23 CFR § 635.506 - Project approvals and authorizations.

§ 635.506 Project approvals and authorizations.

(a) In general.

(1) Under 23 U.S.C. 106(c), the States may assume certain FHWA responsibilities for project design, plans, specifications, estimates, contract awards, and inspections. Any individual State's assumption of FHWA responsibilities for approvals and determinations for CM/GC projects, as described in this subpart, will be addressed in the State's FHWA/STA Stewardship and Oversight Agreement. The State may not further delegate or assign those responsibilities. If an STA assumes responsibility for an FHWA approval or determination contained in this subpart, the STA will include documentation in the project file sufficient to substantiate its actions and to support any request for authorization of funds. The STA will provide FHWA with the documentation upon request.

(2) States cannot assume FHWA review or approval responsibilities for §§ 635.504(c) (review and approval of CM/GC procurement procedures) or 635.506(c) (FHWA post-NEPA review of at-risk final design costs for eligibility).

(3) In accordance with 23 U.S.C. 106(c), States may assume FHWA review or approval responsibilities for §§ 635.504(b)(6) (approval of bidding), 635.504(e)(3) (approval of indirect cost rate), 635.506(b) (approval of preconstruction price and cost/price analysis), 635.506(d)(2) (approval of price estimate for entire project), 635.506(d)(4) (approval of construction price analysis for each construction services contract), and 635.506(e) (approval of preconstruction services and construction services contract awards) for CM/GC projects on the National Highway System, including projects on the Interstate System, and must assume such responsibilities for projects off the National Highway System unless the State determines such assumption is not appropriate.

(b) Preconstruction services approvals and authorization.

(1) If the contracting agency wishes Federal participation in the cost of the CM/GC contractor's preconstruction services, it must request FHWA's authorization of preliminary engineering before incurring such costs, except as provided by section 1440 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, Pub. L. 114-357 (December 1, 2015).

(2) Before authorizing pre-construction services by the CM/GC contractor, the Division Administrator must review and approve the contracting agency's cost or price analysis for the preconstruction services procurement (including contract modifications). A cost or price analysis is encouraged but not required for procurements less than the simplified acquisition threshold in 2 CFR 200.88. The requirements of this paragraph apply when the contracting agency is requesting Federal assistance in the cost of preconstruction services.

(c) Final design during NEPA process.

(1) If the contracting agency proceeds with final design activities, including CM/GC preconstruction services associated with final design activities, at its own expense before the completion of the NEPA process, then those activities for the selected alternative may be eligible for Federal reimbursement after the completion of the NEPA process so long as the Division Administrator finds that the contracting agency's final design-related activities:

(i) Did not limit the identification and fair evaluation of a reasonable range of alternatives for the proposed project;

(ii) Did not result in an irrevocable commitment by the contracting agency to the selection of a particular alternative;

(iii) Did not have an adverse environmental impact; and

(iv) Are necessary and reasonable and adequately documented.

(2) If, during the NEPA process, the Division Administrator finds the final design work limits the fair evaluation of alternatives, irrevocably commits the contracting agency to the selection of any alternative, or causes an adverse environmental impact, then the Division Administrator shall require the contracting agency to take any necessary action to ensure the integrity of the NEPA process regardless of whether or not the contracting agency wishes to receive Federal reimbursement for such activities.

(d) Construction services approvals and authorizations.

(1) Subject to the requirements in § 635.505, the contracting agency may request Federal participation in the construction services costs associated with a CM/GC construction project, or portion of a project (including an early work package). In such cases, FHWA's construction contracting requirements will apply to all of the CM/GC project's construction contracts if any portion (including an early work package) of the CM/GC project construction is funded with title 23 funds. Any expenses incurred for construction services before FHWA authorization shall not be eligible for reimbursement except as may be determined in accordance with § 1.9 of this chapter.

(2) The Division Administrator must approve the price estimate for construction costs for the entire project before authorization of construction services (including authorization of an early work package).

(3) The contracting agency must perform a price analysis for any contract (or contract modification) that establishes or revises the scope, schedule or price for the construction of the CM/GC project or a portion of the project (including an early work package). The price analysis must compare the agreed price with the contracting agency's engineer's estimate or an independent cost estimate (if required by the contracting agency). A price analysis is encouraged but not required for procurements less than the simplified acquisition threshold in 2 CFR 200.88.

(4) The Division Administrator must review and approve the contracting agency's price analysis and agreed price for the construction services of a CM/GC project or a portion of the project (including an early work package) before authorization of construction services.

(5) Where the contracting agency and the CM/GC contractor agree on a price for construction services that is approved under paragraph (d)(4) of this section, FHWA's authorization of construction services will be based on the approved agreed price for the project or portion of the project. The authorization may include authorization of an early work package, including the advanced acquisition of materials consistent with § 635.122 and this subpart. In the event that construction materials are acquired for a CM/GC project but not installed in the CM/GC project, the cost of such material will not be eligible for Federal-aid participation. In accordance with § 635.507 and 2 CFR part 200, FHWA may deny eligibility for part or all of an early work package if such work is not needed for, or used for, the project.

(e) Contract award. The award of a Federal-aid CM/GC contract for preconstruction services and the award of contract(s) for construction services require prior concurrence from the Division Administrator. The concurrence is a prerequisite to authorization of preconstruction and construction services (including authorization for an early work package). Concurrence in the CM/GC contract award for construction services constitutes approval of the agreed price, scope, and schedule for the work under that contract. Where the contracting agency has established a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) contract goal for the CM/GC construction services contract, the initial proposal for CM/GC construction services must include the DBE documentation required by 49 CFR 26.53(b)(2), or it must include a contractually binding commitment to meet the DBE contract goal, with the information required by 49 CFR 26.53(b)(2) provided before the contracting agency awards the contract for construction services. A copy of the executed contract between the contracting agency and the CM/GC contractor, including any contract for construction services, shall be furnished to the Division Administrator as soon as practical after execution. If the contracting agency decides not to proceed with the award of a CM/GC construction services contract, then it must notify the FHWA Division Administrator as provided in § 635.504(b)(6).

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