As amended, the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (Uniform Act) established the rules, policies, and procedures for acquiring real property, or ROW, and the relocation of individuals and businesses affected by federally funded projects. The law was enacted to guarantee that people whose real property is acquired, or who are compelled to move as a result of projects receiving Federal funds, will be treated fairly and equitably and will receive assistance in moving from the property they occupy. USDOT is designated as the Federal Lead Agency for the Uniform Act. In turn, USDOT delegates this responsibility to FHWA, which in turn supports the acquisition and management of real estate as required for the development of transportation services and facilities. The FHWA provides guidance, resources and tools on corridor management, property valuation, relocation assistance, utility management, and ROW management.
In recent years, transportation agencies increasingly have been using innovative project delivery strategies. These strategies aim to lower project costs and increase quality while streamlining project delivery. Design-build contracting has been identified as one innovative strategy to accomplish these objectives. Design-build contracting combines a project’s design and construction phases into one contract to expedite the project delivery process. Two separate contracts are typically required to procure design and construction services in a traditional contracting approach, such as design-bid-build. Using a design-build approach, however, the transportation agency may acquire the ROW and provide it to the contractor for design and construction. Construction begins before the project’s final design has been completed.
The FHWA sponsored this peer exchange to promote knowledge and information sharing among State DOTs on innovative project delivery mechanisms. This report provides a summary of the presentations given and the discussions held at the workshop. It will be a resource for State DOTs and transportation agencies that want to learn more about alternative contracting methods and approaches. The report concludes with a section on participants’ observations and lessons learned.