State of California  Business, Transportation and Housing Agency

M e m o r a n d u m



Date : August 9, 2001

File: 604.7
Project Study Reports

MS 28
 Subject: Project Development Procedures Manual Bulletin: Project Initiation Documents
for Project Development Support Components


The attached Project Study Report (Project Development Support) [PSR(PDS)] Outline revises the guidance on the preparation of PSR(PDS). The PSR(PDS) is a project initiation document which is used to program the project development support for State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) candidates. The PSR(PDS) describes the transportation problem, identifies the scope of the viable alternatives, and provides an estimate of the project development support resources required for the specific project. Support resources may be programmed in the following sequential components: (1) Project Approval/Environmental Document (PA/ED); (2) Plans, Specifications and Estimate; (3) Acquisition of Right of Way; and (4) Construction Management and Engineering.


Government Code Sections 14526 (b) and 14527 (f) provide that neither the Interregional Transportation Improvement Program nor the Regional Transportation Improvement Program may include a project without a Project Study Report or project study report equivalent.

SB 45, added by Chapter 622 of the Statutes of 1997, defines the STIP as a resource management tool. SB 45 established the framework for project development support components to be programmed prior to the programming of right-of-way and construction capital components. On October 29, 1998, the Division of Design issued guidance on the preparation of the PSR(PDS) as a streamlined document to program project development support only for the PA/ED phase of the project. Since that time, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) has adopted the CTC Guidelines for Preparation of the Project Study Report (December 8, 1999).

AB 1012, Chapter 783 of the Statutes of 1999, was passed with the intention of expediting the use of the excessively large cash balance in the State Highway Account. One of the objectives of AB 1012 was to facilitate project development work on needed transportation projects to produce a steady flow of construction work by adding an Advanced Project Development Element (APDE) to the fund estimate. Caltrans and the regional transportation agencies may propose projects for the APDE using the PSR(PDS) for programming the following two STIP project development components: (1) PA/ED and (2) plans, specifications, and estimate.

In an effort to minimize design changes that occur after project approval, a memorandum dated, July 28, 2000, required that the PSR (PDS) be used to program all projects requiring an environmental document (e.g., negative declaration or environmental impact report).

Action taken by the Commission in August 2000 allows the application for Traffic Congestion Relief Plan (TCRP) to serve as the project study report. The discussion on this action is documented in the Commission's Annual Report (page 5, volume 1-A). For these projects, STIP programming will be limited to the support phases or components that are approved in the TCRP project application, unless a draft project report and draft environmental document has been prepared or environmental approval has been obtained.

In summary, there are several advantages to programming project components. Initial components of a project can be included in the STIP when the life cycle of a project exceeds the programming cycle. The completion of the engineering and environmental studies prior to programming the capital costs builds concurrence on the scope and increases the accuracy of the capital cost and construction schedule. Incremental programming also allows for managing the cash balance through optimal use of STIP funds.

As the use of the PSR(PDS) has increased as a resource management tool, we have revised the guidance for the PSR(PDS). It is the intent of this guidance to incorporate and share information from lessons learned.


It is recommended that a copy of this Project Development Procedures Manual Bulletin be distributed to all holders of the Project Development Procedures
Manual based on the list maintained by Caltrans Publications Unit. A copy of the memorandum shall be placed on the Caltrans Design Program Website:


This Project Development Procedure Manual Bulletin supersedes the Project Development Procedures Bulletin dated October 29, 1998.

The PSR(PDS) is necessary for all new STIP projects either requiring an environmental document (Negative Declaration or Environmental Impact Report) or applying for programming under the APDE. Projects may use the TCRP application as the project study report. When a project can be accelerated such that construction dollars can be realistically programmed at the Project Initiation Document phase, districts may request an exception to the change control policy, by submitting a "Fact Sheet Exception to the PSR(PDS) Requirement" to the District Design Coordinator. A copy of the Fact Sheet format can be found on the Design Program Website. An approved Fact Sheet Exception does not ensure that there will be STIP funds available for any one or all of the project components.

Note that projects which are funded through the SHOPP Program and do not have any STIP funding will continue to use the standard PSR or the project initiation document that was developed for a specialized program (i.e., PSSR, NBSSR, etc.).

Major revisions to the PSR(PDS) outline are:

· Expanded description of the contents for each section.
· Improved title page which clearly defines the PSR(PDS) as a document for only programming resources and not capital.
· Use of cost ranges for the cost estimate.
· Inclusion of boilerplate language for the cost estimates.
· Standardized tables for resource estimate, cost estimate and schedule.
· Documentation Matrix
· Project Evaluation Checklist

The Performance Measure Evaluation checklist is no longer required as an attachment. The attached Project Evaluation Checklist can be used as a tool to highlight issues and opportunities that may affect the project scope, cost and schedule. It has been developed in cooperation with Programming and can be use as a guide for providing information for status meetings.

Original signed by:
Acting Chief
Division of Design


PDF format
Word format
Project Study Report (Project Development Support Outlines)  
Project Study Report (Project Development Support Outlines) Estimate psr-outlines-estimate.doc
Design Scoping Checklist designck.doc
Traffic Scoping Checklist trafficck.doc
Project Evaluation Checklist project-eval-ck.doc
Boiler Plate Outline boilerplate.doc

NOTE: The Division of Engineering Services (DES) Scoping Checklist is completed by the DES Project Coordination Engineer. Please see your DES Coordinator for assistance with the DES Scoping Checklist.

View/Print a copy of memo with all attachments in pdf format.

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