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Stewardship and Oversight Plan

The South Carolina Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration South Carolina Division

November 2007

Table of Contents

Acronyms

3RResurfacing, Restoration, and Rehabilitation
AASHTOAmerican Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
CEIConstruction Engineering and Inspection
CEQCouncil on Environmental Quality
CFRCode of Federal Regulations
CMAQCongestion Mitigation and Air Quality
CPIContinuous Process Improvement
DBEDisadvantaged Business Enterprise
EAEnvironmental Assessment
EEOEqual Employment Opportunity
EISEnvironmental Impact Statement
FHWAFederal Highway Administration
FIREFinancial Integrity Review and Evaluation
FMCSAFederal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
FONSIFinding of No Significant Impact
FTAFederal Transit Administration
HPMSHighway Performance Monitoring System
HSIPHighway Safety Improvement Program
HSPHighway Safety Program
ISTEAIntermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act
ITSIntelligent Transportation Systems
MBEMinority Business Enterprise
MPOMetropolitan Planning Organization
NBISNational Bridge Inspection Standards
NEPANational Environmental Policy Act
NHSNational Highway System
NHSDNational Highway System Designation Act of 1995
NHTSANational Highway Traffic Safety Administration
PEPreliminary Engineering
PLPlanning Funds
PR/PEProcess Review/Program Evaluation
PS&EPlans, Specifications, and Estimate
RODRecord of Decision
ROWRight-of-Way
SAFETEA-LUSafe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users
SCDOTSouth Carolina Department of Transportation
SOPStandard Operating Procedure
SPRState Planning and Research
STIPStatewide Transportation Improvement Program
STPSurface Transportation Program
TEA-21Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century
TIPTransportation Improvement Program
USCUnited States Code

Section 1 – Execution of Plan

Pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 106 (c), South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) agree to follow the procedures set forth in the Stewardship and Oversight Plan, dated November 2007, which is attached to and made part of this agreement, to carry out their respective oversight responsibilities in the delivery of Federal-aid projects. This Stewardship and Oversight Plan supersedes all past plans, including our Operational Agreement dated February 1, 1999 and shall become effective on the date listed below and remain in effect until superseded.

The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) of 1998, and the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) of 2005 provided flexibility to the States in how to ensure project actions are carried out in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies. TEA-21, Section 1305 (a) requires that FHWA and the State enter into an agreement showing the extent of the State's assumption of the Transportation Secretary's responsibilities. ISTEA and TEA-21 altered the FHWA role from full project oversight and approval of every project or activity funded with FHWA funds to program oversight and some targeted project level approval. The program and project assumptions made possible under Section 1016 of ISTEA and Section 1305 of TEA-21 require that SCDOT accept these assumed responsibilities and provide greater program accountability due to less federal involvement. With the passage of SAFETEA-LU, the overall program has evolved requiring a more comprehensive Agreement that covers all aspects of the Federal-aid Highway Program and provides a road map to effectively and efficiently execute the Federal-aid program relating to programs/project delivery including financial integrity.

By signing this agreement, SCDOT and FHWA agree to adhere to the provisions and responsibilities included herein. SCDOT and FHWA further agree to carry out their responsibilities in a true spirit of cooperation and partnership. SCDOT agrees that where it assumes FHWA's Title 23 oversight role and approval responsibilities, it is responsible for ensuring that projects are developed and constructed in full compliance with Federal requirements, and that necessary corrective action is taken when actions and approvals are found to be in non-compliance with applicable Federal requirements. FHWA is available for consultation in such matters or may unilaterally become involved in determining corrective action.

SCDOT further understands that nothing contained herein shall relieve it from ultimate accountability for compliance with Federal laws and regulations with respect to the expenditure of Federal-aid highway funds in the State of South Carolina, including those funds passed through to local governments. This agreement does not preclude the FHWA access to and review of Federal-aid projects at any time, and does not replace the provisions of Title 23 United States Code (U.S.C.).

The Stewardship and Oversight Plan is intended to be a living document that can be modified when needed to incorporate additional legislation, additional processes, or other changes to improve program and project delivery. The FHWA South Carolina Division Administrator or the SCDOT State Highway Engineer may initiate amendments to this Stewardship and Oversight Plan should essential modifications become apparent to either party.

Robert Lee
FHWA SC Division Administrator

Tony Chapman
SCDOT State Highway Engineer

Effective Date: November 26, 2007

Section 2 – Introduction

This Stewardship and Oversight Plan outlines the roles and responsibilities of both FHWA and SCDOT in the accomplishment of oversight and administration of Federal-aid Highway Projects and Programs. The purpose of the Plan is to provide guidance in clarifying actions, preventing misinterpretations, and avoiding delays. The Plan is intended to be a living document that can be modified when needed to incorporate additional legislation, additional processes, or other changes to improve program and project delivery in the State of South Carolina. It serves as a continuing plan of project and program oversight responsibilities for each agency covering the following functional areas:

Project Oversight

  • Programming Process and Project Authorization/Agreement Process
  • Environmental Process
  • Design Monitoring Process
  • Right-of-Way (ROW) Process
  • Construction Monitoring Process

In cases where project level activity is still an integral part of FHWA's stewardship and oversight efforts, early involvement in project decisions combined with an assessment of the quality of the products produced during the project development process will be the primary focus. SCDOT will follow its Project Development Process to ensure proper communication and coordination occurs between SCDOT and FHWA.

In general, FHWA will use Process Review/Product Evaluation (PR/PE) techniques to assess the capability and capacity of SCDOT for those projects where SCDOT has assumed FHWA's responsibilities. FHWA will also use these techniques to monitor and evaluate SCDOT's fulfillment of the responsibilities outlined in this Plan.

Program Oversight

  • Bridge Program
  • Civil Rights Program
  • Financial Management Program
  • Intelligent Transportation System Program
  • Maintenance Monitoring Program
  • Materials Quality and Acceptance Program
  • Pavement Management and Design Program
  • Planning Program
  • Research, Development, and Technology Transfer Program
  • Safety Program

This Plan includes stewardship responsibilities for various programs with identified actions by each agency. It incorporates the concept of mutual service standards that include agreed upon formats and procedures. This Plan also takes into account the FHWA and SCDOT resources and capabilities, and the federal requirements where FHWA has a mandated role in the oversight process. This plan forms the principal basis for monitoring and evaluating the quality of SCDOT's Federal-aid program,and the continued disbursement of federal funds based upon SCDOT policies, practices, and staffing resources.

FHWA will annually perform risk assessments of various program areas in cooperation with SCDOT for the purpose of prioritizing its program level oversight activities for the coming year. The objective of these risk assessments is to focus the limited resources of the FHWA Division Office on those activities that represent the greatest risk to FHWA in fulfilling its stewardship responsibilities. A portion of the risk assessments will involve an evaluation of SCDOT's internal controls, operating procedures, and staffing. By this process, it is expected that the greatest possible confidence level will be achieved for the resources committed. FHWA reserves the right to make final determinations of Federal program areas for review.

Section 3 – Stewardship and Oversight of Federal-Aid Projects

This section of the Stewardship and Oversight Plan sets forth the respective roles and responsibilities of FHWA and SCDOT in the administration and oversight of Federal-aid Highway projects in the State of South Carolina. As a condition to accepting Federal-aid highway funds, SCDOT agrees to follow all applicable project and program requirements.

3.1 FHWA Responsibilities

The FHWA is ultimately accountable for all Federal-aid highway projects. The FHWA South Carolina Division will fulfill its stewardship role at a project level as follows:

  1. Full Oversight Projects – While the following describes those projects which will retain FHWA full oversight, the FHWA South Carolina Division has the authority to retain full oversight on any Federal-aid project. On full oversight projects, the FHWA South Carolina Division Office personnel will, at a minimum, review and approve project designs, approve any design exceptions, approve PS&Es, authorize advertisement, concur in contract award, approve changes in contract (change orders, supplemental agreements, time extensions, claims, etc.), conduct project inspections including a final inspection, and prepare a Final Acceptance Report.
    1. Interstate System: The FHWA SC Division will retain full oversight for the following types of Federal-aid projects on the Interstate system:
      • New and Reconstruction projects
      • 3R projects that provide bridge deck repairs, seismic retrofits, or restoration of the pavement (restoration of pavement includes profiling, milling, overlaying, and full-depth patching).

      (Note: For new or reconstruction bridge projects, regardless of funding source, that carry traffic over the Interstate Highway, preliminary bridge plans will be submitted to FHWA for approval.)

    2. NHS System: The FHWA SC Division will retain full oversight for all Federal-aid projects on the NHS system with an estimated construction cost of $50 million or greater.
    3. ITS Projects: The FHWA SC Division will retain full oversight for Federal-aid ITS projects that involve Regional ITS architecture, Traffic Management Centers, ITS software development, and Systems Engineering Analysis. Oversight responsibility of routine infrastructure related ITS projects is delegated to SCDOT as stipulated in Section 3.2 of this document
    4. Appalachian Corridor: The FHWA SC Division will retain full oversight for all projects that are funded through the Appalachian Development Highway Program.
    5. Other Projects: Other projects that may be determined to be full oversight on a case by case basis. For example, those projects using innovative contract procedures such as design/build, construction of unique bridges or structures, earmark-funded projects, or projects of national significance. The decision to classify one of these projects as FHWA full oversight will be made early in the project development process by the Division Office.
  2. Transportation Enhancement Program – The FHWA SC Division will concur in eligibility determinations prior to project selection.
  3. CMAQ Program – In non-attainment and maintenance areas where mandatory CMAQ funds are used, FHWA SC Division will concur in eligibility determinations prior to project selection.
  4. Involvement on Other Projects – The FHWA may become involved with any Federal-aid project, including those for which SCDOT has assumed oversight responsibility. FHWA oversight of State delegated projects will be through program level activities, such as Process Review/Program Evaluation (PR/PE). Additionally, SCDOT may request FHWA involvement. The extent of FHWA involvement will be defined by SCDOT's request.
  5. Title 23 Responsibilities – For projects delegated to SCDOT, as outlined in Section 3.2, SCDOT will assume the responsibility for FHWA in many Title 23 U.S.C. actions. However, the following Title 23 U.S.C. requirements/actions will remain under the authority of FHWA for projects delegated to SCDOT:
    • All Federal responsibilities for planning and programming oversight specified in 23 USC 134 and 135
    • Federal air quality conformity determinations required by the Clean Air Act
    • Obligation of funds
    • Modifications to project authorizations
    • Waivers to Buy America requirements
    • SEP-14 / SEP-15 methods
    • Civil Rights program approvals
    • Changes to or additional access points on the Interstate System (regardless of funding source)
    • Approval to degrade existing controlling design elements on the Interstate system (regardless of funding source)
    • Use of Interstate airspace for non-highway related purposes (regardless of funding source)
    • Hardship acquisition and protective purchases
    • Final vouchers
    • Approval of SCDOT standards, specifications, and policies applied to Federal-aid projects
  6. Non-Title 23 Responsibility – FHWA will continue to be responsible for the oversight of applicable non-Title 23 requirements. Such oversight will be conducted through a combination of both project and program level activities. Applicable non-Title 23 requirements include, but are not limited to:
    • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969
    • Section 4 (f) of the DOT Act of 1966
    • Civil Rights Act of 1964
    • Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Properties
    • Acquisition Policies Act of 1970
    • Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE)
    • Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990
  7. Technical Assistance – The FHWA Division Office is prepared to provide technical assistance to SCDOT or local transportation agencies on any aspect of an eligible Title 23 project including intermodal transportation projects. Technical assistance activities will be decided on a case-by-case basis in consultation with SCDOT, other partners and the Division Office. The FHWA Division Office will continue to focus their time and effort on improving processes and procedures, in cooperation with the SCDOT.

The FHWA will manage and provide oversight of South Carolina's Federal-aid programs in various ways. The methods used will include the following:

  • Routine day-to-day program actions and other interaction.
  • SCDOT from time to time will ask for FHWA Division participation on SCDOT task forces, teams, implementation committees, reviews, attendance at SCDOT meetings, consultant selection committees, etc.
  • PR/PE reviews on program areas as needed and determined in accordance with the Division's risk assessment process and/or other high importance program areas. PR/PE reviews will be utilized as the primary methods of program oversight. PR/PE reviews comprise the process of comprehensively reviewing and evaluating State and or local agency policies, procedures, practices and controls for the development and implementation of Federal-aid projects and programs.
  • The Division Office Financial Integrity Review and Evaluation (FIRE) Program to assess the financial aspects of programs and projects.

3.2 SCDOT Responsibilities:

SCDOT will assume oversight responsibilities for FHWA in Title 23 U.S.C. actions for the following projects:

  1. Interstate Projects – (1) all 3R projects excluding bridge deck repairs, seismic retrofits, and restoration of the pavement (restoration of pavement includes profiling, milling, overlaying, and full-depth patching).. All Interstate projects must comply with all Title 23 U.S.C. and non-Title 23 U.S.C. requirements.
  2. Other NHS Projects (not on the Interstate System) – For NHS projects not on the Interstate System, which have an estimated construction cost less than $50 million, SCDOT assumes oversight responsibility for the right-of-way approval, utility approval, railroad approval and related activities, design approval, design exceptions, plans, specifications, estimates, contract award, and inspection of projects on the NHS. All NHS projects must comply with all Title 23 U.S.C. and non-Title 23 U.S.C. requirements.
  3. ITS Projects – SCDOT assumes oversight responsibility for all routine infrastructure related ITS projects (i.e., fiber optic cable, VMS, and camera installations).
  4. Non-NHS Projects – SCDOT assumes oversight responsibility for the right-of-way approval, utility approval, railroad approval and related activities, design approval, design exceptions, plans, specifications, estimates, contract award, and inspection of projects not on the NHS. Non-NHS projects are required to be designed, constructed, operated, and maintained in accordance with State law, regulations, directives, safety standards, design standards, and construction standards, in lieu of many Title 23 U.S.C. requirements. Title 23 U.S.C. 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, Buy America Act provisions and other requirements. All non-NHS projects must also comply with all non-Title 23 U.S.C. requirements.
  5. Local Agency Projects – The SCDOT may, pursuant to 23CFR 1.11 and 635.105, delegate certain Federal-aid project authorities to a well-qualified and suitably equipped local public agency. The SCDOT is responsible for ensuring that appropriate procedures and guidelines are in place to facilitate the compliance of local public agency administered Federal-aid projects. FHWA will review and approve these practices and procedures for Federal-aid projects. SCDOT is responsible for ensuring that all Federal-aid projects administered by local agencies comply with all applicable Federal and State requirements. SCDOT is not relieved of this responsibility even though the project may be delegated to the local agency.

Prior to delegating projects to local agencies, the SCDOT will determine and document that the local agency is well qualified and adequately staffed to administer the projects. The SCDOT will review the local agency's ability to administer Federal-aid projects or specific activities on a case-by-case basis, and the extent of delegation will be dependent on their current staffing level and experience, and past performance. A Participation Agreement will be executed between SCDOT and the local agency to outline the responsibilities of both SCDOT and the local agency.

SCDOT will not delegate, to local agencies, approval authority in the following program elements:

  • NEPA
  • Sole Source
  • Use of Force Account
  • Design Exceptions
  • Changes to Interstate access
  • Right of Way certification
  • Engineering Plans
  • DBE Goals
  • Labor compliance
  • Final Inspection
  • Project Acceptance

For those projects that SCDOT has agreed to assume oversight responsibility, SCDOT will follow all applicable FHWA policies, regulations, Title 23, and non-Title 23 requirements.

Section 4 – Stewardship Roles and Responsibilities for Specific Functional Program Areas

Attachment A provides a number of tables summarizing SCDOT's and FHWA's responsibilities in carrying out the following program areas:

Environment - For all projects that require an action be taken by FHWA, the South Carolina Division and SCDOT will work together to ensure compliance with NEPA and other applicable laws before an alternative is selected (location/design approval). The level of involvement is commensurate with the level of the environmental impacts or project complexity and will depend on the project environmental documentation class.

Right of Way - All Federal, State, and local public agencies (and others receiving Federal financial assistance for public programs and projects requiring the acquisition of real property) must comply with the policies and provisions set forth in the Uniform Act and its amendments.

Design and Project Authorization -All Federal-aid projects will be designed in accordance with SCDOT's Highway Design Manual (May 2003 including revisions). Federal-aid projects where SCDOT has the delegated authority to act for FHWA in design monitoring will not receive detail design reviews by FHWA but are subject to process reviews and inspections. However, depending on the needed level of environmental documentation, FHWA may participate in the initial project design review. In any case, the design monitoring/review of delegated projects will be conducted by SCDOT as if FHWA were involved.

Ultimately, FHWA is accountable for ensuring that the Federal highway program is delivered consistent with the established requirements. Authorization to proceed with a construction project is accomplished by FHWA after a specific request is received from SCDOT. FHWA Authorization to advertise the physical construction for bids or to proceed with force account construction thereof shall not be given until all of the following conditions have been met in accordance with 23 CFR 635.

  • PS&E is complete and ready for advertisement
  • ROW available
  • Utilities coordinated
  • Railroad Agreements obtained
  • Permits obtained
  • Environmental documents approved and appropriate environmental commitments have been included in the PS&E.

Occasional exceptions may be made to the ROW, utility, railroad, and permit requirements above when meeting one or more of these conditions are not "feasible or practical." In these cases, the PS&E must adequately account for these exceptions.

For full oversight projects, SCDOT will provide all required documentation to FHWA at least 7 business days prior to the date authorization is requested. All documentation will be provided to FHWA in a single submittal. If it is not feasible or practical to submit any required documentation with the submittal, a status of this documentation will be provided with the submittal. FHWA will review the project documentation to ensure that all project requirements are met. For State delegated projects, SCDOT will ensure that all applicable requirements have been met and that the project was developed in compliance with this agreement and all applicable laws and standards.

The SCDOT and FHWA will utilize electronic signature procedures for requesting and approving Project Authorizations and Project Agreements for each Federal-aid highway and highway planning and research project eligible for Federal-aid funding.

On State delegated projects, submittal of the project authorization to FHWA for electronic signature will serve as SCDOT's implicit certification that all applicable requirements outlined in this Stewardship and Oversight Plan are satisfied including environmental and STIP approvals.

Construction - In general SCDOT has responsibility for the construction of all Federal-aid projects and for ensuring that such projects receive adequate supervision and inspection to ensure that projects are completed in conformance with approved plans & specifications. FHWA will use various types of inspections to monitor SCDOT's performance.

Bridge Inspection Program – SCDOT is responsible to manage its bridge inspector certification program and to monitor Local Agency compliance with NBIS requirements. SCDOT also maintains a statewide bridge management system (for state-maintained bridges only), and the statewide bridge inventory. The Division Bridge Engineer will annually review SCDOT's quality assurance processes and NBIS compliance reviews of SCDOT and selected Counties, Cities or other Local Agencies each year.

Civil Rights Program – The FHWA Division Office is committed to effectively implement and enforce civil rights programs within SCDOT in its design, planning, construction, and management of the multimodal transportation system. SCDOT 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 according to Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act and the codified Federal regulations that outline these acts.

Financial Management – The correctness and propriety of all Federal-aid claims are the primary responsibility of SCDOT whether the primary cost documentation originates within SCDOT or with some third party. This responsibility is fulfilled by SCDOT maintaining adequate operating policies and procedures and a sound accounting system with proper internal controls together with suitable audit activities. It is FHWA's responsibility to ensure such processes are in place and providing desired results as well as to provide technical assistance and advice in funding and financial areas. FHWA provides assistance and maintenance to SCDOT for the electronic data sharing and electronic signature environment.

The Financial Integrity Review and Evaluation (FIRE) Program (FHWA Order 45601a) requires each FHWA Division office to establish an effective oversight program to ensure that Federal funds are properly managed and effectively used in accordance with Federal policies. Under this program, each Division Office is required to perform financial management process review in response to an annual risk assessment. The purpose of the financial management process review is to assess one key State process to determine that (1) the process complies with Federal requirements, (2) the process complies with generally accepted accounting principles and standards and internal controls, and (3) areas of opportunity are identified for process improvement. The FIRE program includes a review of randomly selected billing transactions provided by Washington Headquarters that verifies the eligibility and accuracy of costs billed to FHWA, verify costs were incurred after FHWA approval, verify costs were charged to the correct project, verify costs were approved by the appropriate State/local official, and verify that SCDOT has sufficient supporting documentation to substantiate the billing.

SCDOT maintains the official records for Federal projects. Supporting documentation will be retained by SCDOT for three years after the final voucher and will include but not be limited to: the final contractor pay estimate, material certification, projects' agreement/modification, statement of overruns and underruns, and final Right of Way certificate in accordance with current requirements. Supporting documentation retained by SCDOT will be available upon request to FHWA.

Maintenance Program – SCDOT is required to maintain, or cause to be maintained any project constructed as part of a Federal-aid system. FHWA is responsible for maintenance monitoring of all Federal-aid projects. FHWA staff will observe highway conditions during their routine travel activities. They may also perform in-depth maintenance reviews, as appropriate. Any significant findings will be discussed with appropriate SCDOT officials. The oversight activities of the State's routine maintenance program will apply to NHS and non-NHS routes. FHWA maintenance monitoring activities will be a continuous process. Maintenance deficiencies observed during official travel will be reported to the appropriate SCDOT personnel. Follow-up activities, if necessary, will be performed by FHWA representatives.

Materials Acceptance Program – The Materials Acceptance Program (MAP) is structured around 23 CFR 637. The overall purpose of the MAP is to ensure the quality of materials and construction in all Federal-aid highway projects on the National Highway System. The MAP is comprised of a quality control program for the contractor/supplier and a quality assurance program for the agency. FHWA will monitor SCDOT's MAP for construction of full federal oversight projects. For state administered projects, SCDOT will monitor the MAP for construction as if FHWA were fully involved except SCDOT does not need to send materials certification to FHWA.

Pavement Management and Design Program – FHWA provides ongoing support in development and implementation of the Pavement Management System (PMS). FHWA participates in various meetings to ensure that pavement related activities, including new and rehabilitated pavement design and construction, pavement management, research, technology transfer, HPMS, vehicle weight enforcement program, etc., are well coordinated among the functional administrative areas of the division office.

FHWA will review SCDOT's pavement design/rehabilitation procedures, policy and guidelines on an ongoing basis. Additionally, by being a member of the individual task forces, teams, and committees, FHWA will have an ongoing involvement in the development, update and implementation of pavement design procedures.

Planning Program – Transportation planning activities are legislated under SAFETEA – LU Section 6001 for both Metropolitan Planning and Statewide Planning. The most current implementing regulations that apply are found in 23 CFR 450. FHWA South Carolina Division Office and FTA Region Office are jointly responsible for required approval actions such as: Certification of the metropolitan planning process in each Transportation Management Area not less often than once every four years, review and approval of the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) and its amendments, review and approval of the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and its amendments and transportation conformity.

FHWA will provide technical expertise and assistance through participation in committees and meetings set up by the MPOs and SCDOT that address data collection and analysis issues.

FHWA will participate in statewide and MPO planning activities as necessary to develop a planning finding as part of the STIP approval. FHWA and SCDOT will work together in the project planning phase to ensure compliance with NEPA and other applicable laws before location approval. Project coordination is facilitated by frequent consultation and meetings.

Research, Development and Technology Transfer Program – The purpose of the program is to implement the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 502 for research, development, technology transfer, and studies undertaken with FHWA planning and research funds. 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 reviews, develop and maintain an FHWA approved research and development manual, and maintain program certification.

The FHWA Division exercises its oversight responsibilities through review of the annual program prior to approval actions, review of individual proposals, and review of annual reports. Division participates in ongoing program activities such as routine technical and policy meetings, participation in peer exchanges, and participation in technology transfer events, etc. Division Office personnel will participate in scheduled workshops to identify research topics that are crucial to South Carolina's transportation program. The FHWA Division will continue to be represented on SCDOT's Research and Development Executive Committee. This committee makes final recommendation of research projects for approval by the State Highway Engineer and provides overall program guidance.

Safety Program – SCDOT will manage, enhance, and evaluate an overall Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) in accordance with 23 CFR, Section 924, with quality improvement reviews by the Division on a three year cycle, or as otherwise needed.

SCDOT will annually submit required reports on the effectiveness of the HSIP program, including the HSIP report and the highway-railway crossing report, and the 5% report, on or before August 31st of each year.

SCDOT and SCDPS, along with FHWA and NHTSA, will participate in a traffic records coordinating committee (TRCC). The State of South Carolina will work toward a comprehensive, statewide data system that includes all public roads by 2009, in accordance with FHWA's phase-in schedule. FHWA will work in partnership with NHTSA to ensure Federal requirements are met, and will adopt a review cycle through the TRCC and actively participate in the reviews.

SCDOT will coordinate with SCDPS to ensure timely submission of "split letters" when safety transfer funds are involved, designating the percent of funds applied to NHTSA and FHWA safety programs. In addition, the State will provide appropriate certifications to FHWA. FHWA will be responsible for administering these funds, for reviewing and submitting the certifications, and for periodic program reviews of the funds (possibly in conjunction with the HSIP reviews).

FHWA will review the use of the safety planning factor as part of its HSIP reviews and MPO certification process.

SCDOT and FHWA will jointly perform process improvement reviews of other safety program elements, as needed, such as Safe Routes to School, High Risk Rural Roads, design standards, MUTCD compliance, work zones, etc.

Within the South Carolina's SHSP, safety emphasis areas will be established based on safety data. The State will develop action plans and strategies for each emphasis area to identify and implement projects that will significantly reduce the number of fatal and serious injury highway crashes. The FHWA may provide technical assistance to the State, as requested.

Attachment A

Project and Program Action Responsibilities

Table A-1: Environmental Process Actions for All Federal-aid Projects
WORK ACTIVITYSCDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTION
Programmatic Categorical Exclusion1 (CE- Type A and B)Prepare and approvePeriodic PR/PE
Non-Programmatic Categorical Exclusion (CE- Type C)Prepare and submit for FHWA review and approvalReview and Approve
Environmental AssessmentPrepare and submit to FHWA for approvalApprove EA
Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)Prepare FONSI recommendation and submit to FHWAIssue FONSI
Notice of IntentPrepare draft Notice of Intent and forward to FHWAReview and revise Notice of Intent and forward for publication in the Federal Register
Draft Environmental Impact StatementPrepare and submit to FHWA for approvalApprove DEIS
Legal Sufficiency Review of FEISPrepare and submit to FHWASend to FHWA Legal for Review and Concurrence
Final Environmental Impact StatementPrepare and submit to FHWA for approvalApprove FEIS
Supplemental Environmental Impact StatementPrepare and submit to FHWA for approvalApprove SEIS
Record of Decision (ROD)Prepare Draft ROD and Forward to FHWAReview, Revise, and Issue ROD
Programmatic Section 4 (f) EvaluationPrepare and submit to FHWA for approvalApprove Programmatic Section 4 (f) Evaluation
Draft Section 4 (f) EvaluationPrepare and submit to FHWA for review and circulationReview Draft Sec 4 (f) Evaluation. Distribute to Dept. of Interior for comment and submit for a Legal Sufficiency review
Final Section 4 (f) EvaluationPrepare and submit to FHWA for approvalApprove Final Section 4 (f) Evaluation, including the de minimis determination; send to DOI
Section 106 Adverse Effect DeterminationPrepare and submit to FHWAMake determination and forward to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
Section 106 Memorandum of AgreementAcquire other approvals, Approve, and Submit to FHWA for approvalSign MOA
Formal Written Re-evaluation of EIS, EA, or FONSIPrepare and Submit to FHWA for approvalApprove Re-evaluation
Re-evaluation of Categorical ExclusionsPrepare and Submit to FHWA for concurrenceConcur in Re-evaluation
Environmental Consultant Contracts and Supplements on Full Oversight ProjectsPrepare and submit scope of work to FHWA for full oversight projects.

Prepare and approve for delegated projects
Review and Approve



None
Public Hearing CertificationPrepare and submit to FHWAReview and Accept Certification

1 Refer to Programmatic Categorical Exclusion Approval Agreement between FHWA and SCDOT.


Table A-2: Right-of-Way Process Actions
WORK ACTIVITYSCDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTION
ROW Authorizations and AgreementsPrepare and SubmitAuthorize for all Federal-aid projects
ROW CertificationPrepare for all projects.

Submit to FHWA on full oversight projects

Review and accept for full oversight projects
Air RightsPrepare and approve for non-Interstate state delegated projects.

Prepare and submit for all Interstate and full oversight projects.

Review and Approve for all Interstate highways and full oversight projects.
Leases/joint use agreementsSame as Air Rights.Same as Air Rights.
Disposal of Excess ROWPrepare and Submit for all Interstate, full oversight and less than fair market value All others; prepare and approve.Review and Approve Interstate, full oversight, and less than fair market value
Access Control – Disposal and Changes TransferSame as Air Rights.Same as Air Rights.
Federal Land TransferPrepare RequestReview and Approve.
Early Acquisition, Hardship, Protective PurchasePrepare and Submit for all Federal-aid projects.Review, Approve, and Authorize.

Table A-3: Design Monitoring Process Actions
WORK ACTIVITYFULL OVERSIGHT PROJECTSSTATE DELEGATED PROJECTS
SCDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTIONSCDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTION
Preliminary and intermediate design plansPrepareReview and CommentPrepare and CommentNone
Design Exceptions1PrepareApproveApproveNone
Engineering & Operations Analysis for Interstate2PrepareApproveN/AN/A
Value Engineering Annual SummaryCompleteApprove and forward to HQCompleteApprove & forward to HQ
Public Interest Finding (Special Products, Sole Source Specs, Proprietary Items, warranties etc.)PrepareApprovePrepare and Approve in consultation with FHWANone
Bridge Preliminary Plan Review (TS&L, structure type, & foundation review)PrepareApprovePrepareProvide Technical Assistance
Design Consultant services contracts per DD-41PrepareReview & approve SOWPrepare and ApproveNone
Utility RelocationPrepareReview & ApprovePrepare and ApproveNone
PS&E and addendumsPrepareApprovePrepare and ApproveNone

1 Projects which degrade existing design controlling elements on the Interstate system must receive FHWA approval regardless of how the project is funded

2 FHWA must approve all new Interstate access requests and all modifications to existing Interstate Interchanges regardless of funding source


Table A-4: Programming Process for Federal-aid Program
ACTIVITYSCDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTION
Metropolitan 0Review and Approve per 23 CFR 450.312 reference to 23 CFR 450.324 through 330. Send to FHWA no later than the STIP submittal.As a part of STIP submittal, review TIPs for inclusion into STIP; See STIP approval.
STIP ApprovalPrepare and Submit per 23 CFR 450.216 and 450.220 including certification.Review and make joint planning finding with FTA. Review and Approve STIP jointly with FTA.
STIP AmendmentsPrepare and submit per 23 CFR 450.216 and 450.220.Review and Approve.

Table A-5: Intelligent Transportation System Process
ACTIVITYSCDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTION
Systems Engineering Analysis ReportPrepare and ApproveNone
Regional ITS Architectures (All)Prepare and SubmitApprove
Update of Regional ArchitecturePrepare and SubmitApprove

Table A-6: Construction Process
ACTIVITYFULL OVERSIGHT PROJECTSSTATE DELEGATED PROJECTS
SCDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTIONSCDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTION
Concurrence in Contract AwardPrepare and RecommendReview &Concur ApproveNone
Rejection of bidsRecommendReview & ConcurApproveNone
Execute ContractApproveReceive CopyApproveNone
Change Orders & Supplemental AgreementsPrepare and ApproveReview & ApproveApproveNone
Time Extensions & Suspension of workApproveApproveApproveNone
Claims SettlementsPrepare and recommendReview & ApprovePrepare and ApproveNone
Construction Inspection (initial, intermediate, and in-depth)Info and/or actionConduct and Prepare ReportConduct and Prepare ReportNone
Final Construction InspectionConduct jointly with FHWAConduct and Prepare ReportConduct and Prepare ReportNone
State Certificate of Final AcceptancePrepare and Submit to FHWAAccept and Prepare FHWA Final Acceptance ReportPrepare and ApproveNone
Materials CertificationPrepareAcceptPrepare and ApproveNone
Use of consultant services for CE&I per DD-41Prepare and submitApprove SOWPrepare and ApproveNone
Termination of ContractPrepare and submitApproveApproveNone
Labor ComplianceCheck payrolls monthlyReview as neededCheck payrolls monthlyNone
Buy America WaiverPrepareApprovePrepareApprove

Table A-7: Bridge Program
WORK ACTIVITYSCDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTION
Bridge Inspection Program (State, County and Cities)Conduct inspections.
Update inventory and send data to FHWA annually by April 1.
Prioritize and make repairs.
Process data and furnish error listing.
Review error listing and resolve differences.
Conduct review annually.
Bridge Replacement & Rehabilitation Program (HBRRP)Select, design and construct projects.
Furnish unit cost data annually to FHWA by April 1.
Request eligibility approval for candidates not on FHWA Selection list
Provide list of eligible projects, review full federal oversight projects, and resolve questions concerning eligibility. Review unit cost data. Technology Transfer

Table A-8: Civil Rights Program
WORK ACTIVITYSCDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTION
DBE Semi-annual Report
Awards/Commitment
Prepare and Submit by the following dates:
December 1 (for the period of April 1 – Sep 30) and June 1 (for the period of Oct 1 – May 31)
Review and Submit to FHWA HQ
Annual Contractor Employment Report – PR 1392Prepare and Submit (no later than September 30)Review and File.
Submit to FHWA HQ
Contract Compliance External Program ReportsPrepare and Submit (no later than December. External reports based on calendar yearReview and Approve.
State Internal EEO ReportPrepare and Submit (no later than March)Review and File.
Submit to FHWA HQ
Title VI Program UpdatePrepare and Submit Annually (February)Review and Approve.
DBE Program Plan UpdatePrepare and Submit
(No later than August 1)
Review and Approve. Submit to FHWA HQ
DBE Program Goals and MethodologyPrepare and Submit
(No later than August 1)
Review and Approve. Submit to FHWA HQ
Historically Black College/Minority Institution of Higher Education Plan/ReportPrepare and Submit
(No later than November)
Review and Submit to FHWA HQ
Contractor Compliance Review
Schedule and Reports
Prepare and Submit (upon completion)Review, Respond as necessary, and File
DBE and OJT Supportive Service Work
Requests/Reports
Prepare and Submit
(in response to request from FHWA)
Review and Approve.
Submit to FHWA HQ for funding approval. Advise SCDOT of funding decision.
On-the Job Training GoalsPrepare and Submit (no later than December for upcoming construction season)Review and Approve

Table A-9: Financial Management Program
WORK ACTIVITYSCDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTION
Current BillingSubmits electronically to FHWA as often as desired.Financial Manager approves electronically
Project Authorization; Modified Authorizations; Final VouchersSubmits approved request using electronic signature.Review and Approve
Transfer of Funds between categories and between agencies.Review and recommend approval of transfer request to FHWA/FTA.FHWA review/approves funds transfers, prepares worksheet and sends to HQ Finance to adjust funding records
SIB Annual ReportPrepare annual report within 90 days from the end of the Federal FYReview and forward to Finance Office in Washington D.C.
Project Funds Management/Monitoring of Inactive ObligationsCompliance with Final Rule, 23 CFR Part 630. Review inactive projects for potential release of fundsReview balance of unexpended obligations and inactive projects.
Audit FindingsAssure that audit findings relating to Transportation are resolved.Monitor activities to ensure that corrective actions are taken.
Major ProjectsFor $100M to $500 M projects; prepare Financial Plan prior to construction authorization

For projects $500 M or greater; prepare and submit Financial Plans to FHWA prior to construction authorization. Prepare and submit annual updates.

Receive copy and accept


Review and Approve

Improper PaymentsAssure that adequate controls are in place to detect improper paymentsConduct review of randomly selected billing transactions.

Table A-10: Materials Acceptance Program
WORK ACTIVITYALL FEDERAL-AID PROJECTS
SCDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTION
Schedule of Materials Control Prepare and revise Approve
Qualified Technician Program Prepare and revise Approve
Qualified Laboratory Program Prepare and revise Approve
AASHTO accreditation inspection reports, use of outside testing facility Maintain accreditation, Submit inspection report, Approve outside testing facility Review for acceptable results and file comments as necessary
Independent Assurance Program Prepare and revise Approve

Table A-11: Pavement Management and Design Program
WORK ACTIVITYSCDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTION
Pavement Management System (PMS)Develop and ImplementReview, Comment, and Make recommendations for consideration
Develop Budget Allocation Plan for System PreservationDevelop PlanReview, Comment, and Make recommendations for consideration
Project Selection for Annual System (all federal-aid) Preservation ProgramSelect ProjectsParticipate, Make recommendations for consideration
Selection of Preferred Rehabilitation AlternativesPrepare Alternatives and Make SelectionReview, Assist, and Make recommendations for consideration
Annual Audits of District Paving Projects. Conduct joint review of design and recommendationsPrepare ReportReview, Comment, and Make recommendations for consideration.

Conduct process reviews.
Pavement Design Guide, Policy and ProceduresDevelopReview, Comment, Make recommendations for consideration, and Approve.

Conduct process reviews.

Table A-12: Planning Program
WORK ACTIVITYSCDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTION
Statewide 20 Year Long Range Transportation PlanPrepare as outlined in 23 CFR 450.214 and Forward as updatedUse as basis for STIP approval per 23 CFR 450.216
Metropolitan 20 Year Long Range Transportation PlansReview the MPO approved plan (per 23 CFR 450.322) and Forward to FHWA and FTA Use as basis for STIP approval per 23 CFR 450.324
Planning Finding for STIPReview and certify planning process in accordance with Federal requirements at time of STIP submittal Review and make joint planning finding with FTA as part of STIP approval per 23 U.S.C. 135 and 23 CFR 450 Subparts A,B,&C
State Planning & Research (SPR) Work ProgramPrepare and Submit Annual Program
(no later than 9/1)
Approve
SPR Work Program AmendmentsSubmit to FHWA as neededReview, comment, and approve
HPMS Data Submittal/Process ReviewPrepare and Submit per HPMS field manual by June 15th annuallyConduct Annual Review and 3-year review
500 Series Finance Reports/Process ReviewPrepare and Submit per "A Guide to Reporting Highway Statistics"Conduct Annual Review and 3-year review
FHWA Grant and Specialty Programs
  • IMD
  • TCSP
  • Transportation Enhancements
  • Scenic Byways
  • Value Pricing
  • Federal Lands
  • NCPDD/CBI
  • Other Special Programs
Apply for and Administer fundsReview and Approve grant applications. Submit to SCDOT identified lists of funded projects. Administer and authorize projects and obligate funds.
Public Road Mileage CertificationPrepare and Submit certification as outlined in 23 CFR 460.3Review and Recommend acceptance then forward to HQ
Metropolitan Unified Planning Work ProgramCooperate with MPO in plan preparation, review adopted plan and forward to FHWAReview and approve
Self-Certification of non-Transportation Management Areas (TMAs) (50,000 to 200,000) at least every 4 yearsReview and Recommend approvalConcur in SCDOT's recommendation for approval of self-certification
Annual Listing of Obligated ProjectsPrepare finacial listing and provide to MPOs for publication to take place no later than January 1st annuallyReview for compliance during certification review
Metropolitan Planning AgreementsCooperatively develop agreement which defines mutual responsibilities in carrying out the metropolitan planning process with each MPO (and transit operator)Review for compliance during certification review
Certification of TMAs (200,000+ population)Participate and Provide information for joint FHWA/FTA review every yearsJointly conduct with FTA a review every four years. Develop recommendations and report that details finding of certification status.
Transportation Air Quality (AQ) Conformity DeterminationsParticipate in interagency consultations. Review TIP and plan conformity analysis and provide comments as needed.Coordinate review of AQ conformity analysis with FTA and EPA. Make joint conformity determination with FTA
Congestion Management Process (CMP) in TMAParticipate with TMA in the development and implementation of CMPReview for compliance during certification review and LRTP review
CMAQ Improvement Program Annual Report (Non-attainment/Maintenance Areas)Submit to FHWAApprove Report. Forward to FHWA HQ
CMAQ Improvement Program Project Funds Eligibility Determination (Non-attainment/Maintenance Areas)Review and recommend eligibility to FHWA and FTADetermine eligibility in consultation with FTA
Metropolitan Planning Area Boundary ChangesPrepare and SubmitReview, and Coordinate with FTA
National Truck Network ModificationsPrepare and SubmitReview and Approve
Highway Systems (NHS) Functional Classification, and Urban Area Boundary ChangesPrepare and SubmitReview and approve
Traffic Monitoring SystemVerify and Update System ComponentsReview and Recommend Improvements
PL Distribution Formula and UpdatePrepare and SubmitApprove

Table A-13: Research, Development and Technology Program
WORK ACTIVITYSCDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTION
SPR Part II Work ProgramPrepare and Submit Annual ProgramApprove
SPR Part II Work Program AmendmentsSubmit to FHWA as needed Review, comment, and approve
SCDOT Research ManualPrepares in coordination with FHWA as noted in 23 CFR 420.209 Review, Comment (if appropriate), and Approve
Certification of SPR Research ProgramPrepare certification statement with SPR Work Plan submittal (by 8/31) Review, Comment, and Approve with SPR Work Plan
LTAP Work PlanSubmits to FHWA by December 15 Review, Comment (if appropriate), and Approve
Projects Using Experimental FeaturesCollects and disseminates information about projects Disseminate information and encourage implementation of successful features. Approve for use on oversight projects.

Table A-14: Safety Programs
WORK ACTIVITYSCDOT ACTIONFHWA ACTION
HSIP Report (including HRRP)
Rail-Highway Crossing Report
5 Percent Report
Prepare annual program and report, and Submit to FHWA by 8/31 annuallyReview and comment on the program and annual report. Submit to HQ by Sept. 30
Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP)Evaluate and update every two years. Submit report to FHWA no later than Dec. 31 beginning in 2007.Review and comment by Jan. 15.
159 Certification
(Drug Offender's License Suspension Certification)
Prepare annual certification and Send to FHWA by 1/1 annually Review certification, and Forward to FHWA HQ.
Take appropriate action
Work Zone Safety and Mobility Process ReviewConduct Process Review every two years Conduct review for conformance of 23 CFR 630 Subpart J Final Rule
NCHRP 350
(NCHRP 350 Testing Criteria)
Comply with NCHRP 350 and AASHTO/FHWA agreement Actions and Process reviews ongoing
MUTCD
(Traffic Control Devices on all public roads)
SCDOT practices comply with MUTCD Actions and Review of MUTCD issues ongoing

Attachment B
Policies, Guidelines, Procedures, and Manuals

(Approved or Accepted by FHWA for use on Federal-aid projects as of the effective date of this Stewardship and Oversight Plan)

Program AreaDescriptionSCDOT ActionFHWA Action
GeneralProject Development ProcessPrepare and SubmitReview and Accept
GeneralConsultant Selection Process
(Departmental Directive 41, dated May 1, 2007)
Prepare and submit to FHWA for use on Federal-aid projectsReview and Approve
GeneralLocal Agency ProceduresPrepare and submit to FHWA for use on Federal-aid projectsReview and Approve
EnvironmentEnvironmental Guidance ManualPrepare and submit to FHWA for use on Federal-aid projectsReview and Approve
EnvironmentPublic Involvement PolicyPrepare and submit to FHWA for use on Federal-aid projectsReview and Approve
EnvironmentProgrammatic CE Agreement
(SCDOT/FHWA agreement dated February 10, 1995)
Prepare and submit to FHWA for use on Federal-aid projectsReview and Approve
Right of WayRight of Way Manual
(January 2006)
Prepare and submit to FHWA for use on Federal-aid projectsReview and Approve every five years
DesignA Policy for Accommodating Utilities on Highway Rights of Way
(August 2005)
Prepare and submit to FHWA for use on Federal-aid projectsReview and Approve
DesignHighway Design Manual
(May 2003 edition and all current annual updates)
Submit major changes to FHWAReview and Approv Major changes
Program AreaDescriptionSCDOT ActionFHWA Action
DesignBridge Design Manual
(April 2006 edition)
Submit major changes to FHWAReview and Approve Major changes
DesignStandard DrawingsPrepare and SubmitReview and Approve for use on Federal-aid projects
ConstructionStandard Specifications
(2007 edition)
Prepare and SubmitReview and Approve for use on Federal-aid projects
ConstructionSupplemental SpecificationsPrepare and SubmitReview and Approve for use on Federal-aid projects
ConstructionConstruction Manual
(May 2004 edition)
Submit major changes to FHWAReview and Approve Major Changes
ConstructionPre-qualification ProceduresPrepare and SubmitReview and Approve for use on Federal-aid projects

August 10, 2009

Mr. Tony Chapman
SCDOT Deputy Secretary of Engineering
South Carolina Department of Transportation
955 Park Street
Columbia, SC 29202-0191

Dear Mr. Chapman:

At the time we developed our June 9 ARRA Supplement to the Stewardship and Oversight Plan, we did not envision using ARRA funding on any LPA administered projects. However, as SCDOT has worked through the project selection process, several LPA projects are now expected to be at least partially funded by ARRA.

With LPA administered projects continuing to be an area of national risk and the need to provide high level oversight in the delivery of the ARRA program, I feel it is necessary to amend our joint ARRA Supplement. To expedite this process and with your concurrence, I am proposing to simply make this letter a part of our Supplement in order to outline the expectations of both SCDOT and FHWA staff in carrying out ARRA-funded LPA administered projects.

To minimize the risks associated with LPA administered ARRA projects defined as state-delegated; SCDOT agrees to adhere to the current Procedures for LPA Project Administration with the following revisions:

  • Prior to approving a LPA's Qualification Package, SCDOT will request FHWA's review and concurrence.
  • If Federal funds are used to reimburse a LPA for consultant services, a summary of the selection process must be submitted to FHWA for acceptance.
  • The LPAA unit will submit a project's final PS&E package to FHWA for review and approval prior to SCDOT requesting authorization of construction funding and advertisement.
  • FHWA will be required to concur in award of a construction contract prior to the LPA executing the contract. (FHWA will also concur in the rejection of all bids prior to the LPA taking action.)
  • FHWA will conduct periodic construction inspections and will coordinate this activity with both SCDOT's assigned District representative and the LPA.
  • The project's final inspection must be coordinated with and attended by FHWA.

Implementing the above FHWA checkpoints should provide a reasonable level of oversight, short of full FHWA oversight, to ensure successful completion of ARRA-funded / LPA administered projects. If you concur in this addendum to the ARRA Supplement to the Stewardship and Oversight Plan, please acknowledge by signing below. Please return a signed copy and ensure all appropriate SCDOT staff receives a copy as well.

Sincerely,
Robert L. Lee /s/
Division Administrator

Contact

Firas Ibrahim
Office of Program Administration
202-366-1564
E-mail Firas

 
 
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Updated: 10/23/2014
 

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United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration