National Wildlife Refuge System
Eligibility     Eligible     Generally Not Elibible    Ineligibility


Except when unusual safety concerns require, the following work that will not be funded under the RRP program:

1) constructing new parking areas or pullouts, widening off of the present road bench,

2) realigning and relocating roads (vertical or horizontal realignments), and

3) constructing new pedestrian trails or bicycle paths.

4) recurring maintenance practices such as grading roads and mowing roadsides.

Regions can obtain assistance for RRP project planning, design, compliance and construction contracting services from the Regional Engineering Offices, their respective Federal Lands Highways (FLH) Divisions, other Federal agencies (e.g. Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, Forest Service, etc.) or consulting engineering firms. Such activities, including program formulation and coordination and project tracking, may be paid for out of available Regional RRP funds.

Project administrative costs such as travel for on-site reviews and meetings related to the RRP program may be included in estimated project costs. However, salaries of permanent staff in FWS Regions and Refuge field stations, who are base funded, can not be charged to the FLH Program project accounts. The only exception to this may occur to pay the overtime portion of force account work. However, this higher rate should have been used in the documentation justifying the use of force account work versus doing the work by contract.

The costs for any planning studies such as Road System Evaluations, or RRP Engineering Studies, will be the responsibility of each Region using their RRP funds.

As part of an overall RRP improvement project, Regions may use RRP funding for sign upgrades to meet the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices standards. However, routine replacement due to wear and age is ineligible for FLH Program funding.

On a specific road improvement project, no more than 5% of the individual RRP improvement project funds may be used for non-roadway related improvements. Stand alone enhancement projects not associated with a specific road improvement project are not eligible for funding.



Project Support Items:

• Traffic engineering and safety studies.

• Identification and surveillance of accident locations.

• Road Inventories.

• Bridge, pavement, safety and congestion management systems.

• Necessary environmental studies and resource investigations confined to the general roadway construction limits.

• Project-related re-vegetation and control of invasive plants.

• Necessary architectural and landscape engineering services.

• Engineering design for roads, bridges, adjacent vehicle parking areas, provisions for pedestrian and bicycles, and roadside rest areas including sanitary and water facilities.

• Construction engineering for contract administration, inspection and testing.

• Necessary interagency program/project formulation meetings.

• Interagency program review meetings (per interagency agreement).

• Necessary interagency project coordination.

• Research part of coordinated technology implementation program.

Construction and Improvements Items:

• Resurfacing (milling, recycling and overlaying) existing pavements.

• Excavating and replacing failed base courses and poor subgrade materials.

• Replacing, upgrading or relocating deteriorated, undersized or poorly located drainage structures (aprons, inlets, culverts and headwalls etc.).

• Improvements to facilitate wildlife crossings, passage of aquatic organisms and habitat connectivity.

• Repair or upgrading existing guardrails or guardwalls.

• Minor widening of the roadway, realigning of intersections, adding of turn lanes, intersection islands, or pullouts, flattening of curves, or adjusting curve superelevation if the work can be accomplished on the existing road bench.

• Repairing, rehabilitating or replacing existing retaining walls if the estimated cost of a single wall or site is $200,000 or less.

• Repairing and or stabilizing landslides, severely eroding or failing slopes if the estimated cost of a single site is $200,000 or less.

• Projects off of the roadway bench may be allowed to widen or realign the road, construct new pullouts or add other features such as comfort stations and interpretive signage provided that they total no more than 5% of the project's construction costs.

• Removing or grinding existing pavement to convert a road to an aggregate surface.

• Replacing, upgrading or adding new pavement markings and signage to address changing traffic patterns, new uses or safety problems as well as to meet current standards if occurring in conjunction with an RR roadway project. Sign or marking replacement due to age, damage or deterioration is not eligible for funding, unless undertaken as part of a road rehabilitation project.

• Engineered pavement overlays that add structural value, design life or improved skid resistance.

• Double bituminous surface treatments and chip seals that are part of predefined stage construction or form final surface on low volume roads.

• Engineered rehabilitation or reconstruction of pavement structures, bridges and bridge decks.

• Engineered spot safety improvements resulting from safety studies.

• Upgrading of substandard traffic barriers and bridge rails to current standards.

• Replacement of nonstandard traffic regulatory and guide signs.

• Upgrading substandard or nonconforming traffic markings (one time only).

• A single refuge entrance sign if the sign conforms to FWS standards, is in a safe location, is part of an adjacent Refuge Roads project, and is of reasonable cost ($10,000 maximum including design, materials and installation).

• Accommodating traffic and pedestrians through construction zones.

• Public approach roads and interchange ramps that are under the jurisdiction and responsibility of the FWS.

• Installation of warranted roadway lighting.

• Adjustment of utilities directly related to roadway work.

• Conduits crossing under the roadway to accommodate future planned utilities.

• Landscaping and native plant seeding of areas disturbed by the RRP program projects.

• Landscaping required to meet Environmental Impact Study mitigation measures resulting from roadway construction.

• Construction of erosion control and environmental mitigation measures directly related to roadway construction.

• Experimental features where there is a planned monitoring evaluation schedule.

• Public parking lots or pull-offs to trail heads adjacent to RRP projects, interpretive areas, public lodging, visitor center, (including necessary supporting retaining walls, protective railings and adjacent perimeter sidewalk).

• Provisions for pedestrians and bicyclists within/adjacent to roadway prism when warranted for safety reasons.

• Maintenance and improvement of existing recreational trails in accordance with the FHWA/FWS Recreational Trails Guidance with total funding not to exceed 5% of the national program funds.

• Restoration of borrow pits created by projects funded from the RRP program.

• Force account and day labor, including materials and equipment rental being performed in accordance with approved plans and specifications, that has been determined to be cost-effective (public interest).

• All the aforementioned work can be performed on existing parking areas, pullouts, sidewalks or bicycle paths if the work is incidental to a RRP roadway project.


Items that will Generally Not be Eligible for Funding

(Funding will be determined on a case-by-case exception basis taking into consideration overall relative Refuge Road program priorities)

Project Support Items:

• Acquisition of scenic easements and scenic or historic sites.

• Brochures for public use unless they are prepared for refuges with roads impacted by improvements.

Construction of Improvements Items

• Acquisition of alternative transportation systems if it would facilitate visitor access and improve usage of the roadway system.

• Bike paths, unless they are part of the refuge unit's approved Comprehensive Conservation Plan, constructed in conjunction with RR program projects, and are:

  • part of a roadway prism necessary for safety reasons and if bike traffic warrants.
  • independent paths used for transportation and safety reasons based on accident and traffic data analysis.

• Construction of visitor information centers and related items.

• Construction of roadside rest area including sanitary and water facilities.

• Bridge painting work on structures (painting of major large structures considered on a case- by-case exception basis).

• Public roads which provide access to areas under the jurisdiction and responsibility of the FWS but which are not owned by the Service and/or are not required to be maintained by the Service.


Work Items that are Not Eligible for Funding

Project Support Items:

• General refuge planning.

• Non-program specific conferences, field trips, or training conferences.

• Cultural resources investigations and work outside roadway construction limits

Construction or Improvements Items:

• Construction of new roads, new campground roads and related parking pads.

• Cyclic roadway maintenance work including chip and slurry seals (seal coats), pavement patching, roadway grading, shoulder and ditch grading, cleaning culverts, snow removal, roadside mowing, vegetation control, normal sign repair and traffic markings.

• Seal coats on top of new asphalt concrete pavements.

• Cyclic bridge maintenance work including cleaning and repairing bridge joints, cleaning repairing bridge drainage, and repairing other bridge appurtenances.

• Landscaping and irrigation systems of areas not disturbed by refuge road construction.

• Landscaping of disturbed areas with non-native plant species.

• Utilities and buildings not disturbed by construction.

• Sanitation facilities not disturbed by construction.

• Walls and erosion protection that are not part of or support the roadway prism.

• Recreational boat launching facilities and ramps.

• General refuge development projects.

• Roads that serve only an administrative site such as refuge housing, maintenance area or refuge dormitory (or a combination of these).

• Roads that provide access to Refuge Headquarters which are not open to the general public (i.e., not a visitor center).

• Roads that are primarily used for administrative purposes and open to the public only for very limited periods during the year under restrictive conditions.

• Restoration of borrow pits (or portions of borrow pits) created by projects funded with non Refuge Road program funds.

• Repairs to or replacement of fences not disturbed by Refuge Road construction.



Last updated: November 8, 2012