Project Development Procedures Manual (PDPM)

The Project Development Procedure Manual (PDPM) provides the framework of policies and procedures for developing State highway improvement projects.

The PDPM consists of three parts as follows:

  • Part 1 (Chapters 1 to 7) contains general information.
  • Part 2 (Chapters 8 to 15) describes the project development process in a chronological manner.
  • Part 3 (Chapters 16 to 32) contains specific project development procedures of specialized nature.

The PDPM's Appendices consist of two sections as follows:

  • Appendices "A" through "Z" contain guidelines for various project development reports.
  • Appendices "BB" through "QQ" contain project development forms and letters plus policy and procedures documents.

PDPM Manual Changes

When a chapter or appendix is updated, the date in the footer on all pages is changed. If the update is limited, the revisions are denoted by a vertical line on the outside margin. If the update to a chapter or appendix includes changes to policy or if updates are extensive, a Manual Change Transmittal is issued, and the date in the footer will be changed to match the date of the Manual Change Transmittal   

View recent PDPM Manual Change Transmittals here.

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Changes can be proposed by submitting a PDPM Revision Request Form to

Links within the PDPM

Some hyperlinks in the body of the PDPM may become inactive or inaccurate when link locations are changed. Click below for a list of hyperlinks from the body of the PDPM with updated link locations. The list is organized by chapter and appendix.

PDPM Hyperlinks - Updated 3/12/2024 (PDF)

Table of Contents

Project Development Procedures Manual
Last Updated
Front Cover (PDF) None 
Foreword (PDF) 6/30/2020
Part 1 - General Information (Chapters 1-7)
Chapter 1: Introduction (PDF) 1/14/2022
Chapter 2: Roles and Responsibilities (PDF) 8/4/2023
Chapter 3: Involvement of Caltrans Functional Units (PDF) 12/18/2015 
Chapter 4: Programming (PDF) 7/1/1999
 Chapter 5:  Blank Not Applicable
Chapter 6: Project Cost, Scope and Schedule Changes (PDF) 7/30/2021
Chapter 7: Uniform Filing System (PDF) 12/15/2007
Part 2 - The Project Development Process (Chapters 8-15)
Chapter 8: Overview of Project Development (PDF) 12/12/2016
Chapter 9: Project Initiation (PDF) 1/14/2022
Chapter 10: Formal Project Studies (PDF) 3/20/2014
Chapter 11: Public Hearing (PDF) 12/17/2008
Chapter 12: Project Approvals and Changes to Approved Projects (PDF) 1/14/2022
Chapter 13: Project Related Permits, Licenses, Agreements, Certifications and Approvals (PDF) 9/23/2016
Chapter 14: Preparation of Project Plans (PDF) 6/21/2013
Chapter 15: Final Project Development Procedures (PDF) 3/4/2010
Part 3 - Specific Project Development Procedures  (Chapters 16-32)
Chapter 16: Cooperative Agreements (PDF) 7/9/2014
Chapter 17: Encroachments and Utilities (PDF) 3/14/2022
Chapter 18: Environmental Contamination (PDF) 2/28/2006
Chapter 19: Value Analysis (PDF) 6/14/2013
Chapter 20: Project Capital Cost Estimates (PDF) 2/29/2024
Chapter 21: Design Standards Decisions (PDF) 8/4/2023
Chapter 22: Community Involvement (PDF) 7/1/1999
Chapter 23: Route Adoptions (PDF) 6/30/2020
Chapter 24: Freeway Agreements (PDF) 6/30/2020
Chapter 25: Relinquishments (PDF) 2/13/2018
Chapter 26: Disposal of Rights-of-Way for Public or Private Road Connections (PDF) 2/12/2016
Chapter 27: Access Control Modification (PDF) 12/10/2021
Chapter 28: Resolutions of Necessity (PDF) 12/15/2007
Chapter 29: Landscape Architecture (PDF) 5/24/2018
Chapter 30: Highway Traffic Noise Abatement (PDF) 6/18/2009
Chapter 31: Non-motorized Transportation Facilities (PDF) 10/31/2014
Chapter 32: Lands and Buildings Facilities (PDF) 9/2/2008
Appendices: Preparation Guidelines for Project Development Initiation and Approval Reports  
Appendices A through QQ Preface 6/30/2020
Appendix A: Preparation Guide for Project Study Report-Project Report (PDF) 9/29/2018

Appendix A Template: PSR-PR (DOCS)

Appendix D: Preparation for Project Report (New Highway Planting or Roadside Rehabilitation (PDF) 1/10/2014

Appendix D Template: PR (DOCX)

Appendix I: Preparation Guidelines for Design Engineering Evaluation Report (PDF) 1/14/2022

Template - Design Engineering Evaluation Report Template (DOC)

Appendix K: Preparation Guidelines for Project Report (PDF) 7/30/2021

Appendix K Template: PR (DOCX)

Appendix L: Project Study Report (PDF) 7/30/2021

Appendix L Template: PSR (DOCX)


Appendix L Template: Design Scoping Index (DOCX)

Appendix M: Project Report (Safety Roadside Rest Area) (PDF) 1/18/2005

Appendix M Template: Contact Landscape Architect Program District Coordinator for template

Appendix Q: Project Report (Roadside Safety Improvements) (PDF) 1/10/2014

Appendix Q Template: PR (DOCX)

Appendix S: Project Study Report-Project Development Support Project Initiation Document (PDF) 7/30/2021

Appendix S Template: PSR-PDS STIP (DOCX)


Appendix S Template: PSR-PDS Estimate (DOCX)

Appendix Z: Relinquishment Approval Report (PDF) 2/13/2018

Appendix Z Template: Relinquishment Approval Report (DOCX)

Appendices: Project Development Forms and Letters Plus Policy and Procedures Documents
Appendix BB: Design Standard Decision Documentation (PDF) 7/2/2018

Appendix BB Template: Design Standard Decision Document (DOCX)

Appendix CC: Preparation Guidelines for Freeway Agreement (PDF) 7/24/2020

Appendix CC Template: Freeway Agreement (DOCX)

 Appendix DD: Preparation Guidelines for Initial Site Assessment Checklist for Hazardous Waste 6/30/2020
Appendix EE: Highway Planting "One Liner" and Design Intent Statement (DIS) (PDF) 1/18/2005

Appendix EE Template: Highway Planting "One Liner" and Design Intent Statement (DIS) (DOC)


Appendix  FF: Complete Streets Decision Documentation (PDF)


 Appendix FF Template:  Complete Streets Decision Document (CSDD) (DOCX)

Appendix GG: Project Data Checklists (PDF) 9/2/2008

Appendix GG Template: Project Data Checklists (DOCX)

Appendix HH: Public Involvement (PDF) 3/14/2007

Appendix HH Template: Public Involvement (DOCX)

Appendix II: Rescissions (PDF) 7/1/1999

Appendix II Template: Rescissions (DOCX) 

Appendix JJ: Preparation Guidelines for Resolution of Necessity (PDF) 12/15/2007

Appendix JJ Template: Preparation Guidelines for Resolution of Necessity (DOCX)

Appendix LL: Utility Policy Certification and Utility Matrix (PDF) 7/8/2016

Appendix LL Template: Utility Policy Certification (DOCX)


Appendix LL Template: Utility Matrix (XLS)

Appendix QQ: Preparation Guidelines for Survey File (PDF) 9/2/2008

Appendix QQ Template: Additional Instructions (PDF)


Appendix QQ Template: Datum Listing (PDF)


Appendix QQ Template: Project Reference List 8 1/2 x 14 (DOC)


Appendix QQ Template: Project Reference List (DOC)


Appendix QQ Template: Survey File Checklist (DOC)


Appendix QQ Template: Verification of Survey File Delivery (DOC)


Combined PDPM Chapters and Appendices

The individual files in the PDPM Table of Contents above are the official accessible version of the PDPM. The combined PDPM chapters and combined PDPM appendices are available for user convenience.

All PDPM Chapters - Complete Download Version (Updated 2/29/2024) (PDF)

All PDPM Appendices - Complete Download Version (Updated 2/9/2022) (PDF)


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