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Construction Project Management Handbook

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The purpose of this Handbook is to provide guidelines for use by public transit agencies (Agencies) undertaking substantial construction projects, either for the first time or with little prior experience with construction project management.

It provides a comprehensive introduction to construction project management, including the applicability of the principles of project management and of all phases of project development—from project initiation through planning, environmental clearance, real estate acquisition, design, construction, commissioning, and closeout.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) maintains oversight of grant projects and assigns grant administration and management responsibility to the transit Agencies, who then are responsible for planning, managing, and implementing the federally-funded project. Agency project managers need handy tools for project management to make certain that projects are effectively contracted for, completed on time and within budget, and comply with all project specifications.

This Handbook is intended to assist the Agency’s responsible project manager or lead person to undertake multi-million-dollar construction projects and manage the complexities of specifying, acquiring, and managing contracts for such projects through the utilization of in-house and consultant resources.

This Handbook complements the many circulars and publications available on the FTA Web site and through the National Transit Institute, in particular: FTA Lessons-Learned documents, Construction Project Management Guidelines, Best Practices Procurement Manual, Quality Assurance and Quality Control Guidelines, and the Manual for the National Transit Institute course entitled “Management of Transit Construction Projects.” This Handbook is intended to be used as initial general guidance by transit Agencies and the FTA regional offices who may be contacted for help.

This Handbook provides guidance similar to that in earlier documents but tailored more to Agencies that are constructing maintenance and operational facilities, intermodal terminals, park-and-ride stations, and other similar supporting transit facilities. Throughout the sections, project management concepts are illustrated with the use of a hypothetical example, a typical project to plan, design, and build a new bus maintenance facility.

How to Use the Handbook

This introductory section defines a project and states the principles of project management.

  • Section 2 discusses the project development process to provide a better understanding of how projects are created.
  • Sections 3–8 cover the phases of the project in sequence from project initiation, through planning, environmental clearance, real estate acquisition, design, construction, commissioning, and closeout.
  • Section 9 addresses project-wide functions that take place throughout the project life cycle.

Each section begins by describing the purpose of the section and includes a checklist of important things to do. The subsections within a section include key points of important things to know about project management that is discussed in more detail in the text and supported by pictures, graphics, tables, and charts.


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