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Navigating the LPA/DOT Process

Written by: Michelle Johnson, Director

It is an important determination for a community or agency to decide to locally administer a transportation project funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) or have their state Department of Transportation (i.e. ODOT, PennDOT, MDOT, etc.) lead the project. When a project sponsor decides to locally administer a transportation federal-aid design and/or construction project, they enter into a contractual agreement with their state’s DOT and contractually become a Local Public Agency, which is commonly referred to as an “LPA.”

trail design
City of Shaker Heights Lake to Lakes Trail

There are many benefits for deciding to locally administer a federal aid project. Some of these benefits include:

  • Leading the design process
  • Overseeing the consultant selection process, while following the DOT’s consultant selection criteria
  • Increased decision making regarding materials, aesthetics and enhancement features

intersection design City of Canal Fulton Cherry Locust Street Intersection Improvements

While there are many project sponsor benefits to LPA projects, leading an LPA project also requires a project manager or administrator that is dedicated to the project, which can be very time consuming depending on the complexity and timeline of the project itself. It is important to understand that LPA projects require the same due diligence (i.e. schedule, design criteria, environmental clearances, submittal requirements, etc.) as a DOT led project.

Mill Creek Metro Parks Mill Creek Bikeway

At Environmental Design Group, we have extensive experience in helping our clients navigate the LPA and DOT process. Did you know that over the last five years, we have secured over $20 million in federal aid funds for our LPA clients? Over the past six years, we have successfully completed 15 LPA design projects and 5 LPA planning projects. These projects range from engineering and designing roadway improvements, trails, roundabouts, active and multi-modal transportation improvements, to neighborhood, community and regionally-scaled planning studies.

City of Chardon Maple Highlands Trail Phase I

Does your existing staff have the time and resources to oversee or implement an LPA/DOT project? If not, Environmental Design Group can act as an extension of your existing team. If you have questions, or want to learn more, contact Michelle Johnson for more information.


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