R/W Capital vs Support

How do we classify (capital or support) right of way costs for our project?

According to the Caltrans Right of Way Manual1, the phases are explained as:

Right of Way (R/W) capital expenditures usually covers costs of:

  • R/W acquisition
  • Excess land
  • Inverse condemnation
  • Gains and losses from sales of excess land
  • Title and escrow fees
  • Condemnation expert witnesses
  • Condemnation deposits
  • RAP
  • Demolition
  • Clearance
  • Utility relocation

R/W support expenditures covers labor charges and all operating and equipment expenses chargeable to a project.

R/W capital essentially reflects the direct costs or products to acquire the required project right of way specified by the PS&E. R/W support are the costs to prepare or review those direct costs or products.

Here are several activities that are commonly brought up when differentiating between the R/W capital and support phases:

  • Preliminary title reports – RW capital. The product is part of title fees. Any work done by the local agency (staff or consultant) to secure or review the title reports would be RW support.
  • Appraisals – RW support. Unless needed to initiate condemnation, work to prepare appraisal reports is a RW support activity.
  • Surveying – RW support. Within the context of preparing RW products, surveying is a RW support activity. (Survey can also be part of the PE or CON phase depending on the reason it’s being performed.)
  • Project permit fees – RW capital. Although these permits (e.g. Fish and Game 1601 permits, Water Resource Control Board National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits (NPDES), and Regional Water Quality Control Board 401 Water Quality Certifications, etc.) are typically acquired during the project’s project development stage, they are treated as R/W capital expenses2.
  1. R/W Capital (Phase 9) is discussed in Section and R/W Support (Phase 2 in Section

  2. Section of the Caltrans Right of Way Manual.

2017 ATP Scoring Rubrics

In an email sent to ATP stakeholders from the CTC:

These scoring rubrics are primarily intended as a guide for the evaluators in order to encourage consistency across the evaluation teams. Applicants may also find this document useful when preparing their applications. Applicants should be cautioned, however, that evaluators may take other factors into consideration when scoring applications such as overall application and project quality, project context, and project deliverability.

Information for Question 1 is still being developed and will be posted on CTC’s ATP website when ready.

Notice of HBP Project Eligiblity Changes

Local agencies have been notified of project eligibility changes1 that will be made to the Highway Bridge Program (HBP):

Effective October 1, 2016, the following categories of bridge projects will NOT be eligible for HBP funding:

  • Bridges that not in the National Bridge Inventory. This will effectively exclude replacement of low-water crossings from receiving HBP funding.
  • Bridges that are Functionally Obsolete due to bridge deck geometrics.

  • Bridges that were NOT designed and constructed to acceptable standards, resulting in substandard facilities for such conditions as flood flows. The Commitee may grant an exception to the this policy after due consideration.

  • Bridge Preventative Maintenance Program (BPMP) projects under $100,000. For smaller BPMP projects, local agencies are encouraged to use non-federal funds and accumulate Bridge Investments Credits to use as a match for future HBP funded projects. The Committee may grant an exception to this policy after due consideration.

For additional information, reference the letter to local agencies or contact Caltrans HBP managers - Linda Newton (916-651-0022), Reza Fereshtehnejad (916-651-6876), or Eileen Crawford (916-653-5740).

  1. Projects currently programmed and applications received prior to October 1, 2016 will continue to follow existing HBP Guidelines.