When a local government official, a staff person, or anyone else looks at the TDOT Local Government Guidelines Manual, or attends one of the training classes it can be pretty confusing. It has a lot of “you are responsible for this” and “you are responsible for that”. Which technically is true. The local government takes on a lot of responsibility when they sign the contract with TDOT to manage a project locally.
However, for most activities your TDOT pre-qualified consultant will actually be doing the work. Now, I do think that in order to provide proper oversight local government officials and their staff do need to have a good idea of the process and how long things take to get completed. But I don’t think that local governments should be intimidated by this.
What has not been exactly clear is who will be doing what activities. The TDOT Local Government Guidelines manual is the authority on how things are done, and I think that the most recent rewrite has made some things clearer. As part of my local programs workshops I give a handout that people can use as a checklist to keep themselves, their consultants, and TDOT accountable. Now there may be some things that I have missed, but as a general guideline you might find the following helpful.
This is what the local government needs to do.
This is what your consultant should be doing.
And what TDOT should be doing.
Again, these checklists are probably not the end all be all, and I suspect that they will get edited and updated. They are something that I find helpful, and think that you might as well.