Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Construction Manager / General Contractor

Process overview

Construction Manager / General Contractor Overview

Construction Manager / General Contractor (CMGC) project delivery is an integrated approach to planning, designing and constructing a project. Owners, designer(s), and contractors work collaboratively to develop the project scope, optimize the design, improve quality, and manage cost.Designer(s), and contractors work collaboratively to develop the project scope, optimizing the design, improve quality, and manage cost.

During the design stage, the CMGC assists the owner with developing the project scope to meet the budget, while optimizing the design to reduce costs and improve quality through innovation.

When the design is nearing completion, the contractor and owner enter into a construction contract. Unlike design-build and design-bid-build contracts, CMGC contracting allows MnDOT and the CMGC to work collaboratively to mitigate project risk before entering into a construction contract.


  • Innovation – Contractor input into the design process
  • Cost Management – Contractors provide real-time cost information
  • Design Savings – Streamline design
  • Design Control – MnDOT retains control of the design, with contractor input
  • Construction Risk – Construction risks mitigated during project development
  • Cost Certainty – Greater cost certainty earlier in the project
  • Time Savings – Able to deliver early work packages similar to design-build


  • Cost Validation – Negotiated versus bid contract  
  • Culture – Relatively new to the transportation industry


Early in the design phase, MnDOT will issue a Request for Proposals to interested CMGC firms. The firms will be selected based primarily on their qualifications, but may include a price component. 

Once selected, MnDOT will enter into a professional / technical services contract with the CMGC to assist with project development. Potential tasks under this contract include conducting constructability reviews, participating in value engineering, risk assessments, providing cost estimates, assisting with third party coordination (utilities, railroad) and working with the designers to optimize the cost and efficiency of the project.

As the design becomes finalized, MnDOT and the CMGC will enter into negotiations to construct the project. An independent cost estimate is completed to assist in validating the CMGC’s price and MnDOT’s engineering estimate. The CMGC construction contract will look very similar to a design-bid-build contract.

MnDOT and the CMGC also have the option to negotiate and construct smaller work packages within the project. For example, the CMGC may see a need to procure items with long lead times in order to optimize the schedule. Or, the CMGC may see a need to relocate utilities, clear and grub, or build cross-overs in advance of the larger project. This contract mechanism shortens the project schedule and/or reduces cost by allowing for the advancement of these project components before the larger project begins.

If MnDOT and the CMGC are unable to reach price agreement, MnDOT reserves the right to competitively bid the project work. The CMGC will be allowed to bid along with other competitors.

MnDOT processes