California Department of Transportation

Project Development Workflow Tasks (PDWT)

Part 3 - Identify Project Need and Project Initiation Document

II. Project Initiation Document

A. Define Transportation Need and Assess Site (150.05) - Obtain and Review Existing Reports, Studies and Mapping (150.05.05)

P08. Establish Project Files

Careful attention must be paid to maintaining both hard copy files and electronic files in an organized fashion. Projects are often transferred or, audited. Using the Uniform File System (UFS) reduces the effort in transferring the information. Retrieval of completed project files sometimes becomes necessary for legal defense purposes, and it is important to find project information easily.

Failure to maintain project files in an organized fashion is likely to result in lost data, wasted time and wasted State resources.

Hard Copies

Chapter 7 of the PDPM provides an overview, rationale, a directory, and instructions for the project development records that are filed in the Caltrans Uniform File System. Electronic folders and documents should be organized in the same manner.

Engineers often use pre-made labeled binder dividers that have the UFS numbering system on the tabs. Design Offices may obtain printed dividers by placing a reprographics order if an original master is provided with the request. If pre-printed binder dividers are not available, commonly available binder dividers can be labeled using a label maker. For statewide consistency, engineers shall use the Uniform File System, but may add sub-sections for better organization of the project files.

Electronic Files

The project engineer should also request the creation of an electronic Project Directory where electronic project files may be stored. The District Information Technology (IT) or CADD services units are responsible for establishing new Project Directories. Electronic files should not be stored on PC hard drives (“local” drives) or on any system server that is not regularly backed up. Although the Department has not adopted a uniform file system for electronic files, the project engineer should create electronic folders in a fashion that parallels the Uniform File System.

The project engineer must use the naming convention as described in the CADD Users Manual Section 2.2 “Naming Files” for CADD files and the Project Plans Manual Section 2 “Project Plans”. For other files, the project engineer should use naming conventions that tie it to the specific project and identify the subject of the file.

Highway projects that are developed by local agencies or by consultants should also utilize the department’s Uniform File System.


PDPM, (Chapter 7, “Uniform File System”)

CADD Users Manual, (Section 2.2 “Naming Files")

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This page last updated July 20, 2010