Processes: How it's done and why it takes so long
Money is not the only cost to consider with regard to transportation improvements. We need to be careful about how much open land we consume, what our transportation habits are doing to the environment, and how our communities are being shaped by the transportation facilities we build. To ensure these issues are properly considered and money is well spent, federal and state government have numerous requirements that must be met and formal processes that must be followed depending on the type and size of a project.
At its most basic level, the project development process boils down to this:
Of course, it’s not really that simple, and every project is unique. The development process varies according to mode, funding source, location, and myriad other variables. For a major federally-funded project, the typical development process looks more like this: