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Federal-aid Program Administration

Federal–aid Highway Program Stewardship/Oversight Agreement

Federal–Aid Highway Program Stewardship and Oversight Agreement Federal highway Administration Vermont Division and Vermont Agency of Transportation

Print version (.pdf, 3.8 mb)

09/28/2012

Matthew R. Hake, P.E
Division Administrator
Federal Highway Administration

Brian Searles
Secretary of Transportation
Vermont Agency of Transportation

This Agreement supersedes the VTrans and FHWA Memorandum of Agreement, Oversight and Administration of Transportation Projects, issued May 19, 2008.

Table of Contents

Background and Introduction

Purpose of Agreement

FHWA and VTrans Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Program Assessment
  2. Performance Measures
  3. Program/Process Review
  4. Program Management
  5. Project Management

Project Approval Action Responsibility Matrix

Control Documents

Glossary

Performance Measures

FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAY PROGRAM STEWARDSHIP AND OVERSIGHT AGREEMENT

In Partnership Between Federal Highway Administration Vermont Division And Vermont Agency of Transportation Background and Introduction

Congress has charged the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with administering the Federal-Aid Highway Program (FAHP) under Title 23 United States Code (U.S.C.), and other associated laws. In addition, FHWA’s responsibility for administering the Federal-Aid Highway Program has been amended in the following legislation: 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.

The FAHP has been administered jointly by FHWA and State Departments of Transportation (SDOTs) and other highway program recipients for many years. These parties have been tasked with carrying out the FAHP efficiently and effectively to help accomplish national and mutual goals to maintain a national highway network, improve its operation and safety, and provide for national security while protecting the environment. Stewardship and oversight efforts include many day-to-day activities and approval actions that are routinely performed by either or both of the parties to ensure that the FAHP is administered effectively within the legislation. This Stewardship and Oversight Agreement updates and formalizes roles and responsibilities to address how the FAHP will be administered in the State of Vermont.

When Stewardship and Oversight Agreements were first introduced and developed in response to the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991, the agreements principally addressed how the SDOT and FHWA Division Office would handle the delegated authorities for certain project actions. This Agreement provides a road map to effectively and efficiently execute the FAHP relating to program implementation and project delivery, to include risk management, financial integrity, accountability, and the associated delegated responsibilities to the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans). The focus of the Stewardship and Oversight Agreement is expanded to include program level management, as well as project level management, in order to more accurately measure results on a statewide level in delivering the best transportation system to the public.

Purpose of Agreement

The purpose of this Agreement is to set forth the stewardship and oversight responsibilities between FHWA and VTrans, on how the program management and administration of the FAHP in the State of Vermont will be achieved. This Agreement addresses how the FAHP will be administered in the State of Vermont, with specific actions to be taken by one or both parties and the associated delegated authority to VTrans. Further, this Agreement outlines how FHWA and VTrans function together to achieve program level results that contribute to the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the FAHP.

The authority to delegate certain project actions to VTrans is based on:

  • Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) of 2005. This act provides the authorizing legislation for the Federal-aid Highway Program. It amends Section 106, Title 23, United States Code, and establishes policy, authorizes funds, and provides authority for implementing the Act. Title 23, Section 106 (c) states:

(c) Assumption by States of Responsibilities of the Secretary. –

  1. Non-interstate NHS projects. –For projects under this title that are on the National Highway System but not on the Interstate System, the State may assume the responsibilities of the Secretary under this title for design, plans, specifications, estimates, contract awards, and inspections of projects unless the State or the Secretary determines that such assumption is not appropriate.
  2. Non-NHS projects. –For projects under this title that are not on the National Highway System, the State shall assume the responsibilities of the Secretary under this title for design, plans, specifications, estimates, contract awards, and inspection of projects, unless the State determines that such assumption is not appropriate.
  3. Agreement. –The Secretary and the State shall enter into an agreement relating to the extent to which the State assumes the responsibilities of the Secretary under this subsection.
  4. Limitation on authority of secretary. –The Secretary may not assume any greater responsibility than the Secretary is permitted under this title on September 30, 1997, except upon agreement by the Secretary and the State.
  • FHWA Memorandum, Implementing Guidance – Project Oversight under Section 1305 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) of 1998, August 20, 1998. The memorandum states FHWA’s position, considering the language in Section 106 (c) (4), that all States have the opportunity to assume the responsibilities of certain types of Interstate projects allowed under Section 106.
  • FHWA Order M1100.1A, FHWA Delegations and Organization Manual. This manual documents the official, approved delegations of authority vested in the FHWA by law, regulation, or delegation from the Secretary of Transportation, and the organizational responsibilities and functional statements for all formal organizational elements.

Approval actions for the NHS and non-NHS projects by the FHWA and VTrans are outlined under the Project Management Approval Action Responsibilities Matrix. Notwithstanding the provisions of this Agreement, FHWA retains overall responsibility and accountability for all aspects of the Federal-aid program. Therefore, the Agreement does not preclude FHWA’s access to and review of Federal-aid projects or federally funded program activities in planning, environment, right-of-way, finance, civil rights, design, construction, operations, and system preservation at any time, and does not replace the provisions of Title 23, USC. Further, FHWA and by extension VTrans including sub-recipients, are responsible for the effective, efficient and appropriate use of Federal funds.

Through the implementation of this Agreement’s Program Assessment section, it is intended that FHWA and VTrans will develop Responsibility Matrices and supporting information for each of the federally funded Program Areas.

This Agreement does apply to bi-State -border projects. Determination of FHWA and VTrans roles and responsibilities for these projects will be done on a project-by-project basis through bi-State agreements. The lead State (Division) will use their Stewardship and Oversight Agreement as a basis for the bi-State agreement.

This Agreement does not apply to non-Title 23 funded projects on the NHS.

Nothing contained herein shall be construed as a waiver of the State of Vermont's Eleventh Amendment immunity or as an undertaking on the part of the State of Vermont to defend or indemnify FHWA against any alleged violations of federal laws or regulations.

This Agreement may be modified at any time with the mutual consent of both parties. A goal of this Agreement is to enhance the effectiveness of the FAHP in the most efficient manner possible.

Dispute Resolution

The FHWA Vermont Division and VTrans work as partners in delivering the Federal-aid Highway Program in Vermont. It is recognized, however, that there may be times when consensus cannot be achieved between the two agencies. Whenever these situations arise, the FHWA Vermont Division and VTrans agree to work together to resolve disputes in a timely manner. In those cases where a solution cannot be identified, VTrans and the FHWA Vermont Division may elevate the issue to the next level in the "chain of command."

Only the VTrans Secretary or Deputy Secretary will make VTrans’ appeals to FHWA Headquarter’s offices concerning Vermont Division Office decisions.

FHWA and VTrans Roles and Responsibilities

Program Assessment. Assessments document the status of a program and seek ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery of the Federal-aid Highway Program in the face of increasing demands and decreasing resources. This process may take many forms including joint risk assessments, self-assessments, and Vermont Division Program Assessments. All of these techniques are based on the common concepts of identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and the identification and sharing of "best practices" to continually improve the program.

  1.  
    1. FHWA:
      1. Initiate discussions with VTrans on goals, objectives, and strategies/activities for program areas as part of the joint strategic planning process. This will be done at least annually during early spring of each year.
      2. Lead program assessments or update past assessments in collaboration with VTrans for each program area and
        1. Document existing procedures and describe current program status and provide a copy to VTrans.
        2. Identify improvement opportunities and best practices within the assessed programs using available data.
        3. Collect program related data using national, regional, FHWA, and other sources to share information on best practices with VTrans.
        4. Review data for trends and progress.  Work with VTrans to implement mutually agreed upon program improvement items.
        5. Develop Roles and Responsibilities Matrixes and supporting information for each of the federally funded Program Areas.
      3. Initiate discussions with VTrans on the joint risk assessment, which is a fundamental component of strategic management. This will be done at least annually during late spring and early summer of each year.
      4. Use information from program assessments and risk assessment to develop annual FHWA Vermont Division Office Performance Plan.
    2. VTrans:
      1. Collaborate with FHWA to discuss goals, objectives, and strategies/activities for program areas as part of the joint strategic planning process. This will be done at least annually during early spring of each year.
      2. In cooperation with FHWA, provide program area data and information from existing sources to conduct assessments.
      3. Work with FHWA in developing and conducting program assessments, identify program improvement opportunities with existing data, and develop Roles and Responsibilities Matrixes and supporting information for each of the federally funded Program Areas.
      4. Work with FHWA to implement mutually agreed upon program improvements.
      5. Cooperate with FHWA on the joint risk assessment, which is a fundamental component of strategic management. This will be done at least annually during late spring and early summer of each year.

    Assist FHWA as time allows in the preparation of the annual FHWA Vermont Division Office Performance Plan.

  2. Performance Measures.  Performance measures are a set of key indicators to track performance trends to monitor program area goals, objectives or target. See Appendix B
    1. FHWA:
      1. With VTrans designate joint performance measures and targets for each program area.
      2. With VTrans, collect data, document measured performance, and review data for trends.
      3. Work with VTrans to implement program improvement items based on information from performance measures.
    2. VTRANS:
      1. Work with FHWA to designate joint performance measures and targets for each program area.
      2. With FHWA, collect data, document performance measures, and review data for trends.
      3. Work with FHWA to implement program improvement items based on information from performance measures.
  3. Program/Process Review. Reviews are conducted to
    1. ensure compliance with Federal requirements,
    2. identify areas for efficiencies and improvements to the program, and/or
    3. identify exemplary practices,
    4. define and document the process being reviewed. They are referred to, or known as, program improvement reviews, process reviews, program/product evaluations, or continuous process improvement initiatives. All reviews are intended to evaluate procedures and policies used in delivering the FAHP, correct deficiencies, identify opportunities for continual improvement, and document accountability. Prior to August 1 of each year, FHWA and VTrans will agree on the program/process reviews that will be commenced during the coming federal fiscal year. The scope, subject matter, and FHWA and VTrans staff that will be involved in the coming reviews will be determined.
    1. FHWA:
      1. Identify and conduct program/process reviews jointly with VTrans.
      2. Lead program and process reviews.
        1. Resolve review recommendations with VTrans.
        2. Review Team will document reviews and provide a copy of the review to VTrans.
        3. With VTrans, develop a mutually-agreed on schedule for implementation of mutually-agreed on review recommendations.
        4. Work with VTrans to implement the mutually-agreed on recommendations for program improvements or emerging program demands.
        5. Track status of review recommendations; provide tracking system information to VTrans.
    2. VTrans:
      1. VTrans staff will participate in Program/Process Reviews.
        1. Resolve review recommendations with FHWA.
        2. With FHWA, develop an agreed upon schedule for implementation of review recommendations.
        3. Work with FHWA to implement the agreed upon recommendations for program improvements or emerging program demands.
        4. In response to FHWA requests, provide information to track status of review recommendations.
  4. Program Management. Program management includes routine program area approval actions, approval of control documents, and ensuring Federal program requirements are met. FHWA cooperates with VTrans and other transportation stakeholders by answering questions, providing training, and supplying information on program area issues. FHWA manages program areas by completing required program level activities, promoting new program area initiatives and concepts, and continually assessing the FAHP through routine involvement in the program areas.
    1. FHWA:
      1. Ensure compliance with the Federal laws and regulations that pertain to FAHP, such as those in Title 23.
      2. Review in a timely manner, all new or modifications of existing control documents submitted to FHWA by VTrans. Issue approval of control documents, when appropriate in a timely manner.
      3. Respond to technical questions and provide technical assistance.  
      4. Identify with VTrans, the VTrans training needs that FHWA may be able assist. This should be done at least annually.
      5. Assist VTrans in meeting their identified training needs.
      6. Present and promote new technology/innovation (technology transfer) that solves problems and/or improves practices.
      7. Participate on joint task forces, joint quality improvement teams, and committees as time and resources allow.
      8. Provide oversight of the FAHP administered by VTrans.
    2. VTrans:
      1. Comply with the Federal laws and regulations contained in Title 23, 23 CFR, and non-Title 23 requirements.
      2. Submit new or modifications of existing control documents to FHWA as required for review and approval. See Appendix A
      3. Present and promote new technology/innovation (technology transfer) that solves problems and/or improves practices.
      4. Coordinate with FHWA to determine training needs that FHWA may be able to assist. This will be done at least annually during the summer.
      5. Participate on joint task forces, joint quality improvement teams, and committees as time and resources allow.
  5. Project Management. This includes routine project approval action, approval of control documents; ensuring Federal project requirements are met. FHWA cooperates with VTrans and other transportation stakeholders by answering questions on project issues. FHWA manages projects by completing required project level activities, promoting new initiatives and concepts, and continually assessing the FAHP through routine involvement in projects. FHWA has full oversight of the FAHP, with various project approvals being delegated to VTrans.  

    See the Project Approval Action Responsibility Matrix for specific FHWA and VTrans roles and responsibilities.

    1. FHWA:
      1. Interstate System Projects - Retain oversight responsibilities for Interstate System projects not delegated to VTrans. These full oversight projects include:
        1. Unusual Bridges and Unusual Structures,
        2. projects which qualify for a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Categorical Exclusion (CE) approval and have a construction cost estimate that is greater than $10 million for bridge projects and $5 million for pavement projects at the time of initial Preliminary Engineering (PE) authorization in Federal Management Information System (FMIS),
        3. Projects which qualify for a NEPA Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) are full oversight until completion of the NEPA document. At that time, projects that have a construction cost estimate that is greater than $10 million for bridge projects and $5 million for pavement projects continue to be full oversight,
        4. Projects that have a significant change in Scope of Work subsequent to determination of delegated or non-delegated status will be reassessed to consider change of this status.
        5. International or State border projects that the State of Vermont is the lead agency.
        6. projects which modify the geometrics of and/or access to the interstate system or any roadway built to interstate standards,
        7. Projects which begin as full oversight can be reclassified as delegated/state administered prior to construction authorization.
        8. Projects, which are designated as full oversight by the authorizing FHWA program. (e.g. Highways for Life and Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery)

        FHWA will be responsible for the oversight of all FHWA Title 23 and non-Title 23 aspects of these projects.

      2. Non-Interstate NHS projects - Retain oversight authority for non-interstate NHS projects not delegated to VTrans. These projects include,
        1. Unusual Bridges,
        2. projects which qualify for a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Categorical Exclusion (CE) approval and are greater than $25 million as determined by the construction cost estimate at the time PE authorization in FMIS
        3. Projects which qualify for a NEPA Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) are full oversight until completion of the NEPA document. At that time, projects that are greater than $25 million as determined by the construction cost estimate continue to be full oversight.
        4. Projects that have a significant change in Scope of Work subsequent to determination of delegated or non-delegated status may be reassessed to consider change of this status.
        5. International or State border projects that the State of Vermont is the lead agency.
        6. projects which modify the geometrics of and/or access to the interstate system or any roadway built to interstate standards,
        7. Projects, which begin as full oversight can be reclassified as delegated/state, administered prior to construction authorization.    
        8. Projects, which are designated as full oversight by the authorizing FHWA program. (e.g. Highways for Life and Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery)
        9.  
      3. ITS Projects
        1. Major ITS Projects: FHWA will provide full oversight for all Major Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) projects.
        2. ITS projects: At this time the ITS elements and projects are evolving.  As such, it is impossible to precisely define for this agreement what specific elements, projects, or activities need to be full oversight (or non-delegated?). Oversight of ITS projects will be determined on a case by case and formally documented. We ask that VTrans notify FHWA as early as possible in the design or deployment of these projects or elements so that an oversight determination can be made as early as possible to the benefit of both FHWA and VTrans.

          iv) Respond to technical questions, provide assistance guidance documents, and training

          v) Present and promote new technology/innovation (technology transfer) that solves problems and/or improves practices.

          vi) For projects delegated to VTrans, respond to any issues raised by VTrans regarding the Federal-aid process and/or requirements.

          vii) For full oversight projects, respond in a timely manner to all required approval actions.

          viii) For full oversight projects, participate in project scoping, plan development, and construction inspections. FHWA will document its comments, findings, and inspections and will forward them to VTrans.

          ix) For delegated projects, attend project scoping if FHWA determines it is needed or if requested by VTrans and time allows.

          x) In consultation with VTrans, may become actively involved in any FAHP project, including those for which the State has been delegated FHWA’s responsibilities, when unique circumstances arise or when program or process reviews are being conducted.  FHWA may reduce or terminate this active involvement when it is determined, in consultation with VTrans, to be no longer necessary.

    2. VTrans:
      1. Interstate System Projects VTrans shall assume all FHWA Title 23 authority for certain projects on the Interstate System. These projects include,
        1. Projects, which qualify for a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Categorical Exclusion (CE) approval and have a construction cost estimate that is $10 million or less for bridge projects and $5 million or less for pavement projects at the time of PE authorization in FMIS, unless the project incorporates an Unusual Bridge or Unusual Structure.
        2. pProjects which qualify for a NEPA Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) are full oversight until completion of the NEPA document. At that time, projects that have a construction cost estimate of $10 million or less for bridge projects and $5 million for pavement projects are delegated to VTrans, unless the project incorporates an Unusual Bridge or Unusual Structure.
        3. VTrans will inform FHWA when a project has a significant change in Scope of Work subsequent to the determination of delegated or non-delegated status of the project. Based on this information a project’s status may be reassessed.
        4. FHWA will be responsible for the oversight of all non-Title 23 aspects of these projects, such as NEPA and ROW.
      2. Non-Interstate NHS projects - VTrans shall assume all FHWA Title 23 authority for certain projects on the non-Interstate System NHS. These projects include,
        1. pProjects which qualify for a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Categorical Exclusion (CE) approval and have a construction cost estimate that is $25 million or less at the time of PE authorization in FMIS, unless the project incorporates an Unusual Bridge.
        2. Projects, which qualify for a NEPA Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), are full oversight until completion of the NEPA document. At that time, projects that have a construction cost estimate of $25 million or less are delegated to VTrans, unless the project incorporates an Unusual Bridge.
        3. VTrans will inform FHWA when a project has a significant change in Scope of Work subsequent to the determination of delegated or non-delegated status of the project. Based on this information a project’s status may be reassessed.
      3. Non-NHS Federal-aid highways Projects - VTrans shall assume all FHWA Title 23 responsibilities for projects on non-NHS Federal-aid highways.  VTrans may not assume responsibility for Federal actions outside of Title 23, such as NEPA, Civil Rights, and some ROW responsibilities
      4. VTrans agrees to comply with specific control documents in assuming certain program and project-level responsibilities under 23 USC 106 (Project Approval and Oversight), FHWA-approved standards in accordance with 23 CFR 625.4 (Standards, Policies, and Standard Specifications), 655.603 (Standards – Traffic Control Devices on Federal-aid and other Streets and Highways) and related Federal regulations and policies.
      5. Standards for the Interstate projects shall meet or exceed Vermont State Standards, see Appendix A, A.1.b.
      6. Standards for the non-Interstate System NHS projects shall meet or exceed agreed upon criteria. (23 U.S.C. 109)
      7. Standards for non-NHS projects shall meet or exceed standards adopted by VTrans unless a design exception has been approved.
      8. For projects with ITS Elements that are non-FHWA oversight, VTrans shall provide FHWA with a letter certifying that said elements are in compliance with 23 CFR 940.
      9. Comply with the Federal laws and regulations contained in Title 23, 23 CFR, and all non-Title 23 requirements.
      10. For delegated projects that are developed and administered by Local Public Agency (LPA) and/or sub-recipients through the VTrans Local Transportation Facilities (LTF), VTrans shall provide the necessary guidance, review, and approval. VTrans will review local action for compliance with all requirements of Federal and State laws in accordance with Title 23.

 Project Management APPROVAL ACTION RESPONSIBILITY MATRIX

Approval Action AGENCY Responsibility
 Non-Delegated NHS and other Projects Delegated NHS projects Non-NHS Projects
WESTERN CORRIDOR AND Albany-Bennington-Burlington-Rutland-Essex Junction Project (ABRB)      
All Activities FHWA FHWA FHWA
PROGRAMMING      
Verify project in approved STIP FHWA FHWA FHWA
Verify eligibility for proposed funding category FHWA FHWA FHWA
Forest Highway Program Development (23 CFR 660.109) N/A N/A FHWA
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
In-Kind-Match (FHWA Vermont Division memorandum "Tapered Match Usage with In Kind Contributions" Dated: March 29, 2012) FHWA FHWA FHWA
Obligate funds FHWA FHWA FHWA
Approve vouchers submitted FHWA FHWA FHWA
Approve Federal-aid Project Agreement (PR-2) and modifications submitted FHWA FHWA FHWA
Perform validation and provide to FHWA justification or documentation of inactive project obligations (23 CFR 630.106) VTrans VTrans VTrans
Authorize advance construction and conversions (23 CFR 630.703 &709) FHWA FHWA FHWA
Approve administrative settlements costs – Contract claims (23 CFR 140.505) FHWA VTrans(1) VTrans(1)
Limitations on Federal participation (23 CFR 1.9 (a)(b) FHWA FHWA FHWA
Select and submit projects to FHWA (23 USC 114(a)) VTrans VTrans VTrans
Submit request for payment of construction to FHWA (23 USC 114(a)) VTrans VTrans VTrans
Submit Completion Report to FHWA (23 USC 121(b) & 132) VTrans VTrans VTrans
DESIGN      
Approve exceptions to design standards (23 CFR 625.3(f)) FHWA VTrans (1, 2, 5) VTrans
Interstate System Access Change FHWA FHWA NA
Public interest finding with respect to airport-highway clearance (23 CFR 620.104) FHWA FHWA FHWA
Approval Action AGENCY Responsibility
 Non-Delegated NHS and other Projects Delegated NHS projects Non-NHS Projects
FHWA HQ approves preliminary plans for Unusual Bridges and Unusual Structures ON THE INTERSTATE (FHWA Memorandum "Project Oversight Unusual Bridges and Structures" Date: November 13, 1998) FHWA FHWA N/A
Value Engineering (VE). Federal-aid bridge projects ≥ $40 million and all Federal-aid projects on the NHS ≥ $50 million on the NHS and any project determined to be appropriate. FHWA approves resolution of VE projects. (23 USC 106 (e)) VTrans(12) VTrans(12) VTrans(12)
Construction Project Full Oversight For non-delegated projects, FHWA participates in project scoping, plan development, and construction inspections. FHWA will document its comments, findings, and inspections and will forward them to VTrans. FHWA N/A N/A
Approve use of publicly owned equipment (23 CFR 635.106) FHWA VTrans(1) VTrans(1)
Approve the use of proprietary products, processes & restrictions(23 CFR 635.411) FHWA VTrans(1) VTrans(1)
State Preference for Materials (23 CFR 635.409) FHWA FHWA FHWA
Approval of Public Interest Finding (PIF)23 CFR 635.411 FHWA VTrans(1) VTrans(1)
Concur in use of publicly furnished materials(23 CFR 635.407). FHWA VTrans(1) VTrans(1)
ITS Projects FHWA FHWA FHWA
Wildflower Waiver of ¼ of 1 % requirement of landscaping projects (23 USC 319.b) FHWA VTrans(1) VTrans(1)
ENVIRONMENT
All CE, EA/FONSI. EIS/ROD, 4(f), 106, 6(f) and other approval actions required by Federal law, regulations, or Executive Order. FHWA FHWA FHWA
Eligibility of stormwater mitigation for non-highway runoff (FHWA memo Guidance On 23 U.S.C. 328 Environmental Restoration and Pollution Abatement, August 17, 2006) FHWA VTrans(1) VTrans(1)
Exempt bridge from Coast Guard permit requirements (23 CFR 650.805) FHWA FHWA FHWA
RIGHT-OF-WAY
Authorize Right-of-Way activities (23 CFR 710.203) (If a federal-aid project) FHWA FHWA FHWA
Construction Advertising, availability statements and certifications (23 CFR 710.311) FHWA VTrans VTrans
Change of Access (23 CFR 710.401) FHWA VTrans(1) (FHWA approves agreements for all controlled access facilities) VTrans
Accept Right-of-Way certificate as a condition of PS&E approval (23 CFR 635.309c)(3)) FHWA VTrans (1) VTrans (1)
Exception Right-of-Way certificate as a condition of PS&E approval (23 CFR 635.309c)(3)) FHWA FHWA FHWA
Protective Buying and Hardship Acquisition(23 CFR 710.503) (If a federal-aid project) FHWA FHWA FHWA
Early Acquisition (23 CFR 710.501) FHWA VTrans(1) VTrans(1)
Approve air space agreements (23 CFR 710. Subpart D, 23 CRF 1.23) FHWA(Interstate Only) VTrans(FHWA approves agreements for all controlled access facilities) VTrans(1)
Approve non-highway use and occupancy(23 CFR 710 Subpart D) FHWA VTrans(1) (FHWA approves agreements for all controlled access facilities) VTrans(1)
Approve disposal of federally funded right-of-way(23 CFR 710 Subpart D) FHWA(Interstate Only)VTrans(1) (VTrans approves agreement for non-interstate) VTrans(1)(11) (FHWA approves agreements for all controlled access facilities) VTrans(1)
Public or private information centers and systems (23 CFR 752.7 and 752.8) FHWA VTrans(FHWA approves agreements for all controlled access facilities) VTrans
PS&E AND ADVERTISING
Approve plans, specifications and estimates (23 CFR 630.205 and 23 CFR 635.309) FHWA VTrans VTrans
Authorize utility or railroad work (23 CFR 645 & 646) FHWA VTrans(6) VTrans(6)
Approval and authorization of utility and railroad agreements as a separate project (23 CFR 645.113 & 646.216) FHWA VTrans(6) VTrans(6)
Approve use of consultants by utility companies(23 CFR 645.109(b)) FHWA VTrans VTrans
Approve exceptions to maximum railroad protective insurance limits (23 CFR 646.111) FHWA VTrans VTrans
Approve consultant contracts (23 CFR 172.7 - 172.9) FHWA FHWA(7) VTrans(7)
Consultant use as VTrans Project Manager (23 CFR 172.9 (d)) FHWA FHWA FHWA
CONSTRUCTION      
Approve cost effectiveness and emergency determinations for contracts awarded by other than competitive bidding (23 CFR 635.104 &.204) FHWA VTrans(1) VTrans(1)
Approve construction engineering by local agency (23 CFR 635.105) FHWA(4) VTrans VTrans
Approve addenda during advertising period (23 CFR 635.112) FHWA VTrans VTrans
Approve advertising period less than three weeks (23 CFR 635.112) FHWA VTrans(1) VTrans(1)
Concur in award of contract (23 CFR 635.114) FHWA VTrans(1) VTrans
Concur in rejection of a bid or bids (23 CFR 635.114) FHWA VTrans(1) VTrans(1)
Approve contract change orders, change in design or supplemental agreements (23 CFR 635.120 (e)) FHWA VTrans(8) VTrans(8)
Approve contract time extensions (23 CFR 635.121) FHWA VTrans VTrans
Concur in use of mandatory borrow/disposal sites(23 CFR 635.407) FHWA VTrans(1) VTrans(1)
Accept materials certification (23 CFR 637.207) FHWA VTrans(1) N/A
Concur in settlement of contract disputes (23 CFR 635.124) FHWA VTrans(1) VTrans(1)
Concur in termination of contracts (23 CFR 635.125) FHWA VTrans(1) VTrans(1)
Liquidated damages (23 CFR 635.127) FHWA VTrans VTrans
Waive Buy America provisions (23 CFR 635.410) FHWA FHWA FHWA
Innovative Contracting      
Design-build contracting (23 CFR 636) FHWA FHWA(9) FHWA(9)
Construction Manager/General Contractor FHWA FHWA(9) FHWA(9)
EMERGENCY RELIEF PROGRAM
Notification to FHWA (23 CFR 668.111(a)) VTrans VTrans VTrans
Damage surveys VTrans(1) VTrans(1) VTrans(1)
Application to FHWA (23 CFR 668.111(c)) VTrans VTrans VTrans
Approval of Application (23 CFR 668.111(d)) FHWA FHWA FHWA
CIVIL RIGHTS
All approval actions required by Federal laws and regulations. FHWA FHWA FHWA

Footnotes:

  1. Informational copy to FHWA (Record keeping and reporting)
  2. Exceptions for vertical clearance are subject to coordination with the Military Traffic Management Command for the "26,000 mile priority network" (mainly the Interstate). See FDM 11-44-1. Coordination will be accomplished through the FHWA.
  3. Approvals, if any, will be those required by State laws, regulations, policies, and procedures. However, this does not relieve the VTrans from responsibility for these areas, nor from compliance with non-Title 23 Federal requirements, which may remain applicable.
  4. On a case-by-case basis.
  5. FHWA will approve all Interstate System design exceptions to design standards.
  6. For lump sum agreements or force account work ≥ $100,000 needs to be submitted to FHWA for information.
  7. Retainer contract used on oversight and delegated projects FHWA approves. If contract is specific to a delegated project or group of delegated projects then VTrans approves.
  8. Major change orders will require additional review and comments by FHWA before being approved by VTrans. For definition of Major change order see VTrans Field Memo #1-2010 ( 23 CFR 635.120(e))
  9. To be delegated to VTrans once Design-Build Manual is approved by FHWA.
  10. To be delegated to VTrans once Construction Manager/General Contractor Manual is approved by FHWA.
  11. VTrans to resolve the recommendations of the VE report for design projects and submit those resolutions to FHWA for approval. Additionally, submit an annual report of VE activities for design and active construction projects.
  12. FHWA approval required for disposal of any excess right-of-way at less than fair market value where the original right-of-way was acquired with Federal funds.

Appendix A

Control Documents

FHWA reviews and approves original, updates, and amendments to control documents.

A.1 Completed Control Documents:

  1. Vermont State Standards (for design) (23 CFR 625.3) Approved December 4, 1997or later approved
  2. VTrans Standard Specifications for Construction (23 CFR 625.4) Approved2011
  3. VTrans Standard Drawings (23 CFR 625.4) Each sheet of a plan is approved, on-going process
  4. Traffic Safety in Highway and Street Work Zones Procedures (23 CFR 630 subpart)
  5. VTrans Policies and Procedures on Prequalification, Bidding, and Award of Contracts (23 CFR 635.110) Approved January 1, 2007
  6. Subcontracting Procedures (23 CRF 635.114)
  7. Liquidated Damages Rates (23 CFR 635.127) Updated every two years
  8. Quality Assurance Program (23 CFR 637.207(a))
  9. Right-of-Way Operations Manual (23 CFR 710.201(c)(1)) June 13, 2012
  10. VTrans written policies and procedures for implementing its sign removal program under State law and in compliance with 23 U.S.C. 131 (23 CFR 750.304)
  11. VTrans Noise Analysis and Abatement Policy July 1997 (23 CFR part 772) as conditionally approved by FHWA letter dated July 13, 2011
  12. Vermont Agency of Administration, Bulletin 3.5, Contracting Procedures, 49 CFR 18.36(b) - State Procurement Standards and Procedures. FHWA makes a determination that these standards and procedures conform to applicable Federal law and standards identified in this section.

A.2 Pending Control Documents:

  1. Consult Services Contract Procedures (23 CFR 172.9) partially complete
  2. VTrans Guideline for Cost Effectiveness determinations for Force Account Work (23 CFR 635.104) pending
  3. Accommodation of Utilities, (23 CFR part 645, subpart B) pending

A.3 Control Documents requiring FHWA review if developed:

  1. State Design-Build Procedures – Federal-aid Highway Projects (23 CFR 636.104) if developed
  2. Alternate Procedures – Utilities (23 CFR 645.119) if developed
  3. State – Railroad Master Agreement (23 CFR 646.216(d)(5)) if developed
  4. Alternate Procedures – Railroads (23 CFR 646.220) if developed

APPENDIX B GLOSSARY

Control Document
Standards, manuals, policies, procedures, reports, certifications and standard specifications that are acceptable to FHWA for application in the geometric and structural design, construction, and management of highways. List of control documents are included in Appendix A.
Delegated Projects
Projects that do not require FHWA to review or approve most actions. See Section 5, Project Management and the Project Management Approval Action Responsibility Matrix for these review and approval actions.
Emergency Relief
The Emergency Relief (ER) program is intended to aid States in repairing road facilities, which have suffered widespread serious damage resulting from a natural disaster over a wide area or serious damage from a catastrophic failure.  23 CFR 668.105
Federal-aid Highway Program
Congress has charged Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with administering the Federal-aid Highway Program (FAHP) under Title 23, and other associated laws.
Federal-aid Highway System
The Federal-aid systems are the Interstate System and the National Highway System
Federal-aid Highways
The term "Federal-aid highway" means a highway eligible for assistance under this chapter other than a highway classified as a local road or rural minor collector.
FHWA
Federal Highway Administration
Full Oversight Projects
Projects that require FHWA to review and approve most actions pertaining to project development and contract modification. See the Project Management Approval Action Responsibility Matrix for these review and approval actions.
ITS
Intelligent Transportation Systems (23 CFR 940.3)
ITS Elements
Intelligent Transportation System items including, environmental sensor stations (ESS),Traffic signalization, Traffic signal prioritization/preemption, fiber optic cabling, RWIS stations, DMS (Dynamic Signs and installations), weight and motion station, flood sensors, and other similar items identified or to be identified in the approved Statewide or CCMPO ITS architectures.
ITS Projects
Any project that in whole or in part funds the acquisition of technologies or systems of technologies that provide or significantly contribute to the provision of one or more ITS user services as defined in the approved statewide or CCMPO ITS architectures.
Major ITS Projects
Any ITS project that implements part of a regional ITS initiative that is multi-jurisdictional, multi-modal, or otherwise affects regional integration of ITS systems including interconnected signals.
Unusual Bridges
Unusual bridges are bridges that have:
  1. difficult or unique foundation problems,
  2. new or complex designs with unique operational or design features,
  3. bridges with exceptionally long spans (i.e. ≥ 500 feet),
  4. an estimated deck area of greater than 125,000 square feet, or
  5. bridges being designed with procedures that depart from currently recognized acceptable practices.  Examples of unusual bridges include cable-stayed, suspension, arch, segmental concrete, movable, and truss bridges. (for further information see, FHWA Memorandum "Project Oversight Unusual Bridges and Structures" Date: November 13, 1998)
Unusual Structures
Unusual Structures are those that are atypical or have unique design features. Examples of unusual structures are tunnels, geotechnical structures featuring new or complex wall systems, or ground improvement systems, large-scale hydraulic structures, and hydraulic structures that involve complex stream stability countermeasures. (For further information see, FHWA Memorandum "Project Oversight Unusual Bridges and Structures" Date: November 13, 1998)
National Highway System (NHS)
Consists of interconnected urban and rural principal arterials and highways, which serve major population centers, international border crossings, ports, airports, public transportation facilities, other intermodal transportation facilities and other major travel destinations; meet national defense requirements; and serve interstate and interregional travel. All routes on the Interstate System are a part of the National Highway System. 23 CFR § 470.107(b)

For Vermont NHS see http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep10/nhs/maps/vt/vt_vermont.pdf

Non-Title 23 Programs
The United States Codes (U.S.C.) governing programs such as National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Air Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, On-the-Job Training, Council on Environmental Quality, Section 4(f),, Prevailing Wage Rates, Acquisition of Right-of-Way, that have a direct effect on implementing the Federal-aid Highway Program and those required in USC and CFR.
Oversight
This is the act of ensuring that the Federal-aid Highway Program is delivered consistent with applicable laws, regulations, and policies. In this context, oversight is the compliance or verification component of FHWA stewardship activities. , Oversight activities ensure that the implementation of the various elements of the Federal-aid Highway Program are in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies. More broadly focused oversight activities enable the FHWA to ensure the effective delivery and operation of the transportation system envisioned in its base Federal statutes.
Performance Measure
A tangible, measurable value or characteristic against which actual achievement can be compared, including a result expressed as a quantitative standard, value, or rate.  Another term used for a performance measure is a performance indicator.
Program Area
A program in which performance measures, program assessments, program/process reviews, program management and project management activities will be developed to govern the management of the Federal-aid Highway Program. Core program areas are (Planning, Contracting, Environment, ROW, Finance, Safety, Bridge, Civil Rights, Design, Construction, Operations, System Preservation, and Research).
Program Assessment
This process may take many forms including joint risk assessments, self-assessments, and Vermont Division Program Assessments. All of these techniques are based on the common concepts of identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and the identification and sharing of "best practices" to continually improve the program.
Program Management
Ensuring that Federal program requirements are met through daily stewardship, oversight, and assistance.
Program / Process Review
A review is a thorough analysis of key program components and the processes employed by VTrans in managing the Federal-aid programs. A review is conducted to
  1. ensure compliance with Federal requirements,
  2. identify areas for efficiencies and improvements to the program,
  3. identify exemplary practices, and/or
  4. define and document the process being reviewed.
Project
An undertaking by VTrans for highway construction, including preliminary engineering, acquisition of rights-of-way, and actual construction, or for highway planning and research, or for any other work or activity to carry out the provisions of the Federal laws for the administration of Federal aid for highways. 23 CFR § 1.2(b)
Project Management
This responsibility includes
  1. the development of a project’s design, plans, specifications,
  2. obtaining environmental permits,
  3. developing cost estimates,
  4. performing right-of-way activities and providing right-of-way certification statements,
  5. providing fiscal management, and
  6. awarding a contract(s),
  7. performing construction, and inspections/final acceptance of a project.
ROW
Right-of-Way
Risk Management
The systematic process of identifying, assessing, and managing threats and opportunities faced by Federal-aid projects and programs.
Strategy
A description of one or more activities, programs, or projects, which will be produced or provided over a multi-year period or by a specified date. 
Stewardship
The efficient and effective management of the public funds that have been entrusted to VTrans and the FHWA.
Title 23
The United States Code governing the Federal-aid Highway Program.
VTrans
Vermont Agency of Transportation

Appendix C Performance Measures

Vermont Stewardship and Oversight Performance Measures
Compile all data for annual February 15 report.

ID Performance Measures Program Area Description Unit of Measure Reporting Period Due Date for Reporting Additional Information (Including Methodology) Data Source Owner (FHWA/VTrans)
1 Number of Fatalities Safety Safety statistics should be reported on the previous calendar year. The best available data at the time should be used. Example: The FY11 reported information should be best CY10 available data. Number CY Quarterly   GHSP Roger Thompson
2 Fatality Rate per Hundred Million Vehicle Miles Safety Safety statistics should be reported on the previous calendar year. The best available data at the time should be used. Example: The FY11 reported information should be best CY10 available data. Number CY 31-Jan   GHSP Roger Thompson
3 Tri-State Sign  Safety Tri-state Asset Performance Measures see 2011 Annual Report for more information   CY 31-Jan Tri-state Asset Performance Measures   VTrans
4 Tri-State Safety Safety Tri-state Asset Performance Measures see 2011 Annual Report for more information   CY 31-Jan Tri-state Asset Performance Measures   VTrans
5 Percent of Current Year Projects in STIP Advanced to construction Planning Considering the STIP that was finalized in the first quarter of this Federal Fiscal Year, what percent of the projects that were scheduled to go to construction actually went to construction? (Enter percentage as a whole number). % FFY Quarterly     Chris Jolly
6 Number of NEPA Categorical Exclusions Reviewed by FHWA VT Division Environment Number of NEPA Categorical Exclusions Reviewed by FHWA VT Division office Environment Program Manager. Number PY (6/1 to 5/31) 15-Jun   VT Division Rob Sikora
7 Number of 4fs Reviewed by FHWA VT Division Environment Number of 4fs Reviewed by FHWA VT Division office Environment Program Manager. Number PY (6/1 to 5/31) 15-Jun   VT Division Rob Sikora
8 Percent of parcels acquired using administrative settlements that exceeds 10% of appraised value and $10,000 ROW Use of administrative settlements 49 CFR 102(i) % CY 31-Jan     VTrans
9 Percentage of projects with conditional ROW certifications ROW 23 CFR 635.309 (c) % CY 31-Jan     VTrans
11 Disadvantaged Business Enterprise participation rate Civil Rights Participation rate Disadvantaged Business Enterprise in federally funded projects. Annual Target. % FFY Annual     VTrans
12 Percent of Federal-aid Program of Total State Program Program Delivery Total Federal-aid apportionment (not allocations and earmarks) divided by all state revenues*. Calculated as [Fed$/(State$ + Fed$ + Other Source$ (Tolls, Misc., Local)] (Enter the result to a 10th of a percent.)
 *STATE REVENUE sources includes: Federal Funding for Highways, Bond Proceeds, Tolls, State Motor Fuel Tax, State Motor Vehicle Tax, Other State Funding, Local Funding on State and Federal projects.
% FFY Annual     VTrans
13 Number of all Active Construction Projects expect for coming construction season Construction Information to be use in FHWA Construction Inspection Program Number  Construction season 1-May     VTrans
14 Value of all Active Construction Projects expect for coming construction season Construction Information to be use in FHWA Construction Inspection Program Number  Construction season 1-May     VTrans
15 Number of Full Oversight Active Construction Projects expect for coming construction season Construction Information to be use in FHWA Construction Inspection Program Number  Construction season 1-May     VTrans
16 Value of Full Oversight Active Construction Projects expect for coming construction season Construction Information to be use in FHWA Construction Inspection Program Number  Construction season 1-May     VTrans
17 Number of LPA Active Construction Projects expect for coming construction season Construction Information to be use in FHWA Construction Inspection Program Number  Construction season 1-May     VTrans
18 Value of LPA Active Construction Projects expect for coming construction season Construction Information to be use in FHWA Construction Inspection Program Number  Construction season 1-May     VTrans
19 Number of all Active Construction Projects during construction season Construction Information to be use in FHWA Construction Inspection Program Number  Construction season 30-Nov     VTrans
20 Number of Full Oversight Active Construction Projects during construction season Construction Information to be use in FHWA Construction Inspection Program Number  Construction season 30-Nov     VTrans
21 Number of LPA Active Construction Projects during construction season Construction Information to be use in FHWA Construction Inspection Program Number  Construction season 30-Nov     VTrans
23 Tri-State Percent On-Time: Percent Advertised on time Construction Tri-state Asset Performance Measures see 2011 Annual Report for more information % CY 31-Jan Tri-state Asset Performance Measures   VTrans
24 Tri-State Total Delivery: Total Construction Value Delivered Construction Tri-state Asset Performance Measures see 2011 Annual Report for more information $ CY 31-Jan Tri-state Asset Performance Measures   VTrans
25 Tri-State Estimate vs. Award: Award Amount vs. Cost Estimate Construction Tri-state Asset Performance Measures see 2011 Annual Report for more information % CY 31-Jan Tri-state Asset Performance Measures   VTrans
26 Tri-State Pavement Condition Highway  Tri-state Asset Performance Measures see 2011 Annual Report for more information Number CY 31-Jan Tri-state Asset Performance Measures   VTrans
27 Tri-State Bridge Condition Index Bridge Tri-state Asset Performance Measures see 2011 Annual Report for more information Number CY 31-Jan Tri-state Asset Performance Measures   VTrans
28 Tri-State Percent of Structurally Deficient by Deck Area
Bridge Tri-state Asset Performance Measures see 2011 Annual Report for more information % CY 31-Jan Tri-state Asset Performance Measures   VTrans
29 Number of National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS) compliance metrics assessed as satisfactory, actively improving, and unsatisfactory. Bridge FHWA NBIS standard performance measure  Number FFY 30-Sep From FHWA PY13 Strategic Implementation Plan SP-3.   Tod Kimball
30 Percent of inactive obligations for Federal-Aid Highway Program Finance Information from Finance Team % FFY Quarterly   FMIS Finance Team
31 Number of inactive obligations not justified by VTrans. Finance Description: FHWA requires that all the state provide adequate justifications for all inactive obligations.  Without adequate justification the Division office should take appropriate steps to remove inactive obligations.  The Division office requests VTrans supply justifications for any inactive obligations on a quarterly basis. (Data includes obligation activity ending the previous quarter).
Unit is Number of inactive obligations reported remain unjustified within the quarterly reporting period.
Number FFY Annual     VTrans

Contact

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

 
 
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Updated: 11/23/2012
 

FHWA
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration