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Policies and Guidance

Stewardship and Oversight Agreement

Appendix A
FHWA/PennDOT Oversight Agreement Policies

INTRODUCTION

The FHWA/PennDOT Stewardship and Oversight Agreement (Agreement) presents the current procedures for the administration of the Federal-aid Highway program in Pennsylvania. The general intent of the Agreement is to delegate much of FHWA's approval authority to PennDOT for certain preliminary engineering, construction contract administration, and right-of-way activities on or related to Federal-aid projects.

1. Project Development Process (Including Public Involvement in the Development of Projects and Title VI Requirements as Related to Minority Group Participation)

Procedures for project development and public involvement are established in PennDOT Design Manuals and Environmental Handbooks. These guidelines are provided in the following:

  1. Design Manual,Part 1,Transportation Program Development and Project Delivery Process (Pub. 10) (includes DM-1, lA, lB, lC, and lX).
  2. Project Level Public Involvement Handbook (Pub. 295).
  3. Transportation Enhancement Implementation Manual.
  4. Recreational Trails Program Programmatic Agreement between PennDOT, DCNR, and FHWA dated March 2005.
  5. Scenic Byways Guidance (www.bvwaysonline.org).
  6. Pennsylvania Act 120 of 1970 (This Act requires the Department of Transportation to prepare and submit a fiscally constrained multi-modal program of transportation improvements which it recommends be undertaken during the next 12 years to the State Transportation Commission every two years.)
  7. Overview of PennDOT Local Project Processes: A Guide to Getting Started on a Local Project with PennDOT (Pub. 535).
  8. Local Bridge Program Delivery Guide (Pub. 541).
  9. Procedures for the Administration of Locally Sponsored Projects (Pub. 39).
  10. Right-of-Way Manual (Pub. 378) Relocation Program From the Conceptual Stage Until Initiation of Negotiations for the Project, Chapter 4.02.

2. Application of Appropriate Design and Construction Standards

Appropriate design and construction standards are provided by the application of the following:

  1. Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).
  2. Design Manual, Part 2, Highway Design (Pub. 13M).
    1. Design criteria in Design Manual, Part 2 (DM-2) meets and in some cases exceeds the criteria in the AASHTO Green Book. For any designs on NHS projects that do not meet the criteria in DM-2, but conform to the minimum criteria in the AASHTO Green Book, a design exception is not required to be approved by FHWA, but will require Bureau of Project Delivery (BOPD) approval.
  3. Design ManualPart 3Plans Presentation (Publication 14M).
  4. Design ManualPart 4Structures (2 Volumes),(Pub. 15M).
  5. Design ManualPart 5Utility Relocation (Publication 16M).
  6. Standards for Roadway ConstructionSeries RC-lM- RC-lOOM (Pub. 72M).
  7. Standards for Bridge Design BD-600M Series (Pub. 218M).
  8. Standards for Bridge ConstructionBC-700M Series (Pub. 219M).
  9. Pavement Policy Manual (Pub. 242).
  10. Traffic Control- Pavement Markings and Signing StandardsTC-8600 and TC-8700 Series (Pub. 111M).
  11. Traffic Standards -SignalTC-8800 Series (Pub. 148).
  12. Traffic Signal Design Handbook (Pub. 149).
  13. Handbook of Approved Signs (Pub. 236M).
  14. Guidelines for the Design of Local Roads and Streets (Pub. 70M).
  15. Title 67- TransportationPA Code- Pennsylvania Department of Transportation - Rules and Regulations.
  16. Specifications (Pub. 408) with applicable Bulletins.
  17. Bid Package Preparation and Policies Manual (Pub. 51).
  18. Geotechnical Engineering Manual (Pub. 293).
  19. Right-of-Way Manual (Pub 378).
  20. Grade Crossing Manual (Pub 371).

PennDOT will apply design and construction standards for new construction, reconstruction, resurfacing (except maintenance resurfacing), restoration, or rehabilitation of highways on the NHS in accordance with 23 CFR Part 625- Design Standards for Highways.

3. PennDOT's Highway and Railroad Safety Programs

PennDOT will administer a Highway Safety Improvement Program on a continuing basis according to 23 CFR Part 924- Highway Safety Improvement Program.

PennDOT will apply design and construction standards for new construction, reconstruction, resurfacing (except maintenance resurfacing), restoration, or rehabilitation of highways on the NHS in accordance with the standards listed in Item 2 above, the Grade Crossing Manual (Pub. 371), and in accordance with 23 CFR Part 625- Design Standards for Highways.

PennDOT will administer a federal-highway railroad grade crossing safety program,and other associated railroad crossing projects,on a continuing basis and in compliance with
23 CFR Part 646- Railroads, 23 CFR Part 140- Reimbursement,subpart I­ Reimbursement for Railroad Work, 23 CFR Part 172- Administration of Engineering and Design Related Service Contracts and 23 CFR Part 924- Highway Safety Improvement Program.

4. Quality Control/Quality Assurance of Construction and Materials

The quality of construction is assured through the application of the following:

    1. Specifications (Pub. 408) with applicable Bulletins.
    2. Field and Laboratory Testing Manual (Pub. 19).
    3. Project Office Manual {Pub. 2).
    4. Quality Assurance Manual {Pub. 25).
    5. Finals Unit Manual (Pub. 11).
    6. Approved Construction MaterialsBulletin 15 (Pub. 35).
    7. Construction Manual (Pub. 8).

PennDOT Engineering Districts are responsible for managing construction projects and operations according to policies and procedures detailed in Pub. 408 -Specifications, and Pub. 8- Construction Manual. The Districts are held accountable for a level of performance through a Quality Assurance program administered by the Bureau of Project Delivery, Innovation and Support Services Division. The Quality Assurance program provisions, including review frequencies and compliance levels, are specified in Pub. 25- Quality Assurance Manual. Compliance is determined and information obtained to determine performance levels. Specific training is developed to achieve compliance. Deficiencies are addressed according to severity as specified in Pubs. 8- Construction Manual and 25 - Quality Assurance Manual.

The economy of construction is assured through the PennDOT's competitive bidding procedures and through value engineering policies.

5. Signing, Pavement Marking and Traffic Control Devices

Provisions for adequate signing, pavement marking, and traffic control devices are provided through application of the following PennDOT's publications and according to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices:

    1. Temporary Traffic Control Guidelines (Pub. 213).
    2. Official Traffic Control Devices (Pub. 212).
    3. Traffic Signal Design Handbook (Pub. 149).
    4. Pennsylvanias Traffic Calming Handbook (Pub. 383).
    5. Guide to Roundabouts (NCHRP 672).
    6. Traffic Engineering Manual (Pub. 46).
    7. Traffic Control- Pavement Markings and Signing Standards (Pub.111M).
    8. Traffic Standards- Signals (Pub. 148).
    9. Handbook of Approved Signs (Pub. 236M).
    10. Intelligent Transportation Systems Design Guide (Pub. 646).

6. Economic, Social and Environmental Impacts

Minimization of adverse economic, social, and environmental impacts is accomplished through adherence to the procedures in the following PennDOT guidance:

  1. Project Level Public Involvement Handbook (Pub. 295).
  2. Design Manual, Part 1B, Post TIP NEPA Procedures (Pub. 10).
  3. Agricultural Resources Evaluation Handbook (Pub. 324).
  4. Project Level Air Quality Handbook (Pub. 321).
  5. Needs Study Handbook (Pub. 319).
  6. Geotechnical Waste Management (Pub. 292).
  7. Waste Site Evaluation Procedures Handbook( Pub. 281).
  8. Wetland Resources Handbook (Pub. 325).
  9. Project Level Highway Traffic Noise Handbook (Pub. 24).
  10. Section 4(/) Handbook (Pub. 349).
  11. Community Impact Assessment Handbook (Pub 217).
  12. Tribal Consultation Handbook (Pub. 591).
  13. Threatened and Endangered Species Desk Reference (Pub. 546).
  14. Indirect and Cumulative Effects Desk Reference (Pub. 640).
  15. Right-of-Way Manual (Pub. 378), Relocation Program from the Conceptual Stage until Negotiations for the Project, Chapter 4.02.
  16. Every Voice Counts, PennDOT's Environmental Justice Guidance.

7. Equal Employment Opportunity

The Department's policy with respect to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination is as provided in the following:

  1. Executive Order 1988.1, Affirmative Action and Contract Compliance.
  2. Executive Order 11246 (as amended), Notice of Requirements for Affirmative Action to ensure Equal Employment Opportunity.
  3. Title 23 U.S.C., Subchapter C - Civil Rights, Part 230 External Programs.
  4. Right-of_Way Manual (Pub 378)
  5. CC-4297, Nondiscrimination and Equal Employment Clauses for all contracts.
  6. CC-4297A, Nondiscrimination Clause.
  7. Conducting Business with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (Pub. 4).

