boat passing under interstate bridge

Project Development Process

Understanding the Project Development Process

SCDOT will follow the standard development process for the I-526 Lowcountry Corridor project that is used for developing large-scale roadway projects. This process begins with early efforts to identify the purpose and need of a project, followed by the collection of data used to understand that need, the potential impacts and benefits of the project.

As the project understanding increases, various conceptual alternatives are developed and presented to the public for their input. Based on the public feedback received, and further analysis of the data, a preferred alternative is identified. This preferred alternative is again presented to the public and further refined by public input and data analysis.

The final analysis includes the identification of strategies and mitigation efforts to minimize the project’s potential impact to the community and natural environment. This is accomplished through the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) review process. Once the NEPA documentation and necessary permits are obtained, the project enters the final steps prior to the beginning of construction. These include, the identification, negotiation and purchasing of necessary right of way. If the project is to be delivered as a Design Build project, design and construction may begin and overlap the right-of-way phase. On traditional Design Bid Build projects, construction will not begin until right of way and final design is complete.

Overview: Environmental Study Process for SCDOT Projects

Right-of-way (ROW)


  • Design-bid-build: The traditional project delivery method that SCDOT has historically utilized to deliver transportation projects. SCDOT performs design and develops all the construction plans and documents and therefore, serves as the engineer-of-record and bears the majority of the design risk. Once design has been completed, the project is let for construction. A single contract is awarded to provide construction services. Design-bid-build projects often utilize unit price contracting methods, but other methods may be used.
  • Design-build: An alternative project delivery method in which a single contract is awarded to provide both design and construction services. In this method of project delivery, contractors and consultant design firms form an integrated team and assume the responsibility for design and construction. Any design errors or omissions discovered during construction and the warranty term are the responsibility of the Design-Build Team to correct, thus transferring any design risk to the Design-Build Team. Design-build projects are typically lump sum contracts.