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Version 1.3

About the Project Development Module

The Project Development module provides criteria to self-evaluate the development of a specific project; it includes project-specific planning, design, and construction.

Project Development is the second step in the lifecycle of a transportation project. This is where specific projects conceptualized and programmed in the System Planning processes are planned, designed and constructed.

The Project Development module includes criteria that span the entire project development process from early planning, alternatives analysis, environmental documentation, preliminary and final design, and construction. Although the criteria span all phases of project development, including construction activities, the criteria are written such that the owner has control over the decisions and actions necessary to meet all of the criteria. For the construction phase, this can typically be done by incorporating elements in the Project plans and specifications. The Project Development criteria are generally organized from early planning, through design, and then construction; however, the last four criteria (all introduced in Version 1.2) are not organized as such.

The PD module contains 33 criteria listed below, organized into 6 fixed and 1 custom scorecard. While these criteria are all focused on project development, FHWA recognizes that not all criteria are applicable to all projects so different combinations of these criteria were used to create scorecards for different types of projects in both rural and urban settings (discussed below).

Project Development Criteria

Planning and Design Criteria

PD-01: Economic Analyses

PD-02: Life-Cycle Cost Analyses

PD-03: Context Sensitive Project Development

PD-04: Highway and Traffic Safety

PD-05: Educational Outreach

PD-06: Tracking Environmental Commitments

PD-07: Habitat Restoration

PD-08: Stormwater

PD-09: Ecological Connectivity

PD-10: Pedestrian Access

PD-11: Bicycle Access

PD-12: Transit & HOV Access

PD-13: Freight Mobility

PD-14: ITS for System Operations

PD-15: Historical, Archaeological, and Cultural Preservation

PD-16: Scenic, Natural, or Recreational Qualities

PD-17: Energy Efficiency

PD-18: Site Vegetation

PD-19: Reduce and Reuse Materials

PD-20: Recycle Materials

PD-21: Earthwork Balance

PD-22: Long-Life Pavement Design

PD-23: Reduced Energy and Emissions in Pavement Materials

PD-24: Permeable Pavement

Construction Criteria

PD-25: Construction Environmental Training

PD-26: Construction Equipment Emission Reduction

PD-27: Construction Noise Mitigation

PD-28: Construction Quality Control Plan

PD-29: Construction Waste Management

Criteria Introduced in Version 1.2 (in addition to PD-24)

PD-30: Low Impact Development

PD-31: Infrastructure Resiliency in Planning and Design

PD-32: Light Pollution

PD-33: Noise Abatement


INVEST has 7 project scorecards available for the evaluation of projects based on both the type of project (paving, basic, extended, or scenic/recreational) and the location (rural or urban). The website is designed to enable selection of the project type and location which pre-identifies applicable criteria for consideration. For projects that don’t fit well into these categories, there is also a custom scorecard option. The following describes each of the scorecards.

  • Paving – for projects that are devoted exclusively to pavement preservation; restoration projects that extend the service life of existing facilities and enhance safety; or pavement restoration projects that restore pavement structure, ride quality, and spot safety. Use this scorecard for paving projects in both rural and urban locations.
  • Basic Rural – for small, rural reconstruction or rural bridge replacement projects that do not expand capacity of the roadway.
  • Basic Urban – for small urban reconstruction or urban bridge replacement projects that do not expand capacity of the roadway.
  •  Extended Rural – for rural projects for a new roadway facility; structure projects where nothing of its type currently exists; and major reconstruction projects that add travel lanes to an existing roadway or bridge.
  • Extended Urban – for urban projects for a new roadway facility; structure projects where nothing of its type currently exists; and major reconstruction projects that add travel lanes to an existing roadway or bridge.
  • Recreational and Scenic Scorecard – for projects on recreational and scenic roads such as those led by Federal Lands.
  • Custom – for projects that do not fit any of the pre-defined scorecard options, the Custom Scorecard will allow the user to develop a unique set of criteria that is most appropriate for the project being evaluated. The Custom Scorecard starts with a core set of 11 that must be included as part of the score. There are not achievement levels associated with the custom scorecard.

Generally, the distinction between rural and urban should be made by an agency’s planning department. If needed, a project could use the 2010 Census Urban and Rural Classification to determine the “urban” classification. Each PD scorecard includes a different combination of the twenty-nine PD criteria based on the type project. The custom scorecard includes nineteen core criteria plus user-selected criteria to make a custom self-evaluation for projects that don’t fit well into the five defined scorecards. The following table shows the criteria included in each of the PD scorecards.


Next > Why and When would I Score a Project?