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)

P26. Conduct Field Review

A pre-meeting prior to going to the project site provides everyone an opportunity for introductions and a review of what is to be accomplished and where everyone should park at the project site.

Attention to safety begins before arriving on the project site. Parking should be done well away from open traffic, off the right of way if possible, and particular caution must be given to pulling off or onto the roadway. Required safety gear (orange or green vest and hardhat) and other appropriate clothing (long pants, hiking shoes or work boots) are mandatory. Project Development staff is not permitted to flag or direct traffic. Walking across open lanes of traffic should be done with great caution and should never interfere with a motorist’s right of way. Measurements taken across lanes of open traffic must be done with an observer who can watch for approaching traffic. Survey crews should do measuring across roadways with high volumes of traffic. Walk facing on-coming traffic at all times and behind guardrail and barriers when possible. Collection of data and review of the project site must always be conducted with safety in mind. No field data is worth risking your life.

Field reviews often identify project features that may otherwise go unnoticed. The field reviewers should focus on factors that may contribute to the transportation problem, but should also be alert to other features that do not meet design standards or features that may affect worker safety, or to additional improvements that could be made without undue cost or impact to the project schedule. For instance, pavement rehabilitation projects are rarely completed without other improvements such as signing improvements; protection of obstructions, and ADA upgrades added to the scope of work. It is crucial to identify all the improvements during the PID phase when they can be included in the project scope and cost estimate.

The following are some possible items to address during the field review:

  • Is the project constructible? What will happen to traffic during construction work? Can the project be constructed within existing right of way?
  • What drainage problems exist, and what improvements can be made?
  • Where does storm water runoff go and what affect will it have?
  • What is the existing slope condition?
  • Are there unprotected obstructions within the clear recover zone?
  • Are there geologic hazards?
  • Are there any survey or Right of Way monuments that would be affected by construction activities?
  • Are there any overhead utilities that would potentially conflict with construction?
  • Are there any buried utility markers, valve or manhole covers that would indicate the presence of buried utilities that could be in conflict with construction work?
  • Does there appear to be any potentially sensitive environmental areas that should be avoided?
  • Does the existing super-elevation cross slope meet standards?
  • Are there any locations where sight distance might be a concern?
  • What is the condition of the pavement and approach slab?
  • Does site have indications of possible hazardous materials?
  • What is the observed condition of the bridge deck and structure?

Upon conclusion of the project site field review, a collection of everyone’s observations and data should occur. This may best be done back at the pre-field review meeting site.

A memo summarizing the physical features observed and required follow-up actions should be prepared.

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This page last updated July 20, 2010