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Section 3: Federal Program Authorization and Agreement

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Overview

In initiating a right of way project, Federal program approval establishes eligibility for Federal participation but does not qualify the project for actual reimbursement. Since the State expects to obtain full Federal participation, program eligibility requirements must be met before the project is released and any right of way expense is incurred or obligated.

Right of way and construction projects are programmed separately and have different project numbers.

When a project involving right of way is approved by the Texas Transportation Commission (the Commission) and is submitted to the FHWA to be included or added to the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), the approved limits for right of way acquisition established in the Commission program approval will not be changed.

Right of way projects may cover any number of construction projects, as conditions dictate. However, right of way and advanced planning projects should be programmed over the same limits and should be as close as possible to the construction project limits. Sharing the same limits facilitates project development and program procedure.

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Procedures

If any part of right of way work (e. g. , a utility adjustment) is included in a construction contract, charge the work to the ROW CSJ. Detail this cost separately and apart from regular construction items in the construction plans and estimates.

Projects approved in the STIP by FHWA may be released by the ROW Program Office in Austin for right of way acquisition only after FHWA issues a Federal Project Authorization and Agreement (FPAA). Request a release after schematics and environmental documents are approved by FHWA and the Department is ready to begin work.

The Department must submit the following information in order to obtain an FPAA:

  • construction CSJ number as shown in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP);
  • project environmental clearance;
  • an estimate of total right of way costs, Form ROW-RM-CSJTPC, ROW CSJ Request for Total Project Cost, and other information as required.

Give special attention to the following items:

  • Word Limits: This should cover only the right of way portion of the project and should agree with the program item. Use of words "approximately" and "near" are permissible to make word limits coincide with terminal points and project lengths. This should agree with information on the right of way map.
  • Financing: Show the best estimate of total costs and express it in even amounts of $100. If the amount of the estimate exceeds the total of the authorized funds, make a request for additional funds needed and obtain approval.
  • Submission: Submit the right of way project cost estimate to the ROW Program Office in Austin.
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