Posts tagged FHWA.
Posted in Legislation

In response to a request from the California Department of Transportation, 5,000 California drivers signed up for the state’s nine month pilot program to replace the state’s gas tax with a charge based on vehicle miles traveled.  Starting July 1 of this year, the volunteers will make simulated payments based on how many miles they travel.  Participants include drivers from every part of the state and from every socioeconomic background, according to Malcolm Dougherty, Caltrans executive director.  The opportunity to provide valuable input and evaluate the viability of a ...

Posted in Legislation, News

At the end of 2015, two modal administrations of the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT) have encountered changes to their Buy America programs.  Both the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have had changes imposed upon their Buy America procedures – the FTA by Congress through provisions in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (or, FAST Act) and the FHWA through a recent opinion in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing ...

Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants fund billions of transit-related projects throughout the United States.  In an effort to improve the project delivery process for those projects, the FTA on September 3, 2015, announced the establishment of the Expedited Public Transportation Improvement Initiative (XPEDITE) in the Federal Register.  The FTA is soliciting participation in an online dialogue regarding XPEDITE, the goals of which are to facilitate the transit industry's implementation of the following:

  • Proven technologies to improve service delivery and ...
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Tags: FHWA, FTA, NEPA, XPEDITE
Posted in News, Policy

Federal transportation officials are contemplating new contract rules that would make it easier for states and cities to hire local residents to work on transportation projects.  Federal rules currently prohibit the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) from allowing contract provisions that do not directly relate to the bidder's performance of work.  Thus, local hiring provisions have not been allowed in procurements for federally funded projects.  This month, however, U.S. Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, announced a ...

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Tags: FHWA, FTA

The FHWA published its final Core Toll Concessions P3 Model Contract Guide (Guide) on September 10, 2014 as part of its mandate under MAP-21 to develop standard public-private partnership transaction model contracts for the most popular types of public-private partnerships.  The Guide serves as an educational tool to assist states, public transportation agencies, and other public officials in developing their own public-private partnership agreements. 

The FHWA determined an educational approach is preferred to prescriptive requirements based on feedback received during a ...

Posted in Legislation

On Friday, September 5, 2014, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published its final rule for Value Engineering (VE) for road and bridge projects.  The new rule implements changes made to VE requirements under Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), the last surface transportation authorization law that was signed into law in July 2012.

The FHWA’s final rule for VE increases the project thresholds that trigger a VE analysis, eliminates the VE analysis requirement for design-build projects, and defines the requirements for a state Department of ...

Posted in Policy

In our prior posts we noted the important changes in federal tolling law under MAP-21 and some of the issues raised by those changes.  MAP-21 modestly loosened the federal reins on tolling the nation’s Interstates and federal-aid highways.  The Obama Administration just released its federal surface transportation reauthorization legislation, the Grow America Act.  In section 1405, the Administration proposes further constructive steps to expand tolling rights, but reintroduces some constraints that MAP-21 relaxed.

Probably the most important proposal is to create the right ...

Posted in Policy

By Ben Rubin and originally posted on the California Eminent Domain Report blog.

On July 6, 2012 President Obama signed into law MAP-21, which, among other things, contained new National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA") requirements for the Federal Transit Administration ("FTA") and Federal Highway Administration ("FHWA").  In January 2014, pursuant to a mandate in MAP-21, FTA and FHWA adopted new regulations, which became effective this week on February 12, governing the implementation of two new categorical exclusions. The two new categorical exclusions apply to (1 ...

Posted in Design-Build

On August 1, 2013, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and request for comments regarding proposed changes to FHWA’s design-build regulation that would eliminate a requirement for proposers to submit base proposals where the contracting agency allows them to submit alternative technical concepts (ATCs) in their proposals.  ATCs have proved to be highly beneficial, encouraging innovation, cost savings and reduction of environmental impacts and increasing the overall value to procuring agencies through the best value ...

Posted in Policy

Following up on our previous post regarding the uncertainty surrounding the application of Buy America requirements to utility relocations, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has recently released two documents that provide further clarification on the matter.

On July 11, 2013, USDOT circulated an internal memorandum to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Division Administrators and the Directors of Field Services acknowledging that the broadened application of Buy America has created implementation issues for the utility industry and caused ...

Posted in Policy

As we have previously reported,  the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently adopted policies requiring Buy America compliance for utility relocations for federally funded transportation projects in cases where the utility performs relocation work.  On June 28, 2013, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), American Public Transportation Association (APTA), streetcar project sponsors, and associations representing electric, gas and broadband utilities sent a joint letter to the ...

Posted in Policy

As we have previously reported, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has issued guidance holding that "Buy America applies to any utility work that is accomplished as a result of a Federal-aid highway project", unless the utility work cannot legally be reimbursed by the State.  This conclusion is based on an amendment to Buy America found in Section 1518 of MAP-21, which requires the application of Buy America to all contracts eligible for assistance within the scope of a project (as defined by the NEPA document), if at least one contract for the project is funded with Federal-aid ...

Posted in Policy

On January 14, 2013, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued guidance on Section 1319 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), Pub. L. 112-141, July 6, 2012.  MAP-21 is a measure that reauthorizes transportation funding through the end of 2014, and is the product of a robust effort by transportation advocates to streamline the lengthy, complex, and cumbersome federal environmental process.  As we reported here, MAP-21 includes several meaningful reforms that could expedite the National Environmental ...

Posted in Policy

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released two guidance memoranda in December 2012 relating to Buy America, largely in light of the amendments made by MAP-21.  On December 20, FHWA clarified the Buy America requirements applicable to utility work on Federal-aid projects.  The December 21 memorandum provided additional amplification on FHWA’s position regarding Buy America requirements applicable to manufactured products.

FHWA’s December 20, 2012 Guidance

FHWA was in the process of evaluating the applicability of Buy America requirements to utility work on ...

Posted in P3s

As part of its effort to meet MAP-21’s legislative requirement to develop standard public-private partnership transaction model contracts for the most popular types of public-private partnerships, the Federal Highway Administration held a listening session with representatives from the transportation industry at the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington D.C. on January 16.  Representatives from state departments of transportation, general contractors, trade associations, legal advisors and others were in attendance, and solicited to provide FHWA with the ...

Posted in P3s

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently issued guidance for implementing various aspects of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), including:  Infrastructure; Environment, Planning and Realty; Safety; Operations; and Innovative Program Delivery.  The guidance became effective October 1, 2012.

The interim guidance on Innovative Program Delivery includes provisions for implementing the new public-private partnership (P3) assessment requirement for Major Project Finance Plans under MAP-21.  The new P3 assessment requirement is, in our ...

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Tags: FHWA, MAP-21, PPPs
Posted in P3s

Hot on the heels of the financial close of the Presidio Parkway, the first California transportation public-private partnership (P3) availability payment deal and only the fourth in the United States, Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Office of Innovative Program Delivery has issued guidance regarding the eligibility of periodic availability payments for reimbursement from federal aid funds.  Federal-Aid Funding and Availability Payments

Recognizing that availability payment concessions can offer the benefits of enhanced performance and project cost savings ...

Our October 21 blog on managed lanes projects in Southern California talked about how three county transportation agencies are expanding on the success of the SR91 Express Lanes in Orange County, Calif., by using managed lanes to further relieve congestion and improve mobility in the region.  Not to be outdone by its Southern California cousins, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the transportation planning and funding agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, just received the blessing of the California Transportation Commission (CTC) to develop and ...

Southern California can’t say it’s number one when it comes to having the worst traffic congestion in the country, but it’s a huge economic and social problem for the region which three Southern California transportation agencies are addressing through the use of managed lanes.  That’s what we recently learned at the Women’s Transportation Seminar presentation on October 14, 2011.

On a panel moderated by Rick Backlund, an FHWA region official, we heard from Rose Casey, Program Manager for the Orange County Transportation Authority; Stephanie Wiggins, Executive ...

Posted in Financing, Policy

FHWA has extended the deadline for FY2011 TIFIA Letters of Interest (LOI) to March 1, 2011. The previous Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), issued on January 19, had allowed less than a month for interested applicants to prepare and submit LOIs.

The January 25 revised NOFA included a new phrase addressing the role of tolling and pricing programs in enhancing environmental sustainability. Under the revised selection criteria, applicants can demonstrate that their projects help preserve and protect the environment through the use of tolling or pricing structures to reduce ...

On October 8, 2009, FHWA issued electronic toll collection rules in response to a 2005 SAFTEA-LU law, which in all respects reiterate the status quo for the tolling industry and provide no guidance or standards with respect to SAFTEA-LU’s goal of progressing towards a nationwide interoperable electronic toll collection system.

With regard to interoperability, Section 950.7 of the rules require the tolling agency to identify: (i) the projected users of the facility; (ii) the predominant electronic toll collection systems likely utilized by users of the facility; and (iii) the ...

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