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Stewardship Agreement

STEWARDSHIP PLAN PROGRAM AREAS (con't)

I. INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS (ITS)

  1. Program Overview

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

    NDOT and FHWA work cooperatively with the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada and the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County, to promote ITS planning, regional architecture use, and adoption and integration of ITS at the local level. The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada and the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County are actively implementing planning studies related to ITS deployment in the metropolitan areas. NDOT 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 NDOT is to ensure that transportation facilities operate efficiently, and that no opportunities to provide integrated ITS features are overlooked.

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Procedures

  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 review of the regional architecture.

  4. Project Approval Actions

    • All ITS projects (stand-alone or 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 system. NDOT 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.
    • All ITS projects need to be developed based on a systems engineering analysis. NDOT 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.
    • All ITS projects need to use applicable ITS standards and interoperability tests that have been officially adopted, by rulemaking, by US DOT. NDOT 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.
    • Projects under old Federal legislation, such as TEA-21 Section 5208 (ITS Integration Program), were advanced/approved on a case-by-case basis. Typically, the projects were designated by earmark in appropriations acts with specific implementation processes issued by FHWA Washington Headquarters for specific appropriation cycles. When these funds/programs are no longer available, ITS projects will follow normal Federal-aid procedures.
  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 NDOT 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

    • NDOT will provide FHWA with copies of ITS regional architectures or amendments within 30 working days of adoption. If the owners of the regional architectures choose to have FHWA approve or concur in the Architecture, FHWA will have 20 working days, 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.
    • For older ITS projects, FHWA will follow prescribed processing requirements for ITS Integration Program projects as defined in Washington Headquarters instructions issued with each appropriations cycle, as defined in the partnership agreement. When these funds/programs are no longer available, ITS projects will follow normal Federal-aid procedures.
  7. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • NDOT and MPO ITS Strategic Plans
    • NDOT and MPO Regional and Statewide ITS Architectures
ITS INFRASTRUCTURE ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART
PROJECT ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Approval ActionReference FULL OVERSIGHTSTATE ADMINISTEREDOther Projects by Mutual Agreement
Regional Architecture Conformity Determination23 CFR 940.11FHWAFHWAFHWA
Systems Engineering Analysis Determination23 CFR 940.11FHWAFHWAFHWA
ITS Standards Determination23 CFR 940.11FHWAFHWAFHWA

NOTE: All ITS projects are Full Oversight.

  1. Special instructions for ITS Projects:

    ITS projects can be stand-alone 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 stand-alone or included basis. Other stewardship and oversight functions (such as environmental determination, right-of-way clearance, etc.) are dependent on project size, system and work type, with no special processing requirements for ITS purposes beyond routine stewardship and oversight.

PROJECT ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART – ITS Integration and Deployment Projects
ITS INTEGRATION AND DEPLOYMENT PROJECT ACTIVITY APPROVAL
PROJECT ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Approval ActionReferenceFULL OVERSIGHTSTATE ADMINISTEREDOther Projects by Mutual Agreement
Case by case determinationInstructions issued annually by Washington Headquarters FHWA and NDOTFHWA and NDOTFHWA and NDOT

Note: All ITS projects are Full Oversight.

J. LOCAL PUBLIC AGENCY PROJECTS

  1. Program Overview

    The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) is responsible for the requirements of the Federal-aid program, whether these requirements stem from Title 23, or other laws and regulations. Since Title 23 USC does not recognize local entities as direct recipients of Federal-aid funds, local agencies cannot take the place of the NDOT in the context of the Federal-aid highway program. Although NDOT cannot delegate responsibility, activities can be delegated and the local entities held accountable to the NDOT. When activities are delegated to local agencies, NDOT will assure local compliance with the requirements of Federal laws. The FHWA will work in partnership with NDOT on these review and assurance actions. The NDOT may, at the request of a local public agency, consider requests to approve the use of local standards plans and specifications and local procedures for projects administered by the local public agency.

    NDOT is permitted under federal regulation 23 CFR 1.11 and 635.105 to delegate certain activities, under its supervision, to local agencies (cities, counties, MPOs, or other state/federal agencies) for projects not located on the NHS. Nevada Revised Statute 408.245 authorizes NDOT to act as agent and to accept federal funds on behalf of local agencies for transportation projects. NDOT and FHWA reserve the right to permit a local public agency to complete a project located on the NHS. If a local public agency is allowed to complete a capacity-type project on the NHS, the local public agency will follow the processes and procedures identified in this agreement for NHS projects. Delegation on the Interstates is highly discouraged and considered only on a case by case basis.

    Non-NHS projects administered through NDOT will be designed, constructed, operated, and maintained in accordance with State or local laws, regulations, directives, safety standards, design standards, and construction standards. Title 23 USC requirements that are applicable to all Federal-aid projects include, but are not limited to, transportation planning, procurement of professional services, Davis-Bacon wage rates, advertising for bids, award of contracts, use of convict-produced materials, and Buy America Act provisions. All delegated projects must comply with applicable Federal requirements.

    An agreement will be executed between NDOT and the local public agency outlining the responsibility of both NDOT and the local public agency. The responsibilities outlined include, but are not limited to:

    • Environmental studies (except environmental approval)
    • Procurement of consultant services
    • Preliminary design
    • Final design
    • Surveying
    • Right-of-Way engineering
    • Right-of-Way appraisal
    • Right-of-Way acquisition
    • Right-of-Way relocation
    • Right-of-Way demolition
    • Work by local forces or utility companies
    • Preparation of plans, specifications and estimates
    • Preparation of bid proposal package
    • Advertisement for letting
    • Contracting
    • Contract administration
    • Inspection

    Under the Local Public Agency (LPA) Program, NDOT delegates the design and environmental study activities, as well as contract administration and inspection to the local public agency. However, FHWA approves all environmental documents since this cannot be delegated as a non-Title 23 action. The local public agency is responsible for making payment to the contractor.

    NDOT will determine if the local public agency is qualified, adequately staffed, and able to administer the project before delegating all or a portion of a project. NDOT will review each request on a case-by-case basis.

    NDOT retains its responsibilities under Federal law and regulations for delegated activities. NDOT will provide the necessary processes, approvals, oversight, and review to ensure delegated projects receive adequate supervision and inspection, and are completed in conformance with approved plans and specifications and applicable federal requirements. As resources allow, NDOT will offer training, advice, or other assistance as may be needed by a local public agency to aid it in successfully completing its Federal-aid project.

    NDOT retains responsibility for the following:

    • NEPA review
    • Design review
    • Design Exception approval
    • Establishing DBE Goals
    • Construction oversight
    • Final Inspection and Acceptance
    • Project Audit
    • Providing Right-of-Way and Environmental Certifications to FHWA
  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

  3. Program Approval Actions

    To the extent permitted in 23 USC 109, non-NHS projects administered through NDOT will follow state or local laws, rules, and standards for state-aid funded projects, in lieu of Title 23 requirements.

