U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Washington Division (WADIV) 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.
After the 10th extension of SAFETEA-LU which expired on September 2009, a 27 month bill was signed by the President on July 6, 2012; Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).
MAP-21 creates a streamlined, performance-based, and multimodal program to address the many challenges facing the U.S. transportation system. These challenges include improving safety, maintaining infrastructure condition, reducing traffic congestion, improving efficiency of the system and freight movement, protecting the environment, and reducing delays in project delivery.
Some of the key points of this new bill are as follows:
Most of the new provisions of MAP-21 went into effect on October 1st, 2012.
As this new bill is being implemented, the Washington Division is ready to assist, answer questions, and provide guidance to facilitate the process.
On August 2, 2012 the Second Amended Programmatic Agreement (PA) Implementing Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act for the Federal-aid Highway Program in Washington State administered by FHWA was executed. The Agreement, as the title indicates, is the Third Statewide Section 106 Agreement for Washington State. The first version was signed in 2000, the second in 2007. The Agreement is between WSDOT, the Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP), the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and FHWA. While not signatory to the agreement, all 29 federally recognized Washington tribes and five out-of-state tribes were invited to consult, and 16 tribes provided written comments which have been incorporated into the Agreement. This version streamlines activities based on our five years of experience with the First Amended PA. The Second Amended PA allows WSDOT Cultural Resources Specialists more discretion to exempt WSDOT projects from additional DAHP and tribal review, while at the same time requiring that all exemptions under the agreement be reviewed by a qualified Cultural Resources Specialist, ensuring that all of the exemptions receive proper review. The PA also clarifies the roles and responsibilities of WSDOT, DAHP, and FHWA in completing the Section 106 process for FHWA-funded projects, allowing WSDOT to act for FHWA for many steps in the process.
Back in September of 2011, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) formally agreed to apply a streamlining measure used for maintenance projects to regular Federal-aid projects. This agreement was developed in negotiation with the Washington Division and the Washington State DOT staff (WSDOT). The Washington Division has been working with WSDOT and NMFS to develop implementation procedures for this streamlined process that ensures adequate documentation and compliance with the intent of the endangered species act (ESA) 4(d) rule. Earlier this summer the Washington Division sent a letter to WSDOT which documents our acceptance of the conditions in the NMFS letter of August 2011 and clarifies the limitations on the use of the new procedure for certain activities such as bridge replacements and in-water pile driving. This streamlining measure eliminates the need to prepare Biological Assessments for many of the minor projects that have the same kinds of work items covered by the maintenance agreement.
This chart shows the timeliness of approval of documented categorical exclusions (DCEs) semi-annually from FY2007 to FY2012.
As the chart depicts, we are approving the vast majority of DCEs within the first 10 days of receipt.
This chart shows the timeliness of approval for right-of-way (R/W) Certifications 3 (Cert. 3s)
* 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 only in very unusual circumstances.
|Number of Days||2000||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012|
|0 to 5 Days||780||858||724||1327||1463||1456||943||1451||1645||2261||1936||1791||1655|
|6 to 10 Days||241||307||121||90||101||103||68||175||128||113||131||41||35|
|11 to 15 Days||77||109||39||10||22||24||13||37||12||7||18||7||1|
|16 to 20 Days||29||34||21||5||3||8||1||18||5||1||3||2||0|
|20 + Days||152||68||98||52||15||17||8||16||13||5||1||0||0|
This table reflects the number of authorizations / modifications approved within certain timeframes since 2000.
(Note: the FY begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 of the following year.)
In 2010, FHWA adopted a new initiative entitled Every Day Counts (EDC) which identified ways to shorten project delivery time for construction projects from conception to completion and deployed innovation aimed at enhancing the safety of our roadways, and protecting the environment.
In 2012, FHWA rolled out a second wave of innovations. The following 13 innovations are being marketed to the states, locals, and the design and construction industries:
Preservation's (ACHP) Case Digest publication, http://www.achp.gov/docs/CaseDigestSpring2012.pdf, includes an article about the Second Statewide Programmatic Agreement (PA) for Section 106 consultation under the National Historic Preservation Act for Washington State. This new statewide agreement, signed in January of 2012, focused on streamlining Federal-aid Highway projects that occur on Forest Service (USFS) lands. The agreement clarifies when the USFS archaeologists need to be consulted, and which projects do not have the potential to affect cultural resources. The article concludes that, "This is the only statewide PA specifically developed to address FHWA undertakings on federal lands. It may serve as a model for other states with a similar need to clarify roles and responsibilities, and to expedite routine projects. With little risk of causing inadvertent damage to historic sites, the PA should save WSDOT, FHWA, and USFS considerable time and money in processing minor projects with no historic properties affected."
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.
The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program provides a unique opportunity for the US Department of Transportation to invest in multimodal projects that help the economy recover.
Since inception in 2009, the DOT has invested about $3.126 billion in various projects from which Washington State has benefited with projects worth $150 million or about 5% of the total program. As of the end of September, 53% of the TIGER funds have been expended.
The latest round of TIGER funds, TIGER 2012, is partially funding two Washington State projects for a total of $24 million; $14 million for the West Mercer Corridor Extension and $10 million for the North Spokane Corridor Railroad Realignment projects. The Washington Division is working with WSDOT and the local agencies to deliver these projects. UPDATE: On Friday, September 21, 2012 the Washington Division Administrator signed the Mercer Corridor Project West Phase TIGER program grant agreement. This $14 million TIGER 2012 grant awarded to the City of Seattle is for making improvements to the West Phase of the Mercer Corridor project (estimated total project cost of $98 million).
As of September 30, 2012, Washington State has the second highest percentage of Recovery Act projects final vouchered in the nation at 90.22%! Two hundred three (203) of the 225 ARRA projects have been closed out or final vouchered. This high percentage of closed out Recovery Act projects is a good indicator of how WSDOT and local agencies met the "shovel ready" intent to quickly deliver projects to help reinvigorate the economy while at the same time helping improve Washington State's infrastructure.
FHWA Washington Division
|Yamilée P. Volcy
SW and Eastern Regions Area Engineer
FHWA Washington Division