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.
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.