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Section 10: PS&E Assembly/Design Review

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The end of the design process is the assembly of the plans, specifications, and estimate (PS&E) package and supporting documents. The design review process gives the designer the last opportunity to check PS&E for completeness, accuracy, and to minimize potential for construction related problems including contractor claims. Refer to the TxDOT PS&E Preparation Manual for detailed information.

This section includes the following Tasks. The tasks are listed in approximate chronological order, but may be performed concurrently.

51000. Conduct environmental reevaluation

20720. Design exceptions or waivers

51010. Prepare PS&E package

51020. Conduct district PS&E review

51030. Assemble project plans

20490. Update cost estimates

51040. District conducts final agreement/permit and public interest statement reviews

51050. Collect outside, additional funding based on Advance Funding Agreements

51060. District performs final review of PS&E

51070. Submit PS&E to Design Division

51080. Obtain approval for program overruns

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51000: Conduct environmental reevaluation

Description. If a project has received environmental clearance, but project advancement is delayed, policy or regulations change, there are major project design changes, or grants may be needed, a reevaluation is required to establish whether the environmental decision remains valid or additional work is needed.

The Purpose and Need Statement for a project may not be changed for a reevaluation. Change to the purpose and need for a project would initiate a new project.

Project reevaluations are not needed if there is no project design or scope change nor any change in affected environment between environmental decision and project construction.

Environmental reevaluations are performed to determine whether:

Reevaluations are generally required three years after either environmental clearance, or approval, when any one of the following occurs:

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  • Changes in design, scope, land use, or right of way requirements
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  • New environmental impacts not discussed in the original documentation are identified or previously discussed impacts change.
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  • Regulatory changes.

Reevaluation can be either a brief letter or a document. The extent of changes or impact differences should determine the type of reevaluation.

Pertinent Project Types.

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  • An FEIS is not submitted to the department delegate within three years from the date of DEIS circulation.
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  • Three years after final approval of FEIS, FEIS supplement, or last major approval or grant there is no activity (i.e., no design work, no right of way acquisition, etc.).
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  • Significant environmental impacts, which were not evaluated in the original DEIS document, will require a supplemental DEIS.
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  • Reevaluation may be required for project design or scope changes, affected environment changes, policy or regulation changes.

Responsible Party. District environmental coordinator

Helpful Suggestions.

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  • In some cases, project activities may continue during reevaluation if the reevaluation is to address only limited issues.
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  • In conducting a reevaluation, the design team should reassess the project relative to the initial Purpose and Need Statement that sets the foundation for detailed design decisions.
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  • Public involvement needs must be reassessed as part of the reevaluation.

Critical Sequencing.

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  • Begin this task soon after determining its need to avoid project delay.


Resource Material.

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51010: Prepare PS&E package

Description. At this point in project development, the plans, specifications, and estimate (PS&E) should be complete. Completed electronic plan files should be assembled within the latest department software delivery program and guidelines, and in an order consistent with the PS&E Preparation Manual “Plan Sheet Sequence”.

Original signed contract documents supporting design decisions and agreements should be filed in the District File of Record location. Submit electronic copies of original supporting documents in the PS&E submittal to the Design Division (DES). Duplicate copies may become the default file of record, if originals are lost or destroyed.

In the situation where there are Design Exceptions, Waivers, or Variances, the original Design Exception documents will be retained in the district File of Record and a copy of all documents shall be submitted to the Design Division field office.

The department maintains delegated signature authority information at the internal Contracts and Purchasing Division ‑ Contract Services website. An employee who signs any official TxDOT document is indicating compliance with TxDOT policy and procedures.

The PS&E package includes, but is not limited to:

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  • Completed Form 1002 (signed and dated). Use the form to review the PS&E package for completeness.
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    • Page 1, lists certification status and documents to accompany submittal.
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    • Page 2, provides project duration, funding, environmental, and permit/agreement information.
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    • Page 3, provides proposed design information and exceptions or waivers applied for the submitted project.
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  • Engineer Seal sheet that bears the engineer’s seal, signature, and date with a statement of responsibility for the contract specifications, special provisions, general notes and specification data
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  • Copy of Management Plan approval memo for using a start work delay special provision
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  • Contract Time Determination Schedule (signed and dated by engineer)
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  • Project Agreements with other agencies or governments (signed copies)
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  • Temporary Road Closure Request
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  • Crash analysis for 2R projects – Engineer’s signed analysis statement and supporting data
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  • Copy of submitted TDLR registration
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  • Copy of FAA Determination for No Hazard to Air Navigation for construction project near regulated aviation facility airspace
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  • PS&E Stage Gate Checklist, Form 2443
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  • Proposal Submittal sheet and Pre-Letting Checklist from the District PS&E reviewer
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  • Original Design Exception(s), Waiver, or Variance documents and Summary of Basis of Decision signed and dated giving indication of “Approval” or “Non-Approval”. Original documents are retained in the DES Design Exception files.

Contact the Local Government Projects Office for any additional information on projects let by local public agencies.

Pertinent Project Types. All projects

Responsible Party. Project manager


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  • Compile plans and a latest Form 1002. Include utility plans, specifications, and cost estimates, if utility adjustments are to be part of the construction contract.
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  • Estimate the cost of new, removed, and replaced pedestrian elements in the project estimate; show total on Form 1002. Pedestrian items include walkways, curb ramps, pedestrian signal equipment, etc. Submit plans for RAS review.
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  • Prepare the specifications list (spec list) of governing project specifications and special provisions.
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  • Verify quantities and unit prices on the cost estimate.
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  • Prepare “spec data” sheets, including data which supplements the project specifications and which will be placed in the plans as the General Notes and Specification Data sheets.

Obtain the following for inclusion with the PS&E package:

Helpful Suggestions.

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  • For projects with accelerated construction schedules, the working day charges for Calendar Day definition should be considered.

Critical Sequencing.

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  • Complete the PS&E package according to Financial Management Division – Letting Management office, PS&E Review and Processing Schedule.
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  • Prepare a Management Plan for projects that will use a delay start work special provision. Submit Plan to the Design Division no later than one week prior to PS&E Review and Processing Schedule, “Post Candidate List of Projects for Letting”.


Resource Material.

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51020: Conduct district PS&E review

Description. An in-house district review of the plans, specifications, and estimate (PS&E) package by a multidisciplinary team is required. This quality control review is conducted to allow others with subject matter expertise the opportunity to identify inconsistencies in the package.

The plans shall describe the location and features in sufficient detail to facilitate construction and control the contract and estimate of the project.

Pertinent Project Types. All projects

Responsible Party. District design engineer


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  • Distribute the PS&E package to review team members, preferably before the review meeting.
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  • At the review meeting, cover project highlights concentrating on items that should receive a more detailed review.
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  • Utilize the Advance Planning Risk Analysis (APRA) tool to review all risk issues and make sure that the project is ready for letting. Refer to Task 10200: Prepare cost estimate for more information regarding the APRA tool and the User Guide.
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  • Gather review comments at the meeting and set up a deadline for follow-up comments.
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  • Conduct follow-up meetings with reviewers, as necessary, to clarify their comments.
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  • Revise the PS&E package, as required.

Critical Sequencing.

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  • Perform the review with respect to the Financial Management Division (FIN) ‑ Letting Management office, “PS&E Review and Processing Schedule” letting month deadlines for the fiscal year.

Resource Material.

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51030: Assemble project plans

Description. Completed electronic plan sheet files should be assembled within the latest department software delivery program and guidelines. Finalize title sheet information.

The construction plan set is considered copyrighted intellectual property. Verify all plan sheets show a TxDOT title block with contract CSJ, County, District, Route, and sheet number information specific to the project contract. The PS&E plans title sheet should show the copyright notice “©”, Texas Department of Transportation, and year of creation at bottom center of the sheet to show that the department owns the copyright. The TxDOT title block/information on each plan sheet applies to plan sheets provided by others (utilities, local entities, etc.) who provide plan sheets for construction under the state-let project contract.

The state or federal funding project number is only shown on title sheet.

For information on the order of plan sheet order, refer to the TxDOT PS&E Preparation Manual.

Pertinent Project Types. All projects

Responsible Party. Project manager


Critical Sequencing.

Resource Material.

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50140: District conducts final agreement/permit and public interest statement reviews

Description. Before submitting the PS&E to the Design Division, the district should conduct a final agreement and permit review to ensure that supporting documents are in order and that the project is in full compliance with agreements and permits.

Determine if there are any proprietary or patented items in the PS&E, which will need a Public Interest Statement. FHWA policy prohibits the use of proprietary material or processes unless:

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  • Item is purchased or obtained through competitive bidding with equally suitable unpatented items.
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  • Department certifies that either the proprietary/patented item is essential for synchronization with existing highway facilities or no suitable alternative exists.
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  • Other equally acceptable materials are available; however, the department may require a specific material and FHWA approves its use as being in the “public interest”.

Materials and products that are determined to be equal may be bid under generic specifications. If only patented or proprietary products are acceptable, they should be bid as alternatives with all, or at least a reasonable number of, acceptable materials or products listed.

