Scoping Stages of Project Management

  Chapter 3 – Project Scoping Procedure

             December 2004
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                                            CHAPTER 3
                                    PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE

Contents                                                                                                                   Page

3.1   PROJECT SCOPING FUNDAMENTAL ........................................................................3-1

      3.1.1    The Purpose of the Project Scoping Stage .........................................................3-1

      3.1.2    Basic Concepts of Project Scoping......................................................................3-2

3.2   PROJECT SCOPING STEPS...............................................................................................3-3

      3.2.1    Assignment of Responsibility: Assigning the Project Manager
               and Project Developer......................................................................................3-3
      Consultant and Outside Agency Involvement in Scoping

      3.2.2    Technical Process and Project Management Planning ................................3-4
      Technical Process Planning ................................................................3-4
      Project Issues, Elements and Initiatives....................................................3-5
      Project Management Planning........................................................... 3-10

      3.2.3. Project Team Organization and Responsibilities .............................................3-10

      3.2.4    Public and External Stakeholder Involvement ............................................3-11
      Public and External Stakeholder Notification and Involvement............. 3-11
      Develop Public Involvement Plan........................................................... 3-12

      3.2.5    Project Scope Development ..........................................................................3-13
      Project Scoping Process ........................................................................ 3-13
      Scoping Activities.....................................................................................3-13
      Technical Activities ............................................................................3-18
      Developing Alternatives ...........................................................................3-21
      Dropping Alternatives ..............................................................................3-27
      Feasible Alternative(s) .............................................................................3-27
      Preferred Alternative ................................................................................3-28
      Required Determinations .........................................................................3-28
      Environmental Class Confirmation..........................................................3-29

      3.2.6    Scoping Documentation ................................................................................3-30
      Project Scope Documentation ...........................................................3-30
      Project Scoping Report Level of Detail ..............................................3-31
                                              CHAPTER 3
                                      PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE

Contents                                                                                                                    Page

3.2.7   Scope Approval and Scope Modification.................................................................3-31
     Issue and Problem Resolution ................................................................3-31
     Project Scope Concurrence ....................................................................3-32
     Project Scope Approval ...........................................................................3-32
     Scope Modification during Subsequent Project
                      Production Stage ...............................................................................3-32


Exhibit          Title                                                                                                      Page

Exhibit 3-1      Simple Project Process ....................................................................................... 3-14

Exhibit 3-2      Moderate and Complex Project Process .......................................................... 3-15

Exhibit 3-3      Sample Project Scoping Checklist .................................................................... 3-16

Exhibit 3-4      Technical Scoping Activities - Simple Projects ................................................3-19

Exhibit 3-5      Technical Scoping Activities - Moderate and Complex Projects ...................3-20

Exhibit 3-6      Project Scoping Task Table .................................................................................3-21
                          PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE                                           3-1

Since the inception of the Program and Project Management System (PPMS) and the project
scoping process, a great deal of experience has been gained in developing projects within the
guidelines of PPMS. Internal procedures and quality systems which guide day to day scoping
activities ensure projects are given uniform consideration during the project scoping stage
consistent with the principles of Program and Project Management (PPM) and the guidance in
this manual. The Regions= internal scoping process is the responsibility of the Regional Planning
and Program Manager. This chapter builds on PPM while incorporating, as appropriate, the
progress Regions have made in the area of developing internal scoping procedures consistent
with PPM.

Project scoping is the appropriate time for the consideration of various project issues, elements
and initiatives which will have an effect on scope, cost, and schedule. It is reasonable to expect
that scoping:

        •      Will provide a clear understanding of the problems and needs
        •      Will effectively address project related issues, elements and initiatives
        •      Will result in making informed decisions
        •      Is completed consistent with Department regulations and policies

Procedural guidance and technical steps for advancing projects through the project scoping
stage of the project development process are outlined in this chapter. Also, it addresses factors,
e.g., scope modification, consultant and outside agency involvement, and the level of public
involvement, that may impact the development of a project.


3.1.1   The Purpose of the Project Scoping Stage

The purpose of the Project Scoping Stage is to:

        1.     Identify the project area=s safety, mobility, infrastructure, community, and
               environmental conditions, needs, and objectives
        2.     Establish project objectives
        3.     Establish design criteria
        4.     Identify feasible alternative(s)
        5.     Estimate the project cost based on project information readily available
        6.     Confirm the likely SEQR Type
        7.     Confirm the likely NEPA Class, if the project uses federal funds or requires a
               federal approval or permit (Refer to Section 2.3.1, Overview of the NEPA
               Environmental Classes and the SEQR Environmental Types)

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3-2                      PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE

3.1.2   Basic Concepts of Project Scoping

Project scoping is based on several basic concepts. They provide a basis for the process by
which scoping is done. The concepts include:

        $     Teamwork - Project scoping is a collaborative effort involving teamwork and
              consensus building among stakeholders concerning the nature of a project (i.e.,
              type, scale, major features, issues, etc.) and what it is intended to accomplish.
              During scoping there may be project needs and issues (e.g., environmental
              initiatives, community issues, access management, mobility enhancement
              measures, etc.) that require special attention to meet the needs of a properly
              scoped project. The project team plays a critical role in identifying and evaluating
              these issues and concerns to the appropriate depth and detail.

        $     Public and Stakeholder Involvement - Public and stakeholder involvement is the
              cornerstone of successful project scoping and design. The start of the scoping
              stage (and earlier if possible) is the proper time to reach out to the public and
              project stakeholders so that issues of concern may be raised, put in their proper
              perspective, and given ample consideration/discussion. A project=s Public
              Involvement Plan guides public outreach and involvement.

        $     Informed Decision Making - Projects require a level of scoping commensurate
              with the type of proposed work. Project data requirements depend on a projects’
              problems and needs, complexity, significance of related issues, and the scope
              and scale of alternatives to be evaluated. Sufficient data needs to be gathered
              and analyzed to ensure:

              $      Project area needs can be clearly understood
              $      Community and stakeholders issues can be identified
              $      Clear project objectives can be established
              $      Environmental considerations and process can be identified
              $      Feasible alternatives can be outlined
              $      Reasonable comparison of alternatives can be performed
              $      Project cost and schedule can be estimated

              Except for simple projects, which have a combined scoping and design stage,
              development of detailed design information is generally not addressed during
              scoping. However, the project team should be open and ready to progress more
              in-depth data gathering and analysis on a case by case basis due to project
              needs in order to refine the project scope and to reach consensus.

        $     Establish Consensus - The goal is to establish consensus among stakeholders
              concerning the proper scope of a project. This includes a consensus on at least
              the following four technical products of scoping: project objective(s), design
              criteria, feasible alternative(s), and project cost estimate.

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                            PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE                                        3-3

          $      Proper Documentation - Clear and concise documentation that reflects the
                 Department=s stewardship of public interest and trust, logical decision making,
                 and good record keeping is essential. Project documentation is a structured
                 record of the evolution of a project and provides a clear, understandable, and
                 acceptable "picture" of what is to be accomplished. The documentation is used to
                 grant scope approval and provides specific information to guide subsequent
                 stages of project development.


The project scoping stage consists of several major steps. The steps define the various
management, technical, and procedural aspects of project scoping.

