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Highways for LIFE

Arrow ACTION: Solicitation for FY2013 Candidate Projects for Highways for LIFE

HIGHWAYS FOR LIFE PILOT PROGRAM DISCRETIONARY GRANTS FOR FY 2013 - SELECTION CRITERIA AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Statutory References

SAFETEA-LU Section 1502

Program Summary

The Highways for LIFE (HfL) Pilot Programwas established under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) to advance longer-lasting highways using innovative technologies and practices to accomplish the fast construction ofefficient and safe highways and bridges. The program authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to provide leadership and incentives to demonstrate and promote state-of-the art technologies, elevated performance standards,and new business practices in the highway construction process that result in improved safety, faster construction, reduced congestion from construction, and improved quality and user satisfaction.

The incentive grant for the Demonstration Construction Project element under the HfL Pilot Programis 20 percent ofthe total cost of the construction project with a maximum incentive of approximately $5,000,000.

Funding

Funded by contract authority; funds are not transferable. Funds are subject to the overall Federal-aid highway obligation limitation.

The monetary incentive is up to 20 percent, but not more than $5,000,000 ofthe total cost of a construction project. This would be in addition to the State apportionment. The funds may be used to offset the State's match thereby making it a 100 percent federally funded project.

Federal Share

The Federal share of the cost of a project carried out under this program may amount to 100 percent of the cost of construction of such project.

Eligible Use Of Funds

A proposed project shall be eligible for assistance under the HfL program if the project:

  1. Constructs, reconstructs, or rehabilitates a route or connection on a Federal-aid highway eligible for assistance under chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code;
  2. Uses innovative technologies, manufacturing processes, financing, or contracting methods that improve safety, reduce congestion due to construction, and improve quality; and
  3. Meets the additional criteria outline in this solicitation.

Statutory Priority Consideration

In selecting projects under this program, the Secretary will give priority to projects that:

  1. Address achieving the HfL performance goals for safety, construction congestion (including speed ofconstruction), quality, and user satisfaction (see details below);
  2. Deliver and deploy "proven" innovative technologies, manufacturing processes, financing, contracting practices, and performance measures that are never, or rarely used, by the State, and that will demonstrate substantial improvements in safety, congestion, quality, and cost-effectiveness;
  3. Include innovation that is intended to change the administration of the State DOT's transportation program to more quickly construct long-lasting, high-quality, cost effective projects that improve safety and reduce congestion on a recurring basis;
  4. Are or will be ready for construction within 1 year of approval of the project proposal. For the purposes of the HfL program, the FHWA considers a project to be "ready for construction" when the FHWA Division Office authorizes the construction project.

Project Selection Criteria

The FHWA has not established regulatory criteria for the selection of HfL projects; however, FHWA will consider the following in the evaluation of candidates for this program, in addition to the priority considerations set forth above:

  1. The State DOT demonstrates a willingness to participate in subsequent technology transfer and information dissemination activities associated with the project(s);
  2. The State DOT is willing to accept FHWA Division Office oversight if the project is approved by HfL;
  3. Projects which deploy Every Day Counts technologies and processes and meet the HfL performance goals will be given additional consideration. (Innovations listed at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/everydaycounts/); and
  4. Projects that go to construction in fiscal year 2013 will be given additional consideration.

The performance goals of HfL projects that satisfy the first statutory priority consideration described above include:

Safety
  • Work Zone Safety During Construction - work zone crash rate equal to the pre-construction rate at the project location;
  • Worker Safety During Construction - worker injury rate less than 4.0 based on the OSHA 300 rate;
  • Facility Safety After Construction - 20 percent reduction in fatalities and injuries as reflected in 3-year average crash rates, using pre-construction rates as the baseline.
Construction Congestion
  • Faster Construction - 50 percent reduction, compared to traditional methods, in the duration that highway users are impacted;
  • Trip Time During Construction - less than 10 percent reduction in the average pre-construction speed using 100 percent sampling; or
  • Queue Length During Construction - the line of vehicles passing through the construction work zone should be less than 0.5 mile long (travel speed 20 percent less than posted speed) in a rural area OR a moving queue length less than 1.5 miles long (travel speeds 20 percent or less than the posted speed limit) in an urban area.
Quality
  • Smoothness - an inertial Profile, International Roughness Index (IRI) of less than 48 inches/mile;
  • Noise - a tire to pavement noise measurement of less than 96.0 decibels using the On Board Sound Intensity (OBSI) Method.
User Satisfaction
  • User Satisfaction - Pre- and post- project construction surveys will be used to determine user satisfaction in two areas: (1) How satisfied the user is with the new facility, compared with its previous state, and (2) how satisfied the user is with the approach used to construct the new facility in terms of minimizing disruption. A five-point Likert scale will be used for measurement, and the goal for each area will be 4+.

Policy Considerations:

Restoring economic health and creating jobs through improvements to transportation infrastructure are among the highest priorities of the FHWA. In furtherance of these priorities, the FHWA will give priority consideration to projects and activities that create new jobs in the short-term and contribute to the economic competitiveness ofthe United States over the long-term. Applicants are encouraged to explain how their project will contribute to increased employment and enhance economic competitiveness.

In addition to a project's transportation and economic benefits, when allocating funds to carry out the program, the FHWA will also give consideration to providing an equitable and geographic distribution of funds.

Submission Requirements

States are requested to submit applications to their respective FHWA Division Office by December 31,2012.

NOTE: The application cannot exceed 10 pages.

All applications from the State must be submitted to their FHWA Division Office. The Division Office is to forward the State's application and provide a recommendation memorandum to the HfL office with the following information:

  • Identify the features in the application that are truly innovative in their State (not a standard practice);
  • Determine if the project meets the eligibility requirements of HfL;
  • Identify the measurable HfL goals that will be met by the innovations;
  • Determine if the innovations will make a significant improvement in the State's construction program;
  • Provide a recommendation if this project should be selected as a HfL project; and
  • Determine if the State is willing to consider making a standard practice ofthe innovation after a successful demonstration.

Only State Transportation Agencies (STA) may submit applications for funding under this program. The STA is responsible to collect, review, prioritize and submit all applications for local and other State agencies to the appropriate FHWA Division Office. The following information must be included to properly evaluate the candidate projects:

  1. Applicant Information
    • Application for FY
    • Application date
    • Applicant name, title, phone, and e-mail
  2. Project Information
    • Project description (location, purpose and scope)
    • Anticipated FHWA construction authorization date
    • Construction duration time
  3. Highways for LIFE Incentives
    • Amount of grant requested
  4. Innovative Features:
    An "innovation", as defined here, must be one that the State has never before or rarely used. Innovations used on emergency or unique projects are exceptions. The proposed innovations must be available and readyfor use. They should not require further development or test and evaluation. The innovations must have (as appropriate) standards, specifications, test procedures, training and operations guidance to support the application of the innovation in routine highway design and construction. Further, the innovations have been used successfully in the U.S. or internationally and documentation or sufficient evidence ofthe benefits must also be available. Please provide sufficient information to support the feasibility of the proposed innovations.
    • Safety
      • Describe the proposed innovations that will be used in meeting the HfL performance goal of achieving a work zone crash rate equal to or less than the existing condition. If your goal is different from the HfL goal please provide an explanation of your goal. Include in your discussion the current crash data for the project location.
      • Describe the proposed innovations that will be used in meeting the HfL performance goal of achieving an incident rate for worker injuries to be less than 4.0 based on the OSHA 300 rate. If your goal is different from the HfL goal please provide an explanation of your goal.
      • Describe the proposed innovations that will contribute to a 20 percent reduction in fatalities and injuries as reflected in a 3-year average crash rate, using pre-construction rates as a baseline.
    • Construction Congestion
      • Describe the proposed innovations that will be used in meeting the HfL performance goal of a 50 percent reduction, compared to traditional methods, in the duration that highway users are impacted. If your goal is different from the HfL goal please provide an explanation of your goal.
      • Describe the proposed innovations that will be used in meeting the HfL performance goal for trip time or queue length during construction.
        • The trip time goal is less than 10 percent increase in trip time during construction as compared to the average pre-construction time using 100 percent sampling.
        • The queue length goal is a moving queue length less than 1/2 mile (travel speed 20 percent less than posted speed) in a rural area OR a moving queue length less than 1½ mile (travel speed 20 percent less than posted speed) in an urban area.
      • If your goal is different from the HfL goal, please provide an explanation of your goal. Include in your discussion a baseline on what the trip time or queue length would be if traditional methods were used.
    • Quality
      • Does the project include the HfL performance goal of International Roughness Index (IRI) of less than 48 in/mi? If your goal is different from the HfL goal, please provide an explanation of your goal. Include in your discussion a baseline of what the existing minimum acceptable IRI is for the project and the method used in achieving the HfL goal.
      • Does the project include the HfL performance goal of achieving tire-pavement noise measurement of less than 96.0 decibels using the On Board Sound Intensity (OBSI)* test method? This is the tire to pavement noise and not the noise measured for a noise sensitive area or receptor noise. If your goal is different from the HfL goal, please provide an explanation of your goal. Include in your discussion if this is a standard noise measurement for your State. (* This is a revisionfrom the FY06 performance goal which identified using the Close Proximity (CPX) test method.)
      • Describe any other proposed innovations that will improve the durability and quality of work performed in fabrication and construction.
      • Describe any advanced material that will be used to prolong the life of the infrastructure (i.e. roadway and bridge). Provide justification for selecting its use.
      • Identify equipment innovations that will improve quality and describe the functionality of the equipment.
    • User Satisfaction
      • Does the project include the HfL performance goal of 4+ on the Likert scale for the following questions; (1) How satisfied the user is with the new facility, compared with its previous condition, and (2) How satisfied the user is with the approach used to construct the new facility in terms of minimizing disruption? Describe the process user satisfaction will be measured.
  5. Summary
    • Provide a brief summary on how this demonstration project can impact the future practices of the industry and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The potential for adopting the identified innovations as standard practice and the benefits to be derived for motorists and the program. Describe the techniques and tools your agency plans to use to communicate the various aspects of the project with highway users and community. (i.e. media relations, surveys, news releases, special events, newsletters, etc.)

State Transportation Agency Responsibilities

  1. Ensure that the applications are completed for candidate projects in accordance with the submission requirements outlined above.
  2. Submit the applications electronically to the local FHWA Division Office on time so that the submission deadline can be met.
  3. Submit request to FHWA division office for allocation of funds, after awards are announced, and when project funds are ready to be obligated.

Announcement of Awards / Allocation of Funds

After the applications are received and projects are selected for funding, it is required that Congress be notified before the funds are allocated to the States. When this congressional notification process is completed, the HfL program office will issue an announcement by email to all FHWA Division Offices, announcing the HfL projects that will be funded and the amount of funding for each project.

At that time, States may request that funds be allocated for any projects for which the funds are ready to be obligated. The STA shall send an email to the FHWA Division Office indicating the project, the amount requested for allocation, and the date by which the funds will be obligated. The HfL program office will issue the allocation memorandum within a few days of receiving the allocation request from the Division Office.

FHWA Point of Contact

Ewa Flom
Center for Accelerating Innovation
202-366-2169
Ewa.Flom@dot.gov

More Information

Events

Contact

Ewa Flom
Highways for LIFE
202-366-2169
Ewa.Flom@dot.gov

Updated: 12/11/2012

FHWA
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration