Buy America Transition Period

FHWA issued a memorandum yesterday providing utility companies a transition period to comply with Buy America provisions on Federal-aid highway projects.

Buy America still applies to all eligible contracts within the scope of the NEPA determination, but FHWA has provided a reprieve through December 31, 2013 for utility companies to take the necessary steps to ensure that their steel and iron products used in relocation work is compliant with Buy America provisions. This guidance only applies to project-specific utility agreements for non-Federally funded utility relocations execxuted on or before December 31, 2013.

For additional information, please refer to the FHWA memorandum. I’ve also posted some FAQs about Buy America here.

UPDATED 2013-07-17

Denix Anbiah, the Division of Local Assistance Chief, sent a letter further clarifying the Buy America transition plan for utility relocations of the State Highway System.

For projects that are off the State Highway System (SHS), if the utility relocation is not funded with federal funds AND if the utility agreement is signed by December 31, 2013, the Buy America requirements do not apply to the utility relocation.

Click HERE to view the letter.

About David Giongco

David is an Area Engineer with the Division of Local Assistance at Caltrans helping local agencies throughout California successfully deliver their federal and state funded projects.

4 thoughts on “Buy America Transition Period

  1. If I read this Memo correctly, even if there are Fed Dollars in the project, as long as a local agency chooses not to apply for reimbursement of the utility relocations on the project, they are getting a pass until 12/31/13. Is that the case, or did I miss something?

    As always, thank you for the blogs. It helps us old retired folks consulting in the private sector keep on top of the Departments requirements… Tom Ganyon Bender Rosenthal Inc.

    • I’m anticipating additional guidance through Local Programs, but that’s my understanding too. The Buy America provisions still apply to the eligible, non-reimbursed work, but this guidance allows some flexibility when not possible.

      If I hear anything new, I’ll be sure to share it here. Thanks again for your support.

    • Here’s additional guidance from Norma Ortega, Acting CT Chief Deputy Director:

      “This letter is providing a grace period for projects in the pipeline and in construction provided the Utility Agreements are executed prior to December 31, 2013 AND the utility relocation is performed/funded with non-federal dollars.

      What this means in practice is that we can remove the special Buy America clauses from all pending Utility Agreements between now and December 31, 2013. Furthermore, we can amend any UAs already signed that might currently have the BA language if the condition is too constraining (i.e. gas valve application). “

  2. Pingback: Application of Buy America in CA | Local Assistance Blog

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