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Stewardship Agreement

January 7, 2008

Table of Contents

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. DELEGATIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY UNDER 23 USC 106
  3. STEWARDSHIP PLAN PROGRAM AREAS
    1. BRIDGES AND STRUCTURES
    2. CIVIL RIGHTS
    3. CONSTRUCTION & CONTRACT ADMININSTRATION
    4. DESIGN
    5. EMERGENCY RELIEF
    6. EMERGENCY/SECURITY
    7. ENVIRONMENT
    8. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
    9. INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS (ITS)
    10. LOCAL PUBLIC AGENCY PROJECTS
    11. MAINTENANCE
    12. PAVEMENT AND MATERIALS
    13. PLANNING
    14. RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, AND TECHNOLOGY
    15. RIGHT-OF-WAY
    16. SAFETY
    17. TRAFFIC OPERATIONS
  4. DECISION DISPUTE RESOLUTION
  5. ACRONYMS

NEVADA FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAY PROGRAM STEWARDSHIP AGREEMENT

1. INTRODUCTION

This Stewardship Agreement clarifies the roles and responsibilities of both the Nevada Division Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) in implementing the Federal-aid highway program. In situations where the NDOT has accepted the responsibility for project oversight through the delegations provided in Title 23 United States Code Section 106 (23 USC 106) , NDOT will perform the relative role of the FHWA. This 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 consistently with laws, regulations, policies and good business practices.

Since 1991, Federal highway legislation has allowed delegating project-level responsibilities to States for actions in design, plans, specifications, estimates, contract awards, and inspections of projects. This stewardship agreement documents the delegations, under 23 USC 106, from direct Federal oversight that is accepted by NDOT and recognized by FHWA. The delegation options of 23 USC 106 are desirable for NDOT for process streamlining. Delegations of responsibility are desirable for FHWA because reduced project-level involvement allows for more effective application of personnel resources, including the use of process/program reviews and risk management strategies.

Only actions and authorities contained in 23 USC 106 can be delegated. Other non-title 23 USC actions and authorities, such as NEPA approvals, right-of-way approvals, and planning program approvals are not delegated under this stewardship agreement.

This 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 general description of the program area. Most of these program names reflect common divisions of work related to highway projects, such as design, construction, maintenance, etc.

Upon executing this agreement, the FHWA and NDOT will establish a team composed of the FHWA Assistant Division Administrator and the Operations Engineer, and the NDOT Deputy Director/Chief Engineer and Assistant Director of Engineering, to develop, within 6 months, performance/compliance indicators that periodically gauge the effectiveness of delegated responsibilities. As a minimum, these indicators should address project cost escalation, level of oversight, and project delivery. NDOT will provide the performance/compliance indicator data to the FHWA Division office on a predetermined schedule. The result of this team effort will be documented in an FHWA/NDOT Memorandum of Understanding, and become a part of this agreement.

2. DELEGATIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY UNDER 23 USC 106

TYPE OF PROJECTPRIMARY OVERSIGHT RESPONSIBILITYOVERSIGHT DESCRIPTION
Interstate projects>$25 million*FHWAFULL OVERSIGHT
NHS-projects with construction cost >$100 million*FHWAFULL OVERSIGHT
NHS-projects with construction cost <$100 millionNDOTSTATE ADMINISTERED
Non-NHS - other projectsNDOTSTATE ADMINISTERED
All Intelligent Transportation System (ITS)FHWAFULL OVERSIGHT
Projects Selected by Mutual Agreement **FHWAFULL OVERSIGHT
Local ProjectsNDOTLPA

NHS-projects are defined by system irrespective of Federal funding source. The NHS system includes NHS connectors.

*Excluding 3R and Landscaping projects, outlined in a Programmatic Agreement for Inherently Low Risk Oversight Projects on the Interstate System.
**An FHWA & NDOT team will annually select projects by mutual agreement.

Examples of projects likely to be selected by mutual agreement for FHWA Full Oversight:

  • Complex Emergency Relief Projects
  • Complex Urban Reconstruction Projects
  • Major Structure Projects
  • Congressional Earmarks

FHWA involvement in projects selected by mutual agreement may be limited to key project components. The components could include specific project phases such as design or construction. These projects will be identified to both agencies via a memorandum jointly signed by the FHWA Assistant Division Administrator and the NDOT Deputy Director. NDOT will indicate Full Oversight projects in PCEMS with an asterisk (*). The components of FHWA oversight will be determined by mutual agreement at the time of selection. All NEPA documents are approved by FHWA. Projects will also be monitored by FHWA as part of process/program reviews.

For an overview of the elements of a project in which FHWA is involved on full oversight, see the chart on the following page.

