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Stewardship and Oversight Agreement

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4.0 Glossary

3R Projects - Resurfacing, Rehabilitation and Restoration

Control Document – Applicable standards, policies, and standard specifications that are acceptable to FHWA for application in the geometric and structural design of highways.

Core Functions – Activities that make up the main elements of FHWA’s FAHP oversight responsibilities based on regulations and national policies. Core functions in FHWA are Planning, Environment, Right-of-Way, Design, Construction, Finance, Operations, System Preservation, Safety, and Civil Rights.

Assumed Projects – Projects that do not require FHWA to review and approve actions pertaining to design, plans, specifications, estimates, right-of-way certification statements, contract awards, inspections, and final acceptance of FAHP projects on a project by project basis.

Emergency Relief Projects – The Emergency Relief (ER) program assists State and local governments with the expense of repairing serious damage to FAHP highways and roads on Federal Lands resulting from natural disasters or catastrophic failures. In addition to the permanent authorization of $100 million annually, SAFETEA-LU authorizes such sums as may be necessary to be made available by appropriation from the General Fund to supplement the permanent authorization in years when Emergency Relief allocations exceed $100 million. [1112]
The FHWA project level oversight means that FHWA will participate in the project development and construction process at specific milestones to assure compliance with Federal regulations, policies, procedures, standards and those Federal dollars are being spent appropriately.

ISTEA, TEA-21, and SAFETEA-LU - The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 was a six-year Federal transportation funding law that took effect in 1991. ISTEA provided $155 billion for highways, highway safety and transit for fiscal years 1992 through 1997.  The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) is a six-year extension of ISTEA providing a 40-percent increase in transportation funding for fiscal years 1998 through 2003.  The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act:  A Legacy for Users guaranteed $244.1 billion for highways, highway safety, and public transportation. SAFETEA-LU represents the largest surface transportation investment in our Nation's history. These acts have given States increased flexibility in establishing the degree to which FHWA will be involved in the development of Federal-Aid Highway Program (FAHP).

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


Major Bridges - Major bridges are defined in the policy of FHWA Order 5520.1 "Preliminary Plan Review and Approval" and should have preliminary plan approval by FHWA.  Examples of special features meeting major bridge project criteria are:

National Highway System (NHS) – All roadways currently identified as part of the FAHP National Highway system in New Mexico, inclusive of the interstate system.
Oversight – The act of ensuring that the FAHP is delivered consistent with laws, regulations and policies.

Performance/Compliance Indicators – These indicators track performance trends, health of the FAHP, and compliance with Federal requirements.

Reconstruction – Is any improvement that adds capacity to, or alters the vertical or horizontal geometry of an existing roadway segment or facility. Typically these projects will be 4R projects.

Rehabilitation – Any improvement that does not change the vertical or horizontal geometry of an existing roadway segment. It is inclusive of safety improvements. Typically these projects will be 2R and 3R projects.


Risk-based Approach - A joint FHWA/NMDOT Risk Management Process is a tool for focusing limited resources to efficiently manage our programs through improved communication.  Risk is a future event that may or may not occur and has a direct impact on the program to the program’s benefit or detriment.  Applying the principles of risk management to look at decisions being made about delivery of FHWA programs makes it possible to identify threats and opportunities; assess and prioritize those threats and opportunities; and determine strategies so that we can decide how to deal with future issues affecting the FAHP.

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 funds that have been entrusted to the FHWA to deliver the FAHP as well those public funds entrusted in NMDOT for a safe and efficient transportation system.

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