The major steps include:
      1.      Assignment of responsibility
      2.      Technical process and project management planning
      3.      Organize the project team
      4.      Public/stakeholder involvement, develop Public Involvement Plan
      5.      Project scope development
      6.      Project scope documentation
      7.      Project scope approval, scope modification

The steps are discussed in detail below.

3.2.1     Assignment of Responsibility: Assigning the Project Manager and Project

A project=s scope, scale, and complexity, as well as the availability of staff, should be
considered in assigning these roles.

In most cases, project managers may be assigned from any functional unit. Project managers
are responsible for the timely progression of the project through the project development

Project developers are usually assigned from the Regional Planning and Program Management
Group or the Design Group depending on regional scoping responsibility, or from the functional
group with appropriate technical expertise. The project developer is responsible for developing
and documenting the scope of a project.

Staff assignments to these roles should be consistent with regional procedures which have
been developed to accomplish these activities. Chapter 2, Section 2.2.2, Project Manager and
Project Developer, contains additional discussion and information concerning project scoping
roles and responsibilities.       Consultant and Outside Agency Involvement In Scoping Activities

Consultants, or others (such as local or other state agencies, authorities, federal agencies,

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3-4                        PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE

MPO=s, etc.), who may be involved in project scope development activities will be guided by the
scoping process, procedures, and guidelines contained in this manual. Chapter 2, Section 2.2.5,
External Stakeholder Involvement In Project Scoping, identifies issues that may require external
stakeholder involvement and provides examples of who the external stakeholders may include.

For such projects, Department staff will always manage and guide project scope development.
Full reliance is not placed on the consultant or other outside entities for scope development and
documentation. For example, the project developer, with the project team=s input, should
provide initial project development related guidance (e.g., goals and project objectives; level of
technical detail needed for scoping, including alternative development; and social, economic,
and environmental requirements, etc.) for the consultant=s efforts. Department staff will review
and guide all scope development and documentation activities conducted by consultant or
others. Department staff is solely responsible for all final scope related decisions.
Following these guidelines ensures that project scoping activities conducted by consultants or
others, and scoping decisions and recommendations, accurately consider and reflect the
Department=s policies, procedures, and needs.

3.2.2     Technical Process and Project Management Planning       Technical Process Planning

The purpose of technical process planning is to determine the technical process for developing
a project. Any determination made is recognized as tentative as it may be subject to
confirmation or change in later steps of the scoping stage.

The determination of a project=s technical process is based on an assessment of the following
        C    Project complexity
             Based on a project=s tentative scope and scale, complexity, significance of
             project related issues, and anticipated stakeholder involvement, a determination
             as to whether it=s a simple, moderate or complex project is established.

          C      The most probable environmental process to be followed
                 The determination is in accordance with SEQR and NEPA classifications.
                 Identification of project complexity and the SEQR and NEPA classifications will
                 guide the determination of the level of public involvement required.

          C      Appropriate project documentation
                 The identification of the appropriate design approval document for obtaining
                 design approval will guide the decision on the type of scoping documentation.

Technical process planning can occur simultaneously with project management planning, see
Section below. Chapter 2, Section 2.2.3, Project Scoping Strategy, also provides
process related information.

December 2004
                             PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE                                        3-5       Project Issues, Elements, and Initiatives

Project scoping often must address a range of competing needs involving various issues,
elements and initiatives. Experience has shown that different needs are sometimes
inadequately defined, or considered, and may require attention and analysis during scoping.
These various issues, elements and initiatives include, for example:

          C      Proper design year traffic forecasts
          C      Highway capacity analysis
          C      Highway access management
          C      Right of way acquisition and impacts
          C      Identification of non-standard and non-conforming features
          C      Operations and management, including opportunities to incorporate ITS
                 elements* in maintenance and protection of traffic (MPT) plans on-site/off-site
          C      Bicycle and pedestrian considerations
          C      Environmental enhancements consistent with Department initiative
          C      Visual resources
          C      Community issues
          C      Planned development, quality communities
          C      System elements and conditions
          C      Benefit-cost and economic evaluation
          C      Potential permits and approvals (local, state, federal agencies)
          C      Potential betterment agreements
          C      Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance
          C      Environmental Justice
          C      Coordination with local agency projects
          C      Consultant services**

*   For projects which incorporate ITS elements, compliance with regional ITS strategic
    plans/deployment plans, statewide ITS architecture, and consistency with the National ITS
    Architecture (planning level of detail) should be ensured.

** In the case of those projects where consultant design services are anticipated, scoping
   documentation will be used to develop the consultant scope of services. To ensure timely
   project progression, it is advisable to initiate the consultant acquisition/designation process
   as early as possible.

The following information provides a brief overview of several important areas that may be
encountered during the scoping process. Information on where to obtain further details is also

ITS Elements

Guidance has been developed to assist in scoping those projects that only involve ITS
alternatives, as well as projects where trade offs between ITS elements and traditional
strategies are being considered.
These ITS scoping guidelines incorporate methodologies, procedures and practices for the
scoping stage of the project development process. The guidelines specify data requirements
that are generally consistent with current Department collection practices or that are obtainable

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3-6                       PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE

by the project team using data collection procedures that may be easily implemented. The
sequence of activities of the ITS scoping process is essentially similar to the activities for
non-ITS projects identified in Section, Technical Activities.

The ITS scoping guidelines are provided in Appendix 6, Intelligent Transportation Systems.

For questions concerning the ITS scoping procedures contact the Traffic Engineering and
Highway Safety Division ITS Group (http://intradot/traffic/its/its-idot-main-menu.html).

System Elements and Conditions

Projects and the proposed improvements may impact the transportation system they are part of.
Improvements need to be analyzed and coordinated within system they impact. During scoping
it may be necessary to identify and document information, such as: system problems,
coordination with other projects, mobility impacts including TSM/TDM impacts, where ITS
elements exist describe consistency with national ITS architecture and standards and regional
deployment plans.

For additional information see Appendix 7.

Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS)

CSS is a philosophy that guides NYSDOT in all phases of project development. The purpose of
the CSS approach is to identify and address both transportation and project area needs and to
develop effective transportation solutions that fit a project=s context.
Context sensitive projects recognize community goals, and are planned, scoped, designed, built
and maintained while minimizing disruption to the community and the environment. While
maintaining safety, infrastructure and operational priorities, CSS recognizes the need to
consider environmental, scenic, aesthetic, cultural, natural resource, and community issues
within the overall project development process.

Early, effective and continuous public involvement is the cornerstone of successful CSS.

To proceed towards achieving a sound transportation solution, the >context= of the project area
environs must be understood and documented. Context Identification (CI) and assessment is
the most thorough method for gaining a full understanding of the complete context of project
area. Refer to Subsection, Technical Activities, for the actions included in Context
Identification (see information following list of technical activities).

As a result of the Context Identification process, opportunities are more likely to be evident and
explored that would not have otherwise presented themselves which in turn contributes to
successfully achieving a fully developed solution that incorporates the context of the project
area environs.

