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Manuals, Standards and Publications

If you are doing construction for the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA), consult the links below for details about designing, building, pricing, and more.


Book of Standards for Highway and Incidental Structures

Standard and Supplemental Specifications for Construction and Materials

Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Standards 

Here are the CAD Standards used by MDOT SHA.

Laboratory and Field Procedures (MSMT)

Use the Maryland Standard Method of Test procedures as a supplement to the Standard Specifications for Construction and Materials and the Book of Standards for Highway and Incidental Structures.

Standard Specifications for Subsurface Explorations


    Design-Build Manual (PDF, 1.8MB)

    This manual provides MDOT SHA with comprehensive guidelines for managing, producing, and administering design-build projects. It provides policies and procedures for contract document development and assembly, project management and execution.

    Highway Drainage Manual

    This manual provides the design criteria for highway drainage.

    Maryland State Highway Administration Construction Manual (PDF, 813kb)

    This 2002 edition contains the most current standard specifications, construction practices, techniques, and record keeping.

    Stormwater Management Facility Routine Maintenance Manuals

    These custom stormwater manuals guide MDOT SHA districts managing the volume, flow rate, and quality of stormwater runoff before that water enters natural waterways or groundwater.

      Pedestrian and Bicycle

      Accessibility Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities Along State Highways

      This design guide was developed to assist the transportation engineer in designing public sidewalks and crossings that comply with the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act.

      Bicycle Policy and Design Guidelines (PDF, 7.35 MB)

      The document guides transportation planners and engineers about accommodations that improve bicycling in Maryland.

      Bridges and Major Structures

      Structural Details

      Structural Design Guidance

      Aesthetic Bridges - Users Guide (PDF, 17 MB)

      Guidance about creating bridges with the greatest visual appeal.

      Federal Highway Bridge Program Guidelines for Local Governments

      PONTIS Element Data Collection Manual (PDF, 939kb)

      Instructions for using PONTIS/AASHTO bridge management software.

      Approved Proprietary Noise Barrier Systems (PDF, 36kb)

      Approved Proprietary Retaining Wall List (PDF, 33kb)

      This is a guide to building within the MDOT SHA right of way.

      Aggregate and Sediment Control

      2012 Maryland Standards and Specifications for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control

      From the Maryland Department of the Environment.

      Aggregate Bulletin

      Contains physical test values of samples taken from aggregate producers.

      Field Guide for Erosion and Sediment Control (PDF 47.9 MB)

      Landscaping and Environment

      Landscape Guidance Documents

      Directions on landscaping roads and highways.

      Reforestation Law Summary

      Roadside Tree Law Summary

      Soil Testing Laboratories

      Labs recognized by the Landscape Operations Division.

      Traffic Control

      Guidelines for Traffic Barrier Placement and End Treatment Design

      Research the design of traffic barriers and traffic-barrier end treatments.

      Maryland Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices - 2011 Edition

      Traffic Control Devices Design Manual

      Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Private Property


      Farmers' Market Signing Program (PDF, 481kb)

      Maryland Standard Sign Book

      The book contains design details about signs that can be used on Maryland highways.

      Sign Standard Book

      The book has comprehensive design details for signs to be used along Maryland highways.


      Utility Policy (PDF, 601kb)

      Here you will find instructions about placing gas, electric, and other utilities on MDOT SHA rights of way.


      Pavement & Geotechnical Design Guide

      Ride Specification

      Ride Specification provides guidance to using the Pavement Surface Profile.

      Products and Prices

      Qualified Producers and Product Lists (QPL)

      Use QPL to identify approved suppliers.

      Price Index

      The price index provides engineers, consultants and contractors with a complete, up-to-date list of prices on pay items used by and for the MDOT SHA.

      Material Quality

      Material Quality - Resources

      Material Quality Partnering Meetings

      These are notes from meetings between MDOT SHA and industry about improving the quality of materials used on State highways.


      Office of Construction - Forms and Documents

      Additional Standards, Specifications, and Publications 

      Roundabout Design Guidelines (PDF, 2.4 MB)

      Learn the details of designing and building roundabouts in the State.

      Guidance for Local Public Agencies and Sub-Recipients of Federal Funds

      Highway Needs Inventory

      This reference and planning document identifies highway improvements to serve existing and projected State population and economic activity.

      Highway User Revenues & Grants

      Information about submitting Highway User Revenue (HUR) reports.

      Rumble Strips and Stripes: Guidelines for Application (PDF, 1.88 MB)