FEDERAL-AID PROJECT INVOLVEMENT
Required FHWA Project-Level Actions

 

 

 

 

 

All

Projects

Are

Subject to

Special

Reviews

&/or

Technical

Assistance

by FHWA

At Any

Time

 

 

Begin Project

STIP

NEPA-Environment

Authorization
Preliminary Engineering (pre-NEPA clearance)
Final Design (post-NEPA clearance)
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 action on Full Oversight Federal-aid Projects. The steps in Bold require FHWA interaction on State Administered Federal-aid Projects or Locally administered Federal-aid Projects.

For additional information on oversight responsibility by NDOT and FHWA, see the discussion and charts in the various program area chapters. The applicable references noted reflect a summary of the key legal, regulatory and guidance documents for each chapter. FHWA and NDOT mutually agree to the delegations defined in this section of the Stewardship Agreement as allowed by 23 USC 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 of the NDOT and the Assistant Division Administrator of FHWA for Nevada, while retaining the integrity of the overall Stewardship Agreement. These changes must be dated and distributed to FHWA and NDOT to assure that actions are guided by the most current agreement provisions.

STEWARDSHIP PLAN PROGRAM AREAS

A. BRIDGES AND STRUCTURES

  1. Program Overview

    The FHWA is responsible for administering the Highway Bridge Program (HBP). The purpose of the program is to improve the condition of highway bridges over waterways, other topographical barriers, other highways, and railroads through replacement and rehabilitation of bridges that the State and the Secretary determine are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete and through systematic preventative maintenance of bridges.

    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 analysis justifies it.

    The NBI also requires the State to ensure that all bridges, except Federally owned, 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. Border bridges must appear in the State's bridge inventory regardless of ownership and inspection responsibility.

    Other non-bridge program funds administered by FHWA may be used to construct or rehabilitate bridges. Project approval actions are similar to those that apply to the Highway Bridge Program (HBP) 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 include but are not limited to:

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

  3. Program Approval Actions

    • FHWA will make an annual determination of compliance with the NBIS.
    • NDOT will submit the annual NBI data to FHWA Headquarters.
    • NDOT will submit bridge unit cost data, to be reviewed by the FHWA Division Office and forwarded to FHWA Headquarters.
    • NDOT is required to carry out a Value Engineering (VE) analysis for all Federal-aid highway funded bridge projects on the NHS with an estimated total cost of $20 million or more.
  4. Project Approval Actions

    • FHWA will approve eligible bridge projects that are on the NHS according to the Project Activity Approval Chart shown in this section.
    • 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 the Interstate or NHS system may be designated for increased FHWA oversight ranging from technical assistance to preliminary plan review and approval, to complete Plans, Specifications & Estimates (PS&E) approval, as appropriate. NDOT and the Nevada Division Office will make this determination on a case-by-case basis.
  5. Monitoring

    FHWA Nevada Division Office will:

    • Screen bridges for eligibility for HBP based on the selection list.
    • Review and approve environmental documents.
    • Review project concept reports.
    • Review Quarterly reports for bridge critical findings.
    • 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 Annual Bridge Maintenance Inspection Audits.
  6. Business Standards

    • NDOT will submit the annual update of NBI data to FHWA by April 1st of each year.
    • NDOT will submit the Bridge Construction Unit Cost data to FHWA by March 1st of each year.
    • NDOT will submit the "Bridge Critical Maintenance Report" quarterly.
  7. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • NDOT Structures Manual (Pending)
    • NDOT Project Design Development Manual
    • NDOT Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction
    • NDOT Standard Plans for Road and Bridge Construction
    • NDOT Bridge Inspection Procedures
    • NDOT Geotechnical Policies and Procedures Manual
    • NDOT Local Public Agency Manual (pending)
    • NDOT Right-of-Way Manual
    • FHWA Recording and Coding Guide for the Structural Inventory and Appraisal of the Nation's Bridges (.pdf) and Errata Sheet
    • FHWA Seismic Retrofitting Manual for Highway Bridges
    • FHWA Value Engineering Policy
    • AASHTO Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges
    • AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications
    • AASHTO Guide Specifications for Horizontally Curved Steel Girder Highway Bridges
    • AASHTO Guide Specifications for Design and Construction of Segmental Concrete Bridges
    • AASHTO Standard Specifications for Structural Supports for Highway Signs, Luminaries, and Traffic Signals
    • FHWA Technical Advisory T 5140.21, REVISIONS TO THE NATIONAL BRIDGE INSPECTION STANDARDS
    • AASHTO Manual for Condition Evaluation of Bridges, with interims
    • ANSI/AASHTO/AWS D 1.5 Bridge Welding Code
    • Union Pacific Railroad Guidelines for Design of Highway Separation Structures over Railroad (Overhead Grade Separation)
    • Union Pacific Railroad Guidelines for Design and Construction of Grade Separation Underpass Structures
    • Union Pacific Railroad Guidelines for Preparation of a Bridge Demolition and Removal Plan for Structures over Railroad
    • AREMA Manual for Railway Engineering
    • AASHTO Guide Specifications for Structural Design of Sound Barriers
BRIDGE PROJECT ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART
PROJECT ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Approval ActionReferenceFULL OVERSIGHTSTATE ADMINISTEREDOther Projects by Mutual Agreement
HBP eligibility determinations23 CFR 650 Subpart DFHWAFHWAFHWA
TS & L23 USC 106
23 CFR 630
FHWANDOTFHWA/NDOT
PS & E23 USC 106
23 CFR 630
FHWANDOTFHWA/NDOT
Bridges not requiring U.S. Coast Guard Permit 23 CFR 650.805FHWANDOTNDOT
BRIDGE PROGRAM ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART
PROGRAMREFERENCEAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
NBIS Review23 CFR Subpart CFHWA
Bridge Unit Cost submittal23 CFR 650 Subpart DNDOT
Discretionary Bridge Candidate submittals23 CFR 650 Subpart GNDOT
Innovative Bridge Research and Construction Program candidate submittals23 USC 503 (b)NDOT
Construction InspectionsFAPG G 6042.8FHWA/NDOT
Semi-Annual scour updates NDOT
Reports for: Bridge Posting, Critical Findings, and Inspection Frequency (as needed).23 CFR 650 Subpart C - Non-Regulatory SupplementNDOT

