FHWA Major Project Delivery Process
For Federal funding to be authorized for the construction 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; funding 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 Estimate Review
- Financial Plan
- Project Management Plan
The timelines shown below identify the major requirements and milestones for the three requirements as part of the overall project delivery process as it extends from planning to final design to construction for design-build-bid and design-build/public-private partnerships projects.
Major Projects Deliverable Timeline for Design-Bid-Build (DBB) Projects
Major Projects Deliverable Timeline for Design-Build (DB) or Public-Private Partnership (P3) Projects
FHWA Major Project Delivery Timeline
This timeline depicts the sequence of the major milestones for the three FHWA requirements - Cost Estimate Review, Financial Plan and Project Management Plan - throughout the entire project delivery process, as it extends from planning to final design to construction.
During the NEPA process, there are two FHWA Major Project requirements. First, the initial Cost Estimate Review for the project will be conducted. It is generally recommended that this review be conducted at least 90 days prior to the approval of the NEPA decision. The second is the submittal of a draft Project Management Plan, which is recommended to occur at least 60 days prior to the approval of the NEPA decision.
As the project heads into the final design 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 Project Management Plan prior to the approval of the Initial Financial Plan. The second requirement is the conducting of the second Cost Estimate Review that supports the approval of the Initial Financial Plan. Thereafter, the Project Owner is required to submit an Initial Financial Plan prior to the FHWA authorization of funds for construction.
Once construction begins, the Project Owner is required to submit annual updates to the Financial Plan until construction is completed. Additional Cost Estimate Reviews may be required to support the annual updates to the Financial Plan if significant project changes occur. Updates to the Project Management Plan are also required if any significant changes occur to the project during construction.