    Local public agency Federal-aid projects will comply with the oversight requirements found elsewhere in this agreement, summarized as follows:

    • Projects will be developed in accordance with NDOT or local public agency procedures. Deviations from geometric design standards will be handled as design exceptions in accordance with the procedures.
    • Procurement of consultant services, to be reimbursed with Federal-aid, will be performed in accordance with NDOT procedures or NDOT approved local procedures and State Statutes.
    • Project funding will be in accordance with Federal and State requirements.
    • Projects will be let in accordance with State or local Statutes and Federal regulations.
    • NDOT will enforce compliance with applicable Title 23 USC requirements and all non-Title 23 USC federal regulations such as NEPA, Civil Right (DBE), Davis Bacon Wage Rates, Buy America, right-of-way acquisition laws, and other applicable requirements, as required by state statute and FHWA regulations.
    • Projects will be constructed in accordance with the current edition of NDOT's Standard Specifications, or other adopted local specifications.
  4. Project Approval Action

    • An agreement between the local public agency and Tribal Governments may be developed for each Federal-aid project on or partially on and near a reservation. Terms and conditions of the agreement are included in contract documents (i.e. TERO special provisions, etc.).
    • Environmental clearance must be obtained from FHWA prior to beginning the final design and prior to acquiring right-of-way on all projects requiring a Federal action.
  5. Monitoring

    All Federal-aid highway projects are subject to review at any time by NDOT and/or FHWA. FHWA's primary monitoring method in this program area will be process reviews or program evaluations. The decision to conduct a process review or program evaluation will consider the FHWA Division Office/NDOT risk-assessment process.

    FHWA may select LPA projects for Full Oversight in consultation with NDOT. All ITS projects will be Full Oversight including LPA projects.

  6. Business Standards

    • For Federally funded projects, NDOT will review and when appropriate approve local public agency standards and procedures within 60 working days of a submitted request.
    • NDOT will provide FHWA 10 working days to review and approve project authorizations. See Design Chapter regarding business standards between the NDOT and FHWA.
    • NDOT will consult with FHWA in decisions involving special and unusual circumstances at the earliest reasonable time to ensure thorough and appropriate decisions are made.
  7. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manual

    • NDOT Local Public Agency Manual (pending)
    • NDOT Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction.
    • NDOT Standard Plans for Road and Bridge Construction
    • NDOT Construction Manual
    • NDOT Documentation Manual
    • NDOT Field Sampling and Testing Manual
    • FHWA Contract Administration Core Curriculum Manual
    • NDOT Environmental Manual (pending)
    • NDOT Right-of-Way Manual
    • NDOT Consultant Selection Procedures

* FHWA handles Title VI ADA compliance

LOCAL PUBLIC AGENCY PROJECT ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART
PROJECT ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Approval ActionReference NHS Projects (Capacity)NHS Projects (Non-Capacity)Non-NHS Projects
Design standards, policies and standard specifications, for applications to geometric and structural design23 CFR 625FHWANDOTNDOT
Design exceptions23 CFR 625.3NDOTNDOTNDOT
Value engineering (>$25 million)23 CFR 627NDOTNDOTNDOT
Monitoring Federal-aid highway design projects23 CFR 630NDOTNDOTNDOT
PS&E review and approval / project authorization23 CFR 630.106 & 23 CFR 630.205NDOTNDOTNDOT
Traffic control plans and Work Zone plans23 CFR Subpart F & 23 CFR 630.1010 & Work Zone Final Rule (Sept 9, 2004)NDOTNDOTNDOT
Interstate highway new, revised, or temporary access23 CFR 470 &
23 CFR 710
FHWAFHWAN/A
Non-Interstate highway new, revised, or temporary access23 CFR 470 &
23 CFR 710
NDOTNDOTNDOT
Material or product selection: proprietary products, recycled materials, public interest findings, state furnished materials23 CFR 635.411NDOTNDOTNDOT
Design-build23 CFR 636NDOTNDOTNDOT
Utilities23 CFR 645NDOTNDOTNDOT
Hydraulics design, erosion and sediment control design23 CFR 650.115 & 23 CFR 650.211NDOTNDOTNDOT
Pedestrian and bicycle accommodations and design23 CFR 652.132NDOTNDOTNDOT
ADA criteria and design*23 CFR 652,
28 CFR 35 & 36, 49 CFR 27 & 37
NDOTNDOTNDOT

K. MAINTENANCE

  1. Program Overview

    Title 23 of the United State Code defines maintenance as, "…the preservation of the entire highway, including surface, shoulders, roadsides, structures, and such traffic-control devices as are necessary for safe and efficient utilization of the highway." Title 23 further requires a State transportation department to maintain, or cause to be maintained, each project constructed with Federal-aid funds, until such time that it no longer constitutes a part of the Federal-aid system. It is FHWA's role to see that maintenance of Federal-aid projects is adequate, and to provide technical assistance in disseminating information on successful maintenance techniques.

    For the most part, though maintenance is required by statute, regulation and project agreement for projects on which Federal-aid is spent, common maintenance is not eligible for Federal-aid. Traditional activities considered to be maintenance are snow plowing, vegetation control, pot-hole patching, up-keep of signal and lighting installations, cleaning and up-keep of rest-areas, control of right-of-way encroachment, etc. These types of maintenance activities are considered the obligation of the State or local jurisdiction under State charter. This section of the agreement pertains to the activities and the management of those activities that are required to be accomplished by the NDOT (or caused to be accomplished by the NDOT) to fulfill its obligation under Title 23 without Federal-aid reimbursement.

    Additional activities that are sometimes considered maintenance are sealing pavement joints, spot-repair of bridge coating systems, replacement of damaged highway signs, and pavement patching. While these type activities were at one time universally considered ineligible for Federal-aid, changes in highway legislation since 1991 have made them eligible for Federal-aid under certain conditions within the preventive maintenance program. For more on this special area of maintenance that is eligible for Federal-aid, see Chapter D, Design. Generally these activities should be generated from an established management system.

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

  3. Program Approval Actions

    FHWA approval is not required on a program level for maintenance activities, unless special or unusual circumstances exist.

  4. Project Approval Actions

    FHWA approval is not required on a project-level for maintenance activities unless special or unusual circumstances exist. The maintenance agreement, which is a part of the project agreement, is a project-level action in which the NDOT agrees to maintain, or cause to be maintained, the constructed facility.

  5. Monitoring

    As a condition of receipt of Federal funds, NDOT is required to maintain, or cause to be maintained, the Federally funded roadways and associated appurtenances in the state of Nevada. FHWA will review road and bridge maintenance through a sampling of field observations, process reviews, and program reviews, as necessary. At least one program review will be done on a segment of the NHS annually, while reviews for non-NHS routes will be done on a random or as-needed basis. Any review may include appropriate representatives from local, State, and Federal Agencies or may be conducted solely by FHWA. Any specific instances of inadequate maintenance or concerns regarding NDOT's overall maintenance program will be brought to the attention of NDOT by FHWA.

    • NHS (Including Interstate) MAINTENANCE
      Maintenance of the NHS is monitored through a combination of condition observations, activity evaluations, process reviews, and windshield inspections that are conducted in various NDOT Districts. The level of review is usually determined by the risk-assessment process, i.e. more extensive and detailed reviews are triggered by an indication of increased risk.

    • Non-NHS MAINTENANCE
      Maintenance of the non-NHS system is also monitored through the FHWA NV Division windshield inspections. This monitoring may include any combination of condition observation, activity evaluation, and/or process reviews. An inspection may also be performed on local government Federal-aid routes on a cyclical basis by NDOT and/or FHWA personnel.

    • BRIDGE MAINTENANCE
      A sample of bridges will be reviewed annually by FHWA, for assurance that repair recommendations are being addressed. Special emphasis will be given to bridges that have received critical bridge inspection findings. See Chapter A, Bridges and Structures for more on bridge safety inspections.

    • WINDSHIELD INSPECTIONS
      All FHWA personnel are asked to be observant during the course of official and private travel, reporting any noteworthy items in need of maintenance attention and repair to the NDOT Maintenance Engineer, or District Engineer, as deemed most appropriate.

    • ANNUAL SELECTED ITEMS
      Each year additional specific activities may be selected that support the goals of maintenance in response to national, regional, or local emphasis. This will be included in the FHWA NV Division's Business Plan.