For related issuances and guidance refer to Engineering Instruction 01-020. For questions
concerning CSS contact the Landscape Architecture Bureau

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                           PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE                                              3-7

Environmental Initiative

The purpose of the Department=s environmental initiative is to advance State environmental
policies and objectives, to promote an environmental ethic throughout the Department, and to
strengthen relationships with environmental agencies and groups. This is accomplished by
utilizing the opportunity during project scoping to consider the implementation of enhancements
and betterments within Department projects. The goal is to ensure that people who live, work
and travel in New York State have a safe, efficient, balanced and environmentally sound
transportation system.

For related guidance refer to Environmental Procedure Manual. For questions concerning the
Department=s environmental initiative, contact the Environmental Analysis Bureau

Environmental Justice

Due to the evolution of the transportation planning process, environmental justice is receiving
greater emphasis. Effective transportation decision making depends on understanding and
properly addressing the unique needs of different socioeconomic groups. The intent is to make
sure that every transportation project considers the human environment. The fundamental
environmental justice principles are:

       $       To avoid, minimize, or mitigate disproportionately high and adverse human
               health and environmental effects, including social and economic effects, on
               minority populations and low-income populations
       $       To ensure the full and fair participation by all potentially affected communities in
               the transportation decision-making process
       $       To prevent the denial of, reduction in, or significant delay in the receipt of benefits
               by minority and low-income populations

For related guidance refer to Environmental Procedure Manual. For questions concerning
environmental justice contact the Environmental Analysis Bureau; Socio-Economic / Cultural
Resources / Environmental Process Section (http://intradot/eab/procedir.html).

Bicycle and Pedestrian Initiative

Walking and bicycling are major modes of transportation and recreation. Specific articles of the
New York State Vehicle & Traffic Law define the rights of pedestrians and bicyclists to use
highways (the official definition of "traffic" in the law includes pedestrians and bicyclists using
the "highway for the purpose of travel"). FHWA and Department’s guidance on non-motorized
modes makes provision for pedestrian/bicycle access, safety, and mobility elements "routine" on
all non-freeway projects unless their provision is cost prohibitive and can be provided at an
adjacent site or corridor.

For related issuances and guidance refer to the following documents/websites:

       $       Engineering Instruction 01-019, Maintenance and Protection of Pedestrian and
               Bicycle Traffic

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3-8                        PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE

       $       Sketch Plan Method for Estimating Pedestrian Traffic:
       $       Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Pedestrian Facilities User Guide
       $       AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities (see your Regional
               Bike/Ped Coordinator).
       $       The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center is a program of the Univ. of N.
               Carolina Hwy. Safety Research Ctr./Assoc. of Ped. & Bike Professionals
       $ (For pedestrian engineering, education, enforcement, and

For questions concerning the Department=s bicycle/pedestrian initiative, contact the Bicycle and
Pedestrian Program in the Passenger Transportation Division.

Quality Communities

Many states have recently reviewed their land use planning and development codes in regard to
Asmart growth@. This term generally refers to the growth of communities with minimal impacts on
green or open space and natural resource areas (minimize sprawl), and to maximize the
revitalization of cities and the reuse of Abrown fields.@ It is not the growth, but the pattern of
growth that is the problem.

NYS responded to these issues with an Executive Order to create the Quality Communities
Interagency Task Force. The Task Force produced recommendations in the report AState and
Local Governments, Partnering for a Better New York.@. This 140 page report is available on the
Lt. Governors@s website. Transportation related recommendations (recommendations numbered
28 - 33) are identified in Section F, Transportation Infrastructure: The Search for Quality in the
Built Environment, pages 77 - 87 of the report. The typical ideal improved transportation
planning approach given in the report is identified as producing a community future land use
vision and then supporting that vision with appropriate transportation alternatives.

For questions or additional information concerning the Department=s quality communities’ efforts
contact the Planning & Strategy Group.

Visual Resource Analysis

A visual resource analysis is conducted to determine if there are significant visual resources in
the project area. During scoping assessment of visual resources, the visual resource analysis
should consider the following:

       $       The nature of the proposed project and its setting
       $       The significance of the visual resources in the project area
       $       The nature and extent of the probable beneficial and negative effects of the
               proposed project on the visual resources
       $       The public=s probable reactions to the proposed changes

       $       The opportunities     for   effective   avoidance,   conservation,   mitigation,   or

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                           PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE                                            3-9

There should be opportunities for public input in accordance with the Department=s public
involvement and context sensitive solutions policies.

For related guidance refer to EI 02-025. For questions concerning this procedure contact the
Landscape Architecture Bureau (http://intradot/design/lab/lab.html).

Benefit-Cost and Economic Evaluation

The scoping stage is the best time to evaluate a project from an investment point of view.
Benefit-cost (B/C) analysis is a systematic analytical tool which may be used to determine the
economic viability of a project and may be used for prioritizing improvements. It is useful when
trying to separate alternatives to arrive at a desirable solution. Form TE 164, "Safety Benefits
Evaluation Form" (a software version is available from the Safety Program Management Bureau
of the Traffic Engineering and Highway Safety Division), and the "Economic Analysis Worksheet
for Bridges", provide examples of B/C analysis. The Department=s Highway User Cost
Accounting (HUCA) Program also provides a method of analyzing project benefits and costs.
Information concerning HUCA may be obtained from the Mobility Management Bureau of the
Planning and Strategy Group. Life Cycle Cost (LCC) analysis is an analytical tool for comparing
improvements for cost effectiveness. The Pavement Rehabilitation Manual, Volume II, provides
an example of LCC analysis.

All projects will not require economic analysis. For instance, minor projects such as Element
Specific work and simple projects such as projects with only one feasible alternative (e.g.,
pavement rehabilitation which does not require extensive sub-grade improvements, bridge
rehabilitation which is not structural in nature, simple traffic operations improvements) generally
will not require economic analysis. More technically diverse projects may require a level of
economic evaluation dependent on the type of project, its problems and needs, its complexity,
significance of project related issues, and the scope of alternatives to be evaluated. Such
projects which advance into design with more than one alternative may also require economic
analysis following the development of additional project detail.

Project scoping is the proper time to determine if certain aspects of a proposed project should
be deferred to a future project. The appropriateness of a large initial investment as opposed to
the staging of improvements to coincide with the timing of forecast needs, in order to achieve
maximum benefits, needs to be considered. For example, if incremental traffic forecasts indicate
that a capacity widening will not be needed until the 15th year for a reconstruction project which
has a 20 year design life, implementation of the widening before its forecasted need requires
justification. In such situations, right of way should be set aside to insure the future improvement
could be implemented when needed or justified.

The AASHTO book A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets provides discussion
of economic factors. AASHTO=s Manual on User Benefits Analysis of Highway and Bus Transit
Improvements provides information concerning economic analysis concepts and methodologies.

                                                                                   December 2004
3-10                      PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE      Project Management Planning

Project management planning involves the identification and estimation of the staff and material
resources needed to provide an adequate level of effort and involvement, and to complete
technical activities, to ensure informed decision making during project scoping. The
determination of a project=s resource needs will be affected by factors, such as project
complexity, the environmental process to be followed, level of internal and external stakeholder
involvement, documentation requirements, etc. Chapter 2, Section 2.2.3, Project Scoping
Strategy, also provides resource related information.

