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Construction

 

Construction Program Guide

Culvert Selection

On July 6, 2012, President Barack Obama signed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) into law.  Section 1525 of MAP-21 directed the Secretary of Transportation to "modify section 635.411 of title 23, Code of Federal Regulations ... to ensure that States … have the autonomy to determine culvert and storm sewer material types to be included in the construction of a project on a Federal-aid highway.”  FHWA issued a final rule to implement this legislative requirement on January 28, 2013. 78 FR 5715-01.  Since issuance of the final rule,  FHWA's policy for culvert and storm sewer material type selection is that State departments of transportation (State DOTs) and direct recipients of Federal-aid highway construction funds shall have the autonomy to determine culvert and storm sewer material types to be included in Federal-aid highway construction projects.

Q. Does the FHWA have authority to determine which culvert and storm sewer material types are to be include in a Federal-aid highway project?

A. No.  Pursuant to Section 1525 of MAP-21 and 23 CFR 635.411, States have the autonomy to determine culvert and storm sewer material types to be included in the construction of Federal-aid highway projects.

Q. Must the State's selected type of culvert and storm sewer material comply with other applicable Federal requirements?

A.  Yes. The culvert and storm sewer material type that is selected by the State DOT, or other direct recipient, must comply with all applicable Federal requirements, including Buy America, and the culvert design standards in 23 CFR Part 625.

Other Questions and Answers relevant to § 635.411 Culvert and Storm Sewer Material Types may be found at Section 1525 of MAP-21 - State Autonomy for Culvert Pipe Selection.

Authority/Legal Basis

Laws
Regulations
  • 23 CFR 635.411 Culvert and Storm Sewer Materials Types (9/27/19) On September 27, 2019, FHWA revised its regulation at 23 CFR 635.411 by issuing a Final Rule in the Federal Register rescinding the long-standing proprietary product regulatory requirements in 23 CFR 635.411(a) through (e) and change the title of section 635.411 to 'Culvert and Storm Sewer Materials Types.' Under its new title, the former paragraph (f) of section 635.411 would be retained to fulfill the mandate of section 1525 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) for States to retain autonomy for the selection of storm sewer material types. 23 CFR 635.411 provides:
    "State Departments of Transportation (State DOTs) shall have the autonomy to determine culvert and storm sewer material types to be included in the construction of a project on a Federal-aid highway."

Policy

Information:

AASHTO Publications
Plant Certification and Culvert Material Information
Updated: 03/24/2022
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000