From Engineering Policy Guide
Non-infrastructure projects are those transportation-related projects that will not involve physical construction of transportation facilities. Generally, non-infrastructure projects are funded through the Transportation Enhancement (TE) Program, Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality (CMAQ) Program, or the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program. Guidance in this article is based on Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 49 Parts 18 & 19.
136.5.1 Project Services
There are several types of non-infrastructure project services. These services may be used as local match or submitted for reimbursement, depending on the manner in which these particular services are offered. This section provides a description of each type of service and scenario’s for which they apply.
126.96.36.199 Donated Services
Services provided through donations can be used as local match; however, only 80% of those donated services can be applied toward the required local match.
188.8.131.52 Third-Party Services
These are services provided to an LPA by individuals who are performing tasks which are ordinary and necessary for the delivery of the project and within their normal line of work. However, these individuals cannot be providing services as a cost-type contractor or consultant.
An LPA does not need to go through a Qualifications Based Selection process to procure these services. However, the tasks that will be provided must be documented using Fig. 136.5.1 and submitted to MoDOT for approval and obligation of funds before any services can begin. The rate of reimbursement will be the employee’s regular rate of pay, not including fringe benefits and overhead costs.
- Note: If an LPA wishes to use a non-profit organization to provide services for pay, they will be considered as professional services and will have to follow guidance in EPG 136.4 Consultant Selection and Consultant Contract Management, which includes following the Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) process.
- Example: John Doe, who is a Professional Engineer, employed by XYZ Engineering Firm, wants to provide engineering services for the project, but wants to do so as an advocate for the project and not as an employee of XYZ Company. John would document the tasks to be performed using Fig. 136.5.1 and could be paid his regular hourly rate of pay, not including any fringe benefits or overhead rates.
184.108.40.206 Volunteer Services
Services provided to an LPA by individuals who are performing tasks which are ordinary and necessary for the delivery of the project and outside of the individual’s normal line of work. This includes individuals from non-profit organizations that are providing services free of charge (EPG 220.127.116.11, Donated Services).
An LPA does not need to go through a QBS process to procure these services. However the tasks that will be provided must be documented using Fig. 136.5.1 and submitted to MoDOT for approval and obligation of funds before any services can begin. The services must be reimbursed at Fair Market Value and can include a reasonable amount for fringe benefits. The reimbursement amount may not exceed the average Missouri volunteer rate and must be approved by MoDOT.
- Example: John Doe, who is a Professional Engineer, employed by XYZ Engineering Firm, wants to volunteer to coordinate a walking school bus program at his children’s school. John would document the tasks to be performed using Fig. 136.5.1 and could be paid an hourly stipend at fair market value up to the average Missouri volunteer rate. John would not be allowed to be paid his regular wage from his engineering firm and would not be able to be paid for any fringe benefits.
18.104.22.168 Work by Local Forces
An LPA may receive federal-aid reimbursement for project related services performed by LPA staff, so long as services directly contribute to the planning, design, development, or implementation of the approved project scope. This includes non-profit organizations if they are the sponsor or co-sponsor listed on the project application. For detailed information regarding work by local forces see EPG 136.3.12 Federal-aid Participation for Local Work.
136.5.2 Buy America Policy
On all federal-aid projects, where steel or iron products are to be permanently incorporated into the project, steel and iron material must be manufactured in the USA. This also includes any coating process of the steel or iron such as galvanizing, painting or other treatments. Failure to comply with the Buy America Policy can result in loss of federal funding, not just for the item, but for the entire project.
Minimal Use Threshold (23 CFR 635.410(b)(4)). If the steel or iron to be permanently incorporated into a federal-aid project adds up to less than $2,500, the project will be exempt from Buy America requirements.
- Example: An LPA plans to purchase 15 bicycles and 15 bike racks to be provided to students. Because the bicycles and bicycle racks contain steel components, it will fall under the Buy America requirements. However, the LPA wisely included the Buy America provisions into the specifications for bid. The LPA also required the providers to identify the steel components of the bicycles and bicycle racks and indicate bid prices for those items specifically. As it turns out, the steel components of the bicycles only added up to $2,125, and bicycle racks were bid as aluminum instead of steel. Therefore, Buy America does not apply to this project.
136.5.3 Donated Goods and Materials (49 CFR Part 18)
Certain goods and materials donated to the LPA can be used as local match. When goods are donated, the LPA can apply 80% of the value of the goods and materials, at the time of the donation, towards the required local match for the project.