    • SUMMARY
      The Maintenance Monitoring Program activities will be summarized by the FHWA Division maintenance coordinator by the end of the calendar year in the Division's annual report. Findings and observations from the annual report will be input to the annual risk-assessment. The report and risk-assessment results will be used to determine further action including Division Office Business Plan activities.

  6. Business Standard

    • NDOT will involve FHWA in decisions involving special or unusual circumstances at the earliest reasonable time to ensure thorough and appropriate decisions can be made collectively.
    • NDOT is to provide the FHWA Division Maintenance Coordinator any updates to the NDOT Maintenance Management Manual.
  7. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • NDOT Maintenance Management Manual
    • AASHTO Maintenance Manual
    • Guidance only: FHWA Maintenance Review Manual
MAINTENANCE PROGRAM/PROJECT ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART
Interstate *NHS*State Maintained Non-NHS
NDOTNDOTNDOT

* Maintenance activities will be the ultimate responsibility of the NDOT. Assistance with this effort will be given from FHWA through formal and informal reviews.

L. PAVEMENT AND MATERIALS

  1. Program Overview

    Pavement: 23 CFR 626 requires that pavements be designed in accordance with current and predicted traffic needs in a safe, durable and cost-effective manner. The regulations do not specify the procedures to be followed to meet this requirement. The NDOT is expected to use a design procedure that is appropriate for their conditions.

    Materials: Subsection (a) of 23 USC 109 requires that FHWA ensure that the plans and specifications for all proposed Federal-aid highway projects provide for facilities that will adequately serve the existing and planned future traffic in a manner that is conducive to safety, durability, and economy of maintenance. To fulfill this requirement for all Federal-aid highway projects, the FHWA NV Division prime objectives are to:

    • Maintain a close working relationship with NDOT materials and construction staff.
    • Promote improvements when new approaches or technologies are developed and where deficiencies are identified.
    • Ensure that the materials incorporated in the construction work and the construction operations controlled by sampling and testing are in conformity with the approved plans and specifications.

    Furthermore, FHWA is required, by means of an approved quality assurance program, to assure the quality of materials incorporated into Federal-aid highway projects on the National Highway System (NHS). For Federal-aid projects on the NHS, the primary objectives are to:

    • Assure that the materials incorporated in the construction work, and the construction operations controlled by sampling and testing are in conformity with the approved plans and specifications.
    • Provide oversight of construction materials and compliance with Federal requirements on a statewide basis.
    • Assure adequate and qualified staff to maintain NDOT's quality assurance responsibility as part of its Quality Control/Quality Assurance (QC/QA) program.
    • Assure compliance with, and assist in, maintaining the NDOT Transportation Technician Qualification Program
  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

  3. Program Approval Actions

    • The NDOT Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction are approved by FHWA on a program basis to facilitate project approvals.
    • NDOT must develop a quality assurance program that will assure that materials and workmanship incorporated into each Federal-aid highway construction project on the NHS are in conformity with the requirements of the approved plans and specifications. The program must be approved by FHWA.
  4. Project Approval Actions

    • FHWA will approve changes in project specifications for materials for Full Oversight projects.
    • FHWA will approve QC/QA plans for Full Oversight NHS projects.
  5. Monitoring

    • FHWA will monitor NDOT's QC/QA Program through construction inspections on NHS full oversight projects.
    • FHWA will monitor the acceptance and testing of materials in accordance with NDOT's Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction and the NDOT Field Sampling and Testing Manual on all Federal-aid projects through process reviews.
  6. Business Standards

    • NDOT will provide 10 working days for FHWA to review and respond to Special Provisions revisions, project materials specifications, and QC/QA plans for Full Oversight projects.
    • NDOT will provide 30 working days for FHWA to review and respond to substantive changes in its QC/QA Program.
    • Time to review and approve a complete revision of the Standard Specifications will be negotiated prior to the activity.
    • See QC/QA Program Summary Table for more business standard detail.
  7. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • NDOT Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction
    • NDOT Field Sampling and Testing Manual
    • NDOT Transportation Technician Qualification Program Manual
    • NDOT Project Design Development Manual
    • NDOT Right-of-Way Manual
    • AASHTO Pavement Design Guide
    • FHWA Contract Administration Core Curriculum Manual
Quality Control/Quality Assurance Program Summary Table
Activity/ItemNHSNon-NHS
NDOT ActionFHWA ActionNDOT ActionFHWA Action
Quality Control/Quality Assurance Program
Materials test methods and updates, Field Sampling and Testing Manual
Maintain (on going)Review and Act Upon(10 Working Days)NDOT prepares and approvesNo action
Transportation Technician Qualification ProgramDevelop and implementReview and Act Upon when updated (10 Working Days) Required by NDOTNo action
Qualified Laboratory ProgramDevelop and implementReview and Act Upon when updated (10 Working Days) Required by NDOTNo action
AASHTO accreditation inspection reports, use of outside testing facilityMaintain accreditation, submit inspection report, approve outside testing facilityReview, make recommendations for consideration (as necessary) Required by NDOTNo action
Nevada Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction (Supplemental Issues)Maintain (on going)Review and Act Upon
(10 Working Days)
Required by NDOTNo action

M. PLANNING

  1. Program Overview

    1. Work Programs

      Title 23 CFR 420, Planning and Research Program Administration contains the policies and procedures for administering activities and studies undertaken by States and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) funded through their respective Work Program or as separate projects not included in a Work Program.

      Statewide Planning and Research (SPR) Work Program

      NDOT prepares the Work Program annually. FHWA provides pre-program guidance, draft review comments, if any, approves the Work Program, and authorizes SPR funds. FHWA monitors the work throughout the year using day-to-day involvement as appropriate. NDOT submits quarterly Accomplishments and Expenditure Reports to FHWA.

      MPO's Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP)

      The UPWP is prepared annually by each MPO and reviewed by Nevada DOT, FHWA and Federal Transit Administration (FTA). FHWA and FTA comments are provided to the MPO jointly with NDOT's. FHWA authorizes Urban Transportation Planning Funds, upon joint FHWA/FTA approval of the UPWP's. These funds are traditionally referred to as "PL" funds. Nevada DOT and FHWA monitor the Work Program through monthly status and expenditure reports, and by participation in MPO meetings.

    2. Statewide Transportation Planning

      Title 23 CFR 450, Subpart B, addresses the requirements of the statewide transportation planning process.

      Statewide Long-range Transportation Planning

      Nevada DOT develops a Statewide Long-range Transportation Plan which considers all modes of transportation. The Plan covers at least a 20-year planning horizon (20-years into the future), considers the planning factors as outlined in the CFR, and provides an opportunity for public involvement.

      Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)

      NDOT develops a STIP containing all projects to be funded by FHWA and FTA for a four-year period. The STIP is updated annually by NDOT, and submitted to FHWA and FTA for approval. Projects contained in the STIP must be consistent with the Statewide Transportation Plan and the MPO TIPs, and must include public involvement and provide interested parties a reasonable opportunity to comment on the proposed program. Along with the STIP, NDOT will certify that the projects in the STIP are based on a planning process that meets the requirements of23 USC 134 and 135, 49 USC 5303, and 23 CFR 450.

    3. Metropolitan Transportation Planning

      MPO Long-range Transportation Plan

      Title 23 CFR 450, Subpart C, addresses metropolitan planning requirements. Each MPO must update the Long-range Transportation Plan (LRTP) every 4 years (air quality non-attainment or maintenance areas) or 5 years (air quality attainment areas). The LRTP must: cover at least a 20-year planning horizon, include long-range and short-range strategies that lead to an integrated intermodal plan; include a financial plan that compares estimated revenues with costs of construction, maintenance, capital purchases and operations; consider the planning factors, and provide an opportunity for public participation.

