Office of Highway Development

The Office of Highway Development (OHD) designs most State and federal roadways in Maryland. The OHD also manages design and environmental permitting. Our seven divisions promote the safety and functionality of Maryland's highway system. The OHD uses innovative approaches in planning, designing and engineering solutions to integrate efficient accessibility, a greener environment and economic improvements in Maryland's communities.


 

DESIGN TECHNICAL SERVICES DIVISION


The Design Technical Services Division (DTSD) sets policy and provides design guidance for highway access and development to the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) and local  government.  The DTSD maintains the Office of Highway Development’s (OHD) computer and web applications, including an Integrated Design System that designs productivity tools to improve workflow and manage highway assets. This division also manages the Plans Specifications and Estimates (PS&E) process, advertises construction contracts for many of MDOT SHA’s divisions and districts, and supports the district offices' administration of state regulations about highway access for commercial and subdivision development.

 

ENGINEERING RESOURCE DIVISION


The Engineering Resource Division (ERD) manages MDOT SHA’s architectural and engineering contracts, as well as the administrative and general budget. This division also performs non-project procurements, and oversees the office’s fixed assets and sensitive items. In addition, this division provides expertise to OHD and other engineering offices that use statewide contracts to complete engineering design and management.

 

HIGHWAY DESIGN DIVISION


The Highway Design Division (HDD) designs transportation projects varying in size from stormwater management facilities to major interchanges and corridors. This involves the use of in-house design staff, on-site project management consultants, and consultant firms for design and project management. The HDD is also responsible for the budgetary management of the Major Projects Programs in Design, as well as the Noise Barrier Program (serving as the lead MDOT SHA division for the latter) while coordinating all MDOT SHA support divisions and the needs of the local community. The HDD supplies project managers and licensed engineers who provide design and project management to other OHD divisions.

 

HIGHWAY HYDRAULICS DIVISION


The Highway Hydraulics Division (HHD) plans, designs, constructs and maintains MDOT SHA operations. This division provides engineering support and project management for drainage, stormwater management, erosion and sediment control, stream stabilization/restoration, small stream crossings/culvert design and other water resources related to major highway projects. The HHD also coordinates erosion and sediment control and stormwater management approvals for all MDOT SHA projects and operations. It also handles the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems permits for construction activities. In addition, the HHD supports the Wetland and Waterways Permit process by preparing Joint Permit Applications on behalf of Highway Design, Community Design, District Special Projects, and Maintenance. This division also provides engineering services to meet waterway and floodplain regulations. Employees in this division maintain MDOT SHA’s drainage assets and its stormwater management facilities inventory database. They perform inspections, drainage investigations, storm drain outfalls and stream channels assessments to assure proper functionality of all MDOT SHA drainage and stormwater management assets. The HHD manages the Drainage Improvement Fund 74, which underwrites drainage improvement projects, stormwater remedial activities and water quality improvement.

 

INNOVATIVE CONTRACTING DIVISION


The Innovative Contracting Division (ICD) implements new processes and supports MDOT SHA in several areas, including alternative project delivery, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the MDOT SHA Bicycle Program, cost estimating and constructability reviews. The ICD plans, implements and coordinates the MDOT SHA’s alternative project delivery program and develops new policies and best practices for innovative contracting methods, such as design-build and Construction Management at Risk. The ICD provides design, policy, and project schedule in the management and coordination of these projects within the OHD, as well as at other MDOT SHA offices. To support MDOT SHA compliance with the ADA, the ICD develops policies, specifications, procedures, and standards.
 
The ICD implements new bicycle design policy, coordinating with the Office of Traffic and Safety, the Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering, and the district traffic offices. The division provides reviews related to compliance of MDOT SHA facilities with ADA requirements, and bicycle policy and design requirements. The ICD oversees design, develops construction contracts for facilities projects, develops construction contracts, and manages the capital program budget for the following funds: Sidewalk Reconstruction for Pedestrian Access, New Sidewalk Construction for Pedestrian Access and Bicycle Retrofit. This division provides utility and construction engineering review and support for OHD projects.

 

PLAN REVIEW DIVISION


The Plan Review Division (PRD) reviews and issues permits for stormwater and sediment control in accordance with COMAR 26.17.01 and 26.17.02 as a result of House Bill (HB) 97, which became effective in the fall of 2013. The HB 97 gave The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) the ability to delegate plan review and permitting authority to a designee, in this case MDOT SHA. This division reviews and approves all MDOT SHA projects and ensure compliance with these State laws, regulations and MDE requirements in accordance with this delegated authority. This division has direct control of review priorities and the resources to complete the reviews. It provides a new tool to reduce delays and costs while ensuring desired environmental outcomes and improving customer service to all stakeholders. Furthermore, this delegation of authority lets MDOT SHA demonstrate its environmental commitment by issuing stormwater and erosion/sediment control approvals for projects, and improving program delivery.

 

PLATS AND SURVEYS DIVISION


The Plats and Surveys Division (PSD) plays a key role in the planning, design and construction processes at the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), the State Highway Administration (SHA) and other state agencies. Early, and continuous access to field survey information and property boundary information develops a good foundation for any project. This division uses state-of-the-art technology to ensure the quality, accuracy and speed with which this information is obtained and delivered. This technology includes aerial photogrammetry, Global Positioning System (GPS), Real Time Kinematic (RTK) and robotic survey equipment. This division’s primary functions include the identification of topographic features and determination of property boundaries, the development of base mapping used for all project development, and the preparation of plats used for the acquisition and disposal of property. All of these functional elements influence the design and cost of projects. The cadastral and topographic surveys developed by this division support and develop of all projects managed by the MDOT SHA. As the custodian of field survey information, this division maintains an up-to-date inventory of existing survey data. It is used by private and public land surveyors, and civil engineers statewide.


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