A key initiative identified by the Project Delivery Task Force (PDTF) was to create a tool to assist local sponsors with the evaluation of project feasibility and the risks associated with project delivery. This tool is intended to enhance the resiliency and reliability of the scopes, schedules, and budgets utilized to develop the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The tool is not intended to be used by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) to identify federal funding awards. Rather, the tool is to be utilized by local sponsors to guide and support their decision-making processes as they define their projects; identify the constraints/risks within their project corridor; and determine the best approach to successful project delivery.
The Project Deliverability, Risk Assessment, and Feasibility Tool applies to all projects that are considering the utilization of federal funds, thus, subject to GDOT’s Plan Development Process (PDP) and the Local Administered Projects (LAP) certification rules and requirements. This tool can be utilized and coordinated with ARC at any time during the early project planning stages and updated/revised as needed. Multiple concept considerations can be evaluated utilizing separate assessments for each. It is required that a Final Version and results of this tool are to be submitted to ARC prior to consideration of any new project to be programmed into the TIP. It is required that the preparer have prior transportation project delivery experience. The finalized version should be signed by the local sponsor official who will be responsible for the project’s delivery. Upon receipt of either the draft or final version, ARC will review and provide comments, if applicable. Once accepted as final, the risk assessment will become part of the project file and submitted as a supplemental document to the local sponsor’s project application or funding request.
To use the tool, the local sponsor should complete each section with the best available information known at that time. Since it is likely the assessment will be completed with few project specific details (such as ROW requirements), the assessor should evaluate each risk straightforwardly and not devalue any risk. In cases of uncertainty, assume that you will have to deal with a risk rather than the risk being avoidable. The key is the early identification of risks that can affect your project and the development of early strategies to mitigate potential impacts.
The local sponsor should closely evaluate their project with the purpose of: (a) improving overall project definitions/descriptions of TIP projects; (b) early and clear identification of the project justification statement; (c) identifying the major risks or impediments so that early mitigation strategies can be developed; and (d) instituting more realistic and reliable cost and schedule estimates prior to programming the project with federal funds into the TIP. Once completed, the local sponsor will have a detailed risk analysis that can be utilized to facilitate dialogues with both the ARC and GDOT as funding, scheduling, and scope decisions are being made prior to inclusion into the TIP.