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 (150.10) - Develop Concept Alternatives (WBS 150.10.15)

P40. Request Preliminary Materials Report

Previous projects may provide information that is useful in the development of the proposed project, including: slope ratios, erosion and foundation problems, availability of structural section materials, etc. This information may affect studies and costs of project alternatives.

Materials Reports are required for:

  • Structural Section Recommendations (such as construction of new roadways, lane additions, roadway or shoulder widening, pavement rehabilitation or repair of failed areas)
  • Culvert material recommendations.

A Preliminary Materials Report provides information used as the basis for preparing project pavement material quantity and cost estimates. This report is requested from the District Materials Engineer who coordinates the requests for field test to the Office of Materials Engineering and Testing Services (DES-METS)..

The project’s Traffic Index and Design Designation must accompany the request for structural section recommendations; therefore the tasks of obtaining a Traffic Index and the Design Designation should occur prior to a request for a Materials Report.. The Design Engineer’s request must be clear on the desired locations within the project where structure section and culvert pipe recommendations are needed, and must also provide the appropriate traffic data where locations within the project have differing Traffic Index numbers. A project strip map and proposed typical cross sections are also helpful.

Performing many tests on multiple alternatives is not desirable or cost effective. Hence, the project engineer may estimate roadway construction costs using a Preliminary Materials Report. based on assumed R-Values or prior R-Value tests data taken in the project’s vicinity. Any PID containing cost estimates based on a Preliminary Materials Report structural section recommendation should be clearly noted within the PID and Risk Management Plan. The project engineer should state that the final Materials Report and Structural Section Recommendations are required during the next phase (PA&ED or PS&E phase) of the project.

When the PID delivery schedule, resources, and the number of project alternatives permit, the project engineer should request and obtain a final Materials Report.

Time Constraint:

Obtaining a Preliminary Materials Report may take 4 to 6 months for large projects due to coordination of multiple technical experts and testing by Engineering Services staff. The project engineer should consult with the District Materials Engineer for an anticipated wait time.


Manual of California Test Methods, #130

HDM, (Chapter 100 topic 114, “Materials Report”);

PDPM, (Chapter 3 Section 6, “Materials”)

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This page last updated October 20, 2010