In identifying staff resource requirements it needs to be recognized that scoping is
accomplished through a collaborative effort involving teamwork and consensus building.
Scoping is an integrated effort that includes several functional areas depending on project
complexity and the of problem resolution needed. Broad based functional involvement is
accomplished through project team participation. Chapter 2, Section 2.2.4, Project Team,
identifies the Department staff that may be part of the project team. Section 3.3.3, Project Team
Organization and Responsibilities, provides information concerning project team organization
and responsibilities.

When circumstances apply, other stakeholders from whom project         scope development would
benefit should be involved. Stakeholders and interested parties        should be notified of the
opportunity to participate and be requested to appoint a liaison.      Chapter 2, Section 2.2.5,
External Stakeholder Involvement in Project Scoping, identifies the    external stakeholders who
may be part of the project team.

3.2.3     Project Team Organization and Responsibilities

A broad based inter-disciplinary project team approach is needed so that the product of scoping
truly considers all needs, identifies critical issues, and develops solutions that are based on
consensus. The project team is responsible for completing the necessary scoping and design
activities to achieve scope approval and design approval. A project team can provide continuity
and consistency in development activities in the scoping and design stage. Staff assignment to
the project team should be consistent with regional procedures developed to accomplish these
activities, including factors such as a project=s scope, scale, complexity, as well as the
availability of staff. Chapter 2, Sections 2.2.4., Project Team, provides additional discussion and
information concerning project team participation and stakeholders.

The project team includes representatives from functional areas (regional and/or main office)
who can provide information relevant to a scoping level of analysis and other input into a
project=s development. Such information, be it traffic volumes/analysis, good design
practices/design standards, accident and safety analysis, drainage, environmental
requirements, context/community issues, etc., will be needed to adequately develop the scope
of a project. Those who have experience in scoping similar jobs or who will be involved in a
subsequent stage of project development, for which early involvement in the project
development process is important from a scheduling and subsequent job production
perspective, should be involved. To ensure that the products of scoping are adequate from a
design perspective, Design should always be represented on the project team and an
experienced designer should attend and participate in scoping meetings.

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                            PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE                                          3-11

Project team responsibilities include but are not limited to:

          $      Attending scoping meetings, and participation in trips to field sites as necessary
          $      Completing technical analysis and providing needed technical information
          $      Review of scope documentation
          $      Provide the necessary liaison with their functional areas and functional managers
                 or groups. In achieving scope consensus, or if scoping issues or problems arise,
                 project team members may need to discuss issues or problems, or explain
                 decisions with their respective functional areas or groups.
          $      Issue and problem resolution
          $      Achieving scope consensus

Depending on a project=s scope, scale, and complexity, the function of the project team may be
a formal or informal activity. For simple projects, the project developer may only contact the
appropriate functional areas= representative for their input/review for scope development. For
more complex projects, the project developer will hold formal project team meetings to
accomplish scoping activities.

Continuous communication between functional areas during the project development process is
critical. Discussion between the process stakeholders is important in order to convey important
and necessary project information. However, total dependence should not be placed on the
project team for this. For example, when a project moves through the different stages of the
project development process the point of project contact may change. When this occurs, it is
important that the lines of communication between a new and former contact person be
maintained to provide for project continuity and to maintain a seamless process.

Where consultant services are employed, the project team will provide input to guide the
consultant=s work. For more information, refer to Section, Consultant and Outside
Agency Involvement in Scoping Activities.

3.2.4     Public and External Stakeholders Involvement       Public and External Stakeholders Notification and Involvement

Public and stakeholders participation is fundamental to the project development process.
Obtaining input from a full range of stakeholders affected by a project, and using that input is
essential to making transportation decisions that benefit the public.

It is the intent that the public and interested parties have a reasonable opportunity to be involved
in the project development process.

A proactive public involvement process accomplishes the following:

          $      Provides timely public notice
          $      Provides early and continuing involvement throughout the life of a project
          $      Provides appropriate information to the project stakeholders (e.g., its proposed
                 scope, anticipated impacts, etc.)
          $      Provides opportunity to request additional information from the Department

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3-12                        PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE

          $      Provides access to decision making
          $      Ensures project decisions will be made with the full consideration of public input.

Early input from local officials is also sought for its value in coordinating, planning, scoping, and
designing Department projects, especially where a Department project may affect facilities
owned by agencies other than the State. Where major community impacts are expected, a
public meeting(s) will be held to provide information on the project and to provide opportunities
for input.

Where project scoping becomes input to an environmental document, the public and external
stakeholders’ involvement in scoping establishes the initial steps in their continuing involvement
in the project development process which extends through the environmental studies and
design stages. When it is determined that a project may have a significant effect and an
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required, a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS
needs to be issued for federal-aid projects and a positive declaration needs to be issued for
100% state funded projects. Section, Environmental Class Confirmation, provides
additional information concerning the NOI.

Projects for which an outside agency may need to grant design approval or permit approval,
e.g., FHWA, FTA, EPA, COE, DEC, etc., it is especially important that they have an early and
ongoing opportunity for review and to provide input to project scope development.

Chapter 2, Section 2.2.5, External Stakeholder Involvement in Project Scoping, Section 2.2.6,
Public Involvement and Coordination with External Stakeholders, and Appendix 2, Public
Involvement Manual (PIM) provide additional discussion of public and stakeholder involvement
during the project scoping stage.       Public Involvement Plan

During the initial project development stage (e.g., identifying conditions and needs) members of
the public can provide valuable information regarding the project area. Projects can impact the
natural, cultural, and scenic resources of a community as well as its cohesion and economic
viability. Public outreach and public involvement (PI) are critical if projects are to successfully
meet both transportation and community needs.

Public outreach needs to be well planned to gain the most useful feedback, within the limited
project resources available. A Public Involvement Plan is a tool to identify appropriate ways to
conduct public outreach, and it serves as a public involvement planning tool. The following
outline provides a framework for developing PI Plans:

          $      Identify project information and previous PI activities
          $      Identify potential concerns and stakeholders
          $      Plan PI objectives
          $      List specific action steps
          $      Implement, monitor, and update PI Plan

Detailed guidance concerning public outreach and public involvement is provided in the Public
Involvement Manual, Appendix 2.

December 2004
                             PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE                                        3-13

3.2.5     Project Scope Development    Project Scoping Process
A generic process to advance projects through project scoping is presented via flowcharts for
simple projects and for moderate/complex projects. Exhibit 3-1 depicts the scoping process
flowchart for simple projects and Exhibit 3-2 depicts the scoping process flowchart for
moderate/complex projects.

The flowcharts provide a decision matrix to guide the project developer. The goal of following
the decision path through the flowcharts is to ensure that program and project requirements are
met, leading to the development of the appropriate scoping document and subsequent scope
approval.       Scoping Activities

The project developer works with the project team to complete scoping activities, and to develop
and document the information needed to scope a project. Exhibit 3-3 is a sample project
scoping checklist. The checklist is an illustration of a tool to identify and track scoping related
information and elements.

The depth and breadth of the project scoping effort varies widely depending on the project. The
level of effort will depend on factors such as the:

          $      Type of project and context of the project area
          $      Problems and needs
          $      Complexity and significance of project related issues
          $      Scope of alternatives to be evaluated
          $      Social, economic and environmental considerations

Enough information needs to be developed, analyzed, and documented such that an informed
decision can be made regarding scope approval and advancement to the design stage, and it
clearly indicates that the decision is consistent with project needs. Experience gained from
involvement in various types of projects, as well as mentoring by senior staff, will help guide the
necessary level of information to be developed, analyzed, and documented.

                                                                                  December 2004
 3-14                                           Exhibit 3-1

                                         Simple Project Process

                                                                       Review information to determine if project
Prepare Public Involvement Plan                                        objective(s)/scope warrant revision based on
         (as needed)                                                   site visit, community contact, interaction with
                                                  Review IPP
                                                                       internal units and other stakeholders, etc..
Community/Stakeholder Contact                                          Refer to Public Involvement Manual For
                                                                       Guidance on Public Involvement as needed.

  Present Findings to RPPM,                      Have Changes          Have, for example, infrastructure or
  Receive Approval to Modify                Occurred That May Affect   safety needs; community priorities;
      Preliminary Project                     Project Objective(s)/    social, economic, or environmental
      Objective(s)/Scope                            Scope?             conditions, etc., changed ?


       Does Project Still
                                              IPP Information as
         Meet Simple              Yes
                                             Needed for Scoping &
       Project Criteria?
                                                Design Needs


                                                 IPP Becomes
        Advance as a                                                   Scoping and
       Moderate Project                             IPP/FDR            Design Complete

                                                Scope & Design
                                                        Exhibit 3-2                                                     3-15

                                           MODERATE AND COMPLEX
                                             PROJECT PROCESS

                                                                                              Confirm the preliminary
                                                                                              information documented in the
                                                          Review IPP
                                                                                              IPP. Determine level of effort
                                                                                              required to develop the project

          Compile Relevant                             Did Project Evolve
        Information for Scope            Yes           From a Planning/
            Documentation                              Corridor Study?


                                                                                                     Prepare Notice of Intent (NOI)
                                                                                                   In Accordance with NEPA 23 CFR
                                                          Will Project                                           771
                                                        Require an EIS?                           Prepare Appropriate Notifications In
                                                                                                  Accordance With SEQR 17 NYCRR
                                                                                                               Part 15


                                                   Prepare Public Involvement
                                                                                              Refer to Public
                                                   Conduct Public Involvement                 Involvement Manual

    Refer to Exhibit of Technical                       Develop Needed
   Scoping Activities for Moderate                      Information and
       and Complex Projects                                 Analysis

   Prepare Project                                      Project Scoping                                     Prepare Project
Scoping Report in the           Moderate Project        Documentation           Complex Project           Scoping Report in the
 Format of a DR/EA                                                                                        Format of a DR/EIS

                                                        Scope Approval
3-16                                 Exhibit 3-3
                          SAMPLE PROJECT SCOPING CHECKLIST

This exhibit is only an illustration. Its intent is to illustrate a management tool by which the
project developer can identify and track scoping related information. It is intended that the
Regions will develop an individualized checklist(s) for regional purposes. See Appendix 7 for
information requirements for the activities listed below.

PIN:                                             Project Manager:

Project Name:                                    Project Developer:

Project Type:                                    Consultant:          Yes              No

ACTIVITIY                                                    PROVIDER               REQUESTED

Project Identification

Description of Existing Highway Section

Existing Condition of Abutting Highway Segments

Future Plans for Abutting Highway Segments

Existing/Future Traffic Volumes and Flow Diagrams

Level of Service and Capacity Analysis

Identify Non-Standard and Non-Conforming Features

Safety Considerations, Accident History & Analysis

Pavement & Shoulder Conditions and Analysis

Condition of Guide Railing, Median Barrier &

Impact Attenuators

Traffic Control Devices

Description of Structures and Conditions

Hydraulics of Bridges and Culverts

Description of Drainage Systems and Conditions

December 2004
                                           Exhibit 3-3                    3-17

Soil and Foundation Conditions

Description of Utilities

Railroad Information

Description of Visual Environment
 •     Visual resource analysis

Provisions for Pedestrian and Bicyclists

Description of Planned Development

System Elements and Conditions

Description of Miscellaneous Features, Conditions, and
Characteristics of the Project Area Context Not Covered
Under Other Activities (Such as pedestrian underpasses not
included in II.C.1.v, cattle passes, horse trails, rest areas,
cemeteries, etc.)

Social Considerations and Issues

  •     Context sensitive community issues

Environmental justice issues

Economic Considerations and Issues

Environmental Considerations and Issues

  •     Environmental initiative/enhancements
  •     Identification of permits needed

Real Estate Cost Estimates

ROW Mapping

                                                                 December 2004
3-18                       PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE Technical Activities

The technical activities and information required for scoping are described in this section and
summarized in flow charts and tables. Exhibit 3-3 is a sample project scoping checklist. The
checklist is an illustration of a tool to identify and track scoping related information and
elements. Exhibit 3-4 presents the technical scoping activities flowchart for simple projects and
Exhibit 3-5 presents the technical scoping activities flowchart for moderate/complex projects.
Exhibit 3-6 presents tasks related to the technical scoping activities and identifies possible
functional areas responsibility or the source of data/information for the tasks. The intent is to
provide direction to the project developer/project team on those things that need to be
considered, as well as where related information may be obtained. The goal is to provide the
tools and direction to ensure appropriate elements have been considered and the resulting
product reflects both transportation and community needs while satisfying fiscal responsibility.
The product should be a clear understanding of what is to be accomplished and should provide
clear direction for subsequent project development stages.

Project scope development typically involves several technical activities. The extent and scale
of these activities depends on the project and issues involved. The technical activities include:

       $       Transportation conditions inventory, Context Identification, and analysis
       $       Future no-action conditions, forecasting, and analysis
       $       Needs and problem identification
       $       Project objective(s) definition
       $       Establish design criteria
       $       Develop alternative solution(s)
       $       Develop cost estimate and schedule
       $       Identify social, economic and environmental issues, and potential impacts
       $       Screen and identify feasible alternative solution(s)

Context Identification includes:

       $       Analyzing the complete project area and associated regional environs
       $       Assessing Smart Growth/Land Use issues especially those relating to quality of
               life, sustainability, and economic concerns
       $       Understanding community visioning, if and when it exists
       $       Assessing the natural and environmental resources
       $       Interfacing with the area=s community and Metropolitan Planning Organization (if
               applicable) to ensure community and corridor planning issues are brought into
               the project development process
       $       Conducting initial public forums to discuss potential issues within the area

Note: Detailed information and guidance concerning these activities is provided in Appendix 7,
      Format and Content of Scoping and Design Approval Documents.

       Where projects involve Intelligent Transportation System elements detailed ITS scoping
       and project development guidance is provided in Appendix 6.

December 2004
                        Exhibit 3-4                                3-19

               Technical Scoping Activities
                    Simple Projects

                         Transportation         Identify as needed: transportation
Stakeholder/          Conditions Inventory,     conditions, problems, and
Community             Context Identification,   community/stakeholder issues/
   Input              Traffic Forecast, and     concerns; complete traffic
                             Analysis           forecasts as required

                                                Identify need(s) and
                           and Project
                                                project objective(s)

                                                Identify design standards,
                        Establish Design
                                                critical design elements, and
                                                controlling design paramenters

                          Alternative           Describe alternative solution(s),
                        Solution(s), Cost       develop cost and schedule of
                         and Schedule           project activities

                                                Identify, as needed, potential
                       Social, Economic,
                                                issues, impacts, anticipated
                       and Environmental
                                                environmental requirements
                          Issues, and
                                                and coordination; Confirm
                        Potential Impacts
                                                environmental classifications

                       Modify/Expand IPP

                     IPP Becomes IPP/FDR

                                              Exhibit 3-5

                                 Technical Scoping Activities
                                Moderate and Complex Projects

                                          Transportation Conditions
 Initiate Public/Stakeholder                                                     Identify transportation,
                                             Inventory, Context
Participation and Community                                                      environmental, and community
                                              Identification, and
           Outreach                                                              related conditions and issues

                                             Future No-Action
                                                                                 Identify design year
                                          Conditions, Forecasting,
                                               and Analysis

      Identify Issues,                                                           Identify the deficiencies,
                                                 Needs and
      Concerns, and                                                              including community and
                                            Problem Identification
     Possible Impacts                                                            environmental issues

                                                  Project                        Identify objective(s) that the project must
                                                Objective(s)                     meet to satisfy the needs, including
                                                 Definition                      community and environmental issues

                                                  Establish                      Identify the design standards,
                                                   Design                        critical design elements, and
                                                   Criteria                      controlling design parameters

                                                                                 Develop alternative solution(s) for
                                                                                 addressing identified problems and needs
                                                                                 consistent with CSS and EI principles.
                                                                                 Risk and trade off analysis may be needed

                                                 Develop                         Develop estimated alternative cost and
                                               Cost Estimate                     schedule of project activities. Utilize
                                               and Schedule                      life cycle cost analysis as applicable

                                                                                 Identify potential issues, impacts,
                                           Social, Economic, and                 anticipated environmental
                                           Environmental Issues,                 requirements and coordination;
                                           and Potential Impacts                 Confirm environmental

                                            Screen and Identify                  Evaluate and compare
                                            Feasible Alternative                 alternatives, Identify feasible
                                                Solution(s)                      alternative(s)

           Prepare Project                                                              Prepare Project
                                              Project Scoping
          Scoping Report in    Moderate       Documentation           Complex          Scoping Report in
           the Format of a      Project                                Project          the Format of a
               DR/EA                                                                        DR/EIS

                                              Scope Approval
                                        EXHIBIT 6                                                   3-21
                              PROJECT SCOPING TASKS TABLE

The purpose of this table is to summarize project scoping stage tasks, identify the general
functional area which may have responsibility for the tasks or the source of related information
and data, and give the sequence in which the tasks would generally be done. Although all
scoping stage tasks are listed, the tasks and the level of detail needed for scoping will depend
on project complexity.

This table is only a reference tool, or guide, it is not a replacement for specific procedural steps
or requirements.

      Technical Scoping                         Tasks                              Responsibility

  Transportation                Functional Classification and            Planning
  Conditions Inventory,         National Highway System
  Context Identification,
  and Analysis                  Ownership and Maintenance                Planning
                                Culture, Terrain, and Climatic           Design
                                Control of Access                        Planning
                                Existing Highway Section                 Design
                                Abutting Highway Segments and            Planning
                                Future Plans for Abutting Highway        Design
                                Speeds and Delay                         Planning
                                Existing Traffic Volumes                 Planning
                                Existing Level of Service                Planning
                                Non-Standard Features and Other          Design
                                Non-Conforming Features                  Traffic
                                Safety Considerations, Accident          Traffic
                                History and Analysis
                                Pavement and Shoulder Condition          Design
                                                                         Tech Services
                                Guide Rail, Median Barriers and          Design
                                Impact Attenuator                        Traffic
                                Traffic Control Devices                  Traffic

                                                                                       December 2004
3-22                                  EXHIBIT 6
                            PROJECT SCOPING TASKS TABLE

       Technical Scoping                    Tasks                         Responsibility

                             Structure Condition                   Design
                             Hydraulics of Bridges and Culverts    Design
                             Drainage Systems                      Design
                                                                   Tech Services
                             Geotechnical Conditions               Tech Services
                             Utilities                             Design
                             Railroads                             Planning
                             Visual Environment                    Planning
                             Visual resource assessment            Landscape Architecture
                             Provisions for Pedestrians and        Planning
                             Bicyclists                            Landscape Architecture
                             Planned Development for Area          Planning
                             System Elements and Conditions        Planning
                             Environmental Integration
                             Miscellaneous: Identify other relevant Relevant functional area
                             features, conditions and               for type of data or
                             characteristics of the project area    information
                             context not covered under Activities

  Future No-Action           Future No-Action Design Year Speed Planning
  Conditions, Forecasting    and Delay Estimates                Traffic
  & Analysis

December 2004
                                      EXHIBIT 6                                              3-23
                            PROJECT SCOPING TASKS TABLE

   Technical Scoping                         Tasks                          Responsibility

                             Future No-Action Design Year Traffic Planning
                             Volume Forecasts

                             Future No-Action Design Year Level       Planning
                             of Service and Capacity Analysis         Traffic
Needs and Problem            Project Level Needs:                     Project Developer/ Project
Identification                                                        Team
                             Pavement Needs
                             Safety Needs
                             Bridge Structural Needs
                             Capacity Needs
                             Environmental Needs

                             Area or Corridor Level Needs:

                             Modal Interrelationship
                             System Needs
                             Mobility Needs
                             Social Demands and Economic

                             Transportation Plans, e.g., Identify
                             relationship to any area or statewide
                             plan and what is the relative priority
                             of the project; Is the project part of
                             an approved Congestion
                             Management System; etc.
Project Objective(s)         Identify the Objective(s) of the         Project Developer/ Project
Definition                   Project That Alternatives Must Meet      Team
                             to Satisfy Project Needs

Establish Design Criteria    Design Standards                         Design
                             Critical Design Elements                 Traffic
                             Other Controlling Parameters             Structures

                                                                                   December 2004
3-24                                 EXHIBIT 6
                           PROJECT SCOPING TASKS TABLE

       Technical Scoping                   Tasks                         Responsibility
  Develop Alternative       Alternatives Considered                Project Developer/ Project
  Solution(s)                                                      Team

                            Description of Feasible                Project Developer/ Project
                            Alternative(s)                         Team

                            Engineering Considerations for
                            Feasible Alternative(s):

                            Geometric Features                     Design
                            Traffic Forecasts, Level of Service,   Planning           Traffic
                            and Safety Considerations
                            Pavement                               Tech Services
                            Structures                             Structures
                            Hydraulics                             Structures
                            Drainage                               Design
                            Maintenance Responsibility             Planning
                            Maintenance and Protection of          Planning
                            Traffic                                Design
                            Geotechnical                           Tech Services
                            Utilities                              Design
                            Railroads                              Planning
                            Right-of-Way                           Design
                            Landscaping                            Landscape Architecture
                            Provisions for Pedestrians,            Planning
                            Including Persons with                 Landscape Architecture

December 2004
                                  EXHIBIT 6                                           3-25
                        PROJECT SCOPING TASKS TABLE

   Technical Scoping                     Tasks                       Responsibility

                         Provisions for Bicycling              Planning
                                                               Landscape Architecture
                         Lighting                              Design
Develop Cost Estimate    Construction Costs                    Design
and Schedule
                         Right of Way Costs                    Right of Way
                         Utility Costs                         Design
                         Maintenance and Protection of         Planning
                         Traffic                               Design
                         Railroad Force Account Work           Design
                         Preliminary Engineering               Design
                                                               Traffic and Safety
                         Environmental Mitigation Cost         Environmental Analysis
                         Construction Inspection               Design
                         Other Costs, e.g., TSM and TDM        Planning
                         Schedule                              Planning
                                                               Landscape Architecture
Identify Social, Economic, NEPA and SEQR Classifications       Project Developer/ Project
and Environmental Issues                                       Team
& Possible Impacts         Social Consequences
                           Economic Consequences
                           Environmental Consequences

                         Indirect/Secondary and Cumulative
Screen and Identify      Determine if Each Alternative Meets   Project Developer/ Project
Feasible Alternative     the Project Objectives                Team
Solution(s)              Compare Cost
                         Evaluate Quantitative Benefits
                         Compare Other Benefits
                         Compare the Social, Economic, and
                         Environmental Consequences of
                         Each Proposed Alternative

                                                                            December 2004
3-26                             PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE       Developing Alternatives

During scoping, depending on whether a proposed project is of a simple, moderate or complex
nature, a range of alternative solutions, including the no-build, are usually considered and the
recommended course(s) of action identified. The project alternative(s) are developed by the
Project Team based upon information gathered during the transportation conditions inventory,
context identification, and analysis phase of project scoping and from stakeholder input. The
project alternative(s) need to satisfy the project objectives. Similar alternatives should generally
be considered a single alternative with variations to help facilitate the alternative evaluation

Note: For EIS projects, a wide range and project elements and alternatives, including the no-
build, are usually considered (Ref. CEQ 1502.14(c)). For example, ITS and congestion
management strategies such as signal coordination, transit improvements, and turning lanes,
should be considered when a feasible alternative will add travel lanes to a facility.       Dropping Alternatives

The reasons for eliminating alternatives from further study should be appropriately documented
in the Project Scoping Report. Screening alternatives for preliminary feasibility may include
criteria or reasons, such as:

          $      Not meeting needs and project objectives
          $      Not meeting transportation, community or environmental goals
          $      Constructability/ability to meet good engineering practice
          $      Environmental impacts
          $      Low benefit to cost ratio(s) *(Typically less then one)
          $      Represents premature investment
          $      Fundability - Costs that are substantially above available funding sources (Note:
                 an alternative should not be dropped only because it is over the programmed
          $      Ability to meet schedule requirements, etc.

Clear project objectives are essential for this process. The no-build alternative (a.k.a.
maintenance only alternative for existing facilities and do nothing alternative for proposed
facilities) is to be retained as an alternative under consideration until design approval (For NEPA
Class I projects, Ref. CEQ 1502.14(d)). Additionally, for projects that increases general purpose
lanes in a non-attainment area the Clean Air Act and 23 CFR 450.320(b) place requirements on
congestion management system outputs which should be considered.       Feasible Alternative(s)

The number of feasible alternative(s) to be carried into the preliminary design stage is based on
a project=s scope and scale, complexity, and significance of project related issues.

December 2004
                                PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE                                      3-27

As a result of the screening for preliminary feasibility, the feasible (reasonable) alternative(s)
identified from that process are one or several courses of action or design that:

          $      Meet the project objectives
          $      Meet transportation, community and environmental goals
          $      Can be accomplished from an engineering perspective
          $      Have minimal environmental impacts
          $      Can be funded
          $      Can be accomplished in a timely manner

As a general rule, to keep the decision making document readable and a practical size, carrying
forward a practical number of feasible (reasonable) alternatives is advisable. If a substantial
number of feasible alternatives remain after evaluation, the project objectives should be
revisited to ensure they are not too broadly defined.

For NEPA Class I projects, all feasible alternatives should be evaluated to allow reviewers the
opportunities to consider their respective merits (Ref. 40 CFR 1502.14(b), page 16 of FHWA=s
Technical Advisory T6640.8A, and 6 NYCRR 617.9(b)(5)(v)). The same level of analysis may
not be necessary to allow a meaningful comparison of proposed alternatives, for example, if one
alternative may impact 0.25ha of wetland and another may impact 25 ha of wetland. Although
the level of analysis may not be the same, the impacts can be weighed and compared in a
decision making document.       Preferred Alternative

When more than one feasible alternative is identified during the project scoping stage, a
preferred alternative must be identified in the preliminary design stage. The preferred alternative
is considered to be the best option to carry forward into the detailed (final) design stage. The
preferred alternative best satisfies the agreed upon project objectives and transportation,
community and environmental goals. If the preferred alternative becomes the no-build
alternative, that generally leads to the project being dropped from further consideration.       Required Determinations

Consensus on the following five technical products of project scoping is required during the
scoping stage: project objective(s), design criteria, feasible alternative(s), project cost estimate
and project schedule.
These items need to be identified in a scoping document as they provide specific guidance for
the development of a project in the subsequent design stage of project development.

The technical products of project scoping are defined as follows:

Project Objective(s) – refer to Appendix 4, Project Objectives, for details and examples.

Design Criteria - refer to Highway Design Manual Chapter 2, Design Criteria. Design criteria for
a project is a listing of standards to be applied to critical design elements, level of service, and
the design vehicle.

                                                                                   December 2004
3-28                         PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE

Feasible Alternative(s)

Proposed actions or designs that can be accomplished from a technical, community,
environmental and programmatic perspective.

Project Cost Estimate

An estimate of project cost consistent with the contemporary knowledge and details of a
project’s scope during the project scoping stage.

Project Schedule

A chart which outlines tentatively when major project steps will be begin and end. The schedule
will typically go by years listing the project steps relevant to the type of project (simple,
moderate, complex).    Environmental Class Confirmation

Confirmation of the NEPA Class and SEQR Type (if a project uses federal funds or requires a
federal approval or permit) is required during the Scoping Stage. The NEPA Class and SEQR
Type are based on the "significance" (see Section for information on significance) of the
anticipated social, economic, and environmental effects (impacts) of the project. The
determination of "significance" also guides the identification of the appropriate level of
documentation and public involvement. The necessary data needs to be assembled, the
appropriate analysis needs to be completed, and the information documented to support the

When it is determined that a project may have a significant effect and an Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS) is required, a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS needs to be issued for
federal-aid projects and a positive declaration needs to be issued for 100% state funded

For additional information on the NOI, refer to sections of the Manual on Federal Aid and 100%
State Funded Projects Procedural Steps, and Procedures for Distribution of Scoping Letters and
Environmental Documents to Federal, State and Local Advisory Agencies, and Exhibit 2
(Moderate and Complex Project Process).