      MPO Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

      Each MPO, in cooperation with the State and its public transit operators will prepare and update a TIP each year covering at least four (4) years. The TIP shall include all projects requiring FHWA and FTA approval; include a priority list of projects to be carried out in the first four (4) years; identify each project or phase; and be financially constrained. The TIP development process must provide a reasonable opportunity for public comment. Highway and transit projects must be selected in accordance with the specific funding programs.

    4. Traffic Monitoring

      Title 23 CFR 500, Subpart B provides the regulatory guidance for the development and operation of a traffic monitoring system for highways including traffic counting, vehicle classification, and weigh-in-motion programs. The system is guided by the "AASHTO Guidelines for Traffic Data Programs," augmented by FHWA's "Traffic Monitoring Guide" and the "Highway Performance Monitoring System Field Manual".

    5. Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS)

      Title 23 CFR 420 addresses the policy for states to provide data that support FHWA's responsibilities to the Congress and to the public. The "Highway Performance Monitoring System Field Manual" provides instructions for collecting and reporting quality and timely data in the condition and performance of the highways and streets.

    6. Highway Statistics Reports

      Title 23 CFR 420 addresses the policy for states to provide data that supports FHWA's responsibilities to the Congress and to the public. The "Guide to Reporting Highway Statistics" manual provides instructions for compiling and reporting: motor-fuel consumption, motor-fuel tax revenues, motor-vehicle registrations and fees, driver licenses and fees, highway income and expenditures, debt service, and highway capital outlay and maintenance expenditures which traditionally is referred to as the "500 series reports".

    7. Certification of Public Road Mileage

      Title 23 CFR 460 addresses the policies and procedures for identifying and reporting public road mileage for utilization in the statutory formula for the apportionment of Highway Safety funds under 23 USC 402(c). By June 1 of each year, the Governor or NDOT Director certifies the public road mileage in the state as of the end of the previous calendar year. In Nevada, the NDOT Director has been selected as the Governor's designee.

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Procedures

    23 CFR 420
    23 CFR 450, Subpart B
    23 CFR 450, Subpart C
    23 CFR 460
    23 CFR 470
    23 CFR 500, Subpart B
    23 CFR 652 Pedestrian and Bicycle Accommodations

  3. Program Approval Actions

    FHWA approval is on a yearly basis for all the programs listed above, and where noted on the following chart. As a condition for receipt of federal funds, NDOT agrees to develop plans and work programs for statewide, metropolitan, and other transportation planning activities. FHWA will review these plans and programs to assure they meet applicable laws and regulations.

    Programs requiring oversight include:

    1. State and metropolitan planning sub-programs under the State Planning and Research Program (SPR).
    2. Statewide transportation planning process, including the Statewide Transportation Plan and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
    3. Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) transportation planning process.

    NDOT must also submit other planning related reports to FHWA. The reports include information on public road mileage for apportionment of highway safety funds; information collected from the Highway Performance Monitoring System; and information relating to the identification of Federal-aid highways, the functional classification of roads and streets, the designation of urban area boundaries, and the designation of routes on the Federal-aid highway systems.

    FHWA will serve on the MPOs Technical Advisory Committees as an advisor and not as a voting member. Through FHWA/NDOT's involvement with the MPOs, both agencies will continue to stress the importance of the public participation process and will assist in applying appropriate levels of environmental consideration during the planning process to result in a more feasible, efficient, and acceptable transportation planning product.
    Many planning approval actions are done jointly by FHWA and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). All formal requests for action by NDOT (except for transit-only issues) will go through FHWA.

  4. Project Approval Action

    Tasks not originally included in an approved work program, or modifications require an amendment to the appropriate planning document.

  5. Monitoring

    NDOT will monitor all SPR activities, including those of sub-recipients (local governments including county, municipalities, etc.) to assure the work is being managed and performed satisfactorily and that time schedules are being met. NDOT will submit a report annually to FHWA documenting the results of its monitoring process.

    NDOT will periodically review its long-range transportation plan, to assure it still meets the goals and objectives in the plan and is compliant with Federal planning requirements. If necessary, the NDOT will update or rewrite the long-range transportation plan.

    FHWA and NDOT periodically monitor MPO plans and activities to ensure they are in conformance with all applicable federal and state guidelines.

  6. Business Standards

    NDOT will provide FHWA at least 30 calendar days to review and comment on the draft and final Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), Metropolitan TIPs, State Planning and Research (SPR) Work Program, the MPO UPWPs and the Statewide and Metropolitan Long-range Transportation Plans.

    NDOT will involve FHWA in decisions involving special and unusual circumstances at the earliest reasonable time to ensure thorough and appropriate decisions can be made collectively.

  7. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manual

    At least every two years, the NDOT is required to submit to FHWA and FTA, for joint approval, a Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The NDOT has decided to update the STIP annually, and submit for approval to FHWA and FTA. Amendments and modifications will be done on an as-needed basis.

    NDOT and the MPOs shall annually certify to FHWA that the planning process is addressing the major issues facing the area and is being conducted in accordance with all applicable requirements.

PLANNING PROGRAM APPROVAL CHART
PROGRAM ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Approval ActionReferenceReviewApproveRemarks
20-YR Statewide Transportation Plan23 CFR 450.214FHWANDOTFHWA reviews and comments on LRTP to determine compliance with Federal requirements. No official approval action is taken.
Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)23 CFR 450.216FHWAFHWA/FTAMinimum 4 year period; update required every 2 years, but NDOT traditionally updates annually. FHWA also reviews the STIP to determine that it contains projects consistent with a compliant statewide plan.
State Planning & Research (SPR) Work Program23 CFR 420.111FHWAFHWANDOT annually develops work program.  
Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) Annual Data Submittal from State and Field Verification Review and Report23 USC 307 (h)FHWANoneFHWA annually conducts field verification review. Based on this review, FHWA recommends to FHWA HQ accepting the HPMS data for funding apportionment and allocation purposes.
Certification of Public Road Mileage23 CFR 460FHWAFHWA HQDue by June 1st of each year. The Governor has delegated the certification authority to NDOT Director.
Highway Statistics: 500 Series Reports23 CFR 420.105FHWANoneNDOT is required to submit several Highway Statistics forms periodically.
Traffic volume Monthly Automated Traffic Recorder Data23 CFR 1.5FHWA HQNoneNDOT submits required ATR data reports directly to FHWA HQ.
Annual Truck Weight Characteristics Data23 CFR 1.5FHWA HQNoneNDOT annually submits required data directly to FHWA HQ.
Metropolitan 20-Year Long-range Transportation Plan (LRTP)23 CFR 450.322FHWA & NDOTMPOFHWA/FTA & NDOT review and comment on Metropolitan LRTPs but do not approve. However FHWA/FTA must make an air quality conformity determination.
Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)23 CFR 450.324FHWA & NDOTNDOTMinimum 4 year period; updated at least every 2 years. FHWA reviews and comments on TIPs. All TIPs are developed by the MPO, and included in the STIP by reference which is approved by FHWA.
Metropolitan Unified Planning Work Program23 CFR 450.314FHWA/FTAFHWA/FTAMPOs annually develop and submit work program by MPO. FHWA/FTA & NDOT review and comment on UPWPs from each MPO.
Vehicle (Truck) Size and Weight Enforcement Certification23 CFR 657FHWAFHWANDOT is responsible for enforcing vehicle size and weight laws. NDOT is required to develop a plan for maintaining an effective enforcement process. Plan is approved by FHWA and serves as a basis for the annual State certification of enforcement.
Air Quality Conformity Determination23 CFR 450.330NDOTFHWA/FTAEach transportation plan and TIP in non-attainment areas
Functional Classification23 CFR 470NDOTFHWANDOT cooperates with local officials

NOTE: The MPOs submit all plan and program documents to NDOT. The NDOT will formally transmit all documents to FHWA with a recommendation for action.

N. RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, AND TECHNOLOGY

  1. Program Overview

    The purpose of the program is to implement the provisions of 23 USC 504 and 505 for research, development, technology transfer, programs, and studies undertaken with FHWA planning and research funds.

    1. State Planning and Research (SPR) Program

      The main requirements under 23 CFR 420 are to create a SPR Work Program, monitor planning and research activities, submit performance and expenditure reports, conduct peer exchanges, develop and maintain an FHWA approved research and development management process, and maintain program certification.

      The SPR Work Program consists of two parts: (1) Part I, Planning, and (2) Part II, Research. NDOT is responsible for preparation and overall coordination of the Work Program in accordance with 23 CFR 420. The SPR Program operates on a Federal fiscal year basis, with program approval every year. Amendments and revisions are submitted by NDOT to FHWA for approval, as required.

    2. Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP)

      The LTAP was created to provide educational training, technical assistance and related support services for rural, small urban, tribal governments, consultants and contractors that do work for local agencies on roads, bridges, and public transportation. The LTAP program is regulated under 23 USC 504(b). The University of Nevada Reno (UNR), Civil Engineering Department was established as the Nevada LTAP Center.

      The LTAP Center Advisory Committee determines the direction for the Nevada LTAP program. The Committee, consisting of federal, state and local government officials and other interested representatives, typically meets once a year. The Advisory Committee reviews program progress and provides direction on program needs and strategies.

      UNR coordinates with NDOT and the FHWA to draft an LTAP Work Plan based on a calendar year. NDOT and FHWA review a draft LTAP Work Plan. Comments from both parties are incorporated into the draft and the final version is approved by FHWA.

  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Procedures

    • 23 CFR 420 and 450 - State Planning and Research Program Administration
    • NDOT Research Manual
  3. Program Approval Actions

    • The NDOT will administer the research program in accordance with the NDOT State Research, Development and Technology Transfer Program Manual, which has been reviewed and approved by the Division Office. Significant changes to this manual shall be submitted to the FHWA Division Office for approval.
    • The research work program is submitted to the Division Office as Part II of the NDOT's Planning and Research Work Program. The NDOT's research work program shall meet the requirements of 23 CFR 420.
  4. Project Approval Action

    • NDOT will identify and implement research projects that address high priority transportation issues.
    • An interactive process involving NDOT management and Research Advisory Committee (RAC) members as described in the NDOT State Research, Development, and Technology Transfer Program Manual shall be used to identify and prioritize projects to be included in the research work program.
    • The NDOT shall determine the funding level at which the identified and prioritized projects will be supported with FHWA research funds.
    • For each research project, NDOT will establish a technical panel to guide the project. FHWA will provide a member of this panel. This may include pooled fund research studies.
    • The LTAP project is funded annually on the basis of an annual work plan approved by the Division Office, based on funds allocated to NDOT.
  5. Monitoring

    • NDOT will submit, quarterly, to the FHWA Division Office performance and expenditure reports that meet the requirements of 23 CFR 420.117.
    • NDOT will periodically host a peer exchange, and report their findings to the FHWA Division Office in accordance with 23 CFR 420.209.
    • FHWA participates in the NDOT RAC process which reviews research program progress and provides recommendations on program priorities and projects.
    • FHWA provides oversight to the LTAP project through review of the annual work plan and work plan amendments and participation in the LTAP Advisory Committee and LTAP peer exchanges.
  6. Business Standards

    • NDOT will provide FHWA at least 30 calendar days to review and comment on the draft and final State Planning and Research (SPR) Work Program.
    • NDOT will involve FHWA in decisions involving special and unusual circumstances at the earliest reasonable time to ensure thorough and appropriate decisions can be made collectively.
    • NDOT, in cooperation with the LTAP Center, will provide FHWA at least 30 calendar days to review and approve the LTAP annual work plan.
    • The FHWA exercises its oversight responsibilities over the SPR through review of the annual program prior to approval actions, review of SPR Work Program amendments prior to approval, and ongoing participation of its technical specialists in study technical panels. As appropriate, FHWA personnel may participate in peer exchanges.
  7. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manual

    • NDOT State Research, Development, and Technology Transfer Program Manual
RESEARCH PROGRAM APPROVAL CHART
ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Approval ActionReferenceReviewApproveRemarks
State Planning & Research (SPR) Work Program Part II23 CFR 420 FHWAFHWAAnnually developed work program
LTAP23 USC 504 (b)(1) and (2)FHWAFHWAAnnually developed work plan
Research Manual23 CFR 420FHWAFHWAAs needed

O. RIGHT-OF-WAY

  1. Program Overview

    The purpose of this section is to address the right-of-way (ROW) functional areas of engineering, appraisal, acquisition, relocation, and property management. These are the principal activities performed in the acquisition of properties needed for highway improvements. These right-of-way activities are covered under 49 CFR 24, which has no provision for delegations under 23 USC 106. Therefore, the rules of 49 and 23 CFR apply when Federal-aid is used to fund the right-of-way activity, and/or if Federal-aid is used to fund the construction of a project for which right of way was not funded with Federal-aid.

    The work activities listed below are covered under 23 CFR, and require specific approval and/or oversight by FHWA:

    • ROW certification
    • NDOT Right-of-Way Manual
    • ROW authorization
    • Air rights on the Interstate
    • Airspace leases/joint use agreements/licenses/consents to common use
    • Disposal of excess ROW
    • Early acquisition, protective buying, hardship, and corridor preservation
    • Functional replacement
    • Highway beautification
    • Junkyard control
    • Property management
    • Occupancy permits (Interstate only)
    • Utility adjustment/relocation
    • Material sites certification

    The work activities listed below are covered in 23 CFR, and do not require specific program or project approvals, except for full oversight projects.

    • Direct eligible costs including administrative and court settlements.
    • Real property donations
  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

    • 49 CFR 24, Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition for Federal and Federally Assisted Programs
    • 49 CFR 18, Uniform Administrative Requirement for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments
    • 23 CFR 620, Subpart B, Relinquishment of Highway Facilities
    • 23 CFR 635.309, Right-of-Way Certification
    • 23 CFR 710, Right-of-Way and Real Estate
    • 23 CFR 750, Highway Beautification
    • 23 CFR 751, Junkyard Control and Acquisition
    • Nevada Revised Statues
    • Nevada Administrative Code
  3. Program Approval Actions

    The NDOT Right-of-Way Manual is a program approval action by FHWA required by 23 CFR 710.

  4. Project Approval Actions

    FHWA project-level approval actions include authorization of federally aided right-of-way activities, early acquisition approval, protective buying, hardship acquisitions, acceptance of project right-of-way certifications, etc. See the Project Activity Approval Chart for more detail.

  5. Monitoring

    • Even though there are no delegations under the law for any functions covered in 49 CFR 24, for practical purposes, there are two levels of review of those elements. One level depends on whether the project involves ROW acquisition, and has Federal-aid in the ROW project phases. Although the ROW regulations must be followed in each instance, the decision on the value of just compensation will be the responsibility of NDOT.
    • For the second level of projects, there is a dual concern for the rights of property owners and displaced persons, and the stewardship of the federal dollars. Continuous review of the State's activities will assist in assuring that the rights of owners and displaced persons are protected, as well as monitoring the expenditure of federal funds.
    • Local Public Agencies (LPAs), i.e., cities and counties, are required to comply with the Uniform Act and its governing regulations found in 49 CFR 24 in the same manner as NDOT. As stipulated in 23 CFR 710, NDOT is responsible for assuring that ROW acquisitions by local public agencies are made in compliance with the NDOT Right-of-Way Manual, Federal and State laws and regulations.
    • FHWA is responsible for in-depth reviews of NDOT's program for appraisal, acquisition, and relocation. Review of the ROW activities will be conducted through periodic joint FHWA/NDOT process reviews, peer reviews and/or spot-checking reviews accomplished jointly by FHWA ROW personnel and NDOT, as determined through a risk-assessment process. The purpose of the reviews is to assist in complying with State and Federal requirements, and to assure adequacy of program oversight and accountability of public resources. State and local public agency right-of-way program activity, as well as the NDOT's oversight of local public agency ROW activity, is subject to review at any time.
    • Review and technical assistance in the Highway Beautification program are also provided by FHWA.
    • Right-of-Way Manual
      • NDOT is responsible for full compliance with FHWA requirements.
      • Future changes to a manual, because of new FHWA requirements or changes in State law, etc., will be submitted to FHWA for approval within 60 working days.
      • Administrative changes to the Right of Way Manual will be transmitted to FHWA for informational purposes within 20 working days of the change.
      • In accordance with 23 CFR 710, NDOT shall certify to the FHWA every five years that the Right-of-Way Manual is current and in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.
  6. Business Standards

RIGHT-OF-WAY BUSINESS STANDARDS
Work ActivityNDOT ActionFHWA ActionResult
AppraisalsReview, Certification, and Approval – All ProjectsOversight – All Projects
(10 working days)
Appraisal Reports
EngineeringPrepare, Review and Approve – All ProjectsOversight – All Projects
(10 working days)
ROW Plans and Legal Descriptions
AcquisitionsPerformance and Approval – All ProjectsOversight – All Projects
(10 working days)
Property Ownership/Title, Easements
RelocationsPerformance and Approval – All ProjectsOversight – All Projects
(10 working days)
Relocations
ROW Authorizations and Project AgreementsPrepare – All ProjectsApprove – Full Oversight Projects (10 working days)Authorization & Project Agreements
ROW CertificationApprove Non-NHS & NHS <$3 millionApprove Interstate & NHS >$3 million (10 working days)Certificates
Functional ReplacementApproval and OversightConcur (10 working days)Functional Replacement of Real Property
Air Rights – InterstateRequestReview and Approve (10 working days)Airspace Agreement
Airspace Leases/Joint Use Agreements/Licenses/Consent to Common UseApprove & Oversight Non-InterstateApprove – Interstate (10 working days)Leases/Agreements
/Licenses
Disposal of Excess ROWApprove Non-InterstateReview and Approve Interstate & Less than Fair Market ValueProperty Sale & Revenue to Highway Fund
Federal Land TransferPrepare RequestReview and approve (10 working days)Transfer Deeds
Early Acquisition, Hardship, Protective Buying, Corridor PreservationPrepare SubmissionReview, Approve, and Authorize (10 working days)Property Ownership
ROW Operations ManualPrepare and Certify ManualReview and Approve (60 calendar days)Manual
Highway BeautificationPrepare RequestReview and Approve (10 working days)Manual
Administrative, Legal, and Court AwardsApproveStewardship & OversightProperty Acquisition
Access Control – Disposal and ChangesRequest or approve as per NDOT PolicyReview and Approve all on Interstate (20 working days) *Disposition/Change
Early Acquisition CostApproveConcur (10 working days)Reimbursement/Matching Credit
Utility Adjustments/RelocationsReview and approve applicationApproval of Interstate Requests (10 working days)Occupancy Permits/ Agreements

*FHWA will need 30 working days for new interchange requests.

  1. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • NDOT ROW Manual
    • NDOT Local Public Agency Manual (pending)
    • Accommodation of Utilities on State Highway Right-of-Way – Policies and Procedures
    • Utility Relocations, Adjustments, and Reimbursement – Policies and Procedures
    • NDOT Access Management System and Standards
ROW PROJECT ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART
PROJECT ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Approval ActionReferenceFULL OVERSIGHTSTATE ADMINISTEREDOther Projects by Mutual Agreement
Appraisals 49 CFR 24 NDOTNDOTNDOT
Acquisitions23 CFR 710 NDOTNDOTNDOT
Relocations49 CFR 24 NDOTNDOTNDOT
ROW Authorizations and Agreements23 CFR 710 FHWANDOTNDOT
ROW Certification23 CFR 710, 23 CFR 635FHWANDOTFHWA
Functional Replacement (Federal Funds in ROW)23 CFR 710FHWAFHWAFHWA
Air Rights – Interstate23 CFR 710FHWAN/AFHWA
Airspace Leases/Joint Use Agreements/Licenses/Consent to Common Use23 CFR 710FHWANDOTFHWA
Disposal of Excess ROW23 CFR 620, 23 CFR 710FHWANDOTNDOT
Federal Land Transfer 23 CFR 710FHWAFHWAFHWA
Early Acquisition, Hardship, Protective Buying, Corridor Preservation23 CFR 710FHWAFHWAFHWA
Administrative Legal, and Court Awards23 CFR 710FHWANDOTNDOT
Access Control – Disposal and Changes23 CFR 620, 23 CFR 710FHWANDOTFHWA

P. SAFETY

  1. Program Overview
    1. Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP)

      Special funds are set aside for purposes of hazard elimination, high-risk rural road mitigations and rail-highway crossing safety. NDOT performs HSIP components of Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation to accomplish requirements of the program. These components involve: identification of high-crash locations, identification of high-risk rural road locations, developing an annual program to address the locations, and an annual report on progress and effectiveness. FHWA is involved in all four components, both formally and through informal technical assistance.

      A major component of the HSIP is the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). The SHSP is a statewide coordinated safety plan that provides a comprehensive framework for reducing highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. The SHSP should be evaluated on a regular basis.

    2. 402 Highway Safety Program (Administered by the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety)

    3. Other Safety Activities

      FHWA provides general technical support to NDOT in the following safety-related areas:

      • Participates as a member of the NDOT Traffic Control Review Team that is responsible for assessing work zone traffic control practices and safety, as well as new traffic and safety-related technology and devices.
      • Participates as a team member in NDOT-led task forces and teams that are formed as needed to address perceived needs or problems.
      • Provides technical support in handling of special program areas such as the annual Section 159 certification and the Section 163 safety incentive program.
  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

  3. Program Approval Actions

    • 23 USC 130 and 152: NDOT will submit for FHWA approval a project development process, a program of projects and program evaluation report under the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), including Hazard Elimination Projects, High-risk Rural Roads and Rail Crossing Improvement Projects.
    • 23 USC 148: NDOT will submit for FHWA approval a project development process, a program of projects, and an evaluation report under the HSIP. The HSIP annual report shall describe the progress being made to implement safety projects, assessment of the effectiveness, and the contribution of these projects in meeting established safety goals. The report shall include the progress and effectiveness of the "High Risk Rural Roads" set-aside program and the "5% Report," describing at least 5% of the locations with the most severe safety needs.
    • 23 USC 159: NDOT will submit an annual certification to FHWA indicating either opposition to or enactment/enforcement of a law requiring the revocation or suspension of drivers' licenses of individuals convicted of drug offenses.
    • 23 USC 163: NDOT must notify annually FHWA and NHTSA of the intended use of the Section 163 incentive funds.
    • 23 USC 402: FHWA will coordinate with NHTSA on program based Federal actions necessary under the Section 402 Program.
  4. Project Approval Actions
    • FHWA will verify that projects are in the current HSIP, and approve project agreements, modified project agreements and final vouchers on all Section 130 and 152 projects.
    • If requested, FHWA will collaborate with NHTSA on any project-level action required for Section 402 projects.
  5. Monitoring

    • FHWA may conduct inspections, including finals, on a statewide sampling basis, through annual reviews.
    • FHWA will provide ongoing technical assistance in the planning, implementation, and evaluation components of the HSIP, will include the safety program as an area of routine risk-assessment evaluations, and will work cooperatively with NDOT to use process review techniques to assess and improve procedures.
    • FHWA will support NHTSA in monitoring Section 402 Program activities by participating in periodic management reviews conducted by NHTSA and by working cooperatively with NDOT.
  6. Business Standards

    • FHWA will review for approval changes to the Implementation Process for the Highway Safety Improvement Program within 30 calendar days of request.
    • NDOT will allow FHWA 10 working days, from receipt date, to accomplish any actions pertaining to the annual HSIP as prescribed in the Implementation Process for the HSIP.
    • NDOT will provide FHWA informational copies of updates to the NDOT Traffic Safety Program/Procedures Manual within 30 calendar days of adoption.
  7. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • NDOT Implementation Process for the Highway Safety Improvement Program, as approved by FHWA. (Any revisions or modifications will be submitted to FHWA for approval.)
    • NDOT Safety Procedural Manual
    • NDOT Local Public Agency Manual (pending)
    • NDOT Project Design Development Manual as amended
    • Nevada Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP)
SAFETY PROJECT ACTIVITY APPROVAL CHART
PROJECT ACTIVITIESAGENCY RESPONSIBLE
Approval ActionReferenceFULL OVERSIGHTSTATE ADMINISTEREDOther Projects by Mutual Agreement
ROW Clearance Certification23 CFR 635.309FHWANDOTFHWA
Contract Changes & Extra Work23 CFR 635.120FHWANDOTFHWA/NDOT
Environmental Determination*23 CFR 771FHWANDOTFHWA/NDOT
Obligation of Funds23 USC 106 FHWAFHWAFHWA
Final Construction Inspection23 USC 106 FHWANDOTFHWA
Final Voucher23 USC 106 FHWAFHWAFHWA
State Strategic Highway Safety Plan23 USC 148FHWA/NDOTFHWA/NDOTFHWA/NDOT

* Except for Programmatic Categorical Exclusion

Q. TRAFFIC OPERATIONS

  1. Program Overview

    Traffic Operations is a cross-cutting program area that touches many aspects of the highway program. Traffic operations contribute heavily to project development, through engineering analysis of vehicle and pedestrian movement needed to produce sound project-level decisions affecting safe and efficient highway operations. It is also an area that contributes heavily to the operations and physical maintenance of highway facilities by providing techniques, procedures, management practices/systems and inventory tools.

    Examples of traffic operations studies and analyses that are inherent to project development include:

    • Traffic signal warranting and operational studies
    • Capacity, traffic operations and geometric analysis
    • Lighting studies
    • Pedestrian and bicycle facility studies (including ADA analysis)
    • Crash analysis and countermeasure development

    Examples of traffic operations areas contributing to operations and maintenance of highways include:

    • Device (such as signs, signal systems, pavement marking, etc.) and system inventory/management
    • Incident management systems
    • Construction and maintenance work zone operations
    • Traffic signal timing and operation
    • Monitoring and surveillance of conditions and operations
  2. Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Orders

  3. Program Approval Actions

    NDOT, in cooperation with FHWA, will monitor, review and implement policies, guides and standards issued by organizations that provide the key technical documents that support the Traffic Operations program area. NDOT will keep FHWA informed of the status of adoption of key technical documents such as the MUTCD and any locally developed interpretations or applications of policies, standards and guidance.

  4. Project Approval Actions

    FHWA works with NDOT to determine appropriate application and use of the tools that are available. FHWA also provides technical support in interpreting and applying available tools and in having access to the state of the practice information that allows timely advancement and innovation in traffic operations.

    Individual studies performed in support of project decision-making are the responsibility and prerogative of NDOT, with no specific FHWA approval actions required, except in the case of freeway interchange addition or modification. NDOT agrees to use approved traffic demand models and the NDOT "Traffic Monitoring System" as the basis for project traffic decision-making.

    FHWA's specific approval of traffic operations elements of project development will occur coincident with environmental approvals, when the traffic operations studies are supporting alternative selection decisions.

    FHWA's specific approval of traffic operations elements of project plans will be approved coincident with PS&E approval, dependent on the project's delegation status.

    FHWA's approval of traffic analyses that support interchange/access modification will be approved coincident to the interchange/access modification.

  5. Monitoring

    • FHWA will conduct routine project and final inspections of traffic operations aspects on new/reconstruction Interstate projects. For all other Federal NHS and non-NHS projects, FHWA may conduct inspections, including finals, on a statewide sampling basis.
    • FHWA will conduct routine evaluation of the maintenance of Federal-aid projects to assure traffic operations components are being adequately maintained.
    • FHWA will provide ongoing technical assistance in the area of traffic operations, will include this area in routine risk-assessments, and will work cooperatively with NDOT to use process reviews to assess and improve operations and procedures.
  6. Business Standards

    • NDOT will notify FHWA of adoption or significant locally produced application of regulatory provisions including the MUTCD, AASHTO Policy and Work Zone Safety and Mobility Regulations within 30 calendar days of adoption.
    • FHWA will follow prescribed processing requirements for individual project actions related to Traffic Operations as defined in this stewardship agreement.
    • NDOT will fully involve FHWA in all aspects of Interstate interchange addition or change studies and proposals.
  7. Approved Procedures/Agreements/Manuals

    • NDOT Project Design Development Manual as amended
    • NDOT Local Public Agency Manual (pending)
    • ITS Regional Architectures and Strategic Plans
    • NDOT Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction
    • NDOT Standard Plans for Road and Bridge Construction
    • NDOT Maintenance Manual as amended
    • NDOT Construction Manual
    • NDOT Special Provisions
    • Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)
    • NDOT Access Management System and Standards
    • NDOT Qualified Product List (QPL)
TRAFFIC OPERATIONS PROJECT ACTIVITIES
Studies and Analyses
Approval ActionReferenceInterstate ProjectsNHS ProjectsNon-NHS ProjectsOther Projects by Mutual Agreement
Traffic Signal Study23 CFR 625NDOTNDOTNDOTJOINT
Capacity, Traffic and Geometric Study23 CFR 625NDOTNDOTNDOTJOINT
Lighting Study23 CFR 625NDOTNDOTNDOTJOINT
Pedestrian and Bicycle Facility Study23 CFR 625 and 652NDOTNDOTNDOTJOINT
Crash and Countermeasure Analysis23 CFR 625NDOTNDOTNDOTJOINT
Signing Study23 CFR 625NDOTNDOTNDOTJOINT
Pavement Marking Study23 CFR 625NDOTNDOTNDOTJOINT
Speed Study23 CFR 625NDOTNDOTNDOTJOINT
Interstate System Access Revision23 CFR 470 &
23 CFR 710 & 23 CFR 625
FHWAFHWAN/AJOINT
Non-Interstate Access Control23 CFR 470 &
23 CFR 710 & 23 CFR 625
N/ANDOTNDOTJOINT
MUTCD Implementation and Compliance23 CFR 655NDOTNDOTNDOTJOINT
Highway- Rail Grade Crossing Study23 CFR 646FHWAFHWANDOTJOINT
Parking Facility Study23 CFR 625NDOTNDOTNDOTJOINT
TRAFFIC OPERATIONS PROJECT ACTIVITIES
Physical Operations
Approval ActionReference DocumentInterstate ProjectsNHS ProjectsNon-NHS ProjectsOther Projects by Mutual Agreement
Device Maintenance23 CFR 1.27NDOTNDOTNDOTFHWA
Device and System Inventory and Management23 CFR 1.27NDOTNDOTNDOTFHWA
Traveler Information Systems23 CFR 1.27FHWAFHWANDOTJOINT
Incident Management Systems23 CFR 1.27FHWAFHWANDOTJOINT
Construction and Maintenance Work Zone Operations23 CFR 630NDOTNDOTNDOTJOINT
Traffic Signal Timing and Operation23 CFR 1.27NDOTNDOTNDOTJOINT
Monitoring and Surveillance of Conditions and Operations23 CFR 1.27NDOTNDOTNDOTJOINT

4. DECISION DISPUTE RESOLUTION

While most requests by the NDOT for Federal approval result in a positive response within the anticipated turn-around time, there are occasions when the agencies will disagree. This section of the Stewardship Agreement provides a template for escalating issues that have reached impasse at the normal operational level.

It is expected that nearly all issues should be resolved between FHWA's program specialists and the NDOT representative who has submitted the request within the business operation time frames denoted in this Stewardship Agreement.

When the above operational level cannot reach agreement, it is expected that negotiations will continue, but with the involvement of NDOT's Division chiefs and/or District Engineers.

When the FHWA program specialist and NDOT Division/District level cannot reach agreement, it is expected that the FHWA Team Leader will become involved on behalf of FHWA, while the NDOT will involve the appropriate Assistant Director.

If these levels are unable to resolve the issue, FHWA's Assistant Division Administrator and NDOT's Deputy Director(s) will seek resolution.

Should none of the above negotiations result in a satisfactory resolution, the FHWA Division Administrator and the NDOT Director will determine the final outcome.

Since time is nearly always an important factor, escalation to the next level should be accomplished by the respective units, as soon as it has been determined that the issue cannot be resolved at the level at which a question or issue is at impasse.

5. ACRONYMS

AA/EEOAffirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity
AASHTOAmerican Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials
ADAAmericans with Disabilities Act
ANSIAmerican National Standards Institute
AREMAAmerican Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association
CECategorical Exclusion
Dayscalendar vs. working
DBEDisadvantaged Business Enterprise
EAEnvironmental Assessment
EISEnvironmental Impact Statement
FAPGFederal Aid Program Guide
FONSIFinding of No Significant Impact
HBPHighway Bridge Program
HSIPHighway Safety Improvement Program
ITSIntelligent Transportation Systems
LPALocal Public Agency
LRFDLoad & Resistant Factor Design
LRTPLong-range Transportation Plan
MPOMetropolitan Planning Organization
NBINational Bridge Inventory
NBISNational Bridge Inspection Standards
NEPANational Environmental Policy Act
NHSNational Highway System
NHTSANational Highway Traffic Safety Administration
PS&EPlans, Specifications and Estimate
QC/QAQuality Control/Quality Assurance
3RResurfacing, Restoration and Rehabilitation
4RResurfacing, Restoration, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction
RODRecord of Decision
RTCRegional Transportation Commission
SecretaryOffice of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation
SHPOState Historic Preservation Office
SHSPStrategic Highway Safety Plan
STIPStatewide Transportation Improvement Program
TIPTransportation Improvement Program
TS&LType, Size & Location

FHWA-NDOT Memorandum of Understanding

The January 7, 2008 Stewardship Agreement between FHWA and NDOT called for performance/compliance indicators to be added, with similar measures required to be adopted by NDOT in Assembly Bill 595. NDOT subsequently selected fifteen performance measures to achieve the Department Goals. Nine are being added to the Stewardship Agreement to gauge the effectiveness of the delegated responsibilities. The performance/compliance indicators are as follows:

Streamline Agreement Execution Process - Percentage of Agreements executed within 45 days from when division submits agreement to date when it is fully executed.

Reduce Congestion of the State System - Percentage of daily vehicle miles traveled that occur at Level of Service E (unstable traffic flow) or worse on the state system.

Streamline Project Delivery - Schedule and Estimate from Bid Opening to Construction Completion - Percentage of projects within established range of cost estimate and schedule to completion.

Maintain State Roadways - Percentage of state maintained pavements needing annual preservation in order to maintain the pavement International Roughness Index rating of fair or better condition.

Provide Continuity of Business Operations - Percentage of seven Department Emergency Plans that have been completed.

Reduce Fatal Crashes - Number of fatalities on Nevada's streets and highways.

Streamline Project Delivery - Schedule and Estimate after NEP A Approval to Bidding - Percentage of projects completed within range of established estimate and schedule after the environmental process.

Maintain State Bridges - Percentage of Department-owned bridges which are eligible for federal funding and are categorized as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

Streamline Permitting Process - Percentage of permits issued or rejected within 45 days of receipt.

The data for each of these measures will be supplied to FHWA through transmittal of the AB 595 Annual Report prior to December 31 of each year.

Programmatic Agreement for Inherently Low-Risk Oversight Projects on the Interstate System

This Agreement is made and entered into this 26 day of December , 2008, by and between the Federal Highway Administration, Nevada Division (FHWA) and the State of Nevada, acting by and through its Department of Transportation (NDOT).

WHEREAS, the FHWA has the responsibility for administering Federal requirements with respect to projects constructed with funds made available under Title 23 United States Code (U.S.C.), including responsibilities relating to design, plans, specifications, estimates, contract awards, contract administration and inspection; and

WHEREAS, some projects on the Interstate and the National Highway System (NHS) are inherently low-risk, routine and non-controversial and NDOT has a high-level of experience and documented procedures and processes for ensuring compliance with federal requirements; and

WHEREAS, it is mutually desirable to both the FHWA and NDOT to streamline the approval process of these routine and inherently low-risk projects; and

WHEREAS, Title 23, U.S.C. §106(c)(4) provides that the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation may not assume any greater responsibility than the Secretary is permitted on September 20,1997; and

WHEREAS, on September 30, 1997, Title 23, U.S.C. §106(c) permitted the States to approve, on a project-by-project basis, plans, specifications and estimates for projects to resurface, restore, and rehabilitate (3R) highways on the 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 One Million Dollars ($1,000,000);

NOW THEREFORE, the FHWA and NDOT agree as follows:

  1. Inherently low-risk oversight projects are routine, non-controversial and those in which the NDOT has a high-level of experience and documented procedures and processes in place for ensuring compliance with federal requirements. They do not involve major changes in scope or cost and would not jeopardize the safety or operation of the Interstate or NHS. For the purpose of this Agreement, inherently low-risk oversight projects include all Interstate projects over One Million Dollars ($1,000,000) and under Twenty-Five Million Dollars ($25,000,000) not included in Paragraph 2 below. Resurfacing, Restoration, and Rehabilitation (3R) and landscaping projects on the Interstate or NHS, regardless of the cost, are considered inherently low-risk oversight projects.
  2. Inherently low-risk oversight projects do not include projects that are complex projects classified by NDOT or FHWA as "major projects," involve new partners (public/private partnerships), involve new or innovative contracting methods, viewed as high risk, and involve complex or unique engineering features.
  3. For projects as defined in paragraph 1, FHWA grants its approval for the designs, plans, specifications, estimates, contract awards, contract administration and inspections in advance of the actual delivery of these projects. The 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. Notwithstanding this determination, FHWA retains the ability to select a 3R or landscaping project for full oversight as part of the annual selection of full oversight projects as outlined in the Stewardship Agreement between NDOT and FHWA.
  4. For projects as defined in paragraph 1, FHWA's oversight will be satisfied by a risk management framework and by process/program reviews. It is understood that FHWA's approval of funds for these projects at either the preconstruction 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 requirements will be met. Notwithstanding this determination, FHWA retains 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.

IN WITNESS THEREOF, the parties hereto have caused this Agreement to be duly executed, the day and year first written above.

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Contact

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

 
 
Updated: 11/22/2011
 

FHWA
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration