Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What line are the PE costs to design an interchange to be recorded on; Line 14 or Line 21?

Answer: The 3rd paragraph under Line 21 on Page VI-6 of the Instruction Manual states that “the line 21 cost estimate is for the “complete” interchange (with exceptions noted).”   Preliminary engineering is not listed as an exception in the 2nd paragraph; therefore, a strict reading would indicate that the PE costs are to be included in line 21.  However, for consistency include the PE cost for designing an interchange under line 14.

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Question: An alignment change was approved for one of our corridors right before the 1997 estimate was printed.   The strip map in the 1997 estimate showed both the old and new alignments.  Does the 2002 estimate need to show both alignments or can we take the old alignment off?

Answer: The 2002 estimate should only show the latest approved corridor alignment.

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Question: Will ARC allow a State to include color Strip Maps without converting the strip maps to a GIS base?

Answer: Yes

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Question: What design year do you put on Line 7c for completed and open to traffic sections?

Answer: The design year for completed and open to traffic sections has little relevance in the 2002 estimate.  However, since the software requires an entry, simply use the same design year that was included in the 1997 cost estimate.

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Question: Does the 10-year limitation on Stage Construction apply to rest areas and interchanges?

Answer: No, the 10-year limitation on stage construction only applies to the second stage of pavement approved as stage construction.  However, as with all of the work to be shown in the 2002 estimate there should be a serious intent to advance the rest area and interchange in the foreseeable future.

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Question: Our PE / ROW process allows for authorization of the work in stages, should we proceed as if no authorization as occurred when the second stage authorization has not been given?

Answer : The obligation of funds on or before September 30, 2001 is the key.  The discussion on Page I –2 & I – 3 Establishment of the Base Level of Development for Estimating this Work and Cost Necessary to Complete the ADHS” is tied to the obligation of funds.

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Question:   How are unobligated earmarked funds reflected in the 2002 cost estimate?

Answer: The adjustment for unobligated funding, including earmarked funds, will be made in Washington when FHWA Headquarters and ARC prepare the Cost Estimate Report.  The State’s Cost Estimate, which the State DOTs are responsible for preparing includes  (1) All eligible cost required to complete the ADHS in Table B, (2) The amount of Pre-Financed work that has not been converted in Table D and  (3) All unobligated earmarked federal funds in Table E.  In preparing the Cost Estimate
Report, the FHWA Headquarters and ARC will determine the amount of federal dollars needed to complete the ADHS in each State by adding the amount of pre-financed work (Table D) to the cost to complete (Table B) and then subtracting the amount of unobligated federal funds available to that State which includes earmarked funds in Table E.

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Question:  What types of details are required for the Division Narrative?  Will we be provided with examples from prior estimates and possibly given some guidelines, or is it just pretty much up to our own discretion?

Answer:  The FHWA Headquarters will be issuing a memorandum with all of the information that is to be included in the FHWA Narrative.

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Question:   Under what conditions may a State include the cost of a construction claim in the estimate?

Answer: In order for the cost of a construction claim to be included in the 2002 cost estimate the claim must meet all of the following tests:

  • It is a formal claim (Not simply a request for an
    equitable adjustment)
  • Entitlement has been established
  • Eligibility has been agreed to by FHWA
  • The amount of compensation has been agreed upon by the
    contractor, State DOT & FHWA.
  • There are insufficient funds in the project to cover the
    cost of the claim

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Question:  Is the 20-year design period to the date the project is scheduled to begin or the projected completion date of the project?

Answer: Section 9.1 (4) in Chapter 9 of the ARC Code states that “ The system is to be designed ….. to accommodate the types and volumes of traffic anticipated for such project for the 20 year period commencing on the date of approval, under usual federal-aid highway procedures, of the plans, specifications, and estimate for the actual construction of the project..”

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Question:  Does a changes in the typical section in the 1997 estimate (but the corridor location is the same) require ARC approval before the new typical section be used as the basis for the cost in the 2002 cost estimate?

Answer:   Yes – Generally a change in the typical section will not significantly increase the cost of the entire system or result in significantly altering the relative apportionment percentages among the various Appalachian States.  Therefore, normally a change to a typical section will not result in a “Major Change” that had to be submitted to ARC prior to
2-1-01.  However, any proposed design change to the 1997 ADHS cost estimate must be submitted to FHWA and ARC for approval before they can be included in the 2002 and / or be eligible for reimbursement with ADHS funds.

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Question:  The State has competed all work on an eligible section except for converting an intersection into an interchange.  No work has been done on the interchange however, the interchange is eligible for ADHS funding and it was included in the 1997 cost estimate.  What is the appropriate status code since the description of “Stage Construction” in the Instruction manual does not seem to cover this situation?

Answer:  Status 3 is the only code for “Stage Construction”.  The correct status code is 3a3a.

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Question:   Does the narrative have to include an explanation of all unit cost that are more than 15 % above the unit cost used to prepare the 1997 estimate?  [Page I – 8]

Answer:  No – The analysis of cost over 15% applies to the cost estimate section.  The unit cost of one item might go up more than 15 % and the total cost of that estimate section may still be less than the total cost of that estimate section in the 1997.  In that case no additional explanation would be required in the narrative.

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Question: How many copies of the draft estimate are to be submitted by December 15, 2001?

Answer:  Four complete hard copies of the draft estimate are to be submitted prior to December 15, 2001; one copy to the FHWA Division, two copies to the FHWA Headquarters and one copy to ARC.  This will allow concurrent reviews to be done by these offices.  The four hard copies should be clearly marked asDRAFT.  The FHWA Headquarters will consolidate all of the review comments and the second copy sent to FHWA Headquarters will be marked up and returned to the State DOT via the Division Office.  Copies of the consolidated review comments will be provided to the Division Office and ARC.

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Question: The FHWA Division Office Narrative requires a discussion of the Joint Field Reviews on uncompleted segments.  What’s the purpose of the joint field review and who are the people attending, etc.?

Answer:  The purpose of the joint field review (State DOT and FHWA Division Office) of uncompleted corridors is to verify and compare the Table B data, strip maps, and status report with the work completed and to identify the eligible work remaining to be included in the 2002 Cost Estimate. The joint field review should be done very near the beginning of the estimate process (i.e., it is not productive to begin detailed estimating until there is a clear understanding and agreement on the work to be included in the estimate).The FHWA Headquarters and ARC would like to attend some of the review on selected corridors.  Therefore please notify [Claretta.Duren@FHWA.DOT.GOV] of the proposed review dates.

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Question:  If there is a difference between estimate section mileage calculated from HPMS LRS and the mileage shown in Table B of the 1997 Cost Estimates, which mileage should we use or input into the section length field (Line 2) on Table B in the 2002 Cost Estimate?

Answer: Page V-4 of the Instruction Manual notes that the section length mileage in the ADHS Cost Estimate does not necessarily corresponding to the section length derived from the HPMS LRS mileage. This is because the way sections were set up and sections on new locations were based upon a preliminary alignment.   Therefore, the section mileage reported in Table B of the 1997 ADHS Cost Estimate should always be used for the section length field (Line 2) in the 2002 Cost Estimate unless the
ARC has approved an alignment change since the 1997 Cost Estimate.

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