B. CIVIL RIGHTS

  1. Program Overview

    The FHWA and NDOT are committed to effectively implement and enforce civil rights programs within NDOT in its planning, construction, and management of the Nevada multimodal transportation system. Federal law establishes the State as responsible for nondiscrimination as the recipient of Federal-aid. If projects are managed by a sub-recipient, NDOT must ensure that the sub-recipient is qualified and equipped to perform the work. If sub-recipients are involved, NDOT 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. NDOT can delegate the activity, but cannot delegate the responsibility.

    1. Tribal Governments

      NDOT will require contractors to work with the Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO) for hiring non-core workers on Federal-aid projects or portions of Federal-aid projects on or near boundaries of a reservation. NDOT will negotiate with tribal officials to address TERO fees and regulations the department will enforce while the contractor is working on or near a reservation.

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

  3. Program Approval Actions

    • FHWA will review and approve NDOT's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program and Supportive Service (SS) Plan.
    • NDOT will submit reviews and audits of all Federal-aid Highway contracts of $10,000 or more for contract compliance to FHWA.
    • NDOT will review and approve On-the-Job Training Programs in coordination with FHWA and the Labor Commissioners Office.
    • NDOT will submit labor compliance data to be reviewed by the FHWA Division Office and forwarded to FHWA Headquarters.
    • NDOT will develop and FHWA will approve Title VI/Non-discrimination Programs.
  4. Project Approval Actions

    • FHWA will approve DBE goals.
    • Project specific DBE Program goals as part of the PS&E package will be submitted to the FHWA for review and acceptance.
    • A Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance developed by the Tribe may be discussed and an agreement between NDOT and Tribal Governments may developed for each Federal-aid project on state maintained roads on, or partially on and near, a reservation. Terms and conditions of the agreement may be included in contract documents (i.e. TERO special provisions, etc.).
  5. Monitoring

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

    The NDOT will monitor and review subrecipients for compliance with the Title VI and other civil rights programs as needed. These compliance reviews will be forwarded to the FHWA Nevada Division office upon completion.

  6. Business Standards

WORK ACTIVITYNDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTIONCOMMENTS
DBE Program Plan RevisionsPrepare and Submit to FHWA as RequiredReview and act upon (20 Working Days)Updates Accurately Reflect Appropriate Program Changes
DBE Program Annual GoalPrepare and Submit to FHWA Annually by August 1Review and approve (90 Days 
Title VI Program UpdatePrepare and Submit to FHWA upon CompletionReview and act upon (20 Working Days)Updates accurately reflect NDOT's Title VI Program
State Internal AA/EEO and Contract Compliance Program Reports (Title VII)
(Includes EEO-4 Report)
Prepare and Submit to FHWA within One Year From the Date of Approval of the Preceding ProgramReview and Act Upon (20 Working Days)Report is Accurate and Meets CFR Requirements
Annual Contractor Employment Report-PR1392Prepare and Submit to FHWA No Later Than September 25 of Each YearReview and File. Submit to FHWA HQ 
Contractor Compliance Review Schedule and ReportsPrepare and Submit to FHWA Upon CompletionReview and Act Upon (30 Working days) 
Subrecipient Compliance Review Schedule and ReportsPrepare and Submit to FHWA Upon CompletionReview and Act Upon (30 Working days) 
DBE and OJT Supportive Service Work Requests/ ReportsPrepare and Submit to FHWA per Contract (monthly or quarterly)Review and Act Upon (30 Working days) 
On-the-Job Training ProgramPrepare and Submit to FHWA (No Later than March 1 of Each Year)Review and Act Upon (30 Working Days) 
On-the-Job Training Goals and AccomplishmentsPrepare and Submit (No Later Than November 30 of Each Year)Review and Act Upon (30 Working Days)Previous year's accomplishments and current year's projection
State Internal EEO Affirmative Action Plan and Annual UpdatesPrepare and Submit to FHWA AnnuallyReview and Act Upon (20 working days) 
TERO AgreementWork with TERO when appropriateNot Normally RequiredNDOT to screen projects for applicability
  1. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • DBE Program Administration Document
    • FHWA Civil Rights Program Toolkit (2007)
    • Other Manuals Used by NDOT Not Requiring FHWA Approval:
      1. Title VI Permanent Program Plan
      2. Davis-Bacon Wage & Payroll Requirements Manual

