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Project Delivery Defined

FHWA Major Project Delivery Process

In order for Federal funding to be authorized for the financing of Major Projects, the Project Owner must demonstrate to the FHWA that the project has been carefully planned out, i.e. costs have been estimated as accurately and meticulously as possible; risks have been carefully considered and mitigated; financing requirements and strategies have been clearly defined; and the implementation of the project delivery has been carefully planned.

Through the different phases of project delivery, Project Owners are required to submit financial and management plans and are subject to undergo various FHWA review processes before Federal funding can be released for the project. The FHWA Major Project requirements include:

  • Cost Estimating
  • Financial Plan
  • Project Management Plan

The timeline shown below identifies the major requirements and milestones for the three required processes, together with their relationship and other milestones in the overall program delivery process as it extends from planning to final design and right-of-way to construction.

Timeline Graphic

Detailed description of timeline

FHWA Major Project Delivery Timeline
This timeline depicts the sequence of the major milestones for the three FHWA-required processes - Cost Estimating, Financial Plan and Project Management Plan - throughout the entire project delivery process, as it extends from planning to final design and right-of-way to construction.

During the NEPA process, there are two FHWA Major Project requirements. The first is the submittal of a draft Project Management Plan, which is recommended to occur 60 days prior to the submittal of the final NEPA document. Second, the Initial Cost Estimate Review for the project will be conducted. It is generally recommended that this review be conducted 30 days prior to the completion of the NEPA document.

As the project heads into the final design/right of way acquisition phase upon the completion of the NEPA process, there are three major action items required from the Project Owner. The first is the submittal of the Final Project Management Plan within 90 days of the signing of the Record of Decision/Finding of No Significant Impact/Categorical Exclusion. Thereafter, the Project Owner is required to submit an update to this final Project Management Plan 90 days prior to the beginning of construction or if any significant changes to the project occur. Second, the Project Owner is required to submit an Initial Financial Plan (IFP) for the FHWA's review. The third requirement is the conducting of the Second Cost Estimate Review that supports the IFP concurrence and the subsequent FHWA authorization of funds for construction to occur.

Once construction begins, the Project Owner is required to submit annual updates to the Financial Plan until construction is completed; even after all Federal funds have already been authorized. A Project Management Plan Update is also required and the recommended submittal date for this document is 90 days prior to the beginning of project close-out or if any significant changes occur to the project during construction.

Enlarged View - FHWA Major Project Deliverable Timeline (PDF)

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
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