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Project Delivery Defined

The delivery of large transportation projects involves a myriad of processes and requires a high level of coordination among all stakeholders. Transportation agencies often play a significant role in the implementation of a project from its inception to its construction, with responsibilities that include: estimating and controlling costs; ensuring the fulfillment of environmental and Federal requirements; obtaining adequate financing and the overall managing of the various parties involved in bringing the project to a successful completion. For Major Projects, which are defined by the FHWA as projects requiring Federal assistance that are over $500 million in cost, the processes and Federal requirements involved in project delivery become more complex, rendering it more challenging, but ever more important, for the process to be well-managed.

The Center for Innovative Finance Support is tasked with establishing best practices in project delivery; providing technical assistance to transportation agencies; and with overseeing the FHWA Major Project delivery process in the delivery of projects which require Federal assistance. This portal contains detailed information and guidelines on the tools and programs - Cost Estimating, Financial Plans, Project Management Plans - mandated by Congress and the FHWA for the delivery of Major Projects. Also available are other resources on Major Projects, ranging from studies on contingency fund management, to white papers highlighting lessons learned in delivered projects.

For the purposes of this site, "Project Delivery" does not refer to the procurement system of a project, but rather refers to the implementation of a project, from its inception to the close-out of construction. While nomenclature may vary and activities may overlap, the phases involved with Project Delivery generally include: planning, environmental, design, right-of-way, construction and construction close-out.

For projects that require Federal assistance, especially those that are large in scale (Major Projects), State Transportation Agencies will work closely with the FHWA throughout the entire project delivery process. For more information on the FHWA Major Project Delivery Process, please refer to the relevant portal on this website.

Prior to the enactment of SAFETEA-LU in August 2005, projects with over $1 billion in construction costs were designated as "Mega Projects". SAFETEA-LU has lowered the monetary threshold from an estimated total cost of $1 billion to $500 million or greater, and the term "Mega Project" has since been eliminated and replaced with the term "Major Project."

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