California Department of Transportation

Project Development Workflow Tasks (PDWT)

Part 3 - Identify Project Need and Project Initiation Document

II. Project Initiation Document

B. Develop Initial Alternatives (WBS 150.10) - Develop Concept Alternatives (WBS 150.10.15)

P33. Review for Application of Standards

At the start of the PID phase, the project engineer must conduct a review of the available project records including As-Built plans, right of way record maps, FEMA/FIRM maps, past project records, encroachment permit records, etc. Then the project engineer must make an on-site field review noting features such as the signed speed limit, sight distances, pavement striping, etc. These reviews will enable to project engineer to determine the design standards of the current roadway. Since design standards change over time, there may be existing conditions within the project limits that do not meet current design standards. The project engineer must review the existing roadway and roadside to find all conditions that do not meet current standards. Within the PID, all conditions that do not meet current standards must be documented as either proposed to be fixed, or proposed to remain as-is. Chapter 21 of the PDPM covers the documentation of non-standard design conditions. The form “Fact Sheet for Exception to Design Standard” (found in the PDPM Appendix BB) is used to document and justify allowing non-standard conditions to remain. The subject of Design Standards is discussed in Highway Design Manual Chapter 80, Application of Design Standards. Tables 82.1A and 82.1B list Mandatory and Advisory design standards. The Division of Design also issues policies and Design Information Bulletions that may address design standards. These memos are found on the Project Delivery Memo website.

Design Information Bulletin (DIB) 78 consists of a checklist containing some of the mandatory, advisory and permissive standards from the Highway Design Manual. The purpose of this DIB is to aid designers in the planning, design, and review of geometric plans for highway improvement projects. The checklist does not contain all of the standards and is not intended to be a substitute for the Highway Design Manual.

Design Information Bulleting (DIB) 79-02 provides guidelines and standards to assist in identifying appropriate geometric and safety upgrades on Resurfacing, Restoration, and Rehabilitation (RRR) projects. It also conslidates RRR design and traffic operations information.

Not fixing a non-standard condition or proposing the use of non-standard design feature requires justification and documentation, review by the District Design Reviewer and approval by the District Design Coordinator. Where approval of the non-standard features affects the cost, scope or schedule of the project, the HQ Reviewer should be contacted at the earliest possibility.

Before performing any preliminary design work or cost estimating, the project engineer must determine what design standards shall be applied to the proposed project alternatives. Each alternative may use different standards, so it is important to decide and document the design standards that apply to each alternative. Type of highway facility (e.g.: limited access freeway or expressway, conventional highway, arterial, urban or rural condition), design speed, and roadway capacity are three of the most important up-front design decisions that will govern the application of other standards. Selection of design standards is covered in the HDM Chapter 100, Basic Design Policies. Failure to select proper basic design standards may lead to the incorrect use of other design standards later.


Project Delivery Memorandums Website

Design Information Bulletin #78, “Design Checklist”

Design Information Bulletin #79-02 "RRR and Safety Design Criteria"

HDM, (Chapter 100, “Basic Design Policies”)

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This page last updated July 20, 2010