Public Works

Chapter 1 - Introduction

This manual provides a defined process to properly plan, develop, and manage Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) for the City of Cedar Rapids. This manual is applicable to any CIP project that is funded in whole or in part with local funds, but provides the guidance to manage City projects both inside and outside the public right-of-way. If the project includes State or Federal funding, additional guidance will likely be needed beyond what is outlined in this manual.

This manual exists to provide information and instructions to Project Managers (PMs) in order to help them successfully plan, develop, and manage CIP projects. Both City PMs and Consultant PMs will use this manual. For City PMs who frequently follow the process, the manual serves as a reference tool to quickly locate more detailed information on a specific topic. For Consultant PMs that may be unfamiliar with the City’s process, the manual serves as an overview and introduction to the process.

The key to a successful project is its Project Manager (PM). The PM is the City staff member responsible for leading, staffing, and managing all aspects of the project.

The PM is supported by a Project Team comprised of individuals from the City and, at times, from a Consultant. Each team member is responsible to deliver a portion of the project. However, the PM’s responsibility is to deliver the entire project from getting started through project closeout.

The City’s PM is the face of the City for the projects they manage. The manner in which the PMs conduct themselves is a major determinant to how the public and other parties associated with any project come to view the agency and its performance. The PM’s most important responsibility is successful delivery of the project to the ultimate client – the citizens of Cedar Rapids.

The intent of the manual is not to include all the details of the City’s project development and management process. Instead, the manual provides a central location from which all of the information relevant to development and management of CIP projects is located. In many cases, the manual references Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that provide detailed instructions concerning specific parts of the process. To view or print a referenced SOP, simply click on the hyperlink provided in the text.

The process defined in this manual is a combination of the City of Cedar Rapids Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) Development and Management Handbook, last updated in January 2012, and The Ultimate Public Works Project Management Manual, developed by PSMJ Resources, Inc., copyrighted in 2015.

The manual includes eight major chapters, which should generally be completed in the order listed. The Right of Way and Assessments chapters may not apply to every project and are completed concurrently with design. Each chapter is necessary in order to properly budget, schedule, design and construct CIP Projects.

The Chapters are:

The Getting Started chapter includes establishing a project goal, justification for the project, a review of the use of City resources needed for this project, analysis of risks and evaluation of all possible project roadblocks. An initial project concept, scope, schedule, and budget will be developed at this time. It is at this stage when it is determined whether to do the design in-house or utilize a Consultant.

The intent of the Design phase is to develop plans with information sufficient to provide construction contract documents that meet the project goal. This section follows the design progress from functional design through final bid documents.

The Right of Way chapter spells out the process for preparing acquisition documents and submitting them to the City’s right-of-way division to acquire any necessary property and/or easement rights for the project.

With some CIP projects, a portion of the project may be assessed to the adjacent property owners. The Special Assessments chapter lays out the timeline for the assessment process and the documents what needs to be prepared.

The Bid Phase begins with filing plans with the City Council and goes through Recommendation of Award.

The Construction chapter spells out the process from the Notice of Award through the completion of construction.

Project Closeout is the final phase in the project management process. This phase includes documents for closeout of Contractor and Consultant contracts. It also covers other documentation needed such as permit closure, warranty period, and file retention.

(Updated February 2021)

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