Local Agency Program (LAP)

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MDOT Construction Oversight of Local Agency Program (LAP) Projects

Program Overview

The Michigan Department of Transportation and local public agencies have a mutual goal of providing a quality and cost-effective transportation system while ensuring federal and state funding participation. This is accomplished through MDOT’s Local Agency Program.

Per Title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations, 23 CFR 635.105, MDOT is responsible for the construction of all FHWA Federal-aid projects in the state and is not relieved of such responsibility by authorizing performance of the work by a local agency.

While the CFR does not relieve MDOT of overall project responsibility, it does permit MDOT to allow local agencies to perform construction engineering services for their LAP projects, provided:

  1. The local agency is adequately staffed and suitably equipped to undertake and satisfactorily complete the work.
  2. The local agency assigns a responsible charge to the project. The responsible charge must be a full-time employee of the local agency.
  3. MDOT provides a full-time employed State engineer to be in responsible charge of the project.

In addition to the CFR, there is a Stewardship and Oversight (S&O) Agreement detailing the arrangement between FHWA’s Michigan Division and MDOT regarding agency roles and responsibilities with respect to federal-aid projects approvals, related duties, and oversight activities. The CFR and S&O are the basis of MDOT’s Local Agency Program oversight activities.

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Engineer: The local agency’s Engineer of Record for the project. This person must be licensed in the State of Michigan to perform professional engineering services.

Local Agency Program (LAP): The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) program for stewardship and oversight of federal and state aid with local public agencies.

LAP Staff Engineer: The MDOT staff member in the Bureau of Development’s Local Agency Program Development Section, responsible for assisting a local public agency applicant move their project from application submission through the bid letting process.

Local Public Agency (LPA): The Michigan Public Act 51 city, village, or county road commission/department who applied, thru MDOT, for funds to perform a project under MDOT’s Local Agency Program. They may also be referred to as ‘local agency.’

Responsible Charge:

Local Public Agency Responsible Charge (LRC): The LRC must be a full-time employee of the local agency however they do not have to be an engineer, and do not have to be dedicated full time to the project. They are the official local agency contact and are responsible to represent the local agency interests during the project.
MDOT LAP Responsible Charge (MRC): The MDOT licensed professional engineer in responsible charge to oversee the LAP project. The MRC may designate other MDOT staff or a consultant to carry out the oversight duties of the MRC, however by doing so, the MRC is not relieved of being the responsible charge as required by the CFR. The MRC may only delegate project signatory responsibilities to MDOT staff of an equivalent level or higher.
Designated Representative (DR): The designee of the MRC for the purposes of project oversight of LAP projects. The DR is responsible for conferring with the MRC regarding project progress and/or challenges relating to construction engineering, contract administration, and/or program compliance, so the MRC maintains overall project oversight as required by the CFR.

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Construction Engineering Requirements

The local agency is required to perform construction engineering on all federal/state aid LAP projects. Local agencies may perform services themselves or employ the services of a consultant. In either case, the local agency is responsible for assigning an LRC to the project.

The LRC is responsible for the following project activities:

  • Supervises all project administration activities
  • Coordinates with MDOT
  • Maintains familiarity with day-to-day project operations
  • Approves contract modifications and other contract documentation
  • Performs field reviews
  • Reviews project financials
  • Ensures compliance with all federal/state aid contract requirements

If the LRC changes during the project, the local agency must immediately notify the DR in writing of the change.

Construction engineering services include construction inspection, construction testing, material testing, fabrication inspection, material quality assurance, and project documentation per MDOT standard specification requirements, including requirements in publications added by reference to the specifications. Engineering, surveying, and architectural professionals performing professional services on the project must maintain a current/non-expired state license. An MDOT certified office technician, with a current/non-expired certificate is required on projects let via MDOT. Certified Construction Technicians with current/non-expired certificates are required for all LAP projects, regardless of letting entity. The type of technicians required depends on project scope, and may include many or all of the following:

  • Michigan Concrete Certifications (ACI Level 1, and Level 2)
  • MDOT Density Technology Certification
  • MDOT Bituminous Paving Certification (Level 1)
  • MDOT Bituminous Paving Operations
  • MDOT Bituminous Laboratory Technician (Level 1)
  • MDOT Bituminous QC/QA Testing Certification
  • Michigan Certified Aggregate Technician (Level 1, Level 2)
  • SESC (Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control)
  • Storm Water Operator (SWO) requirement for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
  • Independent Assurance Testing (IAT) – for projects on National Highway System (NHS)
    • Hot Mix Asphalt
    • Concrete
    • Aggregate
    • Aggregate Density

Laboratories performing quality assurance testing are required to meet qualifications outlined in the MDOT Material Quality Assurance Program Manual, which include following the minimum requirements of the AASHTO R-18 document.

Local agencies may elect to hire consultants to perform all or part of the required construction engineering services on their behalf. Said consultants do not have to be MDOT pre-qualified, unless the project work involves MDOT trunkline in which case utilization of an MDOT pre-qualified consultant in the appropriate category is required. If the LPA elects to hire a consultant that is not MDOT prequalified, they are not excused from providing project personnel and resources per standard specification requirements, whom maintain current/non-expired licenses and/or certifications.

The LRC is responsible for assuring their consultant follow guidance and requirements on the LPA’s behalf.

If federal/state funds will be utilized to fund consultant construction engineering services, the Consultant Selection Requirement Process must be used, which includes utilization of a third-party agreement. No construction engineering work will be eligible for federal/state fund reimbursement if performed prior to federal obligation of funds and MDOT authorization.

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MDOT’s Construction Oversight Role

This guidance will state exclusive MRC responsibilities, otherwise all oversight responsibilities may be performed by the DR. MDOT’s oversight role is to assist the LPA in maintaining program compliance, serving as an information resource, and assisting the local agency in preserving aid. MDOT LAP Staff Engineers assist locals with moving a project through the development and MDOT letting process. After project award, MDOT’s oversight is transferred to an MDOT TSC so the Designated Representative can assist the local in maintaining program compliance during project delivery and construction close-out. Local agencies are responsible for performing their own design and construction engineering. Detailed information on the LAP development process can be found at www.Michigan.gov/mdotlap. In rare situations, such as emergency relief projects, LAP may allow the local agency to locally let their project.

MDOT’s construction oversight role includes assigning a MRC to every LAP project. The DR is the LPA’s resource for guidance or to assist the local agency in understanding program compliance requirements.

While the grade inspection meeting happens before the project is transferred to the MRC for construction oversight, the LPA must invite the DR to the grade inspection meeting. DR’s can provide insightful review comments regarding the proposed maintenance of traffic, progress clause, and overall project constructability.

The LPA must invite the DR to project pre-construction meetings. If the DR is not able to attend the pre-construction meeting, the LPA must provide an opportunity for the DR to attend a project or progress meeting during construction of the project. The LPA is also responsible for scheduling a final inspection for the DR to attend, so Final Inspection/Acceptance (MDOT Form 1120) can be completed.

While the DR can visit any LAP project site at any time, the DR will conduct at least one field inspection on all large or complex projects. The field inspection is to be a general inspection of the project, including a review of the construction operations, traffic control, and progress of the project. The DR will notify the LPA of the site visit and complete the Local Agency Project Field Review (MDOT Form 1964) to share with the local agency and place in the project files. If the LPA has an inspector onsite, the DR site visit should be documented on the Inspector Daily Report (IDR).

MDOT’s construction oversight role involves assisting the local agency in understanding and achieving program compliance by serving as an information resource during project delivery. Oversight will include reviews of contract modification eligibility and participation, review of extension of time requests, review of general project administration and documentation processes, and final project inspection to verify substantial compliance with plans and specifications.

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Construction Manual index/links for ‘LAP Project Considerations’

While documentation requirements are the same for LAP and MDOT trunkline projects, project administration responsibilities, and document approval routing may vary. The following links provide locations within the MDOT Construction Manual where LAP project specific guidance is located under the heading “LAP Project Considerations.”

Plan Review/Grade-Inspection
Progress Clause
Pre-construction meeting
Interim File Review (Project Documentation)
Contract Modifications
Force Account
Contractor Claims
Project Limits
Final Project Reviews
Project Closeout Escalation of Accountability
Post-Construction Review
Records Retention
Delays due to Utility Company
Railroad Project Authorization
Certification Programs
MDOT Internal Guidance
Removal of Underground Storage Tanks
Archeological and Historical Findings

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Local Agency Program Assistance/Resources

Resource Area Link or E-mail
MDOT Planning MDOT Transportation Planning
MDOT Local Agency Program Section (Development/Bidding) www.Michigan.gov/mdotlap
Instructions for Local Agencies for Preparing Federal Aid Projects to Bid Through MDOT, May 2007
MDOT Construction Field Services (Statewide LAP Construction Guidance www.Michigan.gov/mdotlocalconstruction
517-230-8500 (CFS Local Agency Construction Engineer)
MDOT LAP Responsible Charge/Designated Representatives Contacts by County
MDOT Geotechnical Unit of Bureau of Bridges & Structures (Pile Driving Charts) Foundation Analysis Engineer - 517-636-5714
Geotechnical Staff Engineer - 517-388-6369
MDOT Office of Economic Development (OED) OED Contacts
MDOT Technical Training MDOT-TechTraining@Michigan.gov
MDOT Finance (invoice & billing questions) MDOT-LocalBills@Michigan.gov
MDOT Agreements MDOT-eAgreements@Michigan.gov
FieldManager / AASHTOWare MDOT-ConstructionSoftware@michigan.gov
LCPTracker MDOT-LCPTracker@Michigan.gov
Subcontracts MDOT-ConstructionSubcontracts@Michigan.gov
Pay Estimate Submittal MDOT-Estimates@Michigan.gov
Digital Signature Information Digital Signatures with MDOT
ProjectWise MDOT-ProjectWiseLocalAgency@Michigan.gov
Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE) Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy
* Wetlands
* ACT 399 Watermain Permits

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Local Agency Cost Reimbursement for Liquidated Damages

The purpose of this section is to describe the process a local agency may use to request cost reimbursement for liquidated damages (LDs) assessed to the contractor.

If LDs are assessed on a project for items covered under Section 108.10.C of the Standard Specifications for Construction and the local agency is not going to pursue reimbursement for the items, nothing further needs to be done; process the contract modification as usual.

If the local agency is going to pursue reimbursement for the items, complete the following steps after the contractor signs the contract modification, or in the case that they refuse to sign, once the required wait period is over:

1. The LRC will prepare a letter to MDOT’s Local Agency Programs office indicating they are requesting compensation for items covered under Section 108.11.C of the Standard Specifications for Construction. The local agency will attach the letter to the contract modification for LDs and submit it to the MRC for approval. Once approved, the DR will forward a copy of the contract modification and letter to the Local Agency Programs office. Local Agency Programs staff will authorize local agency construction engineering on the project up to the amount of the contract modification for LDs, and forward the contract modification and letter to the Financial Operations Division.

2. Document the costs for which the local agency is requesting reimbursement on Form 802P, Local Agency Request for Reimbursement. The maximum amount the local agency can be reimbursed will be what is assessed in LDs to the contractor on the project. The LRC will also certify the following on Form 802P or an attached letter:

  • The charges included are justified.
  • The charges occurred during the period of the LDs, or directly related as a result of the LDs.
  • The LDs were assessed to the contractor.

Documentation shall be attached to the form. A request for reimbursement must be received by the Financial Operations Division’s Project Accounting Section within 90 days of the date of the most recent local agency authorization for construction engineering, or 90 days from the approved contract modification for LDs.

3. The Project Accounting Section staff will review and record the costs incurred by the local agency. At the time of the final project accounting, the local agency will be reimbursed the lesser of:

a. total local costs incurred, or
b. total LDs assessed to the contractor.

Prior to completing this task, the Project Accounting Section staff will check with the DR to be sure there are no outstanding claims or other project items that may change the LDs assessed on the project. Local reimbursement is netted against any outstanding local share of total project costs. Requests to process reimbursement prior to final accounting will be done on a hardship basis only.

4. If the amount of LDs is more than the amount for which the local agency is seeking reimbursement, a proportional share of the excess will be deducted from the federally participating contract construction costs before determining the final federal or state share. This step will be completed by the Project Accounting Section staff.

Delivery/project engineers are requested to share this instructional article with local government and consultant engineers within their jurisdiction.

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MDOT Internal LAP Guidance

Project Administration: MDOT Oversight Folder

Documentation of MDOT’s LAP project oversight activities will be kept in the “MDOT Oversight” folder located within the ProjectWise LAP Construction template.

PW LAP Construction Template image1.jpg

This folder is not intended for project documentation generated by the Local Agency as part of their construction engineering activities, which utilizes the E-Construction Section for guidance in file naming and file placement.

The MDOT Oversight folder is for the DR to document oversight activities and place any oversight documentation they generate, such as significant e-mails, phone conversation records, project photos, grade-inspection/plan review notes or sign-in sheet, or any of the following forms, if the DR completed them as part of their oversight duties.

