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Semi-Annual Reports to WSDOT

Semi-Annual Project Delivery Report
With data from Federal Fiscal Year 2009 Quarters 1 & 2 (October 2008–March 2009)
Issue V, April 30, 2009

INTRODUCTION

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Washington Division has developed the following Project Delivery Report which highlights some of the broad array of activities / initiatives / approvals we perform to assist the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and local agencies in delivering projects.

Presented below and herein are charts / graphs of project delivery measures. Additional charts / graphs will be added in future reports as new data is gathered for supplemental measures. On the last page we highlight other project delivery challenges.

We will continue to add to / revise the performance measures for future reporting and welcome any suggestions. Our goal is to continue to set the standard for excellence in FHWA in project delivery.


American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Activity EmblemAmerican Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Activity

STIP Amendments

In a typical year, we review and approve about 10 amendments to the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). WSDOT sends these amendments to FHWA and FTA for joint review and approval on a monthly basis.

The Recovery Act has resulted in almost twice the number of projects that need to be amended into the STIP. We have worked closely with FTA and WSDOT to shorten the review and approval time from 1 month to 2 weeks for each amendment.

As of the end of March, we have approved STIP Amendments with a total of 112 ARRA-FHWA projects and 40 ARRA-FTA projects.



The chart shows the timeliness of approval of project authorization for the Recovery Act projects.

We approved all 13 authorizations within the first 5 days of receipt.

Timeliness of Authorization for Recovery Act Projects
With-in 2009
0 to 5 Days 13
6 to 10 Days 0
11 to 15 Days 0
16 to 20 Days 0
20 + Days 0
Totals 13

Approval of R/W Cert 3s, This chart shows the timeliness of approval for right-of-way (R/W) certifications 3; A certification 3 occurs for parcels where rights have not been obtained and there may be some displacees remaining.; Our goal is to take action on / approve 90% of certification 3s within 10 days of receipt.


* Approval of certifications 1 and 2 have been delegated to WSDOT.
** In order to authorize the advertisement of a project for construction, the State must certify the R/W has been cleared, per 23 CFR 635.309.
*** Certification 3s are to be used infrequently.

Timeliness of Authorizations / Modifications

With-in 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
0 to 5 Days 208 780 858 724 1327 1463 1456 943 1451 1645 979
6 to 10 Days 24 241 307 121 90 101 103 68 175 128 52
11 to 15 Days 12 77 109 39 10 22 24 13 37 12 4
16 to 20 Days 9 29 34 21 5 3 8 1 18 5 0
20 + Days 31 152 68 98 52 15 17 8 16 13 5
Totals 284 1279 1376 1003 1484 1604 1608 1033 1697 1803 1040

 

This table reflects the number of authorizations / modifications approved within certain timeframes since 1999.

  • For FY2009 our approval has increased to 94% up from FY2007's 86% within the first five (5) days.
  • The 94% exceeded our goal of 90%! This is attributed to being fully staffed, as well as the emphasis placed on timely approvals.

(Note: the FY begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 of the following year.)

 

Approval of ER Damage Inspection Reports

This chart shows the timeliness of approval for emergency relief (ER) damage inspection reports. Our goal is to approve 90% of these reports within 10 days of receipt.

  • We met our goal of 90% for the 1st/2nd quarters of FY2009.
  • [Note: We did not meet our goal in the 3rd/4th quarters of FY2008. This is attributed to the Washington Division revising its longstanding policy on "debris removal."]


ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT (ESA) UPDATE

We are pleased to announce that we have hired Ms. Cindy Callahan to help develop programmatic approaches to ESA consultation, with a particular focus on consultations with National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). In her previous job, Cindy was the primary author of WSDOT's Programmatic Biological Assessments (PBA) for the USFWS in eastern and western Washington. She will be continuing to assist with the completion of the western Washington consultation in her new role with FHWA. Our decision to add a biologist to our staff came out of a series of discussions with executive management at the four agencies involved (USFWS, NMFS, FHWA and WSDOT) in ESA consultations to reduce consultation timeframes.

These four agencies have pursued other initiatives in the last year, aimed at tackling complex issues that have surfaced during consultations and which have delayed project delivery. The initiatives included, 1) developing methodology for the prediction of the concentration and dispersion of pollutants in stormwater, 2) reaching agreement on how the effects to fish from hydroacoustic sound pressure levels from pile driving will be measured and mitigated, and 3) improving the existing guidance on indirect effects analysis. As a result of these efforts, consultation timeframes are expected to be reduced thereby minimizing project development delays. In addition, an interagency Program Management Team provides a forum for addressing emerging issues, checking on project status, and resolving issues on specific consultations.

Also to improve ESA consultations and thus project delivery, FHWA HQ has developed a web-based Biological Assessment (BA) tool that WSDOT NW Region and H&LP have been pilot testing for 16 months. The web-based BA tool is intended to streamline the consultation process by allowing BA authors to submit, amend, and append BA's online facilitating direct review/ download by NMFS and USFWS. The Washington Division recently arranged for users participating in the pilot to speak to the web-based BA development team to enhance the system. The enhanced web-based BA will become available nationwide in July 2009.

Dan Mathis
Division Administrator
FHWA Washington Division
360-753-9480
Daniel.Mathis@dot.gov
Megan P. Hall
Local Programs/Research & T2 Engineer
FHWA Washington Division
360-753-9480
Megan.Hall@dot.gov
Green Washingtion State with Department of Transportation Emblem
Page last modified on April 1, 2013.
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