December 2004
                               PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE                                      3-29

3.2.6     Scoping Documentation       Project Scope Documentation

The scoping document must provide sufficient information to provide clear understanding of the:

          $      Problems and conditions, including project area context
          $      Needs to be addressed
          $      Project objective(s)
          $      Design criteria
          $      Alternative solution(s)
          $      Costs
          $      Social, economic, and environmental considerations

This information must reflect the input, conclusions, and consensus of the project team, or the
functional areas, involved in providing input for scoping. Backup data used to reach conclusions
should be included in the project file. These documents provide specific guidance for the design
stage of the project development process.

For simple projects scoping may be accomplished in a relatively expeditious manner. These
projects are of a minor nature and only minimal additional documentation may be required for
scoping and design approval with the input of relevant information and pertinent design related
data needed to define a project=s scope and confirm the project objective(s), design criteria,
feasible alternative and cost. For these routine projects an Initial Project Proposal/Final Design
Report (IPP/FDR) is prepared in accordance with Appendix 7, Format and Content of Scoping
Design Approval Documents.

For moderate projects scoping requires a modest effort to develop the project with the input of
data and analysis as needed to define a project=s scope and scale, and to confirm the involved
functional areas= consensus on project objective(s), design criteria, feasible alternative(s), and
project cost estimate. A Project Scoping Report (PSR) is used for scope documentation which
includes the information needed for scope approval before the project advances to the design
stage. The Project Scoping Report (PSR), which is in the format of a design report, is prepared
in accordance with Appendix 7.

For complex projects, which are the most technically diverse projects and have a wider range of
issues and possible alternatives, scoping requires in-depth technical investigation and analysis
to develop the scope of such projects. The scoping documentation contains a greater level of
detail due to the additional project elements and issues which have to be investigated and
evaluated by the project team. It clearly presents the project team=s consensus on project
objectives, design criteria, feasible alternatives, and project cost estimate, which are needed for
scope approval prior to advancement to the design stage. A Project Scoping Report (PSR)
documents the scope development activities and information which is needed for scope
approval before the project advances to the design stage. The Project Scoping Report which is
in the format of a design report is prepared in accordance with Appendix 7.

                                                                                  December 2004
3-30                            PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE

In those situations where a study or other technical analysis was conducted and the findings
documented, the PSR can reference the documentation or sections of the documentation, as
applicable, to help satisfy the needs of scoping and advance a project to the design stage.

Chapter 2, Section 2.2.8, Project Scoping Report, and Exhibit 2-1, Project Scoping Reports,
provide additional discussion and information concerning Project Scoping Reports.       Project Scoping Report Level of Detail

Although moderate and complex projects will use a Project Scoping Report which follows the
design report format, the level of detail and analysis will be substantially different. The objective
is to have a basic format/framework that works for all projects and results in an appropriate level
of documentation based on the project type/category. It provides a check list to ensure all
relevant issues are considered. The format is not meant to a produce voluminous report, the
intent is to produce the level of detail necessary to make informed decisions.

3.2.7     Scope Approval and Scope Modification       Issue and Problem Resolution

During scope development, issues and/or problems may be encountered or functional areas
may have concerns (e.g., issues or concerns with project objectives, design criteria, scale of
alternatives, costs, or there may be community opposition, etc) which could affect project
development and scope approval.

Issues, problems, or concerns may surface during scoping, as they are resolved conflict may
occur. These differences should be resolved, as appropriate, so that they are not an issue in the
next stage of project development. When conflicts occurs a procedure for conflict resolution is
needed to ensure timely progression of the project. A suggested procedure is outlined in the
following steps:

          $      Bring together the functional areas involved in the conflict and those areas
                 needed to resolve the conflict
          $      Identify project scope elements agreed on, confirm with those involved
          $      Identify issue(s) or element(s) on which there is disagreement - state in simple
          $      Discuss/determine what information and/or action(s) by involved parties is
                 needed to resolve disagreement
          $      Negotiate resolution to disagreement
          $      Clearly identify elements of the negotiated resolution and have involved parties
                 acknowledge agreement with resolution

It is expected that conflicts will be resolved at the lowest possible level of a regional decision
making hierarchy. When resolution can not be reached easily, it should be elevated through the
decision making hierarchy until resolution is reached. An example of roles or participants which
a decision making hierarchy may include, from the lowest to highest level: project developer,
project team, job managers, functional managers (e.g., RPPM, Regional Design Engineer, etc.)
and Regional Director. Achieving scope approval should be consistent with regional procedures

December 2004
                              PROJECT SCOPING PROCEDURE                                         3-31

used to address such activities. In most instances, it is expected that resolution will be achieved
at the regional level. However, in those situations when there are issues or problems with a
major project (e.g., a project of statewide significance, etc.) Main Office involvement may be
sought in order to achieve resolution.    Project Scope Concurrence

FHWA receives a copy of the scoping document for review, comments and concurrence for
projects that they grant Design Approval and all Class I projects.    Project Scope Approval

Department staff is      solely   responsible   for   all   scope   related   approvals   and   final

Scope approval follows the completion of the technical activities and documentation of the
project scoping effort. Scope approval occurs once consensus is reached on a project=s
objective(s), design criteria, proposed feasible alternative(s), and project cost estimate.

Approval of the scoping document demonstrates the project proposal meets regional program
goals, is acceptable from a fiscal perspective, and demonstrates the project is ready from a
technical perspective to move forward into the design stage of project production. The approved
scoping document provides specific guidance for the design of a project.

As the IPP/FDR is a combined scoping and design approval document, it will be submitted for
approval when the necessary scoping and design elements have been adequately developed
and documented to achieve scope closure and design approval together.

The scoping document is submitted for approval, usually to the Regional Director (or a
designee).    Scope Modification during Subsequent Project Production Stage

When it is apparent a change in an approved project scope is necessary as a result of additional
analysis during the design stage, involved and affected parties (e.g., project team and other
stakeholders) need to address and reach consensus on proposed changes. Chapter 2, Section
2.2.10, Subsequent Project Scope Changes, provides examples of conditions which may
necessitate revision of an approved project scope.

When scope modification is necessary, a determination of the need for additional analysis and
other project development work is required. If additional analysis and other tasks are required,
the project manager and project developer will assign responsibility for completing the work. If
scope modification results in a change in a project=s complexity from simple to moderate a
revised scoping/design approval document is required. This situation would require, for
example, that a Design Report replace the IPP/FDR. In a situation where a wide range of
scoping related issues or significant stakeholder issues may need to be addressed, a PSR
should be prepared to ensure the necessary analysis and stakeholder input and review is

                                                                                   December 2004
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completed for informed decision making.

For projects using consultant services, impacts on the consultant=s work, if any, should be
considered and appropriate steps taken to ensure the necessary communication and
coordination occurs with the consultant.

Revisions that require changes in the scope, scale, or cost of a project need to be approved by
the RPPM from a system and program perspective, and other regional managers as
appropriate. When a significance change in scope, scale or cost occurs it may be necessary to
seek the Regional Director=s (or designee=s) approval. Actions to address scope modification
and approval should be consistent with regional procedures which have been developed to
handle such needs.

December 2004

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Description: Scoping Stages of Project Management document sample