To improve the delivery of Highway Bridge Program (HBP) projects, Right of Way funding for bridge projects was moved to the last year of the FTIP with the recent March update. By doing this, it provides more programming capacity for bridge projects ready to proceed to construction.

For agenices that are ready to to proceed with the Right of Way phase for their bridge projects, they will need to either wait for notice to advance projects[1] or seek an exception through their DLAE.

For additional information, here the notice thatThe following was provided for distribution to all local agencies:

At the February 2014 HBP Advisory Committee meeting, there was a decision made to place all Right of Way funding on currently programmed projects that has not been authorized into the last year of the FTIP. The reason for this change is that in FFY 12/13, there was a substantial amount of additional PE and R/W funding that was programmed but never received an authorization to proceed. Based upon our Office Bulletin, OB 11–01 Local Assistance Highway Bridge Program Project Prioritization Policy, PE and R/W are not prioritized, but are programmed in the year the local agencies request programming to keep project delivery moving.

In FFY 12/13, there were 204 project with approximately $138 million of programmed funds that were never obligated. This $138 million was for all three phases of projects. During the fall 2013 HBP survey, most of this programming was carried forward into FFY 13/14. In the November 2013 constrained lists, we ultimately pushed projects out of the FTIP that had construction flagged “nearly ready to advertise”, to accommodate projects with PE and R/W.

The decision to program R/W in the last year of the FTIP will provide capacity for the projects that are beyond the R/W phase and keep more projects moving to construction. What this means for the March 2014 update is that, any project that has R/W funding in FFY 13/14 and FFY 14/15 that has not been authorized and NEPA is not cleared, the R/W will be moved to FFY 15/16. This keeps R/W programmed in the FTIP. If there is a new project that has been added since November 2013, the R/W may be put in FFY 17/18.

Local agencies will need to provide NEPA clearance to program R/W in the current fiscal year to receive an authorization to proceed.

This will also push construction out of the FTIP for projects that have not had a R/W authorization. For projects such as BPMP which do not have R/W, this change will have no effect on the project.

  1. Here’s the post that I shared with subscriber’s last year about the HBP opening up for advancements.  ↩