Highway Design Manual (HDM)

The 7th Edition Highway Design Manual (HDM) establishes uniform policies and procedures to carry out the state highway design functions of the California Department of Transportation. Refer to the "Foreword" section of the HDM for more information.

When a chapter is updated, the date on the header of the updated pages is changed and a vertical line added on the outside margin beside the changed text. Implementation of the current version of the HDM shall be applied to on-going projects in accordance with HDM Index 82.5, unless otherwise noted on the Manual Change Transmittal memo or by separate Design Memo.

No matter which of the formats is used to download and/or print, if the HDM Holder chooses to do so, the Holder is responsible for keeping their electronic and/or paper copy up to date and current. For this reason, HDM Holders are encouraged to use the on-line version of the HDM for the most current design guidance.

Design Information Bulletins (DIBs) and Design Memoranda may supersede this manual.

HDM Manual Change Transmittals

Highway Design Manual Change Transmittal memorandums are issued summarizing the significant changes and are posted by change date.

View recent HDM Manual Change Transmittals here.

Propose a Revision to the HDM

Changes can be proposed by submitting a HDM Revision Request Form to  david.cordova@dot.ca.gov

Sign Up For Email Notifications of Changes

Request to be notified automatically of any changes or updates to the Highway Design Manual (or unsubscribe) here.

Table of Contents

Highway Design Manual Chapters Last Updated
Outside Cover (PDF)      7/1/2020
Inside Cover (PDF)      7/1/2020
Foreword (PDF) 7/1/2020
Table of Contents (PDF) 09/29/2023
Chapter 10: Division of Design (PDF)      7/1/2020
Chapter 20: Designation of Highway Routes (PDF)      7/1/2020
Chapter 40: Federal-Aid (PDF)      7/1/2020
Chapter 60: Nomenclature (PDF)      09/29/2023
Chapter 80: Application of Standards (PDF)      09/29/2023
Chapter 100: Basic Design Policies (PDF)      09/29/2023
Chapter 200: Geometric Design and Structure Standards (PDF)       09/29/2023
Chapter 300: Geometric Cross Section (PDF)      09/29/2023
Chapter 400: Intersections at Grade (PDF)      09/29/2023
Chapter 500: Traffic Interchanges (PDF)      09/29/2023
Chapter 600: Pavement Engineering (PDF)      05/20/2022
Chapter 610: Pavement Engineering Considerations (PDF)      09/29/2023
Chapter 620: Rigid Pavement (PDF)      09/29/2023
Chapter 630: Flexible Pavement (PDF)      09/29/2023
Chapter 640: Composite Pavements (PDF)      05/20/2022
Chapter 650: Pavement Drainage (PDF)      7/1/2020
Chapter 660: Base and Subbase (PDF)      05/20/2022
Chapter 670: Tapers and Shoulder Backing (PDF)      7/1/2020
Chapter 680: Pavement Design for Widening Projects (PDF)     


Chapter 700: Miscellaneous Standards (PDF)      09/29/2023
Chapter 800: General Aspects (PDF)      7/1/2020
Chapter 810: Hydrology (PDF)      7/1/2020
Chapter 820: Cross Drainage (PDF)      7/1/2020
Chapter 830: Transportation Facility Drainage (PDF)      7/1/2020
Chapter 840: Subsurface Drainage (PDF)      7/1/2020
Chapter 850: Physical Standards (PDF)      09/29/2023
Chapter 860: Open Channels (PDF)      05/20/2022
Chapter 870: Bank Protection - Erosion Control (PDF)      05/20/2022
Chapter 880: Shore Protection (PDF)      05/20/2022
Chapter 890: Storm Water Management (PDF)      7/1/2020
Chapter 900: Landscape Architecture (PDF)      12/31/2020
Chapter 910: Landscape Architecture (PDF)      7/1/2020
Chapter 1000: Bicycle Transportation Design (PDF)     
Chapter 1100: Highway Traffic Noise Abatement (PDF)      7/1/2020
Index (PDF) 09/29/2023

Combined HDM Chapters 

The individual files in the HDM Table of Contents above are the official accessible version of the Highway Design Manual. The combined HDM chapters are available below for user convenience.

All HDM Chapters - Complete Download Version (Updated 09/29/2023) (PDF)