Transportation planning is a cooperative process, and may include federal, state and local government agencies, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), resource agencies, stakeholders and/or stakeholder groups, among others.
At this phase, multiple parties work together to determine a transportation need and corresponding appropriate solutions. This type of planning typically involves a high level of coordination between the owner, stakeholders, and the general public around the project vision and technical solutions.
The work from planning of individual projects is incorporated into long range transportation plans (LRTPs), transportation improvement plans (TIPs), and ultimately, the environmental clearance and final design stages of a project.
Environment & Design
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) promotes protection of the environment in the actions and programs of federal agencies. NEPA is intended to assist transportation officials in making project decisions that balance engineering and transportation needs with the consideration of social, economic and environmental factors.
NEPA documentation serves several purposes: to disclose the analysis of benefits and impacts to the human and natural environment; to get input from the public and other stakeholders on the proposed project and the environmental consequences; and, to inform the final alternative selection.
Final selection or approval of a proposed project alternative by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) allows the project to be eligible for federal funding of subsequent project activities such as final design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction.
Final Design & Construction
Final design is a multi-task and multi-discipline operation combining design and construction plans per applicable guidelines and requirements. Final design follows the requirements set forth in the planning, NEPA, and preliminary design processes.
The final design product includes construction plans and specifications necessary for the contractor to build the project. Construction begins with the procurement process, where the construction plans and specifications are advertised publicly for contractors to provide a bid price for the work to be completed.
The progress, quality and adherence to the construction plans and specifications are monitored and inspected by the government agency responsible for the work, to ensure that the final project product meets the intent of the plans, and the required construction budget and schedule.