MDOT will have read and write access to this folder. Local agencies and FHWA will have read only access. Contractors will not have access. The naming convention will be the same as for other MDOT files as defined in the E-Construction Section of this construction manual.

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Charging Time to Local Agency Program Projects

MDOT staff performing oversight services on LAP projects must charge their time and associated costs (such as travel) to the following coding unless construction engineering is a state or federally participating item. If construction engineering is participating, charge time and associated costs to the project specific job numbers.

Plan Development Phase Services

Use this coding for time spent on LAP development activities (i.e., plan review and pre-grade inspection/grade inspection meetings) when the local agency job number is not a state or federally participating item.

Unit: Employee Standard Unit
Activity: 3747 (Local Agency Programs)
Program: LAD900
Phase: LAP
Location: X000

Construction Phase Services

Use this coding for time spent on oversight of LAP construction activities (i.e., preconstruction meetings, project meetings, materials testing, field/acceptance reviews, interim/final project reviews) when the local agency job number is not a state or federally participating item.

Unit: Employee Standard Unit
Activity: 3747 (Local Agency Programs)
Program: LAC901
Phase: LAP
Location: X000

Verifying Participating/Non-Participating Costs

Use the following resources to verify a project has construction engineering as a state or federally participating item:

  • The MDOT Phase Initiator (PI) system – If there is a line under the Phase Line Item labeled “Local Construction Engineering”, the construction engineering is participating.
  • Contact the LAP Staff Engineer identified on the Grade Inspection Notice.

Other Local Agency Partnerships

MDOT and local agencies have a strong relationship and responsibility to provide a dependable, safe, and maintained transportation network to the traveling public. MDOT’s Bureau of Development Local Agency Program Section assists local agencies with their state and federal aid. While this Construction Oversight of Local Agency Program (LAP) Projects section is specific to interactions of Local Agency Program, it must be acknowledged local agencies are MDOT’s transportation partners preserving and maintaining a functioning transportation network.

In addition to the Local Agency Program, MDOT has strong partnerships and commitments to working with local agencies for the good of the traveling public and transportation network. The following matrix is an overview of MDOT’s relationship with Local Agencies, in addition to the Department's Local Agency Program (LAP):

Partner Relationship MDOT Area of Responsibility Brief Description
Local Agency Program (LAP) Bureau of Development Disbursement of state and federal aid, including project bidding
Local Agency Program (LAP) Construction Oversight TSC/Region & Bureau of Field Services Construction oversight of LAP projects
National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS) Compliance Bureau of Bridges & Structures Provides guidance and oversight to ensure federal and state bridge inspection requirements are met
Maintenance Contracts Transportation Systems Management & Operations (TSMO)
Region Office
Operations functions such as snow plowing/maintenance
Direct Grant Projects** MDOT - Office of Economic Development State Transportation Economic Development funds grants
Act 51 Payments Bureau of Finance and Administration Act 51 payments to locals, per legislative formula
Operations & Maintenance Agreement
(when local applies for permit work within MDOT ROW)
Utility Coordination, Permits & Agreement Section Federal and state aid projects, permits, grants
Emergency Projects/Relief Funding Bureau of Field Services - Safety & Security Administration FHWA Program to provide Emergency Relief funds for repair or reconstruction of federal-aid roadways suffering serious damage as a results of a natural disaster over a wide area or catastrophic failure from an external cause

**Project Administration: Economic Development Direct Grant Projects

These procedures are designed specifically for those “direct grant” projects let by the local agency with state funding participation only. All economic development projects that are not administered as direct grants will be administered as MDOT-let LAP projects.

Direct Grant Process - The Office of Economic Development (OED) administers state transportation economic development fund grants. The OED provides the grant directly to the local agency to be let and awarded under the local requirements of Public Act 51 of 1951.

Project Administration – MRC/DR oversight is not required for direct grant projects. The OED will conduct pre- and post-project site visits, approve scope modifications, and close out the project upon completion.

The OED will inform the region or TSC early during project development of Transportation Economic Development Fund projects in which they may be interested. The OED will work cooperatively to ensure potential trunkline-related issues are addressed. On occasion, local recipients of direct grants perform work on a state trunkline under MDOT permit. When this occurs, the permitting office will ensure adherence to MDOT procedures. There will be no change to the direct grant process. Question or concerns regarding direct grant projects should be directed to the OED.  

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