Section 2: Coordinating with Other Divisions and Sections

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The development and design of a bridge project may involve several divisions within TxDOT:

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Bridge Division (BRG)

The Bridge Division provides in-house expertise and assistance to the districts, divisions, and offices in all aspects of structural project development, design, construction, maintenance, and inspection. The division is involved in research, value engineering studies, partnering with contractors, and general support to TxDOT districts and other divisions. The division assists the districts with the implementation of innovative methods and materials to reduce the impact of construction on the public, improve long-term performance and durability, and develop aesthetically attractive structures.

Bridges are the most visible elements of the transportation system, and they create an emotional impact on the user. The Bridge Division develops aesthetically appropriate bridges as requested by the districts, creating custom designs that consider site, local architecture, span length, structural safety, durability, and maintenance on a case-by-case basis.

The Bridge Division manages the Unified Transportation Program (UTP) Category 6 funds. These funds are divided into three subcategories: the Bridge Maintenance and Improvement Program (includes the Rail Replacement Program), the Highway Bridge Program, and the Railroad Grade Separation Program. The Bridge Division uses these funds to facilitate maintenance and safety improvements to the State’s on-system bridges, and rehabilitation and/or replacement of structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridges on public highways, roads, and streets both on and off the state system; and to replace highway-railroad at-grade intersections with a new grade-separation structure, or replace deficient existing highway-railroad underpasses. The division achieves this by making optimal use of federal, state, and local funding; and by helping local governments create a safer roadway system by reducing the number of deficient bridges.

The Bridge Division also reduces design and construction time and cost by standardizing bridge elements and by using standard design drawings for bridge construction where possible. These standard drawings are available to the public, including cities and counties, and can be accessed from the Bridge Division page of the TxDOT website.

Historic bridges are also a priority for the Bridge Division. The division works with the districts, the Texas Historical Commission (THC), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Environmental Affairs Division (ENV), and local entities to preserve this valuable heritage.

The division strongly supports and is represented on many state, national, and international engineering organizations including the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), Transportation Research Board (TRB), American Concrete Institute (ACI), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI), American Segmental Bridge Institute (ASBI), American Railway Engineers and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA), National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA), Highway Innovative Technology Evaluation Center (HITEC), American Welding Society (AWS), and American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC).

The Bridge Division is composed of four sections: Project Development, Field Operations, Design, and Administration.

Project Development Section

Field Operations Section

Design Section

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  • Reviews preliminary bridge layouts.
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  • Consults with bridge project managers in the preliminary phase to determine the proper bridge type.
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  • Prepares designs and details for all types of bridges and culverts used on the highway system.
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  • Prepares designs and sketches for widening, repairing, and reconstructing bridges for detailing by the districts.
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  • Assists the districts by reviewing and monitoring consultant bridge designs.
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  • Manages design work by the statewide indefinite deliverable bridge design consultant pool.
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  • Studies major bridges for best and most economical construction.
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  • Recommends to the Construction Division and the Maintenance Division needed repairs for damaged structures.
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  • Reviews PS&E for bridge design issues.
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  • Prepares designs for historic, railroad, and unique structures.
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  • Issues all bridge standard drawings and maintains up-to-date electronic standard drawing sheets.
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  • Prepares designs and details or checks alternate designs submitted for sign support structures, light poles, traffic signal supports, and other traffic structures.
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  • Provides technical oversight of computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software needs.
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  • Reviews large proposed overloads on bridges.
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  • Provides expertise on bridge rail technology.

Administration Section

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  • Administers personnel activities including those related to payroll, benefits, training, records management, service awards, leave accounting, and classification.
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  • Coordinates and monitors the division’s budget, travel requests, equipment inventory, records retention, legislation, and public information requests concerning bridges.
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  • Supports information resource users with equipment, software, and automation services.
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  • Maintains the division web pages and provides editorial support.
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  • Coordinates technical training.
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  • Coordinates with the Texas Transportation Commission and TxDOT administration.
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  • Coordinates and maintains all manuals concerning bridges.
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Construction Division (CST), Materials and Pavements Section

The Bridge Division coordinates with CST’s Materials and Pavements Section when reviewing material selections and analyzing the materials of an existing structure.

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  • Provides assistance in the development and review of structural material specifications.
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  • Analyzes concrete core and powder samples taken from bridge components for chloride content for condition survey purposes.
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  • Provides mill test reports to the Field Operations Section for load rating analysis.
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  • Analyzes paint samples from existing bridges to determine lead content so that appropriate general notes and special provisions can be included in the PS&E for bridge rehabilitation projects.
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Contract Services Division (CSD)

The Bridge Division’s Project Development Section coordinates with the Contract Services Division in the development and review of Advanced Funding Agreements/Amendments for bridge projects.

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Design Division (DES)

The Design Division guides development of all highway projects through preliminary engineering stages on interstate, state, rural, and urban highway systems.

The Field Sections of the Design Division:

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  • Act as the receiving point for PS&E from the districts.
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  • Coordinate with the Bridge Division’s Project Development Section and the districts during the preliminary and planning stages.
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  • Ensure proper documentation is provided with PS&E.
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  • Identify and resolve discrepancies and make necessary changes to PS&E.

The Hydraulics Branch of the Design Division:

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  • Provides hydrologic and hydraulic review and consultation for environmental issues and drainage complaint resolution and litigation.
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  • Prepares and checks designs submitted for hydrologic and hydraulic studies.

The Plan Development Section of the Design Division:

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  • Provides roadway design and full PS&E development for district projects.
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  • Coordinates with the Bridge Division’s Project Development Section and the districts when developing PS&E for a bridge project.
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Environmental Affairs Division (ENV)

The Bridge Division’s Project Development Section and districts coordinate with ENV to ensure all bridge projects comply with applicable federal, state, and local environmental laws. ENV acts as consultant to the districts, offering expertise on likely impacts caused by a bridge project and required considerations and permits. Projects that require involvement from the Environmental Division include:

For additional information, refer to the Environmental Management System Manual and the Hazardous Materials in Project Development Manual. For assistance accessing the Environmental Management System Manual, which is internal to TxDOT, please contact the District office with which you are working or the Bridge Division project manager.

The Bridge Division’s Project Development Section coordinates with the Environmental Affairs Division’s Cultural Resources Section. The coordination includes but is not limited to ensuring historic bridge projects comply with applicable federal, state, and local environmental laws. For more information, see the Historic Bridge Manual.

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Financial Management Division (FIN)

The Bridge Division's Project Development Section coordinates with the Financial Management Division's Letting Management Section. The coordination includes, but is not limited to, the development and monitoring of the 12-month and two-year letting schedules as they pertain to the projects using the Category 6 funds, as well as the submission of Federal Project Authorization Agreements (FPAA).

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Maintenance Division (MNT), Maintenance Operations Section

Routine maintenance by the districts often uncovers problems such as deterioration, cracking, warping, and accidental damage due to vehicle collision. These problems are relayed through the Maintenance Division -- Maintenance Operations Section to the Bridge Division’s Project Development Section, or directly to the Project Development Section from the District. The severity of the problem dictates whether the Field Operations Section will perform an inspection or condition survey.

MNT is the Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR) when there is an emergency with an existing bridge or a bridge under construction. BRG can provide inspections for structures damaged by vehicular impact, flood, fire, or failures and make remediation recommendations. MNT will help coordinate the State and/or Federal funding and any necessary contracts for the bridge repair or replacement for emergency projects.

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Rail Division (RRD)

The Rail Division’s Rail Safety Section (RRD-RSS) responsibilities, as they pertain to bridge projects, include the following:

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  • Coordinates with the railroad company and the bridge project managers during the bridge project.
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  • Prepares railroad agreements for highway-railroad grade separations.
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  • Reviews project plans involving highway-railroad grade separations.

The Bridge Division’s Project Development Section coordinates with Rail Division’s Rail Safety Section to obtain information and data on highway-railroad grade crossings in order to identify and prioritize projects for the Railroad Grade Separation Program discussed in Chapter 2.

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Transportation Planning and Programming Division (TPP)

The Bridge Division’s Project Development Section coordinates with the Transportation Planning and Programming (TPP) Division’s Statewide Planning and Program Management Section and Traffic Analysis Section. The coordination includes, but is not limited to, providing and/or verifying Category 6 projects and project rankings for the UTP as needed by TPP’s Statewide Planning and Program Management Section and obtaining the average daily traffic (ADT) data reported by the TPP’s Traffic Analysis Section.

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