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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > September 2012 > Federal-Aid Essentials for Local Public Agencies

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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-12-017
Date: September 2012

Federal-Aid Essentials for Local Public Agencies

Your Gateway to Navigating the Federal-Aid Highway Program

Logo for the Federal-aid Essentials for Local Public Agencies online video library. The circular logo displays the text, “Federal-aid Essentials for Local Public Agencies,” at the top of the circle. Below this is a graphic image of a road with a center double yellow line. Next to the yellow line is the tag line “Federal-aid Simplified.”

It’s Federal-aid, simplified.

A new online video library launched by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) offers local transportation and public works agencies an extensive directory of resources for navigating the Federal-aid Highway Program and understanding its policies and procedures. Local agencies own and operate 75 percent of the Nation’s roadways, collectively managing about $7 billion in Federal-aid highway projects.

“Some local agencies have extensive Federal-aid experience and others are new to it. This new video library aims to help fill the gaps in knowledge and explain sometimes complex regulations. It is a great place to start for those needing information,” said Rob Elliott of the FHWA Resource Center.

Available 24 hours a day at www.fhwa.dot.gov/federal-aidessentials and specifically designed for local agencies, Federal-aid Essentials for Local Public Agencies features seven main categories:

  • Federal-aid Program Overview.
  • Civil Rights.
  • Environment.
  • Finance.
  • Right-of-Way.
  • Project Development.
  • Project Construction and Contract Administration.

Agencies can consult the Project Development section for information on cost effectiveness determinations and public interest findings, for example, or guidance on value engineering requirements for Federal-aid projects and statewide planning requirements. In the area of Project Construction and Contract Administration, topics include construction quality assurance, design-build procurement, Buy America field compliance, and change orders. Local agencies seeking a broader introduction to Federal-aid, meanwhile, can turn to the Federal-aid Program Overview, which highlights stewardship and oversight, funding basics and eligibility, and project requirements, among other topics.

Most videos are 4 to 7 minutes long, offering a concise explanation in plain language and with illustrated examples. Videos can be viewed in any order and at any time. Companion materials such as a printable script for each video and applicable Code of Federal Regulations references accompany the presentations, along with links to further resources. These links showcase a comprehensive listing of State resources that local agencies can consult, including Local Technical Assistance Programs (LTAPs), manuals, and references.

“The video library can also benefit many other entities, including consultants, contractors, LTAPs, and members of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and National Association of County Engineers,” said Elliott.

Visitors to the Federal-aid Essentials site can choose areas of interest and sign up for email alerts when new material becomes available. Agencies can also provide feedback to help FHWA continue to update and enhance the site.

To start using Federal-aid Essentials for Local Public Agencies today, visit www.fhwa.dot.gov/federal-aidessentials. For additional information or to submit a question about the site, send an email to lpa-feedback@dot.gov.

Screen shot from the home page of the Federal-aid Essentials for Local Public Agencies online video library (www.fhwa.dot.gov/federal-aidessentials).
Visit Federal-aid Essentials for Local Public Agencies at www.fhwa.dot.gov/federal-aidessentials.


Videos cover such topics as value engineering requirements for Federal-aid projects.

Updated: 09/12/2012

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