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Highway Planning and Construction

Federal-Aid Highway Program, Federal Lands Highway Program
Number: 20.205
Agency: Department of Transportation
Office: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Program Information 

Program Number/Title (010):
20.205 Highway Planning and Construction
Federal Agency (030):
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Department of Transportation
Authorization (040):
Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), Public Law 112-141, 23 U.S.C 101.
Objectives (050):
Federal-aid Highway Program: To assist State transportation agencies in the planning and development of an integrated, interconnected transportation system important to interstate commerce and travel by constructing and preserving the National Highway System (NHS), including the Eisenhower Interstate System; for transportation improvements to Federal-aid highways and other public roads; to foster safe highway design; to replace or rehabilitate deficient or obsolete bridges; and to provide for other special purposes. This program also provides for the improvement of roads in Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The Federal Lands Highway Program: The Federal Lands Transportation Program (FLTP) provides assistance to the Federal Land Management Agencies (FLMAs) for Federally-owned roads and trails. It provides transportation engineering services and funding for planning, design, construction, and rehabilitation of the highways and bridges providing access to and on federally owned lands. The Federal Lands Highway organization also provides training, technology, deployment, engineering services, and products to other customers.
Types of Assistance (060):
Uses and Use Restrictions (070):
Federal-aid highway funds are generally apportioned by statutory formulas to the States. They are generally restricted to roads open to the public and not functionally classified as rural minor collectors or local roads. Exceptions to this highway functional classification restriction include: planning and research activities, bridges, bicycle and pedestrian paths, and safety improvements that may be on any public road, non-motorized transportation, the FLTP, and public transportation improvement. For highway projects, funds may be used for environmental studies, engineering and design services, right-of-way acquisition and relocation assistance, and construction for capital improvement projects classified as new construction, reconstruction, restoration, rehabilitation, resurfacing and preservation, or for functional, geometric, or safety reasons. Funds may also be used for planning; research, development, and technology transfer; intelligent transportation systems projects; roadside beautification; wetland and natural habitat mitigation; traffic management and control improvements; improvements necessary to accommodate other transportation modes; development and establishment of transportation management systems; billboard removal; construction of bicycle facilities and pedestrian walkways; fringe and corridor parking; car pool and van pool projects; transportation alternatives and enhancements such as scenic and historic highway improvements; and recreational trails. Funds generally cannot be used for routine highway operational activities, such as police patrols, mowing, snow plowing, or maintenance, unless it is preventative maintenance. Also, funds authorized for the National Highway Performance Program (NHPP), Surface Transportation Program (STP), Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program, and some additional programs may be used for mass transportation improvements. CMAQ funds are limited to projects and programs in air quality, non-attainment and maintenance areas for ozone, carbon monoxide, and small particulate matter that reduce transportation related emissions, though provision is made for States without air quality issues. Eligibility criteria for the programs differ, so program guidance should be consulted. Projects in urban areas of 50,000 or more population must be based on a transportation planning process carried out by a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in cooperation with the State and transit operators, and the projects must be included in metropolitan transportation plans and improvement programs. Projects in non-metropolitan areas of a State must be consistent with a statewide transportation plan. Projects in both metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas must also be included in a fiscally constrained Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) developed as part of the required statewide transportation planning process. The FHWA and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) must approve the STIP jointly. Program requirements and restrictions are contained in Title 23 United States Code. There are discretionary funds remaining from previous authorizations, which may remain available until expended.
Eligibility Requirements (080)
Applicant Eligibility (081):
By law, the Federal-aid highway program is a federally assisted State administered program that requires each State to have a suitably equipped and organized transportation department. Therefore, most projects are administered by or through State transportation departments (State DOTs). Projects to be funded under the Federal-aid highway program are generally selected by State DOTs or MPOs, in cooperation with appropriate local officials, as specified in 23 U.S.C. and implementing regulations. Territorial highway projects are funded in the same manner as other Federal aid highway projects, with the territorial transportation agency functioning in a manner similar to a State transportation department. Most FLTP projects are administered by the FHWA Office of Federal Lands Highway and its Divisions or by the various FLMAs.
Beneficiary Eligibility (082):
State transportation departments, and in some instances, Federal agencies, other State agencies, local agencies, and private, community-based organizations.
Credentials/Documentation (083):
Eligible activities and allowable costs will be determined in accordance with Title 23 and the OMB cost principles applicable to the recipient/sub-recipient. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.
Application and Award Process (090)
Preapplication Coordination (091):
Concerning the environmental impact assessment, it is required for most projects under this program, although the level of review varies with the project. Concerning Executive Order 12372 -- Projects under the FLHP have similar requirements; however, an interested applicant would need to contact the designated FLMA or the local FLH Division for more information. An environmental impact assessment is required for this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedures (092):
OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. In general, projects/programs proposed for funding must be included in a fiscally constrained STIP, submitted by the State DOT, and approved jointly by the FHWA and the FTA. In addition, the State DOT may need to submit statements of work or plans, specifications, and estimates for certain proposed projects to the FHWA division office located in each State for approval. The FHWA has a Stewardship and Oversight Agreement with each State that details the extent to which the State assumes the responsibilities of the FHWA for projects in that State. States may assume the responsibilities of the FHWA for oversight of design and construction for projects that are on the National Highway System, including the Interstate System, unless the State or the FHWA determines that such assumption is not appropriate. For projects that are not on the National Highway System, the State shall assume the responsibilities of the FHWA for oversight of design and construction, unless the State determines that such assumption is not appropriate. Projects under the FLTP are subject to the metropolitan and statewide planning requirements.
Award Procedure (093):
The State DOTs generally decide which projects will be developed within funding levels, but the FHWA division office, located in each State, approves and executes a project agreement for each project. There are several categories where funding is allocated at the discretion of the Secretary of Transportation and administered by the FHWA. When such funding is available, FHWA will solicit applications for candidate projects from the States. Candidate projects for discretionary allocations are usually solicited before the start of the Federal fiscal year (October 1) and must be submitted by the State DOTs. FHWA approval of a project and execution of a project agreement constitute a commitment to pay the Federal share of the project's allowable costs. Projects administered by the FHWA Office of FLH or the FLMAs are subject to procurement processes identified in the Federal Acquisition Regulations. Project awards are subject the availability of funds.
Deadlines (094):
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time (095):
From 1 day to 5 months.
Appeals (096):
Not Applicable.
Renewals (097):
Not Applicable.
Assistance Consideration (100)
Formula and Matching Requirements (101):
Statutory Formula: Title 23, Part 101. Federal-aid highway funds are generally apportioned by statutory formulas to the States.
Matching Requirements: Percent: 20.%. This program has a 20% matching requirement. Typically, 80% of costs are federally funded. See 23 USC 120. Exceptions apply; contact FHWA for specific information.
This program has MOE requirements, see funding agency for further details.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance (102):
Federal-aid highway funds generally become available at the beginning of the fiscal year for which they are authorized and must be obligated within 3 years after the close of that fiscal year. However, some categories of funds are available until expended. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Contract authority.
Post Assistance Requirements (110)
Reports (111):
No program reports are required. No cash reports are required. No progress reports are required. SF-425. Except for projects that a state has oversight responsibility for, the FHWA division office in each State monitors and reviews State projects and programs during highway project location, design and construction. After the project is completed, States are responsible for maintenance of the project. Certain non-construction activities, such as transportation planning, require periodic progress reports. Similar procedures apply to the FLMAs and FLTP projects with the FHWA Office of Federal Lands Highways providing the mandatory stewardship and oversight. A value engineering analysis or other cost-reduction analysis is required for each project on the National Highway System with an estimated total cost of $50,000,000 or more, a bridge project on the National Highway System with an estimated total cost of $40,000,000 or more; and any other project determined to be appropriate. Annual financial plans are required for projects with an estimated total cost of $100,000,000 or more. In addition, a project management plan must be submitted for projects with an estimated total cost of $500,000,000 or more.

As a new requirement under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) states will be responsible for making significant progress toward targets of performance they set using a set a national performance measures established to carry out the National Highway Performance Program and the Highway Safety Improvement Program. States will also be required to report to FHWA on progress they have achieved toward the completion of their targets on at least a biennial frequency. FHWA will use this progress report and performance data within national sources to determine if the State has made significant progress toward the achievement of their targets. A series of rulemakings are underway currently to implement these new requirements.
Audits (112):
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.
Records (113):
Project records and documents must be retained by the State or other governmental recipients/ sub-recipients as specified in 49 CFR Part 18 or by non-profit recipients/sub-recipients as specified in 49 CFR Part 19. For the Federal Lands Highway Program, the Federal Lands Highway Divisions maintain the project records.
Financial Information (120)
Obligations (122):
(Salaries) FY 13 $37,785,372,848; FY 14 est $40,192,800,000; and FY 15 est $47,323,248,000 - Part of this funding is used for salaries and expenses, but these obligation totals are not just for salaries.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance (123):
Federal-aid highway funds are provided to States on an annual basis, by a combination of statutory formula and discretionary allocation, stemming from multi-year authorization acts. The most recent authorization act is the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).
Program Accomplishments (130):
Fiscal Year 2013: Projects that will be completed are related to: Highways, roads, bridges, bicycle transportation, bridge rehabilitation/replacement, disaster repairs, forest highways planning/construction, highway beautification, highway safety design, Indian reservation roads, interstate highway construction, rehabilitation, and pedestrian safety. Fiscal Year 2014: Similar to 2013. Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature (140):
23 CFR, "Highways" and 49 CFR, "Transportation", and 2 CFR, Grants and Agreements.
Information Contacts (150)
Regional or Local Office (151) :
See Regional Agency Offices. State-level division offices of the Federal Highway Administration (as listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog) or State transportation agencies.
Headquarters Office (152):
Thomas Everett 1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E., Washington, District of Columbia 20590 Phone: (202) 366-5530
Website Address (153):
Examples of Funded Projects (170):
Fiscal Year 2013: Montana: State Secondary Route 345 widening of existing roadway to provide southbound turn lanes. Fiscal Year 2014: Alabama: Resurface and two foot safety widening of SR-3 (US-31) from the northen end of Pine Creek Bridge to the northern limits of Prattville.
Pennsylvania: State Route 3009 over Kinzua Creek for bridge replacement. Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available
Criteria for Selecting Proposals (180):
To be eligible, most projects must be located on public roads that are not functionally classified as minor rural collectors and local roads. The major exceptions are bridges not located on Federal-Aid highways; highway safety activities; bicycle and pedestrian projects, transportation alternatives and enhancement activities, the recreational trails program, and planning, research, development, and technology transfer. Proposed projects meeting these and other planning, design, environmental, safety, etc., requirements can be approved on the basis of State and local priorities within the limit of the funds apportioned or allocated to each State.