The number of highway construction trainees and their training program is controlled by PennDOT Strike-Off Letters and conforms to Federal requirements.

PennDOT is firmly committed to fulfilling its goals for participation of DBE's in all contracts and projects involving Federal-aid funds. The DBE Program will be administered in accordance with 49 CFR Part 26- Participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in Department of Transportation Financial Assistance Programs.

8. Competitive Bidding and Payment of Prevailing Wage Rates on Construction Contracts

Competitive bidding procedures are provided in PennDOT policy letters and will conform to Federal requirements. Procedures governing the payment of prevailing wage rates on construction contracts are included in PennDOT Publication 408- Specifications and in PennDOT Publication 2- Project Office Manual.

9. Design and Construction Claim Settlements

Design claim settlements will be processed in accordance with procedures identified in Publication 93- Policy and Procedures for the Administration of Consultant Agreements.

Construction claim settlements will be processed in accordance with Publication 2 - Project Office Manual.

10. Federal-Aid Procurement and Contract Provisions
  1. Consultant Agreements- PennDOT provides the required Federal-aid procurement and administration of Consultant Agreements as prescribed in 23CFR, Part 172- Administration of Engineering and Design Related Service Contracts through PennDOT Publication 93- Policy and Procedures for the Administration of Consultant Agreements, Publication 442-Specification for Consultant Agreements, and ECMS Standard Agreement Provisions and Attachments.
  2. Engineering Contracts- PennDOT provides the required Federal-aid contract provisions as prescribed in 23 CFR, Part 172 -Administration of Engineering and Design Related Contracts as prescribed in Publication 93 - Policy and Procedures for the Administration of Consultant Agreements, Publication 442- Specification for Consultant Agreements, and ECMS Standard Agreement Provisions and Attachments.
  3. Construction Contracts- PennDOT provides the required Federal-aid contract provisions as prescribed in 23 CFR, Part 633, Subparts A and B- Required Contract Provisions and 23 CFR 635- Construction and Maintenance, Subpart A­ Contract Procedures, through ECMS and in Publication 51- Bid Package Preparation and Policies Manual.
  4. Non-competitive Procurement- PennDOT provides the required Federal-aid procurement requirements as prescribed in 23 CFR 635- Construction and Maintenance, Subpart B- Force Account Construction in Publication 51- Bid Package Preparation and Policies Manual.

11. Retention of Records

PennDOT retains records on Federal-aid projects in accordance with 49 CFR Part 18- Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments (The Common Rule). Involved local governments and other third party contractors are also required to retain records as specified above.

12. State Transportation Improvement Program

In conformance with the requirement of 23 CFR 450- Planning Assistance and Standards, PennDOT will submit to the FHWA and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) of projects which it intends to implement over the succeeding four year period. The STIP will be updated every two years, and will include all approved Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and Rural Planning Organization (RPO) Transportation Improvement Programs (TIP's). Amendments and administrative actions to the STIP and to the metropolitan and rural TIPs can occur at any time during the life of these documents. Only after the STIP or its amendments are approved by the FHWA and/or the FTA can federal funds be obligated for individual transportation projects that are shown in the current Federal fiscal year in the STIP and included in the document.13

13. Local Agency Procedures

Administration of Federal-aid projects shall be in accordance with PennDOT's current version of Procedures for the Administration of Locally Sponsored Projects (Pub. 39), and any revision thereto.

PennDOT has the oversight responsibility for the design and construction of all Federal­ aid projects, and is not relieved of such responsibility by authorizing performance of the work by or under the supervision of a county, city, or other Local Public Agency (i.e.Local Project Sponsor). When work is to be performed under a contract awarded by a Local Public Agency, PennDOT has the responsibility of ensuring that all Federal requirements, including those prescribed in 23 CFR Part 635- Final Rule General Material Requirements, have been met.

Right-of-Way Activities- PennDOT must monitor local public agency right-of-way activities as required by 23 CFR 710.201.- State Responsibilities as defined in Pub 98- A Guide for Local Public Agency Acquisition of Right-of-Way.

