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Competency Areas

Access Control
Access Control management is the process of administering the connections between public highways and adjoining land. Transportation officials must balance the need for community and business development with the need for safe and efficient travel.
Airspace Leases / Joint Use and Occupancy
Airspace describes that area above or below the plane of the transportation facility and located within the right-of-way boundaries. Public entities often allow private parties to use airspace for interim non-highway uses, as long as such uses will not interfere with the construction, operation or maintenance of the facility or anticipated future transportation needs. A joint use and occupancy agreement describes the obligations, responsibilities, rights, and privileges of two parties with uses on the same land. In right-of-way development, the two parties are often a utility and a highway/transportation authority. The agreement is often used for situations in which the utility has a compensable interest in the land occupied by its facilities and the land is to be jointly occupied and used for highway and utility purposes.
Airspace Security
Policies, procedures and methodologies developed and implemented for the protection of property owned by a public entity and utilized for, or incorporated within, a transportation facility. The intent of these policies, procedures and methodologies is to reduce the risk to the airspace, including any facilities located thereon, from natural causes and malicious or accidental human actions.
Alternative Uses of Right of Way
Permitting activities or functions within the right of way that are not related to the construction, operation or maintenance of the roadway.
Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is legislation which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. The ADA applies to facilities, both public (title II) and private (title III), which are not Federally funded. Newly constructed and altered facilities covered by titles II and III of the ADA must be readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities.
Appraisal Principles and Practice
The performance of activities necessary to developing an opinion of value. Such activities may include, but are not limited to, data collection, data analysis, records research, property inspections, validation of comparable sales data, and related activities. Some of these activities might be carried out by non-appraisers acting at the direction of an appraiser. Topic areas include: Highest and Best Use, Just Compensation, Licensing, Specialty Appraisals, Valuation Methodology, and Zoning/Land Use.
Appraisal Review
It is the responsibility of the acquiring agency to review all appraisal and specialty reports of real property to be acquired in connection with Federal-aid programs or projects and to establish an amount which it believes to be just compensation for such acquisition before the initiation of negotiations.
Appraisal Standards
Appraisal standards have been prepared for use by appraisers to promote uniformity in the appraisal of real property among the various agencies acquiring property on behalf of the United States. These include USPAP, "Yellow Book", and International Valuation Standards.
Bonus Act
The Bonus Act provided an incentive to states to control outdoor advertising within 660 feet of the Interstate highway system. States that volunteered for the program would receive a bonus of one-half of one percent of the Federal highway construction costs on segments of Interstate highways controlling outdoor advertising. The existing Bonus program is an unfunded Federal mandate since no Federal funds can be used to pay states for the stricter control requirements along the Interstate highways.
Clean Water Act
Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the State Water Quality Certification program, requires that states certify compliance of Federal permits or licenses with state water quality requirements and other applicable state laws. Under Section 401, states have authority to review any Federal permit or license that may result in a discharge to wetlands and other waters under state jurisdiction, to ensure that the actions would be consistent with the state's water quality requirements. Section 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1970 requires functional assessments on wetlands potentially affected by right of way development and the potential for mitigation of wetland impacts.
Condemnation
The right retained by a sovereign power to seize private property for the public good, with compensation paid to the former owner.
Corridor Preservation
Corridor Preservation refers to any techniques that state and local governments use to protect existing transportation corridors or planned corridors from inconsistent development, in an effort to minimize negative environmental, social, or economic impacts.
Disposals
An aspect of property management whereby excess property no longer needed for the transportation project is sold or transferred to another owner.
Economic Development
Economic Development refers to the impacts a highway project may have on the national, regional, and local economies. Highways improve the movement of goods and people (national impact); connect States and regions, create access to undeveloped land, and reduce congestion (regional); and create construction and maintenance jobs (local).
Endangered Species
Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act directs all Federal agencies to use their existing authorities to conserve threatened and endangered species and, in consultation with the Service, to ensure that their actions do not jeopardize listed species or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. Section 7 applies to management of Federal lands as well as other Federal actions that may affect listed species, such as Federal approval of private activities through the issuance of Federal permits, licenses, or other actions.
Environmental Justice
Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, culture, education, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
Federal Lands Program
The primary purpose of the Federal Lands Highway Program (FLHP) is to provide financial resources and technical assistance for a coordinated program of public roads that service the transportation needs of Federal and Indian lands.
Federal-Aid Program
Federal-Aid highway funds are authorized by Congress to assist the States in providing for construction, reconstruction, and improvement of highways and bridges on eligible Federal-Aid highway routes and for other special purpose programs and projects
Highway Beautification Act
The HBA controls outdoor advertising along Federal-Aid Primary, Interstate and National Highway System (NHS) roads. It allows the location of billboards in commercial and industrial areas, mandates a state compliance program, requires the development of state standards, promotes the expeditious removal of illegal signs, and requires just compensation for takings. Includes topic areas such as Junkyard Control, Landscape and Roadside Development, and Outdoor Advertising.
Historic Preservation
Historic preservation is the protection of historic and prehistoric remains and structures. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires Federal agencies to conduct a preservation review process for historic properties under their jurisdiction or potentially affected by their proposed actions.
Multiple Funding Sources
Transportation projects may be funded by more than one funding source, agency or program. Each funding source may have requirements or conditions that must be complied with to utilize that particular funding source.
MUTCD
The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, or MUTCD, defines the standards used by road managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all streets and highways. The MUTCD is published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) under 23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 655, Subpart F.
Negotiation Skills
Negotiation is the primary method for acquiring property for a project. It involves explaining items such as details of construction, an agency's offer of just compensation and what just compensation is. The negotiation process involves listening to the property owner and determining the best way (negotiated settlement/administrative settlement) to reach an agreement for the sale of property.
NEPA
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision making processes by considering the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and reasonable alternatives to those actions. To meet NEPA requirements federal agencies prepare a detailed statement known as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Non-Residential Relocation
A process for Federally assisted projects and programs which involves identifying and considering the potential impact created by displacing farms, businesses and non-profit organizations and planning methods to minimize that impact. Includes: Advisory Services, Moving Costs, and Reestablishment Payments.
Permits
Revocable permission, or license, granted by the property or easement owner, for a non transportation related improvement, or use, to occupy right of way. Also includes encroachments.
Procurement / Contract Administration
Procurement is the combined functions of purchasing, inventory control, traffic and transportation, receiving, inspection, store keeping, and salvage and disposal operations. Contract administration is the management of all actions after the award of a contract that must be taken to assure compliance with the contract, such as timely delivery, acceptance, payment, and closing the contract.
Public Involvement
The active and meaningful participation of the public in the development and implementation of transportation plans and programs.
Public Lands and Historic Sites
Section 4(f) prohibits use of land from publicly owned parks, recreational areas, wildlife and waterfowl refuges, and public or private historical sites by Federal transportation projects unless U.S. DOT determines that there is no feasible and prudent avoidance alternative and that all possible planning to minimize harm has occurred; or such use is a de minimis use.
Recreational Trails
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides funds to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses. Each State administers its own program, usually through a State resource agency.
Residential Relocation
A process for Federally assisted projects and programs which involves identifying and considering the potential impact created by displacing residences and planning methods to minimize that impact. Includes: Advisory Services, Moving Costs, Replacement Housing Payments, Mobile Homes, and Housing of Last Resort.
Right-of-Way Engineering
Identifying the location of existing property boundaries, ownership or real property interests. Involves the preparation of property maps based upon title records and field evidence. Combined with the design requirements of the project, determine right of way acquisition needs and develop documents necessary for acquisition. Topic areas include: Property Law/Interests/Title, Property Descriptions, Engineering Drawings/ROW Maps, and Context Sensitive Solutions.
Scenic Byways
National scenic byways designations recognize those roads across the country that exhibit one or more of six core intrinsic qualities - scenic, natural, historic, recreational, archaeological, or cultural - contributing towards a unique travel experience. Individual states may also recognize scenic byways with similar qualities based on state policy.
Special Acquisitions
Includes Federal Land Acquisitions, Federal Land Transfers, Railroad Acquisition, Tribal Acquisition, Base Closures (BRAC).
Title VI / Non-discrimination
As part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance.
Transportation Enhancement Activities
Transportation Enhancements (TE) refers to funding opportunities that increase surface transportation choices and enhance the transportation experience. TE “activities” that qualify include pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure and safety programs, scenic and historic highway programs, landscaping and scenic beautification, historic preservation, and environmental mitigation.
Uniform Act
The Uniform Act is the short name for the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended. This law was enacted as Public Law 91-646, and brought a minimum standard of performance to all Federally funded projects with regard to the acquisition of real property and the relocation of persons displaced by the acquisition of such property.
Utility Accommodation
Accommodation can be either the policy of allowing utilities to occupy roadway right of way, or the practice of physically designing and constructing both the roadway and the utility to co-locate within the road right of way.
Wetland Mitigation / Banking
A mitigation bank is a wetland, stream, or other aquatic resource area that has been restored, established, enhanced, or (in certain circumstances) preserved for the purpose of providing compensation for unavoidable impacts to aquatic resources permitted under Section 404 or a similar state or local wetland regulation.
Updated: 04/02/2013
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