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DOT LogoMemorandum
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

Information: Engineering Cost Reimbursement
Section 1304 of the TEA-21 Implementing Guidance

August 7, 1998

Chief, Federal-Aid and Design Division


Regional Administrators
Division Administrators
Federal Lands Highway Program Administrator

Section 1304 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) amends 23 U.S.C. 102(b) to include a provision to allow the granting of time extensions for engineering cost reimbursement. Section 102(b) continues to require a State to repay all Federal funds for preliminary engineering for any project that has not advanced to construction or acquisition of right-of-way within 10 years after Federal funds are first made available. However, with this amendment, the State may request a time extension beyond the 10-year limit with no repayment of Federal funds, and the FHWA may approve this request if it is considered reasonable.

The following guidance is offered regarding evaluation of a time extension request. Generally, to warrant a time extension, the delay in proceeding with a project should be caused by events that are beyond the State's control. Examples of this would be court actions or other environmental complications which are delaying progress on a project.

Decisions to determine if the State's request is reasonable and the granting of appropriate time extensions are to be made by the Division Administrator. These decisions should be documented.

The provision allowing time extensions may be applied to any preliminary engineering projects, including those authorized prior to the passage of TEA-21.

Questions on this memorandum may be directed to Mr. Jim Overton at 202-366-4653 or Mr. Jack Wasley at 202-366-4658.

Signed by
Dwight A. Horne

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