Pertinent Project Types. Projects involving any third-party agreement/permit or incorporating experimental or proprietary products

Responsible Party. Project manager


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  • Ensure all permits have been issued and are current; check permit expiration dates.
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  • Ensure all permit conditions are met; failure to meet the conditions of a particular permit could delay a project.
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  • Ensure that all necessary agreements are obtained (e.g., utility agreement, railroad agreement).
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  • Submit a Public Interest Statement to FHWA, if federal participation is anticipated.

Critical Sequencing.

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  • Conduct the final agreement and permit review after assembling project plans.



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51050: Collect outside, additional funding based on Advance Funding Agreements

Description. Advance funding agreements (AFAs) define the cost participation and payment method for outside funding participation on a project. The AFA should have been executed early in project planning. Local participation may be based on either a Specified Percentage AFA or a Standard AFA (Fixed Price). See Task 10510: Prepare and execute advance funding agreements.

After completing PS&E and finalizing the project cost estimate, review all local participation agreements to determine whether sufficient funds are received according to the AFA.

To enable the contract to be let, funds must be received by TxDOT no later than five (5) days before state let bid opening. The District Engineer must verify the funds have been received by sending a Notice of Financial Clearance to Construction Division (CST). If the District Engineer cannot or does not make this verification, the project is subject to delay caused by: withdrawal of the contract from bid opening, conditional award of the contract pending receipt of funds, or withholding the project from the monthly bid list.

At post-bid, CST will not release any contract that includes local funding without “Notice of Financial Clearance” and District Engineer verification that the local government has indicated the bid prices are acceptable.

Pertinent Project Types. Projects having AFAs

Responsible Party. Project manager


Critical Sequencing.


Resource Material.

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51060: District performs final review of PS&E

Description. Final PS&E review has been delegated to the districts. Before submitting the files to the Design Division, the district conducts a final review to ensure that the completed PS&E is ready to submit. The District Engineer must certify each project for their district by signing the project plans title page in the “Approved For Letting” signature box.

Design Division will do a compliance review to verify all files have been received and meet required state and federal guidelines.

Performance End Date (PED). Federal aid projects are required to have a PED. Costs incurred after this date may not be eligible for reimbursement. At the present time, the date is to be entered in the DCIS field by the date shown on the Letting Management “PS&E Review and Processing Schedule”. PED dates are specified by letting month. If a PED extension is needed, a Request must be submitted.

Pertinent Project Types. All projects

Responsible Party. District design engineer

Helpful Suggestions.

Critical Sequencing.

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  • Final PS&E review should be conducted following completion of all documents.


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51070: Submit PS&E to Design Division

Description. Following district review, send the electronic PS&E package, including supporting documents, to the Design Division. Submit according to the project’s letting date timeline found on the Finance Division ‑ Letting Management, PS&E Review and Processing Schedule.

Design Division will do a compliance review to verify all contract documents and design will meet project and funding requirements.

For Category 8, safety projects consult the Traffic Division.

For all projects with bridge structures, including bridge class culverts, submit final bridge layout sheets and estimate of all bridge structures to BRG PS&E Review Section.

Pertinent Project Types. All projects

Responsible Party. District Design Engineer



Resource Material.

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51080: Obtain approval for program overruns

Description. When overruns exist, there is usually a justification such as additional scope of work not originally anticipated or a significant increase in unit prices. Program overrun memorandums are required to ensure accountability in cost estimating and provide detailed justification for increased funding levels. Handle project cost estimate increases before letting as described in Minute Order 109864.

Various levels of approval are required depending on the funding category and the amount of the program overrun.

Categories 1 and 11 – The District Engineer may approve all increases that do not exceed the district’s authorized funding in these categories.

Categories 2, 3, 4, 6 – Appropriate Division Director may approve all increases not to exceed $2.5 million. The Executive Director may approve all increases up to an amount not to exceed $25 million. The Commission will consider all increases in excess of $25 million.

Categories 5, 7 – The District Engineer may approve all increases within the limits outlined in the MPO’s Transportation Improvement Program, otherwise only with MPO approval not to exceed the MPO’s allocation for these categories.

Categories 8, 9 (Safety Rest Areas), 10 – The appropriate District Engineer, Division Director, or Agency Director may approve all increases that do not exceed the program’s allocation.

Categories 9, 12 – All increases require Commission approval.

Pertinent Project Types. Projects having final cost estimates exceeding programmed cost estimates

Responsible Party. Project manager


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  • Verify estimates unit costs are correct and within reasonable limits.
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  • Obtain the project’s final cost estimate and compare it to the programmed estimate.
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  • Coordinate with the Director of Transportation Planning and Development regarding obtaining any needed additional funding.

Critical Sequencing.

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  • Prepare program overrun memorandums as soon as the final project cost estimate is prepared.

Resource Material.

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