104.2 Project Scoping

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Related Information
Steps to Build a Road pamphlet
Figure
project scoping process flowchart

Project Scoping is a process that is used to clearly define transportation needs and to determine the appropriate means to address them. This involves determining the root causes of the need, developing a range of possible solutions to address the need, choosing the best solution, setting the physical limits of the project, accurately estimating the cost of the project, and forecasting the delivery schedule of the project.

The purpose of project scoping is to develop the most complete, cost effective solutions, as is practical, early in the project development process. This is foundational to avoiding major design changes, large estimate adjustments, and last minute project changes later in the project development process. With proper project scoping, such changes will be minimized and will have reduced impacts on the overall project. Proper project scoping of all needs leads to a more balanced, consistent construction program.

After the elements and limits of a project become clearly defined by the project scoping process, it becomes necessary to develop a project agreement if elements of the project are to be shared between the Commission and other public agencies or private interests.

Project scoping should not be thought of as a separate, stand-alone process from the project development process. It is, instead, the initial stage of the project development process where the details of appropriate solutions are developed. Project scoping begins with the delivery of the need to the project manager and continues until the elements and limits of a project become so well-defined that accurate costs and project delivery schedules can be forecast. A project scoping process flowchart depicting the project scoping process is available.

104.2.1 Increased Federal Share Program

Introduction

Using Federal funding for transportation projects is a complex process as described in EPG 123.1. This article describes a process that allows MoDOT to increase its federal share of a project’s eligible cost by 5% for projects using project-level innovation per CFR 23 U.S.C. 120(c)(3).

Request for Increased Federal Share

An obligation is a commitment by the Federal government to reimburse MoDOT for the Federal share of a project’s eligible cost. This commitment occurs at each phase of the project and prior to advancing to the next phase. Federal aid transportation projects are developed by completing work in the following distinct work phases:

1. Preliminary Engineering (PE)
2. Right of Way (ROW)
3. Utilities, if applicable
4. Construction.

To submit a request for increased Federal share, the district must submit their innovative project via MoDOT's Increased Federal Share site along any phase of the project but must be prior to the obligation of the next work phase of a project desired to be captured. The project will be recorded and Central Office Design will bundle multiple qualifying projects of similar innovation categories into a formal application to the FHWA. Examples of FHWA approved applications, arranged in categories, are available on FHWA's website. MoDOT Categories links to the most current list of opportunities that MoDOT has utilized. This list is not all-inclusive as new innovations are being implemented daily.

Innovative technologies and practices are:

  • Innovative project delivery methods that improve work zone safety for motorists or workers and the quality of the facility,
  • Innovative technologies, engineering or design approaches, manufacturing processes, financing, or contracting or project delivery methods that improve the quality of, extend the service life of, or decrease the long-term costs of maintaining highways and bridges,
  • Technologies and practices that accelerate project delivery while complying with other applicable Federal laws (including regulations) and not causing any significant adverse environmental impact, or
  • Technologies and practices that reduce congestion related to highway construction.

To qualify for an increased Federal share, technologies and practices should be truly innovative to the state or local agency. The innovations should be technologies or practices that are new or have only rarely been used for unique or special applications and represent significant improvement to the state or local agency’s conventional practice.

Criteria for no longer being considered innovative are below. The innovation must meet all four of the following criteria in order to no longer be innovative:

  • Pay Items that are not Miscellaneous items are assigned to the innovation
  • A special JSP is no longer needed for the innovation
  • The innovation is now included in the MoDOT specification book
  • There is an EPG article about the innovation.

Once your innovative project is approved by FHWA, MoDOT will be notified and the project will be obligated by the Financial Services Division. Any expenses incurred in a work phase prior to the authorization of additional Federal share will not be eligible for additional Federal reimbursement.

MoDOT will receive the additional 5% Federal share for the total final project cost that was obligated with additional share. It is important to note that this funding does not come back to your project. The additional 5% Federal share allows MoDOT to preserve state road funds for additional Federal match and non-federally eligible activities.

104.2.2 District Role

Job Special Provision 2107 Special Consideration of Change Orders and Value Engineering shall be used on all projects containing an innovative concept or material that was approved for increased Federal share. Please note that the engineer reserves the right to remove such innovation from their respected project, but such parties shall ensure that the proposed change order or value engineering savings will outweigh the loss of additional Federal share. If the innovation is removed from the contract, the involved party must notify the Financial Service Division that the project’s Federal share has been altered.

Process Summary

The following process is recommended for successful submission and approval:

1. Project Manager submits job information via MoDOT's Increased Federal Share site.
2. Central Office Design bundles qualifying projects into sub-categories and sends them to FHWA for review. The projects must meet the FHWA criteria listed in EPG 104.2.1 Increased Federal Share Program and be new or rarely used within the state.
3. Upon satisfactory review, FHWA will issue an acceptance letter to MoDOT for approved projects.
4. Project Manager will add Increase Federal Share JSP to contract.
5. Financial Services will obligate projects with increased Federal share.

Additional Requirements

It is important to understand the following requirements so that MoDOT may utilize the full potential of the Additional Federal Share program.

  • Additional 5% Federal Share may be applied to and capture the cost of all stages; Preliminary Engineering, Right of Way, Utilities and Construction costs provided that the application is submitted prior to the Federal Obligation of each pertinent stage.
  • Project Managers reserve the right to make essential changes to associated projects. If such changes jeopardize the successful application to FHWA, Financial Services must be notified in order to plan final Federal Share accordingly.
  • A maximum of 5% additional Federal Share will be allowed regardless of how many innovative solutions a project incorporates.
  • In a single Fiscal Year, the money MoDOT gets back from the program cannot exceed 10% of the combined NHPP, STBG, and PL Federal funding sources. These are the only funding sources that are allowed by the program.
  • No more than fifteen projects of any specific innovation within a Federal fiscal year shall be applied for additional Federal Share.
  • Minimum time for increased Federal Share application before Plans Specification & Estimate (PS&E) submittal to Central Office: PMs submit 3 months before PS&E Central Office submittals to FHWA due 3 weeks prior to the end of the quarter.