DAVID GIONGCO Caltrans Local Assistance Engineer

2017 Training Needs Assessment

California LTAP Center:

The Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) Center is funded by the Federal Highway Administration and Caltrans for the purpose of offering training and technical assistance to California’s local agencies participating in federal-aid. The goal of the Center is to provide the agencies guidance, resources, and tools for the successful completion of their transportation projects; this includes classes, technical assistance, federal-aid guidance, certifications, construction training, worker safety tools, equipment rentals, library resources, and more.

Please help us improve the California LTAP Center by filling out this short 5-10 minute survey. We are excited to hear your suggestions.

It’s your opportunity to advocate for the training you want. Take the survey before February 14.

2017 LAPM

The Local Assistance Procedures (LAPM) was recently updated1 and the following procedural changes were made by the Office of Policy Development & Quality Assurance to help agencies:

  • Annual Updates: Revisions will be incorporated into planned annual updates moving forward (e.g. the next edition of the LAPM will be released in January 2018 edition). Policy and procedure changes that need to be implemented sooner will still continue to be communicated through Office Bulletins. Those Office Bulletins will ultimately also be incorporated into the annual LAPM update.

  • Vertical Bar: Revisions (made from the previous edition) will be indicated in the chapters with a vertical bar in the border.

  • Footer Date: The footer date within each LAPM will be updated with each annual edition (e.g. the current edition has a footer of January 2017).2

  1. Only format changes have been made with this update - no content changes. 

  2. The footers for forms will continue to be dated to reflect actual time of updates. 

Pavement and Bridge Condition Performance Measures NPRM

FHWA published Performance Management Final Rules required for the National Highway Performance Program:

On Thursday, January 18, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released copies of the final rules for the last two national performance management measure regulations. One rule establishes regulations to assess the condition and performance of bridges on the NHS and of pavements on the Interstate and non-Interstate NHS. The other establishes regulations to assess the performance of the National Highway System (NHS), Freight Movement on the Interstate System, and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program.

Additional information regarding the implementation of these new requirements1 will be coming soon, but until then you could register for FHWA’s January webinar and checkout their FAQs.

  1. The rule becomes effective February 17, 2017 and the first performance reports states will be due October 1, 2018. 

Governor's Proposed Transportation Package

2017-2018 Governor’s Proposed Budget Summary (Transportation Chapter):

Over the next 10 years, the Governor’s transportation package will provide almost $43 billion for transportation investments with revenues split evenly between state and local transportation priorities. It places an emphasis on repairing and maintaining existing infrastructure with major new funding for both state highways and local roads.

Two aspects of the package that stood out to me:

State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) — An augmentation and stabilization to the STIP, which should not only allow the California Transportation Commission to restore funding for $750 million worth of projects cut from the program in 2016, but also program approximately $800 million in new projects in the 2018 STIP.

  • Comparison of highway condition with and without the Governor’s Transportation Package:

Comparison Chart

Right of Way 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 3.02.02.02 and R/W Support (Phase 2 in Section 3.02.02.01. 

  2. Section 4.02.08.03 of the Caltrans Right of Way Manual.