MassDOT and ACEC/MA have developed an interactive tool to assist Municipalities and Design Consultants navigate the process of advancing a transportation improvement project through the development, design and construction phases. This tool is a one-page, step-by-step summary guide that is intended to be used electronically via the Internet. Most of the individual steps in the summary guide are "hyperlinked" to other existing documents and reference materials that contain further detailed information about each step. Thus, a user can view as little or as much information as needed to obtain necessary guidance.
The summary guide is divided into 4 major project phases:
- Project Inception
- Consultant Procurement
- Environmental, Design and ROW
The Project Inception phase outlines the key steps required to identify project needs, define and complete the necessary planning process and formally initiate the project through MassDOT and the MPO. This phase contains the initial public outreach actions, initial coordination with the MassDOT District Highway office, and completion of the Project Need Form (PNF) and Project Initiation Form (PIF) documents. The primary outcomes of this phase include a decision whether to advance the project, a tentative funding source, and a possible TIP Year.
The Consultant Procurement phase outlines the key steps required to retain a qualified Design Consultant for the approved project. Information regarding developing a Scope of Services, soliciting for consultant services, evaluating and ranking proposals, negotiating fees and executing an agreement with the selected consultant is contained in this section. Detailed guidance regarding consultant procurement is also contained in an Appendix to this document. The primary outcome of this phase is an executed agreement for professional services.
The Environmental, Design and ROW phase outlines the key steps involved in the design process for the project. Because of common delays often associated with certain design-related processes, there is a specific focus on securing environmental permits and clearances, obtaining necessary rights of way, and coordinating with affected utility companies. By addressing these issues early, project delays can often be avoided. This phase also includes additional efforts required to secure project funding through the TIP programming process. The primary outcome of this phase is a project ready to be advertised for construction.
The Construction phase outlines the steps from advertising through construction completion. Although the Municipality’s role diminishes greatly during this phase, the Design Consultant must remain actively involved and it is important that the Municipality be aware of the steps required to finish the project once it is advertised. For a project to be truly successful, it must ultimately meet its intended purpose and it must satisfy all constituents.
The Municipal Project Summary Guide is found on the next page.