22.214.171.124 Donated Right of Way
All right of way acquisitions for LPA projects must follow the Uniform Relocation Act. Right of way can be used as local match. The value of donation is the market value of the property at the time of the donation. Market value is established by a certified appraiser.
126.96.36.199 Disposition of Right of Way
Donated property must be used for the originally authorized project purposes, for as long as needed for that purpose, during such time the LPA must not dispose of it. If donated right of way ceases to be needed for the purposes of project activities, the LPA must compensate MoDOT for the applicable percentage of participation.
188.8.131.52 Donated Materials
Donated Materials can be used as local match. The value of an item is based upon the market value of the materials at the time of the donation.
136.5.4 Environmental Review
Non-infrastructure projects generally don’t involve physical construction or ground disturbance. However, they are still required to receive an environmental review and clearance because the project may have unanticipated impacts on the natural or human environment.
184.108.40.206 Request for Environmental Services (RES) Non-Infrastructure (NI)
The LPA completes Fig 136.5.5 (RES for NI projects) and submits it to MoDOT. This form describes the project and type of work to be performed. Based on this information, MoDOT will determine a NEPA classification and identify the environmental clearances the LPA will need to obtain.
220.127.116.11 Environmental Tracking Form
After the review is complete, MoDOT will send an Environmental Tracking Form to the LPA. This form identifies each additional clearance the LPA must obtain before final environmental clearance can be given. For final environmental clearance, the LPA must obtain each environmental permit identified as “pending”, and submit copies of each permit to MoDOT.
18.104.22.168 Land Disturbance
If project involves any disturbances of land, additional environmental clearances may be necessary. These disturbances aren’t always obvious, but it’s very important to recognize and identify them so the appropriate determination can be given.
- Example: An LPA has a project to purchase bicycle racks for their school district. The school district’s maintenance staff intends to install the bike racks as a third party service and the LPA wants the time for installation of the racks to be credited to the their local match. To protect the racks from theft, the maintenance staff intends to pour concrete pads to secure them. Because the installation involves disturbing the ground by pouring the concrete pad, a Section 106 environmental clearance will be required.
22.214.171.124 Final Environmental Clearance
The LPA will NOT be authorized to begin reimbursable work until after all environmental clearances have been obtained and MoDOT has issued a notice to proceed to the LPA. The notice to proceed will not be given until MoDOT issues a final environmental clearance and obligates federal funds.
136.5.5 Obligation of funds
LPAs must submit estimated project cost documentation for the project items outlined in the funding agreement to be completed. The Services Provided Documentation Form (Fig. 136.5.1) and Materials Documentation Form (Fig. 136.5.2), can be used to easily complete this documentation. MoDOT will review the documentation, obligate funds upon approval, and issue a notice to proceed to the LPA indicating project activities can begin. Any project activity started prior to MoDOT issuing a notice to proceed will NOT be reimbursable.
136.5.6 Revenues Generated by project or program
Some types of projects (such as education/outreach) may generate revenue from attendance fees collected, services performed, rental fees of equipment purchased with federal funding, etc. When a federally funded project earns income, LPAs may utilize the revenue in one of 3 ways:
- 1. Reduce the amount of allowable costs of the project by subtracting the revenue generated.
- 2. Add revenues generated to the funding (project budget) committed too by the LPA. Additional project activities completed with the project revenue must be used for the original purpose of the project and under the conditions of the projects funding agreement.
- 3. When authorized by MoDOT, program income may be used to meet the local match requirement for the project.
MoDOT will provide the final determination on which of the options above is available on a project by project basis.
136.5.7 Equipment and Material Purchases
This guidance is applicable when the LPA is directly purchasing materials or equipment for a project, such as: Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Conversion kits, CNG or Hybrid Vehicles, Bicycles or Related Equipment, Supplies or Material for Education or Outreach Efforts, Historical Artifacts, and Software Packages.
126.96.36.199 Purchases less than or equal to $3,000
There are no federal or state statutory requirements for purchasing materials or equipment which costs less than $3,000.00.
However, the LPA shall take steps to ensure quality products and services are received at the best possible value.
188.8.131.52 Completing the purchase
After funds have been obligated, the LPA may utilize their local procurement process, as long as it’s officially documented by policy, to complete purchases of $3,000 or less. If the LPA does not have a documented procurement policy, they may obtain a minimum of 3 price quotations from competing vendors who can provide similar acceptable materials. Obtaining a telephone quotation from each vendor, and documenting the conversation with a memo to the project file, is an easy way to accomplish this. The LPA must then purchase the material from the best valued (lowest) vendor.
184.108.40.206 Purchases more than $3,000 but less than $25,000
There are no federal or state statutory requirements for material or equipment purchases with costs between $3,000.00 and $25,000. However, the LPA shall take steps to ensure quality products and services are received at the best possible value.
220.127.116.11.1 Determining a Procurement Process
This purchase category includes costs which could both be determined minor (closer to $3,000) as well as major (closer to $25,000). Therefore, the LPA needs to give extra consideration how to go about procuring equipment and material based on the expected cost within this range and the complexity of product. For either end of the range, the LPA may utilize their local procurement process, as long as it’s officially documented by policy.
If an LPA does not have a local process they must use one of the following processes:
Multiple quotations - LPAs may obtain a minimum of 3 price quotations from competing vendors who can provide similar acceptable materials. Obtaining a telephone quotation from each vendor, and documenting the conversation with a memo to the project file, is an easy way to accomplish this. The LPA shall then purchase the material from the best valued (lowest) vendor.
This should not be the preferred method for purchases closer to the $25,000 end of the range, or if the material or equipment desired has detailed specifications which must be met. For these types of purchases, the LPA should use an informal competitive process of obtaining quotes.
Informal Competitive Quotations – A minimum of three written quotes must be solicited. Quotes may be submitted by facsimile, email or postal service. All informal quotes must include the company name, name of the individual representing the company, contact telephone number, description of the product(s), quantity, price per unit and total price quote. The quote should also include any other notes or correspondence the provider has regarding the specific transaction.
With either procurement process, the LPA must purchase the material from the best valued (lowest) vendor.
18.104.22.168 Purchases more than $25,000
Material and equipment purchases in this category must follow a formal competitive process as outlined in EPG 136.5 Non-Infrastructure.
22.214.171.124.1 Formal Bid
Bid solicitations must be advertised for a minimum of two weeks in a public advertisement which will reach competitive providers of the material or equipment desired. LPAs may advertise the bid utilizing their local website, a regional newspaper, or the MoDOT website. The bid must contain a clear and accurate description, as well as any technical specifications, for the material or equipment desired. The description and specifications must not contain features which restrict competition to less than 3 potential providers.
126.96.36.199.2 Selection and Concurrence
LPAs must receive at least 3 bids. If 3 bids are not received, the LPA may be required to re-bid the project at MoDOT’s discretion.
All bidding documents must be submitted to MoDOT for a concurrence in the selected provider. An additional obligation may be necessary to adjust the obligation to the actual purchase amount. The LPA must receive a concurrence in award prior to purchasing items.
188.8.131.52.3 Purchase and Request for Reimbursement
After MoDOT issues a concurrence in award letter, the LPA may complete the purchase of the materials or equipment. An itemized invoice must be submitted with the request for reimbursement.
184.108.40.206 Split Purchasing
A split purchase occurs when a transaction for the purchase of items is split into two or more transactions in order to circumvent the competitive bidding process. This practice is not allowed on LPA projects and can result in loss of funds.
220.127.116.11 Cooperative Purchasing Agreements
LPAs may work cooperatively to solicit for a variety of equipment or materials. These cooperatives are designed to get a better price for members by purchasing in larger quantities than any of the members could alone. Cooperative purchasing agreements are allowed on LPA projects as long as they meet all state and federal requirements. However, all requests to purchase items through a cooperative must be approved by MoDOT prior to items being purchased.
18.104.22.168 Purchase of Vehicles
The purchase or lease of certain vehicles is eligible for reimbursement under the CMAQ program. The procurement of vehicles must follow the same process as other equipment or material purchases described in EPG 136.5.4 Environmental Review.
FHWA Approved Vehicle List. The approved list of vehicles eligible for reimbursement under the CMAQ program is available.
136.5.8 Disposition of Materials and Equipment
When original or replacement equipment acquired under a federal project is no longer needed for the original project or program, disposition will be needed and one of the following two procedures must take place depending on the value of the item at the time of disposition:
- 1. Equipment or materials with a current per-unit fair market value of less than $5,000 may be retained, sold, or otherwise disposed of with no further obligation to MoDOT.
- 2. Equipment or materials with a current per unit fair market value in excess of $5,000 may be retained or sold and MoDOT shall have a right to an amount calculated by multiplying the current market value or proceeds from sale by the federal share of the equipment.