- Briefing Room
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
The FHWA/PennDOT Stewardship and Oversight Agreement (Agreement) presents the current procedures for the administration of the Federal-aid Highway program in Pennsylvania. The general intent of the Agreement is to delegate much of FHWA's approval authority to PennDOT for certain preliminary engineering, construction contract administration, and right-of-way activities on or related to Federal-aid projects.
1. Project Development Process (Including Public Involvement in the Development of Projects and Title VI Requirements as Related to Minority Group Participation)
Procedures for project development and public involvement are established in PennDOT Design Manuals and Environmental Handbooks. These guidelines are provided in the following:
2. Application of Appropriate Design and Construction Standards
Appropriate design and construction standards are provided by the application of the following:
PennDOT will apply design and construction standards for new construction, reconstruction, resurfacing (except maintenance resurfacing), restoration, or rehabilitation of highways on the NHS in accordance with 23 CFR Part 625- Design Standards for Highways.
3. PennDOT's Highway and Railroad Safety Programs
PennDOT will administer a Highway Safety Improvement Program on a continuing basis according to 23 CFR Part 924- Highway Safety Improvement Program.
PennDOT will apply design and construction standards for new construction, reconstruction, resurfacing (except maintenance resurfacing), restoration, or rehabilitation of highways on the NHS in accordance with the standards listed in Item 2 above, the Grade Crossing Manual (Pub. 371), and in accordance with 23 CFR Part 625- Design Standards for Highways.
PennDOT will administer a federal-highway railroad grade crossing safety program,and other associated railroad crossing projects,on a continuing basis and in compliance with
23 CFR Part 646- Railroads, 23 CFR Part 140- Reimbursement,subpart I Reimbursement for Railroad Work, 23 CFR Part 172- Administration of Engineering and Design Related Service Contracts and 23 CFR Part 924- Highway Safety Improvement Program.
4. Quality Control/Quality Assurance of Construction and Materials
The quality of construction is assured through the application of the following:
PennDOT Engineering Districts are responsible for managing construction projects and operations according to policies and procedures detailed in Pub. 408 -Specifications, and Pub. 8- Construction Manual. The Districts are held accountable for a level of performance through a Quality Assurance program administered by the Bureau of Project Delivery, Innovation and Support Services Division. The Quality Assurance program provisions, including review frequencies and compliance levels, are specified in Pub. 25- Quality Assurance Manual. Compliance is determined and information obtained to determine performance levels. Specific training is developed to achieve compliance. Deficiencies are addressed according to severity as specified in Pubs. 8- Construction Manual and 25 - Quality Assurance Manual.
The economy of construction is assured through the PennDOT's competitive bidding procedures and through value engineering policies.
5. Signing, Pavement Marking and Traffic Control Devices
Provisions for adequate signing, pavement marking, and traffic control devices are provided through application of the following PennDOT's publications and according to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices:
6. Economic, Social and Environmental Impacts
Minimization of adverse economic, social, and environmental impacts is accomplished through adherence to the procedures in the following PennDOT guidance:
7. Equal Employment Opportunity
The Department's policy with respect to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination is as provided in the following:
The number of highway construction trainees and their training program is controlled by PennDOT Strike-Off Letters and conforms to Federal requirements.
PennDOT is firmly committed to fulfilling its goals for participation of DBE's in all contracts and projects involving Federal-aid funds. The DBE Program will be administered in accordance with 49 CFR Part 26- Participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in Department of Transportation Financial Assistance Programs.
8. Competitive Bidding and Payment of Prevailing Wage Rates on Construction Contracts
Competitive bidding procedures are provided in PennDOT policy letters and will conform to Federal requirements. Procedures governing the payment of prevailing wage rates on construction contracts are included in PennDOT Publication 408- Specifications and in PennDOT Publication 2- Project Office Manual.
9. Design and Construction Claim Settlements
Design claim settlements will be processed in accordance with procedures identified in Publication 93- Policy and Procedures for the Administration of Consultant Agreements.
Construction claim settlements will be processed in accordance with Publication 2 - Project Office Manual.10. Federal-Aid Procurement and Contract Provisions
11. Retention of Records
PennDOT retains records on Federal-aid projects in accordance with 49 CFR Part 18- Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments (The Common Rule). Involved local governments and other third party contractors are also required to retain records as specified above.
12. State Transportation Improvement Program
In conformance with the requirement of 23 CFR 450- Planning Assistance and Standards, PennDOT will submit to the FHWA and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) of projects which it intends to implement over the succeeding four year period. The STIP will be updated every two years, and will include all approved Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and Rural Planning Organization (RPO) Transportation Improvement Programs (TIP's). Amendments and administrative actions to the STIP and to the metropolitan and rural TIPs can occur at any time during the life of these documents. Only after the STIP or its amendments are approved by the FHWA and/or the FTA can federal funds be obligated for individual transportation projects that are shown in the current Federal fiscal year in the STIP and included in the document.13
13. Local Agency Procedures
Administration of Federal-aid projects shall be in accordance with PennDOT's current version of Procedures for the Administration of Locally Sponsored Projects (Pub. 39), and any revision thereto.
PennDOT has the oversight responsibility for the design and construction of all Federal aid projects, and is not relieved of such responsibility by authorizing performance of the work by or under the supervision of a county, city, or other Local Public Agency (i.e.Local Project Sponsor). When work is to be performed under a contract awarded by a Local Public Agency, PennDOT has the responsibility of ensuring that all Federal requirements, including those prescribed in 23 CFR Part 635- Final Rule General Material Requirements, have been met.
Right-of-Way Activities- PennDOT must monitor local public agency right-of-way activities as required by 23 CFR 710.201.- State Responsibilities as defined in Pub 98- A Guide for Local Public Agency Acquisition of Right-of-Way.
Consultant Agreements- PennDOT provides the required Federal-aid procurement and administration of Consultant Agreements as prescribed in 23 CFR, Part 172 through PennDOT Publication 93, Publication 442 and ECMS Standard Agreement Provisions and Attachments.
Quality Assurance- As part of the lOP process, Central Office in conjunction with FHWA will include a sampling of LPA projects for quality assurance audits.
14. Federal-Aid Financial Procedures
PennDOT will electronically verify that the fiscal authorization has occurred by reviewing the FMIS transaction and EDS status logs.
PennDOT will assure that necessary environmental studies and approvals have occurred prior to submitting any request for authorization.
PennDOT will electronically verify that the fiscal authorization has occurred by reviewing the FMIS transaction and EDS status logs. PennDOT will assure that necessary environmental studies and approvals have occurred prior to submitting any request for authorization. PennDOT agrees and is bound by all the provisions contained in 23 CFR 630.112- Agreement Provisions. The project specific data contained in the Request for Authorization is sufficient for FHWA to place all projects under Project Agreement at the time of authorization; no further FHWA Project Agreement or PennDOT Agreement Estimate is required unless there is a modification to the Agreement. PennDOT's Request for Authorization will serve as a concurrent request to place the project under Project Agreement in FHWA's FMIS system.When project funding adjustments are required due to bid adjustments or cost overruns/underruns, PennDOT will submit a signed Request for an Amended Project Authorization with supporting information necessary for FHWA to adjust the Project Agreement amount. All funding adjustments must be supported by an estimate maintained in PennDOT's files for all phases being requested.
State Infrastructure Bank (SIB): The State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) was authorized through the National Highway System Act of 1995 and was established in Pennsylvania in 1997. SIBs are codified in United States legal code Title 23 Highways, Chapter 6 Infrastructure Finance, Section 610.1Loans generated through the SIB Program Loans from the original principal are subject to federal procedures and periodic review per the Cooperative Agreement signed June 5, 1998. Use of state funds for the SIB are not subject to federal procedures and periodic review.
Toll Credits: FHWA will approve the use of toll credits. To receive this approval, PennDOT must provide (1) a certification by the Secretary of Transportation or a designated deputy that the toll authority project outlays meet FHWA soft match requirements as specified in FHWA guidance and 23 CFR, and (2) a certification that the required Maintenance of Effort (MOE) has been met the period of expenditure. FHWA may periodically review a sample of toll authority expenditures (either on-site or through a records review) to assure the projects meet 23 CFR eligibility requirements.
15. Planning Activities
Title 23 USC- Highways specifies that the planning functions cannot be delegated to the State Department of Transportation. FHWA retains authority for all Federal responsibilities for planning and programming specified in 23 USC 134- Metropolitan Transportation Planning and 135-Statewide Transportation Planning. In addition, this also applies to the Federal air quality conformity determinations required by the Clean Air Act. However, for all delegated programs or projects, PennDOT shall oversee and ensure compliance with the metropolitan and statewide planning requirements, including but not limited to: project eligibility for the proposed funding source, fiscal constraint, air quality conformity, public involvement, STIP, and long range transportation plans requirements.