How are DOTD's projects selected and developed?
DOTD’s project delivery system takes an integrated, multi-disciplinary team approach to managing and delivering projects, streamlining an often complex process. Project managers are responsible for a given project from “concept to completion”, and project timetables reflect project delivery dates, rather than the more unpredictable bid letting date, to more accurately represent project schedules.
The highway project selection process used by DOTD has four distinct phases. They include:
- Project Identification
- Project Prioritization
- Project Selection
- Legislative Approval
DOTD uses two methods to identify projects.
The first method is to gather and analyze technical dataon state highway conditions, operational characteristics, safety performance, and traffic congestion.This data is then compared with established criteria and projects are identified.
The second method is to seek input from the public, elected officials, regional and local planning officials, and industry representatives, etc. DOTD receives many project requests from citizens throughout the state.
For most types of projects, priorities are established in each region of the state through the DOTD
district offices in consultation with state and local officials.
Once projects have been prioritized, teams of experts select projects within a pre-established budget.
For example, traffic safety experts from several state agencies including DOTD, State Police, and the
Highway Safety Commission select highway safety projects up to the budget established for this
category of projects.
The selected projects are assembled into the proposed Highway Program and submitted to the House
and Senate Transportation Committees of the Louisiana Legislature. The Joint Transportation
Committee holds public hearings on the proposed Highway Program yearly in each of the nine DOTD
districts. Ultimately the Highway Program must be approved by the entire Legislature as part of the
annual budget for the State.
The time frame for projects from selection to construction varies, and is dependent on several factors,
including: funding; acquisition of permits, right-of-way and utilities relocation; and environmental
Because of the time required for project development, projects are added to the Highway Program several years in advance of construction. These decisions are based on forecasts of State and Federal revenues expected to be available in future years. However, actual appropriations are dependent upon the Louisiana Legislature and the U.S. Congress.
Permits, Real Estate and Utilities:
Prior to construction, all Federal and State permits must be obtained, right-of-way and easements must be secured, and any utilities must be relocated from the construction area.
While environmental studies are typically completed well in advance, occasionally an environmental issue will surface late in the project development process or during construction.
How long does the process take from start to finish?
The time it takes to take a project from selection to construction varies, depending on project complexity and cost.
Simplified time frame for projects; actual duration may be greater or shorter depending on the unique characteristics of each project. Time frame is from initiation to completion and is subject to the availability of funds.
Because of the time required for project development, projects are added to the Highway Priority Program several years in advance of construction. These decisions are based on forecasts of State and Federal revenues expected to be available in future years. However, actual appropriations are dependent upon the Louisiana Legislature and the U.S. Congress and may not match the revenue forecasts.
After projects are selected, there is a seven stage process to take them from concept to
Stage 0: Feasibility Study (Approximately one year)
Stage 1: Environmental Study (One to three years, depending on project complexity)
Stage 2: Funding Project Prioritization (Indefinite amount of time)
Stage 3: Final Design Process (One to three years, depending on project complexity)
Stage 4: Project Letting (One year)
Stage 5: Construction (One to three years, depending on project complexity)
Stage 6: Operation (Indefinite period of time)
Click here to learn more about the project delivery process.