Potential HBP Policy Reform Ideas

March 5, 2020

Caltrans is working with the HBP Advisory Committee to develop “HBP Reform Policies” to address the program backlog and project delivery issues. The summary statements below describe reform policy ideas the HBP Advisory Committee is considering.

We want to hear feedback from City & County Public Works officials including engineers, project managers, and consultants who deliver HBP projects. Send us your comments and other reform ideas. Please feel free to send feedback to the local agency representatives by email at california.local.HBP@gmail.com.


Category 1: Accountable / Reliable Project Cost & Schedule

a.  Require a Project Study Report (PSR) to develop realistic project scope, cost estimate and  schedule prior to being programmed into the program. 

b. The project sponsors need to be accountable for project cost and delivery schedule and enter into a project delivery agreement.

c. All projects must have a Field Review, Type Selection, Hydraulic Report, 35% and 95% plans reviewed by HQ and/or SLA.

d. Treat HBP contribution to any project as a limited lump sum contribution, not pro-rata. It should not increase when project cost increases.

e. Caltrans & Local Agencies Provide Reciprocal Cost & Schedule Commitments

Category 2: Limit HBP Funding to Basic Bridge Costs

a. All bridges are only funded at the cost of basic structural solution. No aesthetics treatment (except historic bridge projects). HBP will not pay for signature structures.

b. Costs will be based on road closure (no staged construction), unless the detour is greater than TBD miles and approved by HBP Managers.

c. No approach roadwork beyond what is necessary to build abutments. Approach roadway costs capped at TBD% bridge construction cost unless otherwise approved by HBP managers.

d. R/W costs associated with approach roadwork will be considered as part of the approach roadwork costs.

e. Adopt standards of what would be approved, not approved. Have a method/criteria by which exceptions would be considered.

f. Caltrans Creates a Prioritized Eligible Bridge Project List Every Two-Years

Category 3: Project Delivery Accountability and Monitoring

a. Required regular project status report that provide project updates. This will replace the current annual surveys.

b. All changes to programmed project costs must be submitted to the HBP Managers using LAPG 6-D.

c. Implement timely-use of fund requirements.

d. Consider removing projects from the program if timely use of funds requirements are not met.

e. Consider limiting new projects to agencies with delayed projects.

f. Separate and/or Track Environmental Costs & Schedules within the PE Phase

Category 4: Programming Changes

a. Change the HBP Program to an six/eight-year program + a 10/20-year plan, similar to the SHOPP

b. Include cost escalation factors with project programming

c. Maintain a two-year programming cycle .

Category 5: High Cost Bridges

a. Cap HBP funding on High Cost Bridge Projects to $TBD mil.

b. High-cost bridges should have a baseline agreement.

c. Increase non-federal match for High Cost Bridge Projects.

d. Implement a tiered match on High-cost bridge projects. The higher the bridge costs, the higher the non-federal match ratio.

e. Separate High Cost Projects Into a Separate “Major Local Bridge Program”

Category 6: Other Considerations

a. All bridge projects start as rehabilitation, proposed replacements must be justified and approved by HBP managers.

b. If a local agency wants to replace a bridge that is determined to be rehab, the program will pay at the ratio of rehab/replacement.

c. Only minimum AASHTO width is eligible.

d. Local agencies pay the cost for mitigation monitoring.

e. BIR repair recommendations must be taken care of to be able to get HBP funds.

f. All current projects without clear NEPA, not eligible if submitted today (Functionally Obsolete and Low Water Crossings) would be closed with NO Build NEPA.

g. Develop a New Goal & Objective Statement that Communicates the Purpose & Goal of the Program & Restructuring

h. Develop Policies & Structure that Can Be Scale-able for Future Funding Scenarios

i. Caltrans Performs ALL Environmental Work on HBP Projects

j. Create a Separate Program to Fund Bridges Not Owned by Cities & Counties

k. Declare a State of Emergency for Critical Bridge Scopes

l. Swap a Portion of federal HBP funding for State Funding Using SB137 to Fund PSR’s for Projects Programmed in 2016 or Later Years

m. Bridge Investment Credit Reform – Change Banked Percentage Requirements

n. Change the Match Back to 80/20 for most projects (100% funded projects available based on need)

o. Require Match For Most Off‐System Projects – Sunset the 100% funded off-system projects

p. Require Agencies to Spend a Portion Of their SB1 or Local Funds on their Bridges as an HBP Prerequisite

q. Regional Programmatic Environmental Clearance & Permitting

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