Chapter 5: PS&E Development

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Section 1: Design Conference

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This section includes information on assessing background information for completeness, updating the information as needed, and conducting the design conference. If the project is inactive for some time, it is possible that traffic data, right of way maps, and other information will need updating. It is also a good idea for the design team, which includes a landscape architect and biologist, to perform a site visit.

The design conference provides the opportunity for key people to review basic design criteria and parameters, accept or change them, and formally endorse decisions. These decisions provide a foundation for the design team to commence detailed design work for plans, specifications, and estimate (PS&E) production.

During the Preliminary Design Concept Conference, a Design Summary Report (DSR) was created. This is a dynamic document, which should be updated as the project progresses and activities are performed. The DSR is an auditable record of project development, which should be stored in the project File of Record. See Task 10215: Project File of Record.

This section includes the following two tasks listed in chronological order.

50100. Obtain additional or updated data

50110. Conduct Design Conference

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50100: Obtain additional or updated data

Description. The Transportation Planning and Programming Division (TPP) provides a multifunction desktop statewide planning map using Esri software, which allows planners to view and query roadway data, build custom data files, and export maps and layers.

The following data may have changed or need updating throughout project development.

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  • ROW maps. ROW maps need to be obtained as part of data collection. ROW maps are used to define limits of, and rights to use, state property.
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  • As built construction plans. As built construction plans need to be obtained as part of data collection. As built plans provide important data regarding project features not apparent from the surface and geometric features, such as vertical curvature, which are not readily obtained by field surveys.
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  • Traffic data. Traffic data is used to determine: the number of lanes needed, intersection channelization geometry, pavement design requirements, and desired safety-related improvements. If the project is part of the freight highway network, design vehicle type will influence pavement design, width, and curvature of turning roadways and intersections. See Task 10430: Obtain traffic data.
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  • Site information. A site visit should be conducted by the design team. For complex projects, appropriate division staff should be invited to the site visit. The design team should use the site visit to identify issues requiring additional study that are not readily apparent from a two-dimensional plan set or three-dimensional modeling and to identify items which have significantly changed from data collected during preliminary design. See Task 10110: Perform site visit.
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  • Preliminary cost estimates. Preliminary cost estimates are prepared during advance planning. Cost estimates may change substantially due to the amount of time since the schematic design was completed or due to changes in project scope. Update the project cost estimate as necessary and transfer data to DCIS. See Task 20490: Update cost estimates.

Pertinent Project Types. All projects

Responsible Party. Project manager

Helpful Suggestions.

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  • If construction is proposed within existing easements, obtain a copy of the original conveyance document for the easement and check for restrictions on property use.
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  • Check with the area maintenance supervisor to learn about any issues that the project can resolve.
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  • Cost estimates should be updated throughout final design whenever a significant scope change occurs, as many relatively minor changes can cumulatively affect the cost estimate.
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  • Conduct site visits. Take photos or video of major project issues.


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  • Contact Transportation Planning and Programming Division (TPP) for statewide planning map software assistance.
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50110: Conduct Design Concept Conference

Description. This task marks the beginning of PS&E preparation and occurs after most of the background data has been gathered. The purpose of the conference is to:

Update the DSR form that was initiated at the Preliminary Design Concept Conference. While all items will not be applicable to all projects, overlooking any item may significantly delay the project. This form will help ensure that the project team does not overlook potentially critical issues. Maintain the logs of meeting and site visit attendees.

Pertinent Project Types. All projects except simple projects ans seal coats or overlays

Responsible Party. Project manager


Helpful Suggestions.

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  • The project manager should consult with the district director of advanced planning and development and the area engineer to determine appropriate individuals to invite to the conference.
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  • Extend additional invitations to offices, areas of expertise, or governmental entities that have become involved since the Preliminary Design Concept Conference.
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  • If the PS&E team and schematic design team are different, invite schematic design team members to brief the new team on commitments, decisions, special problems, or constraints.
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  • Appoint an individual to take conference minutes or notes.
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  • At least two weeks before the conference, invite participants, and distribute meeting materials including the Preliminary DSR.

Critical Sequencing. The following information should be available before holding the Design Concept Conference:

Resource Material.

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