Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering (OPPE)

This office coordinates long-range transportation planning and project planning. OPPE works with federal, State and local agencies on long-term transportation plans, conducts public meetings, prepares environmental documentation for projects, collects data, and does long-range traffic modeling, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), asset management, performance-based planning and programming. OPPE produces the Official Transportation Map and other highway maps in paper and electronic format, and maintains the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) highway information database. OPPE prepares the six-year funding program for state highway projects known as the Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP).

The Office is organized into five divisions

Data Services Division (DSD)

DSD collects and reports roadway and travel characteristics of publicly maintained roads to the federal government, State of Maryland, local governments and the public. These reports include:

Program Development Division (PDD)

PDD produces MDOT SHA's portion of the Department's Consolidated Transportation Program(CTP). PDD projects MDOT SHA's six-year funding levels and allocates the appropriate categories of federal funds. The division also prepares the Statewide Planning and Research Program (SPR) and the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The Program Development Division is a key player in preparing for the annual CTP tour meeting with local governments and elected officials, and analyzing the fiscal ramifications of federal funding changes and proposals for changes in funding of individual projects. The division leads the overall MDOT SHA performance-based planning and asset management to make better resource allocations for system preservation and maintenance.

Regional and Intermodal Planning Division (RIPD)

RIPD does long-range system planning and integrates MDOT SHA's program with local and regional transportation plans. Responsibilities include:

Regional Planning Teams write long-range plans for their areas. Regional planners are assigned to areas and counties. The geographic regions are:

  • Baltimore Metropolitan
  • Eastern Shore
  • Southern Maryland
  • Washington Metropolitan
  • Western Maryland

Project Management Division (PMD)

PMD conducts project management for all major projects requiring National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) approval.
It provides:
  • Engineering services, developing options for major projects
  • Engineering quality assurance reviews for consultant engineering on major projects
  • Collaboration with the Environmental Planning Division to
    • Develop environmental documentation to obtain NEPA approvals
    • Conduct public hearings and meetings
    • Coordinate project reviews with federal and State environmental agencies, and local governments
It also performs pre-NEPA feasibility planning to identify transportation needs, determine conceptual feasibility, and develop early stakeholder involvement.

Environmental Planning Division (EPLD)

EPLD ensures MDOT SHA compliance with NEPA, the Maryland Environmental Policy Act, and related federal and State laws and regulations. EPLD:
  • Obtains project-specific environmental approvals for all MDOT SHA projects.
  • Coordinates projects with environmental permitting/resource agencies.
  • Coordinates public hearings, workshops, meetings and other public involvement for projects.
  • Works with project managers and engineers to evaluate alternatives that minimize environmental impacts.
  • Ensures that the possible economic, social, cultural and natural environmental effects of highway projects are considered, and that final decisions on highway projects are made in the public interest.
  • Conducts environmental technical analyses (natural, community effects, air and noise quality, and cultural resources).
  • Prepares and circulates environmental documentation for approval and public/agency review.
  • Supports the Project Management Division with environmental inventories and stakeholder involvement for pre-NEPA feasibility planning.