
  1. Recognized Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • NDDOT Design Manual
    • NDDOT Wetland Banking Procedures (approved)
    • Agreement for Programmatic Categorical Exclusions (approved)
    • Public Involvement Procedures (approved)
    • Programmatic Agreement for Tribal Consultation (approved)
  2. Program Measures

    The following are mutually considered helpful measures or indicators of program effectiveness and efficiency:

    • EIS-ROD within agreed time
    • EA-FONSI within agreed time
    • Project bid openings postponed due to delay in environmental clearance or receipt of a permit.
PROJECT ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART
PROJECT ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Approval ActionReference DocumentNHS Projects
Non-delegated
NHS Projects
Delegated
Non-NHS ProjectsOther Projects by Mutual Agreement
Programmatic Categorical Exclusion23 CFR 771 NDDOTNDDOTNDDOTNDDOT
Categorical Exclusion23 CFR 771FHWAFHWAFHWAFHWA
Environmental Assessment23 CFR 771FHWAFHWAFHWAFHWA
Finding of No Significant Impact23 CFR 771FHWAFHWAFHWAFHWA
Environmental Impact Statement23 CFR 771FHWAFHWAFHWAFHWA
Record of Decision23 CFR 771FHWAFHWAFHWAFHWA
Section 4(f) Evaluation23 CFR 771FHWAFHWAFHWAFHWA
Section 106 Compliance36 CFR 800FHWAFHWAFHWAFHWA

8. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

  1. Program Overview

    While ISTEA and TEA-21 changed FHWA's stewardship of certain Federal-aid highway projects, it had little affect on the overall financial management and responsibilities of the Federal-aid program.

    NDDOT recognizes that the correctness and propriety of all Federal-aid claims are its primary responsibility whether the primary cost document originates within NDDOT or with some third party. This responsibility is fulfilled by NDDOT maintaining adequate and tested operating policies and procedures and a sound accounting system with proper internal controls together with suitable audit activities. FHWA recognizes a need for complete understanding of all pertinent financial and operating policies and procedures of NDDOT. It is FHWA's responsibility to provide technical assistance and advice in funding and financial areas.

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations and Orders

    • Title 23 USC
    • Title 23 CFR
    • 48 CFR Part 18 – USDOT Common Rule Application
    • OMB Circular A-133, Single Audit Act of 1984
    • OMB Circular A-87, Cost Principles for State & Local Governments
    • Cash Management Improvement Act of 1990
  3. Program Approval Actions

    • FHWA will approve the accounting process used to develop the payroll additive rates and indirect cost rates. At this time NDDOT, has opted not to develop an indirect cost plan and therefore, will not seek reimbursement for indirect costs.
    • FHWA will approve the resolution of OIG and State audit findings
    • FHWA will approve the Federal-aid Current Billing
  4. Project Approval Actions

    FHWA will approve final vouchers, project agreements, and modified project agreements on all projects.

  5. Monitoring

    FHWA will monitor all financial management and accounting activities primarily through periodic contacts and program level Quality Financial Management Initiative (QFMI) reviews. Reviews will encompass both NDDOT and Local Agencies. Through periodic contact with NDDOT personnel FHWA will provide guidance and technical assistance in such areas as fiscal document processing, financial management and reimbursement. FHWA will, to the maximum extent possible, utilize the work of ND State Auditors to limit the scope of FHWA reviews. Risk assessment techniques will be used where appropriate to determine areas for review.

  6. Business Standards

Work ActivityNDDOT ActionFHWA ActionResult
Current BillingSubmits electronically as often as desiredAct Upon within 2 hours of notificationSource documentation will be randomly sampled and reviewed by FHWA
SIB Annual ReportPrepare annually within 90 days from the end of the Federal FYReview and Forward to Finance Office in Washington, DC 
Project Funds ManagementAnnually review a designated list of inactive projects and submit justification by September 1st for those that must remain openReview for concurrence and forward to Finance Office in Washington, DC if required 
NDDOT Single AuditEnsure audit is completed as required and copies of audit reports are submittedReview and take action to ensure findings are resolved 
NDDOT Sub-Recipient Single AuditsReview and take action to ensure findings are resolved, submit summary listing to FHWAReview and take action to ensure compliance 
Project Authorizations/ Agreements and ModificationsPrepare and submitReview and act upon within 5 working days 
Final Vouchers/Final AcceptancePrepare and submitSee Contract Administration Section 
CMAQ Annual Project ListingSee Planning SectionSee Planning Section 
Monthly Status Of FundsPrepare and submitReview and monitor
Year End Document for Utilization of Federal-aid FundsPrepare and submit by September 15thReview and act upon within 5 working daysDocuments that require processing must be submitted to NDDOT Planning and Programming by September 1
Consultant AuditsAnnually conduct audits & submit listing of audits completedReview listing. Sample periodically to ensure compliance. 
  1. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • Additive Rate Methodology – December 2004
    • Statewide Preliminary Engineering Agreement – Scheduled for revision (Also see Design)
    • Federal-Aid Policy Guide (FAPG) See website for this guidance.

9. INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS (ITS)

  1. Program Overview

    NDDOT works cooperatively with FHWA to take a lead role in development of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) initiatives in North Dakota and actively pursues ITS deployment, integration, research and operational testing. NDDOT has established a multi-disciplinary ITS Core Team, of which FHWA is a member, to provide a technical screening and ITS oversight function as well as lead NDDOT efforts in managing an ITS Strategic Plan and a Statewide ITS Architecture.

    NDDOT and FHWA work cooperatively with the Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to promote ITS planning, regional architecture use, and adoption and integration of ITS at the local level. The three MPO areas are actively implementing planning studies related to ITS deployment in the metropolitan areas. NDDOT uses the Advanced Traffic Analysis Center (ATAC) as a primary resource in assessing overall ITS needs, application of ITS tools, development of ITS architecture and integrator of systems. NDDOT and FHWA will work cooperatively to assure that ITS projects are consistent with the National ITS Architecture, incorporate ITS Standards and are fully integrated.

    A primary ITS goal of NDDOT is to ensure that transportation facilities operate efficiently and that no opportunities to provide integrated ITS features are overlooked during reconstruction.

    See Appendix B for key definitions pertinent to stewardship of ITS projects.

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Procedures

    • TEA - 21 Title V Subtitle C
    • 23 CFR Part 940
  3. Program Approval Actions

    • Regional ITS architectures for each of the MPOs must be developed and maintained to document the ITS integration strategies and guide the development of specific projects and programs. FHWA will serve as a technical resource during the development of the regional architectures and will be furnished a copy of the adopted regional architectures and any amendments. It will be up to the owners of the regional architecture to decide whether they want to request FHWA approval, concurrence or acknowledgement of the regional architecture.
  4. Project Approval Actions

    • All ITS projects (stand alone or ITS incorporated in other work) need to accommodate the interface requirements and information exchanges specified in the regional ITS architecture and there must be a commitment to the operations, management and maintenance of the overall system. NDDOT will make a determination of conformity of ITS Projects with the regional ITS architecture. FHWA will concur in the project level determination of conformity with the regional ITS architecture consistent with partnership agreement procedures for involvement.
    • All ITS projects need to be developed based on a systems engineering analysis. NDDOT will make a determination of conformity of ITS Projects with the systems engineering analysis requirement. FHWA will concur in the project level determination of conformity with the systems engineering analysis consistent with partnership agreement procedures for involvement.
    • All ITS projects need to use applicable ITS standards and interoperability tests that have been officially adopted, by rulemaking, by US DOT. NDDOT will make a determination of conformity of ITS projects with the ITS standards requirement. FHWA will concur in the project level determination of conformity with the ITS standards requirement consistent with partnership agreement procedures for involvement.
    • Projects advanced under TEA – 21 Section 5208 (ITS Integration Program) are normally non-construction projects and will be advanced/approved on a case-by-case basis. Typically, the projects are designated by earmark in appropriations acts with specific implementation processes issued by FHWA Washington Headquarters for each appropriation cycle.
  5. Monitoring

    • FHWA will provide ongoing technical assistance on the use of regional ITS architectures, systems engineering analysis, and ITS standards, include these areas in routine risk assessments evaluations, and work cooperatively with NDDOT to use process review techniques to assess and improve processes and procedures.
    • FHWA will participate in project steering committees or other ongoing oversight processes for ITS Integration Program projects.
  6. Business Standards

    • NDDOT will provide FHWA with copies of ITS regional architectures or amendments within 30 days of adoption. If the owners of the regional architectures choose to have FHWA approve or concur in the Architecture, FHWA will be allowed 3 weeks, from receipt date, to review and act on the document.
    • FHWA will follow prescribed processing requirements for individual project actions related to regional architecture conformity, systems engineering analysis completion, and standards conformity as defined in the partnership agreement.
    • FHWA will follow prescribed processing requirements for ITS Integration Program projects as defined in Washington Headquarters instructions issued with each appropriations cycle.
  7. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • NDDOT and MPO ITS Strategic Plans
    • NDDOT and MPO Regional ITS Architectures
PROJECT ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART – ITS Infrastructure Projects
PROJECT ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Approval ActionReference DocumentNHS Projects
>$3 million
NHS Projects
<$3 million
Non-NHS ProjectsOther Projects by Mutual Agreement
Regional Architecture Conformity Determination23 CFR 940.11FHWANDDOTNDDOTFHWA
Systems Engineering Analysis Determination23 CFR 940.11FHWANDDOTNDDOTFHWA
ITS Standards Determination 23 CFR 940.11FHWANDDOTNDDOTFHWA

Special instructions for ITS Projects:

"ITS projects" can be standalone construction projects or may be larger projects that include ITS features. The above listed approval actions apply whether the ITS project is advanced on either a standalone or included basis. All other stewardship and oversight functions such as environmental determination, right of way clearance, etc. are project size, system and work type dependent with no other special processing requirements for ITS purposes beyond routine stewardship and oversight.

PROJECT ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART – ITS Integration and Deployment Projects
PROJECT ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Approval ActionReference DocumentNHS Projects
>$3 million
NHS Projects
<$3 million
Non-NHS ProjectsOther Projects by Mutual Agreement
Case by case determinationInstructions issued annually by Washington HeadquartersFHWA and NDDOTFHWA and NDDOTFHWA and NDDOTFHWA and NDDOT

Next

Contact

Peter Kleskovic
Office of Program Administration
202-366-1564
E-mail Peter

 
 
Updated: 04/07/2011
 

FHWA
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration