New Starts Guidance - Land Acquisition while in Preliminary Engineering (PE)

Printer Friendly Number 2007-58

July 23, 2007


Mass Mailout Number III-2007-58


Subject:  New Starts Guidance Land Acquisition while in Preliminary Engineering (PE)


Dear Transit Colleague:


For those New Starts projects in the Preliminary Engineering phase there may be some come confusion regarding the use of New Starts funds for land acquisition before a project is authorized into Final Design.  In order to clarify the situation FTA has developed the attached guidance memorandum.  It states that, although FTA grants automatic pre-award authority for land acquisition for New Starts projects upon completion of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, an actual New Starts grant for land acquisition should not be made until FTA has approved the project into Final Design.  This approach will help FTA to avoid future situations where a substantial amount of New Starts funding has been spent on land acquisition for a project that flounders in Preliminary Engineering and ultimately is not advanced.


Should you have any questions or comments the contact person in FTA headquarters is Joe Ossi.  He can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at (202) 366-1613.  Your Transportation Representative in the Regional Office is also available to discuss this with you.


Please feel free to distribute this throughout your organization as appropriate.





Letitia A. Thompson

Regional Administrator