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Implementation Assistance Application for Railroad-DOT Mitigation Strategies (R16)

Background

The challenge facing public transportation agencies and railroads is how to ease the project agreement process in a time of rapid highway construction. The interaction between both industries occurs thousands of times each year on construction of highway projects in the proximity of railways. With each interaction, railroads must carefully review the safety, engineering, and operational impacts during construction and for decades to come. Although most reviews proceed smoothly, both the highway agencies and the railroads agree that delays and setbacks in project development and construction do occur. For the highway agency, delays while waiting for railroads' reviews and agreements can cause increased project costs and extended disruption to users.

The collection of model agreements, sample contracts, training materials, and standardized best practices developed through SHRP2 will enable public agencies and railroads to identify and find solutions to sources of conflicts and delays. These tools reflect research that takes into account both the railroad and public agency perspectives, processes, funding and budgets, and acknowledge best practices. The report, Strategies for Improving the Project Agreement Process Between Highway Agencies and Railroads, outlines recommended practices and offers model agreements that can be modified to meet the legal and contractual requirements of individual transportation agencies and railroads to expedite negotiations. The implementation of this product consists of the following set of resources and strategies:

  • Best practices and streamlined processes
    • Institutional arrangements
    • Innovative partnering techniques
    • Approaches to ensure collaboration
  • Standardized Model Agreements
    • Partnering Memorandum of Understanding
    • Master Project Agreement
    • Preliminary Engineering Agreement
    • Resurfacing Agreements
    • Highway Overpass Agreement
    • Warning Devices Agreement as well as other agreements

This collection of resources as well as practices drawn from partnering, good project management strategies, and process improvement efforts, will expedite the review process.

Leadership Endorsement

Each application submitted from an organization or agency must have the endorsement of the Chief Executive Officer or designee. The letter of endorsement is submitted as an attachment to the application. Guidance for creating an endorsement letter appears in the application below.

Priority Ranking

When an organization or agency submits multiple applications, it must designate priority. Please rank each application in a single grouping, including all product submissions from your agency. Do not separate your organization's applications into categories for individual products, or levels of incentives (i.e., Lead Adopter or User Incentive).

For example, if your agency submits four applications (one for C02/C08/C09/C12/C15, one for R01A, one for R16, and one for R07), your agency must rank each application in priority order from 1 to 4, with 1 as the highest priority and 4 as the lowest priority. For your convenience, you will find a box later in this application to designate the priority ranking. FHWA and AASHTO will take into consideration the agency’s rankings when reviewing and evaluating the applications for implementation assistance. Your priority ranking should be expressed as "X of Y," as in "1 of 4."

For Lead Adopter

  • Lead Adopter
  • At least 8
  • $75,000 in direct funding assistance for implementation of one or more strategies, and technical assistance for facilitation, technical support, peer exchanges, and communication and outreach activities (i.e., workshops, process improvement development, etc.) to incorporate the product as part of the project delivery process.
  • State DOTs, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) or local agencies in partnership with State DOTs
    1. Commitment of State DOT and railroad leadership to explore the use of model agreements, recommended best practices and processes with railroads in their State for streamlining the project review and agreement process.
    2. Identification of at least one Class I railroad in which to develop and implement one or more of the model agreements, best practices, and streamlined processes into their business practices.
    3. Demonstration of R16 agreements on a project or projects.
    4. Willingness to develop a process improvement plan to implement one or more model agreements, best practices, and processes.
    5. Willingness to share any lessons learned, agreements developed, standardized processes and frameworks developed or improved through this process to aid in future training, and to serve as examples to other product users.
    6. Participation in R16 product evaluation including a qualitative, organizational, before/after assessment conducted by an independent consultant for FHWA.
    7. Willingness to share knowledge with at least two other future R16 users.
    8. Willingness to participate in regional or national knowledge-sharing events to promote the product.

For User Incentive

  • User Incentive
  • At least 10
  • Approximately $25,000 of in-kind services, however, no direct payments will be provided to the recipients of user incentives. In-kind services may include technical support and assistance for facilitation, communication and outreach, peer exchanges and technical support to assess, evaluate, or implement one or more strategies.
  • State DOTs, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) or local agencies in partnership with State DOTs
    1. Commitment and support of State DOT leadership to explore the use of the R16 products: standardized agreements, best practices, and streamlined processes into their daily business processes by assessing, evaluating, or implementing R16 products.
    2. Identification of one or more R16 products to be assessed, evaluated, or implemented into their business practice for the improvement of communication, coordination, and cooperation with railroads in their State.
    3. Description of what the agency would like to accomplish if they receive the award, including some of the challenges faced working with railroads and the anticipated deliverables.
    4. Participation in R16 product evaluation including a qualitative, organizational, before/after assessment conducted by an independent consultant for FHWA.
    5. Willingness to share knowledge with other State DOTs interested in this product or to participate in regional or national knowledge-sharing events to promote the product.

If applicants would like to attach a table showing the scope tasks, schedules, and budgets, you can upload files in the following manner. Please don't attach any other items, such as reports or studies to your application.

Application Form

Follow these steps to apply for implementation assistance:

  1. Review all background information located on this product's application page.
  2. Download the form you wish to submit with this application:
  3. Please submit separate applications if applying for assistance for multiple products within this bundle.
  4. Iterate, revise, and secure approvals before uploading the final application and Leadership Endorsement Letter to this site.
  5. Once you have completed this form and secured the required Leadership Endorsement Letter(s), return to application page and complete the contact information fields.
  6. Upload the application materials and the Leadership Endorsement Letter(s) to the page. If you are including multiple application materials, please either add them to the Microsoft Word application form or compress (zip) all documents into a single folder before attaching them. Non-DOT applicants submitting two letters of endorsement—one each from the agency CEO and the CEO of the State DOT—should combine the documents into a single PDF or compressed (zipped) folder before attaching them to this section. Here are instructions for compressing files into a single folder.
  7. Click submit; you will receive an email confirmation that includes the uploaded endorsement letter and application form.
The Round 3 application period has closed.

  • View Leadership Endorsement Guidance


  • Contact Information

Be sure to click submit only one time.

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