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FHWA/MODOT Oversight Manual

Federal-aid Highway Program Requirements and Responsibilities

Revised December 2015

Background

The Federal-aid Highway Program (FAHP) is a federally-assisted program of State-selected projects. The Secretary of Transportation delegated responsibility to the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for the FAHP under Title 23 and associated laws. The FHWA and State Department of Transportation (State DOT) responsibilities in the administration of the FAHP have developed over time, including with the passage of the following legislative actions:

Section 106 of Title 23, United States Code (Section 106), provides the statutory requirements for project approval and oversight of the FAHP. Section 106(c)(3) requires FHWA and State Departments of Transportation to enter into an agreement relating to the extent to which the State DOT assumes project responsibilities. These agreements, called Stewardship and Oversight Agreements (S&O Agreements), include information on specific project responsibilities and provide the requirements for oversight of the FAHP (Oversight Program), as required by 23 U.S.C. 106(g). The Agreement between the FHWA and the State DOT sets forth the roles and responsibilities of the FHWA and the State DOT with respect to Title 23 project approvals and related responsibilities, and FAHP oversight activities. FHWA and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) signed into effect a new S&O Agreement on April 15, 2015; this Agreement replaces the previous Agreement of February 2, 2007, and amended on January 12, 2011.

Purpose

The purpose of this manual is to consolidate information related to managing the Federal-aid Program in Missouri and to serve as a guide which documents the working relationship between FHWA and MODOT and which can be utilized by personnel of both agencies as a reference resource to determine when and if FHWA review and approval is needed on a particular action.

Terminology

In order to provide for consistency and better understanding of the responsibilities associated with managing the Federal-aid Highway Program, the following terms have been defined:

Compliance Assessment Program (CAP): Review of a randomly selected population of projects to assure compliance with key federal requirements, accomplished through FHWA compliance reviews of different program areas.

State Administered Projects: Projects that do not require FHWA to review and approve actions pertaining to project design, specifications, estimates, right-of-way certification statements, contract awards, inspections, and final acceptance of Federal-aid projects on a project by project basis.

Major/Unusual Bridges: Major bridges are bridges over the Missouri or Mississippi Rivers or other identified major waterways, or any bridge with a single span of 500 feet or more irrespective of the total bridge length. Unusual/Complex bridges and structures are those that the FHWA determines to have unique foundation problems, new or complex designs, exceptionally long spans, exceptionally large foundations, complex hydrologic (including climate change and extreme weather events) aspects, complex hydraulic elements or scour related elements, or that are designed with procedures that depart from currently recognized acceptable practices (i.e., cable-stay, suspension, arch, segmental concrete, moveable, truss, tunnels, or complex geotechnical walls or ground improvement systems).

Major Projects: Projects with an estimated total cost greater than $500 million or projects approaching $500 with a high level of interest by the public, Congress, or the Administration.

Oversight: The act of ensuring that the Federal Highway Program is delivered consistent with laws, regulations, and policies. Oversight is the compliance or verification component of FHWA´s stewardship activities.

Partnering Agreements: These are Agreements developed for individual program areas to describe the agreed upon day-to-day working relationships, and the collaborative partnership between the State DOT and FHWA in the delivery of the Federal Highway Program. The agreements outline the roles and responsibilities, agreed upon project and program related processes and procedures, and project and program actions and action responsibilities of each agency. The agreements also include agreed upon performance indicators.

Performance/Compliance Indicators: These indicators track performance trends, health of the Federal-aid Highway Program, and compliance with Federal requirements.

Practical Design: Developing efficient solutions to meet the project need. The surrounding context will determine the design criteria. Reducing cost in key areas will provide the best value for the taxpayer. Every project we do will make the facility safer after its completion.

Projects of Division Interest (PoDI): Those projects that have been identified through a risk based selection process as having an elevated risk, contain elements of higher risk, or present a meaningful opportunity for FHWA involvement to enhance meeting program or project objectives.

Projects of Corporate Interest (PoCI): A subset of PoDIs, these are projects selected through a risk based process which are deemed to be so significant that FHWA is willing to commit additional resources beyond those available at the individual Division level to help ensure successful delivery of the project.

Risk Management: The systematic identification, assessment, planning, and management of threats and opportunities faced by FHWA projects and programs.

Stewardship: The efficient and effective management of the public resources which have been entrusted to the Federal Highway Administration.

Project and Program Action Responsibilities

Project and program action responsibilities of the FHWA and MoDOT on a program-wide basis are identified and defined in Attachment A of the newly enacted S&O Agreement, and in the individual program area Partnering Agreements that that have been developed collaboratively between FHWA and MoDOT staff. The Partnering Agreements also identify roles and responsibilities for FHWA and MoDOT actions at the project-level within each program area.

Specific project action responsibilities for project development, contracting and construction activities on identified FHWA Projects of Division Interest (PoDI), that FHWA has retained a specified level of involvement or oversight, are identified and tracked on an internal FHWA-developed PoDI Matrix.

Page last modified on April 24, 2012.
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