C. CONSTRUCTION & CONTRACT ADMININSTRATION

  1. Program Overview

    The FHWA is required to assure compliance with Federal-aid contract provisions on projects that utilize Federal-aid funds. Federal responsibility includes assuring that procedures are followed in advertising and awarding Federal-aid contracts. By Federal law FHWA contract administration responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

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

    FHWA is responsible for inspecting construction projects utilizing Federal-aid funds. The primary purposes of FHWA review and administration in construction are to protect the public investment, assure effective quality controls, and to verify the project is completed in accordance with the plans, specifications and special provisions. Title 23 USC 106 allows FHWA delegating to the state DOT construction review, oversight and administration responsibilities, except those not based on Title 23 Federal requirements. The FHWA construction monitoring responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

    • Quality Control and Improvement
    • Contract Claims
    • Change Orders
    • Payments to Contractors

    To ensure high quality products are constructed, FHWA provides technical assistance in problem solving and recommendations for improving State and local construction programs.

    FHWA also provides sharing state-of-the-art practices and innovations in materials, equipment, construction practices and contracting methods to highlight best practices.

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

  3. Program Approval Actions

    • FHWA will have approval authority for the authorization and obligation of Federal-Aid funds.
    • FHWA will have approval authority over NDOT's Standard Specifications and Special Provisions.
    • FHWA will have approval authority over NDOT's Construction Manual
    • FHWA will have approval authority over NDOT's Documentation Manual
  4. Project Approval Actions

    • FHWA will authorize all Federal-aid projects through the Financial Management Information System (FMIS).
    • FHWA will approve project agreements, modified project agreements, and final vouchers on all Federal-aid projects.
  5. Monitoring

    FHWA Division Office will:

    • Evaluate the State and local agencies' transportation construction programs, including their procedures and controls to assure transportation improvements are constructed in accordance with approved standards and acceptable contracting methods.
    • Evaluate the quality of materials, equipment, construction practices, and workforce used to evaluate the quality of the constructed product and report findings to NDOT.
    • Track the cost of Federal-aid construction projects >$10 million to determine the relationship of the final cost to the amount bid for the project and report findings to NDOT.
    • FHWA will conduct routine project and final inspections on Full Oversight Federal-aid new construction or re-construction of Interstate highway projects and Federal-aid NHS projects greater than $25 million, excluding 3R Projects.
    • For all other Federal-aid projects, FHWA may conduct inspections, including final inspections, on a statewide sampling basis.

    NDOT will:

    • Provide a final report on completed Full Oversight projects or on any Federal-aid project on request.
  6. Business Standards

    • NDOT will allow FHWA 15 working days, from receipt date, to review Special Provisions, PS&E's, construction plans and major change orders. This time frame may be reduced in emergency or unusual situations. For complex projects, the NDOT will allow FHWA 30 working days.
    • FHWA will complete its final acceptance reports within three months of receipt of NDOT's notification.
  7. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • NDOT Project Design Development Manual
    • NDOT Construction Manual
    • NDOT Documentation Manual
    • NDOT Right-of-Way Manual
    • NDOT Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction
    • NDOT Special Provisions
    • NDOT Erosion Control Manual
    • FHWA Contract Administration Core Curriculum Manual
CONSTRUCTION PROJECT ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHARTS
PROJECT ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Approval ActionReferenceFULL OVERSIGHTSTATE ADMINISTEREDOther Projects by Mutual Agreement
Approve exceptions to competitive bidding23 CFR 635.104 & 204FHWANDOTJOINT
Approve advertising period of <3 weeks23 CFR 635.112 FHWANDOTJOINT
Concur in award of contracts23 CFR 635.114FHWANDOTJOINT
Concur in rejection of bids23 CFR 635.114FHWANDOTJOINT
Approve change and extra work orders23 CFR 635.120FHWANDOTJOINT
Approve time extensions23 CFR 635.121FHWANDOTJOINT
Accept material certifications23 CFR 637.207FHWANDOTJOINT
Settlement of claims*23 CFR 635.124FHWANDOTJOINT
Termination of contracts23 CFR 635.125FHWANDOTJOINT
Final Acceptance & Final Inspection23 USC 114(a) & 121FHWANDOTJOINT
Construction inspections23 CFR 635
23 USC 114(a)
FHWANDOTJOINT
Determination of cost-effective methods23 CFR 635.204 & 104FHWAFHWAJOINT
Emergency Relief**23 CFR 668FHWANDOTJOINT
Project Construction Authorization23 CFR 635.106FHWAFHWAFHWA

*If Federal-aid funds are used in claim settlement. If only State funds are used, NDOT will notify FHWA.
**See Emergency Relief Section

D. DESIGN

  1. Program Overview

    Design is a phase of project development that can begin in the planning stage, occurs through the environmental stage, and comes to completion with approval of the PS&E. The FHWA-NDOT 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 and scoping, FHWA participates in preliminary design field studies for projects on Full Oversight projects. This allows FHWA to get a better understanding of early conceptual project planning and design considerations, and to participate in that transition zone between the transportation planning process and the earliest stage of project development. It will also provide FHWA an opportunity for early input into the design considerations/parameters based on identified planning and environmental issues. This process will tie in with the long-range planning and management systems as a means of selecting projects. This is considered an important step toward improving the partnership association and cooperation in joint stewardship.

    Periodic in-depth process reviews may be undertaken by FHWA or by FHWA and NDOT. Projects selected could include NHS projects costing less than $25 million or Full Oversight projects. These reviews will be scheduled as part of FHWA annual work plan following discussion with NDOT management. Such reviews may focus on design standards, as well as design exceptions, that NDOT has executed. Other elements, such as pavements, structures, safety, materials, construction zone signing, and utilities, may be selected for review. In addition, NDOT's internal plan development and review process could be included.

    Generally, non-NHS projects are not subject to FHWA oversight in the project-level design process. The FHWA Division Office conducts limited checks for eligibility, and limits involvement in project-level design to issues directly related to environmental determinations and provides response to NDOT requests for technical assistance.

    As a minimum, NDOT will perform Value Engineering Analyses on Federal-aid projects estimated to cost $25 million or more, and for Federal-aid bridge projects expected to exceed $20 million. The FHWA Division Administrator – or NDOT at its discretion - may designate other projects for which a Value Engineering Analysis is needed.

    Major Projects – A Federal-aid project with an estimated total cost of $500 million or more is considered to be a Major Project. NDOT agrees to develop a Project Management Plan and an annually updated Financial Plan. For Federal-aid projects with an estimated total cost of $100 million or more, NDOT agrees to annually prepare financial plans. These financial plans do not require FHWA approval, but FHWA reserves the right to review and comment on these plans. Financial plans or Project Management Plans may be required for other projects as identified by the FHWA Division Administrator in consultation with NDOT.

    Project Delivery – Annually, FHWA will perform – independently or in conjunction with NDOT - process or program reviews to cover elements of NDOT's project delivery system, involving one or more activities in the life cycle of a project from conception to completion. Prioritization and performance of these reviews will generally be in response to comprehensive risk analyses.

    FHWA may be involved on a programmatic basis in other elements of design, irrespective of NDOT's assumption of responsibility for certain projects. Examples of these elements include pavement design, hydraulic design, and specification development.

    FHWA will ensure that appropriate NDOT personnel are informed of changes to Federal requirements; innovative processes, procedures, and equipment, and technological advances which may affect the design process and product quality.

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

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

    • 23 USC 109 Standards
    • 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 470 Highway Systems
    • 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)]
    • FHWA Major Project Guidance
    • FHWA Major Project Guidance on Right-of-Way
    • NDOT Value Engineering Policy
  3. Program Approval Actions

    • FHWA will have approval authority over NDOT's Standard Plans for Road and Bridge Construction.
    • FHWA will have approval authority over NDOT's Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction.
    • FHWA will have approval authority over NDOT's consultant selection procedures.
    • FHWA will have approval authority over NDOT's Project Design Development Manual.
  4. Project Approval Actions

    • FHWA will approve the final PS&E on all full oversight projects and mutually agreed upon projects. Project approval actions applicable to design are included in the PROJECT ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART in this section.
    • Environmental clearance must be obtained from FHWA prior to beginning the final design or acquiring right-of-way on projects requiring a Federal action.
    • NDOT will submit Full Oversight contract documents to FHWA prior to advertisement.
  5. Monitoring

    • FHWA will monitor project design through step-by-step involvement in projects on Full Oversight projects.
    • For State Administered projects, design exceptions will be monitored and reviewed on a periodic basis.
    • Other facets of design will be monitored on a programmatic basis, with special reviews normally precipitated by FHWA's risk-assessment process and FHWA-NDOT mutual risk-assessment discussions.
  6. Business Standards

    • NDOT will provide FHWA 15 working days, from receipt date, to review and comment on Preliminary Design Field Survey Reports on Full Oversight projects.
    • NDOT will provide FHWA 15 working days (30 days for complex projects) from receipt date to review/approve PS&E's on Full Oversight projects.
    • NDOT will provide FHWA 30 working days to review Change in Control of Access Reports (i.e., Interchange Justification Reports, Change in Interstate Access Requests).
    • FHWA will respond to NDOT on changes to the Project Design Development Manual within 30 working days of request.
    • FHWA will respond to NDOT on design exceptions within 10 working days of request.
  7. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • NDOT Project Design Development Manual
    • NDOT Local Public Agency Manual
    • NDOT Erosion Control Manuals
    • Accommodation of Utilities on State Highway Right-of-Way – Policies and Procedures
    • Utility Relocations, Adjustments, and Reimbursement – Policies and Procedures
    • NDOT Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction
    • NDOT Standard Plans for Road and Bridge Construction
    • NDOT Right-of-Way Manual
    • NDOT Qualified Product List
    • NDOT Landscaping and Aesthetic Master Plan *
    • NDOT Corridor Plans and Studies *
    • Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)
    • Standard Highway Signs
    • AASHTO A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets
    • AASHTO A Policy on Design Standards Interstate System
    • AASHTO Roadside Design Guide
    • FHWA Contract Administration Core Curriculum Manual
    • NDOT Access Management Manual

* Reference only. Not approved by FHWA.

DESIGN PROJECT ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART
PROJECT ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Approval ActionReferenceFULL OVERSIGHTSTATE ADMINISTEREDOther Projects by Mutual Agreement
Design standards, policies and standard specifications for applications to geometric and structural design23 CFR 625 FHWANDOTJOINT
Design exceptions *23 CFR 625.3 FHWANDOTJOINT
Value engineering **23 CFR 627 FHWANDOTNDOT
Monitoring Federal-aid highway design projects23 CFR 630 FHWANDOTJOINT
PS&E review and approval / project authorization23 CFR 630.106 & 23 CFR 630.205 FHWANDOTJOINT
Traffic control plans, Work Zone Plans23 CFR Subpart F & 23 CFR 630.1010 & Work Zone Final Rule (Sept 9, 2004) FHWANDOTJOINT
Interstate System Access Revision23 CFR 470 &
23 CFR 710 & 23 CFR 625
FHWANANA
Non-Interstate Access Control23 CFR 470 &
23 CFR 710 & 23 CFR 625
NANDOTJOINT
Material or product selection: proprietary products, recycled materials, public interest findings23 CFR 635.411 FHWANDOTJOINT
Design-build23 CFR 636FHWANDOTNDOT
Utilities23 CFR 645.113 FHWANDOTJOINT

* FHWA approves Interstate design exceptions regardless of project funding source.
** For projects greater than $25 million and for bridge projects greater than $20 million.

DESIGN PROJECT ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART
PROJECT ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Approval ActionReferenceFULL OVERSIGHTSTATE ADMINISTEREDOther Projects by Mutual Agreement
Hydraulics design, erosion and sediment control design23 CFR 650.115 5 & 23 CFR 650.211FHWANDOTJOINT
Pedestrian and bicycle accommodations and design23 CFR 652.13 FHWANDOTJOINT
ADA criteria and design *23 CFR 652, 28 CFR 35 & 36, 49 CFR 27 & 37FHWAFHWAJOINT
Annual Financial Plan for projects >$100 MillionSAFETEA-LUNDOTN/AN/A
Project Management Plan and Financial Plan for Major ProjectsSAFETEA-LUFHWAN/AN/A

* FHWA is ultimately responsible for ADA in all public rights-of-way (NHS, State, or local)

E. EMERGENCY RELIEF

  1. Program Overview

    The Emergency Relief (ER) program uses allocated 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 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 combined 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.

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

  3. Program Approval Actions

    • The NDOT 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 may be eligible damage. (See FHWA Emergency Relief 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. The letter of acknowledgement establishes a beginning date of potential eligibility for immediate emergency repairs.
    • Following site inspection, the NDOT 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 types 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 NDOT which projects are to be considered Full Oversight 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 applicable for a particular disaster or particular damage sites.
    • For ER projects in the Determination of Eligibility letter determined to be Full Oversight, normal Federal-aid oversight procedures will apply: design/concept approval, PS&E approval/advertise for bids, concurrence in award, change order approval, etc.
    • 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 G, Environment.
  5. Monitoring

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

    • FHWA will respond to an NDOT letter of intent to seek ER funding within three working days.
    • The NDOT is expected to complete a reasonable survey of the damage (Damage Survey Summary Report) with associated estimates of cost within four to six weeks of the event. This may vary depending on the area of impact of the disaster.
    • FHWA will respond to NDOT requests for ER disaster eligibility supported by the Damage Survey Summary Report within 10 working days with a Determination of Eligibility.
  7. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

F. EMERGENCY/SECURITY

  1. Program Overview

    The purpose of this section 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 policies and guidance and keep FHWA and the NDOT at an acceptable level of readiness in the event of an emergency.

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

  3. Program Approval Actions

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

  4. Project Approval Actions

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

  5. Monitoring

    FHWA relies on the NDOT 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.

    FHWA will submit incident reports to the FHWA Emergency Coordinator, based on the information supplied by the NDOT.

  6. Business Standards

    • FHWA will allow NDOT 15 working days, from receipt date, to review FHWA's Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP).
    • NDOT will allow FHWA 15 working days, from receipt date, to review the NDOT Emergency Plan.
    • Changes in the point of contact list must be shared with FHWA as soon as possible.
    • NDOT will report to FHWA incidents meeting the criteria of FHWA Order 5181.1 within 6 hours of the event.
  7. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • FHWA COOP
    • NDOT Emergency Operations Plan
    • State Emergency Operations Plan
EMERGENCY/SECURITY ACTIVITY CHART
EMERGENCY/SECURITY ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
ActivityReference
Data collecting and reportingFHWA Order 5181.1NDOT
Submitting Alert BulletinsFHWA Order 5181.1FHWA
Maintain emergency contact listFHWA Order 5181.1FHWA
Emergency CommunicationsFHWA Order 1910.2cFHWA
Maintain COOPFHWA Order 1910.2cFHWA
National Security CoordinationFHWA Order 1910.2cFHWA
Federal Response Plan ParticipationFHWA Order 1910.2cFHWA
NDOT Emergency PlanExecutive Order 12656NDOT

G. ENVIRONMENT

  1. Program Overview

    For projects requiring a Federal Highway action, the 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 the NDOT for activities to address the various environmental laws, Executive Orders, and regulations, but it may not delegate environmental approval authority. Therefore, NDOT must submit environmental documents to FHWA for approval, except for programmatic categorical exclusions.

    These documents include among others: Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)-Record of Decision (ROD), Environmental Assessment (EA)-Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), and categorical exclusion (CE) decisions for projects not specifically defined as categorically excluded from environmental documentation in the regulations. 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).

    1. Tribal Governments

      NDOT may consult with the Native American tribal governments during the planning process and project development phase. However, tribes are sovereign entities and must be approached on a Government to Government basis directly through FHWA with the assistance of NDOT. In most cases NDOT will prepare the draft correspondence to a tribal government and FHWA will finalize and sign the letter on FHWA letterhead. The tribe will typically respond and comment directly to FHWA.

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

  3. Program Approval Actions

    • NDOT has been delegated programmatic approval authority for specific categorical exclusions.
    • NDOT also acts as FHWA's nonfederal representative for informal Section 7 Endangered Species Act consultation and Section 106 consultation.
    • NDOT public involvement procedures are approved by FHWA
  4. Project Approval Actions

    • As early as practicable in a project's development, NDOT and FHWA will collaborate on the proper environmental (NEPA) classification for a project: Class I = EIS, Class II = CE, Class III = EA.
    • For all projects that require an action be taken by FHWA, FHWA and NDOT will work together in the project planning and preliminary engineering phase, to ensure compliance with NEPA and other applicable laws before an alternative is selected by FHWA based on NDOT's recommendation.
    • FHWA is an active member of individual project teams, and helps guide the project planning.
    • Documents requiring legal sufficiency review (Final EIS, Final Section 4(f) Evaluations, and complex/controversial EAs) are sent to Western Legal Services (WLS), Office of Chief Counsel in San Francisco, CA by the FHWA Division Office, prior to approving these documents. The goal of the WLS is to provide legal sufficiency review comments to the FHWA Division Office within 30 calendar days after receipt of the document. Environmental re-evaluations are conducted through informal consultation and formal written documentation.
  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. FHWA, at it's discretion, may also participate in NEPA consultant selection panels.
  6. Business Standards

ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECT BUSINESS STANDARDS
Work ActivityNDOT ActionFHWA ActionResult
Programmatic Categorical Exclusion (CE)Prepare and ApprovePeriodic ReviewApproved CE
CEPrepare and submit to FHWA for approvalApprove CE (14 working days)Approved CE
Administrative Draft Environmental Assessment (EA)Prepare and submit to FHWA for commentReview and Comment (30 working days)Comments
EAPrepare, sign and submit to FHWA for approvalApprove EA for circulation or return for revision (14 working days)Approved EA or instructions for revision
Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)Prepare FONSI request including findings of facts and conclusions and submit to FHWAPrepare and Issue FONSI or notify NDOT of need for EIS (14 working days)FONSI or consider NOI
Notice of Intent (NOI)Prepare Draft Notice of Intent and forward to FHWAReview and revise NOI and publish in the Federal Register (30 calendar days)Published NOI in the Federal Register
Cooperating Agency Request LettersPrepare draft request lettersReview, revise and distribute request letters (14 working days)Cooperating Agency identified and contacted in writing.
Administrative Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)Prepare and submit to FHWA for reviewReview and comment (45 calendar days)Written comments
DEISPrepare, sign, and submit to FHWA for approvalApprove DEIS or return for revision (21 working days)DEIS or instructions for revision
Administrative Draft Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)Prepare and submit to FHWA for reviewReview and comment (45 working days)Written Comments
FEIS Legal SufficiencyPrepare and submit to FHWA for reviewRequest Legal Sufficiency review (30 calendar days)FEIS Legal Sufficiency
FEISPrepare, sign, and submit to FHWA for approvalApprove FEIS or return for revision (21 working days)FEIS or instructions for revision
Record of Decision (ROD)Prepare a Draft ROD and submit to FHWAReview, Revise, and Issue ROD (30 working days)ROD  
Programmatic Section 4(f) EvaluationPrepare and submit for FHWA approvalApprove Programmatic Section 4(f) Evaluation or return for revision (14 working daysApproved Section 4(f) Evaluation or instructions for revision
Administrative Draft Section 4(f) EvaluationPrepare and submit to FHWA for reviewReview and comment (14 working days)Comments
Section 4(f) Legal SufficiencyPrepare and submit to FHWA for reviewRequest Legal Sufficiency review (30 calendar days) *Section 4(f) Legal Sufficiency
Final Section 4(f) EvaluationPrepare and submit for FHWA approvalReview and approve or return for revision (14 working days)Final Section 4(f) Evaluation or instructions for revision
Section 106 Effect DeterminationPrepare and submit to FHWA for DeterminationMake determination and forward to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) (14 working days)Effect Determination
Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)Negotiate and execute MOA with NDOT, SHPO and FHWASign MOA or return for revision (14 working days)Executed Section 106 MOA or instructions for revision
Administrative Draft written Re-evaluationPrepare and submit to FHWA for reviewReview and comment (30 working days)Comments
Written Re-evaluationPrepare and submit to FHWA for approvalApprove Re-evaluation or return for revision (14 working days)Re-evaluation or instructions for revision

* Actual processing time by WLS may not meet the 30 day schedule based on their workload.

  1. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • NDOT Project Design Development Manual
    • NDOT Environmental Manual (pending)

Note: Review times shown are for FHWA INTERNAL ACTIONS. Environmental documents are released to other agencies and the public for review periods mandated by law or regulation.

H. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

  1. Program Overview

    NDOT recognizes that the accuracy and propriety of Federal-aid claims are its primary responsibility, whether the primary source document originates within NDOT or with some third party. This responsibility is fulfilled by NDOT 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 pertinent financial and operating policies and procedures of NDOT. It is FHWA's responsibility to provide technical assistance and advice in funding and financial areas.

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations and Orders

  3. Program Approval Actions

    • FHWA will approve the accounting process used to develop the payroll additive rates and any indirect cost rates. (At this time, NDOT has opted not to develop an indirect cost plan and, therefore, will not seek reimbursement for indirect costs).
    • FHWA will approve the resolution of the Office of Inspector General and General Accounting Office audit findings
    • FHWA will approve the Federal-aid Current Billing
    • Annually, FHWA will perform, independently or in conjunction with NDOT personnel, such process reviews as considered necessary to support a certification of financial integrity of NDOT's financial management systems. These reviews will generally be in response to comprehensive risk analyses.
  4. Project Approval Actions

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

  5. Monitoring

    FHWA will monitor financial management and accounting activities primarily through periodic contacts and program level Quality Financial Management Initiative (QFMI) reviews. Reviews will encompass both NDOT and Local Agencies with NDOT participation. Through periodic contact with NDOT 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 Nevada 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

FINANCIAL BUSINESS STANDARDS
WORK ACTIVITYNDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTIONREMARKS
Current BillingSubmits electronically as often as desiredAct Upon within 2 hours of notificationSource documentation will be randomly sampled and reviewed by FHWA
Project Funds ManagementQuarterly review a designated list of inactive projects, and submit justification within 30 days for those that must remain openReview for concurrence and forward to Finance Office in Washington, DC, if required 
NDOT Single AuditEnsure audit is completed as required and submit any findings and resolutions to FHWAReview and take action to ensure findings are resolved 
NDOT Sub-Recipient Single AuditsReview and take action to ensure findings are resolved, submit resolutions to FHWAReview and take action to ensure compliance 
Sub-Recipient Cost Allocation Plans and Indirect Cost RatesEnsure that subs have an approved Cost Allocation and Indirect Cost Rate PlanReview and Monitor 
Final Vouchers/Final AcceptancePrepare and submitSee Contract Administration 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 NDOT Planning and Programming by September 1
Consultant AuditsAs required, conduct audits and submit copies of audits completedReview listing. Sample periodically to ensure compliance. 
Financial Integrity Review and Evaluation (FIRE)As required, provide financial and other data needed to establish effectiveness of internal controlsReview and monitor 
  1. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • Labor Additive Rate Computations
    • Accounting Policies and Procedures (Pending)

Next

Contact

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

 
 
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Updated: 01/21/2014
 

FHWA
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration