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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of April 21, 2014

Title 23: Highways
PART 635—CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE
Subpart C—Physical Construction Authorization


§635.309   Authorization.

Authorization to advertise the physical construction for bids or to proceed with force account construction thereof shall normally be issued as soon as, but not until, all of the following conditions have been met:

(a) The plans, specifications, and estimates (PS&E) therefor have been approved.

(b) A statement is received from the State, either separately or combined with the information required by §635.309(c), that either all right-of-way clearance, utility, and railroad work has been completed or that all necessary arrangements have been made for it to be undertaken and completed as required for proper coordination with the physical construction schedules. Where it is determined that the completion of such work in advance of the highway construction is not feasible or practical due to economy, special operational problems and the like, there shall be appropriate notification provided in the bid proposals identifying the right-of-way clearance, utility, and railroad work which is to be underway concurrently with the highway construction.

(c) A statement is received from the State certifying that all individuals and families have been relocated to decent, safe and sanitary housing or the State has made available to relocatees adequate replacement housing in accordance with the provisions of the current Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) directive(s) covering the administration of the Highway Relocation Assistance Program and that one of the following has application:

(1) All necessary rights-of-way, including control of access rights when pertinent, have been acquired including legal and physical possession. Trial or appeal of cases may be pending in court but legal possession has been obtained. There may be some improvements remaining on the right-of-way but all occupants have vacated the lands and improvements and the State has physical possession and the right to remove, salvage, or demolish these improvements and enter on all land.

(2) Although all necessary rights-of-way have not been fully acquired, the right to occupy and to use all rights-of-way required for the proper execution of the project has been acquired. Trial or appeal of some parcels may be pending in court and on other parcels full legal possession has not been obtained but right of entry has been obtained, the occupants of all lands and improvements have vacated and the State has physical possession and right to remove, salvage, or demolish these improvements.

(3) The acquisition or right of occupancy and use of a few remaining parcels is not complete, but all occupants of the residences on such parcels have had replacement housing made available to them in accordance with 49 CFR 24.204. The State may request authorization on this basis only in very unusual circumstances. This exception must never become the rule. Under these circumstances, advertisement for bids or force-account work may be authorized if FHWA finds that it will be in the public interest. The physical construction may then also proceed, but the State shall ensure that occupants of residences, businesses, farms, or non-profit organizations who have not yet moved from the right-of-way are protected against unnecessary inconvenience and disproportionate injury or any action coercive in nature. When the State requests authorization to advertise for bids and to proceed with physical construction where acquisition or right of occupancy and use of a few parcels has not been obtained, full explanation and reasons therefor including identification of each such parcel will be set forth in the State's request along with a realistic date when physical occupancy and use is anticipated as well as substantiation that such date is realistic. Appropriate notification shall be provided in the bid proposals identifying all locations where right of occupancy and use has not been obtained.

(d) The State transportation department in accord with 23 CFR 771.111(h), has submitted public hearing transcripts, certifications and reports pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 128.

(e) An affirmative finding of cost effectiveness or that an emergency exists has been made as required by 23 U.S.C. 112, when construction by some method other than contract based on competitive bidding is contemplated.

(f) Minimum wage rates determined by the Department of Labor in accordance with the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 113, are in effect and will not expire before the end of the period within which it can reasonably be expected that the contract will be awarded.

(g) A statement has been received that right-of-way has been acquired or will be acquired in accordance with the current FHWA directive(s) covering the acquisition of real property or that acquisition of right-of-way is not required.

(h) A statement has been received that the steps relative to relocation advisory assistance and payments as required by the current FHWA directive(s) covering the administration of the Highway Relocation Assistance Program have been taken, or that they are not required.

(i) The FHWA Division Administrator has determined that appropriate measures have been included in the PS&E in keeping with approved guidelines, for minimizing possible soil erosion and water pollution as a result of highway construction operations.

(j) The FHWA Division Administrator has determined that requirements of 23 CFR part 771 have been fulfilled and appropriate measures have been included in the PS&E to ensure that conditions and commitments made in the development of the project to mitigate environmental harm will be met.

(k) Where utility facilities are to use and occupy the right-of-way, the State has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the FHWA Division Administrator that the provisions of 23 CFR 645.119(b) have been fulfilled.

(l) The FHWA Division Administrator has verified the fact that adequate replacement housing is in place and has been made available to all affected persons.

(m) Where applicable, areawide agency review has been accomplished as required by 42 U.S.C. 3334 and 4231 through 4233.

(n) The FHWA Division Administrator has determined that the PS&E provide for the erection of only those information signs and traffic control devices that conform to the standards developed by the Secretary of Transportation or mandates of Federal law and do not include promotional or other informational signs regarding such matters as identification of public officials, contractors, organizational affiliations, and related logos and symbols.

(o) The FHWA Division Administrator has determined that, where applicable, provisions are included in the PS&E that require the erection of funding source signs, for the life of the construction project, in accordance with section 154 of the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987.

(p) In the case of a design-build project, the following certification requirements apply:

(1) The FHWA's project authorization for final design and physical construction will not be issued until the following conditions have been met:

(i) All projects must conform with the statewide and metropolitan transportation planning requirements (23 CFR part 450).

(ii) All projects in air quality nonattainment and maintenance areas must meet all transportation conformity requirements (40 CFR parts 51 and 93).

(iii) The NEPA review process has been concluded. (See 23 CFR 636.109).

(iv) The Request for Proposals document has been approved.

(v) A statement is received from the STD that either all right-of-way, utility, and railroad work has been completed or that all necessary arrangements will be made for the completion of right of way, utility, and railroad work.

(vi) If the STD elects to include right-of-way, utility, and/or railroad services as part of the design-builder's scope of work, then the Request for Proposals document must include:

(A) A statement concerning scope and current status of the required services, and

(B) A statement which requires compliance with the Uniform Relocation and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended, and 23 CFR part 710.

(2) During a conformity lapse, a design-build project (including right-of-way acquisition activities) may continue if, prior to the conformity lapse, the NEPA process was completed and the project has not changed significantly in design scope, the FHWA authorized the design-build project and the project met transportation conformity requirements (40 CFR parts 51 and 93).

(3) Changes to the design-build project concept and scope may require a modification of the transportation plan and transportation improvement program. The project sponsor must comply with the metropolitan and statewide transportation planning requirements in 23 CFR part 450 and the transportation conformity requirements (40 CFR parts 51 and 93) in air quality nonattainment and maintenance areas, and provide appropriate approval notification to the design-builder for such changes.

[40 FR 17251, Apr. 18, 1975; 40 FR 36319, Aug. 20, 1975, as amended at 47 FR 47239, Oct. 25, 1982; 49 FR 28550, July 13, 1984; 50 FR 34093, Aug. 23, 1985; 52 FR 32669, Aug. 28, 1987; 52 FR 45173, Nov. 25, 1987; 53 FR 1921, Jan. 25, 1988; 54 FR 47075, Nov. 9, 1989; 67 FR 75926, Dec. 10, 2002; 72 FR 45336, Aug. 14, 2007]



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