Consultant Agreements- PennDOT provides the required Federal-aid procurement and administration of Consultant Agreements as prescribed in 23 CFR, Part 172 through PennDOT Publication 93, Publication 442 and ECMS Standard Agreement Provisions and Attachments.

Quality Assurance- As part of the lOP process, Central Office in conjunction with FHWA will include a sampling of LPA projects for quality assurance audits.

14. Federal-Aid Financial Procedures

  1. Electronic Data Transfer- Current electronic data transfer techniques will be utilized wherever appropriate. When PennDOT desires to initiate formal authorization of a project,the critical fiscal data will be uploaded directly from PennDOT to the FHWA Fiscal Management Information System (FMIS) Warehouse. Simultaneously, PennDOT will submit a request for authorization to FHWA as set forth below.
  2. Project Authorization and Project Agreement - A signed PennDOT Request for Authorization will be submitted to FHWA for all Federal-aid projects.

    PennDOT will electronically verify that the fiscal authorization has occurred by reviewing the FMIS transaction and EDS status logs.

    PennDOT will assure that necessary environmental studies and approvals have occurred prior to submitting any request for authorization.

    PennDOT will electronically verify that the fiscal authorization has occurred by reviewing the FMIS transaction and EDS status logs. PennDOT will assure that necessary environmental studies and approvals have occurred prior to submitting any request for authorization. PennDOT agrees and is bound by all the provisions contained in 23 CFR 630.112- Agreement Provisions. The project specific data contained in the Request for Authorization is sufficient for FHWA to place all projects under Project Agreement at the time of authorization; no further FHWA Project Agreement or PennDOT Agreement Estimate is required unless there is a modification to the Agreement. PennDOT's Request for Authorization will serve as a concurrent request to place the project under Project Agreement in FHWA's FMIS system.

    When project funding adjustments are required due to bid adjustments or cost overruns/underruns, PennDOT will submit a signed Request for an Amended Project Authorization with supporting information necessary for FHWA to adjust the Project Agreement amount. All funding adjustments must be supported by an estimate maintained in PennDOT's files for all phases being requested.

    Inactive Federal-aid Project Review: The FHWA Division Office shall work with the PennDOT to conduct and document the results of quarterly reviews of inactive projects in accordance with 23 CFR 630- Agreement Provisions, Subpart A, Project Authorizations and Agreements. Projects that are not properly documented may be subject to de-obligation upon coordination with PennDOT.
  3. Financial Management-. The FIRE program includes Funds Management, Federal­ aid billing, Major projects, Project authorization, Modification and Voucher, Locally Administered Projects. The FIRE program is a consistent process for identification and prioritization of risk events, and identification of strategies for risk mitigation. At least one Financial Management process review is conducted through the Independent Oversight Program. Findings are tracked. Any corrective action are communicated to PennDOT, and monitored by FHWA until completed.
  4. Innovative Finance-

    State Infrastructure Bank (SIB): The State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) was authorized through the National Highway System Act of 1995 and was established in Pennsylvania in 1997. SIBs are codified in United States legal code Title 23 Highways, Chapter 6 Infrastructure Finance, Section 610.1Loans generated through the SIB Program Loans from the original principal are subject to federal procedures and periodic review per the Cooperative Agreement signed June 5, 1998. Use of state funds for the SIB are not subject to federal procedures and periodic review.

    Toll Credits: FHWA will approve the use of toll credits. To receive this approval, PennDOT must provide (1) a certification by the Secretary of Transportation or a designated deputy that the toll authority project outlays meet FHWA soft match requirements as specified in FHWA guidance and 23 CFR, and (2) a certification that the required Maintenance of Effort (MOE) has been met the period of expenditure. FHWA may periodically review a sample of toll authority expenditures (either on-site or through a records review) to assure the projects meet 23 CFR eligibility requirements.

15. Planning Activities

Title 23 USC- Highways specifies that the planning functions cannot be delegated to the State Department of Transportation. FHWA retains authority for all Federal responsibilities for planning and programming specified in 23 USC 134- Metropolitan Transportation Planning and 135-Statewide Transportation Planning. In addition, this also applies to the Federal air quality conformity determinations required by the Clean Air Act. However, for all delegated programs or projects, PennDOT shall oversee and ensure compliance with the metropolitan and statewide planning requirements, including but not limited to: project eligibility for the proposed funding source, fiscal constraint, air quality conformity, public involvement, STIP, and long range transportation plans requirements.

 

Appendix B

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000