The FHWA is responsible for the administration and oversight of Title 23 funds under two categories, (1) the Federal-aid Program ($33B) with the States and Territorial Departments of Transportation, and (2) the Federal Lands Highway Program ($1B) with Federal Land Management Agencies (FLMA) for public roads providing access to, through, or within Federal and tribal lands. Similar in structure and function to a State Department of Transportation, Federal Lands Highway (FLH) provides FLMAs with program administration, engineering services and technical assistance. Under 23 USC 308(a) and by request, the FHWA is also authorized to provide assistance to State agencies for engineering and other services.
EFL, located in Sterling, VA, is one of three Federal Lands Highway Divisions. The EFL serves 31 eastern States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. The Federal Lands Bridge Office, part of EFL, is responsible for design and the inventory and inspection of bridges and tunnels nationwide.
Since 1914, FLH has assisted the National Park Service and USDA Forest Service and other FLMAs in the design and construction of aesthetically pleasing and environmentally sensitive highway and bridge construction. The FLH participated with these agencies in the original development, design and construction of many of this nation’s National Parks and Forests. Context sensitivity, engrained in our culture, is critical to meeting the unique missions, values, and needs of our partners and the public, while meeting today’s engineering and safety standards. The EFL delivers projects through strong project management from cradle to grave working closely and coordinating constantly with our partners.
Through either in-house, engineering and support staff or through on-call consultant engineering assistance, the EFL is available to assist upon request with any highway transportation project. While the EFL is similar to a State DOT, it neither maintains nor operates roads nor can we acquire right-of-way. The EFL’s capabilities include planning; environmental compliance; highway design, bridge design, survey and mapping, hydraulics, geotechnical, traffic, safety, ITS, design visualization, and related design; Architect/Engineering consultant procurement and contract administration, construction contract procurement and contract administration; construction engineering; road and bridge inventory and inspection; and asset management systems. Design and construction projects range from simple rural resurfacing to highly complex, high volume, urban arterial parkways. The EFL awards approximately 30 construction contracts annually averaging between $100 and $200 million.
FLH is a fee for service organization. All engineering and support staff are charged directly or indirectly to projects based on actual charges. By law, FLH cannot receive any profit. Our preliminary engineering costs average 10-15% and construction engineering and contract administration average 10-12% of the overall construction cost.
Projects and Technical Assistance:
Since 1999 the EFL has assisted the District of Columbia Department of Transportation with the delivery of approximately $250 million in highway and bridge construction contracts under the Federal-aid Program. These projects have involved various road and bridge reconstruction projects, including the $43 million, 9th Street Bridge Design-Build project. Likewise since 1997, the EFL has assisted with the Government of the US Virgin Islands with approximately $120 million in various highway and bridge construction contracts under the Territorial Highway Program.
The EFL was responsible for the design and construction of the $270 million Cumberland Gap Tunnel project which relocated US 25E and US 58 in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia in partnership with the three States and the National Park Service.
The EFL was responsible for the design and construction of safety and capacity improvements to the Baltimore- Washington Parkway in MD. This $170 million project reconstructed the parkway, bridges, and interchanges through the 18.5 mile Federal Section owned and maintained by the National Park Service. Traffic volumes range from 80,000 to 100,000 vehicles per day.
The EFL designed and constructed the reknowned Linn Cove Viaduct, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC. This structure was the first segmental bridge constructed from the top down. The Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge over TN Route 96, was the first segmental arch bridge constructed in the US.
The FLH Bridge office provided technical assistance to the FHWA and Massachusetts Division on the FHWA Boston Artery Failure Investigative Teams that worked collaboratively with MassHighways to determine the conditions under which I-90 could be reopened.
Awards and Honors:
The EFL and FLH have won numerous design and construction awards. Most recently, the EFL received the 2006 Excellence in Highway Design Awards for project management for the Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House, for historic preservation for the Sunday Market Square, US VI, and for improvements on Federal lands for the Natchez Trace Parkway, MS. This year EFL has received the DC Mayor’s Award for historic preservation for the Wisconsin Avenue Bridge, Washington, DC.
Many projects developed between the EFL and its partners, including the Blue Ridge Parkway in VA and NC, the Cherohala Skyway in NC and TN, and the Natchez Trace Parkway, have been designated as All-American Roads or National Scenic Byways.