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Classification Code Date
N 5020.15 May 16, 1980

  1. PURPOSE. To provide information regarding the eligibility of ferryboat operation and maintenance cost for emergency relief (ER) funds.

  2. BACKGROUND. As part of a States's response to the catastrophic failure of a bridge on the Federal-aid highway system (including the Interstate System), the costs of ferryboats to provide temporary substitute highway traffic service are eligible for ER funds. Section 19 of the 1979 amendment to the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1978 amended 23. U.S.C. 125(b) to also permit ER participation in the costs of maintenance and operation of ferryboats providing such a service.

  3. DISCUSSION. The following advice is applicable to implementation of this amendment. These provisions will be incorporated as appropriate into a future issuance of the Federal-Aid Highway Program Manual (FHPM) and Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

    1. The availability of ER funds for any ferryboat operation is contingent on the Federal Highway Administrator's finding of applicability of ER funds as a result of a natural disaster over a wide area or a catastrophic failure.

    2. Emergency relief funds may participate in a temporary ferry service in accordance with the following conditions:

        (1) A temporary structure or an alternative existing route is not practical as a temporary connection.

        (2) The operation of the ferry and the amount of farescharged are under the control of the State and all fares derived therefrom are applied to the actual and necessary costs of operation, maintenance and repair.

        (3) No ferryboat acquired with Federal funds shall be sold, leased or otherwise disposed of without the approval of the FHWA Division Administrator. A system of accounting adequate to meet this requirement shall be maintained by the State.

    3. Emergency relief funds may participate in the following work:

        (1) Acquisition of a ferryboat. Participation is limited to acquisition costs less resale value or a reasonable rental fee.

        (2) Necessary construction costs of docking and loading facilities and approach roads.

        (3) Ferryboat operation and maintenance costs after deducting the amount of fares collected.

          (a) When a ferry is providing temporary service for a damaged toll facility, fares at least equal to any previous tolls should be charged.

          (b) Only those actual and necessary costs of operating and maintaining the ferryboat are eligible.

    4. The continued eligibility of a temporary ferry service is contingent upon the prompt advancement of the permanent repair work to the construction stage before the end of the second fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the disaster occurred, unless suitable justification for continuance is furnished to the Washington Headquarters (HNG-12).

    5. Eligible ferryboat operations are intended to temporarily restore essential travel. The ER funds will not necessarily be used to restore predisaster levels of service or capacity for the interim period until permanent reconstruction is completed.

    6. Type code Y 219 will be used for reporting costs of ferryboats on the PR-37.

John S. Hassell, Jr.
Deputy Federal Highway

Page last modified on October 19, 2015
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