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LAG Manual Advisory Committee

Chair: Aaron Butters, PE, H&LP Engineering Services Manager, WSDOT Headquarters H&LP

Cities:

  • Jim Young, PE, Certification Acceptance (CA) Coordinator, Seattle Dept. of Transportation
  • Russ Brown, PE, Development Engineer, City of Moses Lake

Counties:

Other Participants:

Statement of Purpose

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Highways & Local Programs sponsored Local Agency Guidelines (LAG) Committee exists to comply with requirements imposed by federal law in various titles covering programs administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The Committee, with members from Washington Cities and Counties, WSDOT, Consulting Engineers Council of Washington (CECW), and FHWA work together to provide recommendations to the WSDOT Director of Highways & Local Programs. The Director in turn obtains consent of the FHWA and adopts the manual.

The Operations Engineer of the Headquarters Local Programs office chairs the Committee. The Committee oversees development, review, and updates, and recommends adoption of the LAG manual. The LAG manual outlines the requirements for management and oversight of projects accomplished by local agencies and other non-WSDOT recipients of federal transportation funds. Changes may be the result of new or revised requirements imposed by various federal laws or proposed changes from the managers and users of the manual.

In developing these guidelines, the committee recognizes that cities and counties must have the flexibility to carry out the general duty to provide streets, roads, and highways for the diverse and changing needs of the traveling public. The philosophy is to provide adequate guidance to assure that all potential federal requirements on a project are appropriately addressed, that the agency has at their disposal the information to be successful, and the Local Programs Headquarters and Region offices can meet their oversight requirements, while leaving as much responsibility with the agency as feasible.

The LAG manual, except for Chapter 42, Design Standards, applies only for federally funded projects. (Chapter 42 is incorporated into the LAG manual as both a part of the federal requirements, and with a standalone segment that applies to all projects regardless of funding.) The manual provides a complete methodology for each step of project development and design, right-of-way or property acquisition, construction and project management. Checklists are included that are designed to assure that the basic minimum federal requirements are addressed. As a part of the process, the manual also includes sections on the Certification Acceptance (CA) process that permits an agency with the prerequisite staff and skills to take on the project design and management processes.

Finally, the manual cannot provide direction for all situations. Project managers are expected bring to each project the best skills from the disciplines appropriate to the project, and will assure that any areas that are unclear are referred back to Local Programs for guidance.