Chapter 1: Organizational Overview


Section 1: This Manual

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This manual was developed to provide bridge project developers and designers with the policies and guidelines set forth by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) regarding the following:

This manual is subject to revision as conditions, experience, or research data warrant.

Anchor: #i1003563Table 1-1: Manual Revision History


Publication Date

Summary of Changes


October 2001

New manual; replaced Bridge Division’s Operations and Procedures Manual.


April 2002

Revision clarifying information on curbs, adding information on overhead sign supports, correcting minor errors, and adding hyperlinks to recently published TxDOT online manuals.


June 2003

Revision updating terminology related to Unified Transportation Program (UTP) categories, clarifying approach-roadway eligibility requirements for HBRRP, expanding structure design criteria to include Load Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) recommendations, expanding and clarifying preliminary layout requirements, and correcting minor editorial errors.


January 2005

Revision updating departmental organization information and correcting minor editorial errors.


February 2006

Revision changing the name of the federally funded Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program to Highway Bridge Program, adding information on load and resistance factor design (LRFD), updating a procedure for appraising an existing structure, and adding an index to the manual.


July 2007

Revision updating departmental organization information in Chapter 1. Revising Chapter 3 to include the membership of the Roadway Design Exception Committee, the Bridge Design Exception Committee and a joint subcommittee, the Roadway/Bridge Design Exception Committee. Updating Chapter 4 to include the mandate by the Federal Highway Administration that Load Resistance Factor Design be used on all bridges for which preliminary engineering is initiated after October 2007. Correcting errors in the Chapter 5, Section 4 table on submission schedules and also correcting other minor editorial errors.


April 2008

Revision deleting references to the TxDOT Bridge Design Manual and inserting references to Load Resistance Factor Design bridge design.


October 2012

Revision updating departmental organization information in Chapter 1. Revising Highway Bridge Program selection process in Chapter 2. Revising bicycle and pedestrian policy, as well as updating the design exception process in Chapter 3. Updating policies on required condition surveys for bridge rehabilitations, asbestos abatement and state funded historic bridge projects in Chapter 4. Revising bridge layout submission requirements in Chapter 5. Revising PS & E submissions to include the Bridge Cost Information screen requirements for DCIS in Chapter 6. Correcting other minor editorial errors throughout.


September 2016

Chapter 1: Updated departmental organization information. Chapter 2: Added new Category 6 section and new BMIP and RRP funding program sections; revised HBP and RGS program prioritizations; added annual program funding timetables for Calls. Chapter 3: Updated the design exception process and added references to other manuals. Chapter 4: Updated policies on required condition surveys for bridge rehabilitations, asbestos abatement, state-funded historic bridge projects, and agreement processes. Chapter 5: Completely updated the Plan Review process. Chapter 6: Revised the submission schedule for bridge projects and added the geotechnical submission schedule; added design request information including pertinent forms; moved and added reference information for general bridge project development. General: Corrected minor editorial errors throughout the manual.


March 2018

Chapter 1 and 4: Changed the Contracts and Purchasing Division to Contract Services Division. Chapters 1 – 5: Updated division designation for the Rail Safety Section reflecting move from Traffic Operations Division to Rail Division. Chapters 3 and 4: Replaced vertical clearance recommendations with references to the Roadway Design Manual and the TxMUTCD as appropriate.

The manual is not a substitute for engineering experience, knowledge, or judgment. Special situations may call for variation from these policy requirements.

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Manual Organization

The manual is organized to reflect the chronology of a bridge project from bridge funding to PS&E:

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  • Chapter 1 identifies departmental organizations that may be involved in bridge project development.
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  • Chapter 2 presents bridge programming and funding policies, focusing on the factors involved with the funding and prioritizing, or programming, of bridge projects.
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  • Chapter 3 presents preliminary design features required during early design development for general practice and location-specific requirements to aid planners/designers in preparing an appropriate preliminary design.
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  • Chapter 4 identifies basic considerations during advanced planning of bridge projects, including general and location-specific planning considerations.
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  • Chapter 5 describes bridge plan review processes.
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  • Chapter 6 provides reference material, timelines, and submittal information for bridge project development.
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You may direct any questions or comments on the content of this manual to the Director of the Bridge Division, Texas Department of Transportation.

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