Office of Highway Development

The Office of Highway Development (OHD) is the office within the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) responsible for the design of most state and federal roadways in Maryland. The OHD also manages design and environmental permitting. Our seven divisions work closely together to provide, improve and promote the safety and functionality of Maryland's highway system. The OHD uses innovative approaches in planning, designing and engineering solutions in a manner that integrates efficient accessibility, a greener environment and economic improvements to Maryland's communities.



The Design Technical Services Division (DTSD) sets policy and provides design guidance for highway access and development to MDOT SHA and local Maryland governments.  The DTSD maintains the Office of Highway Development’s (OHD) computer and web applications. This includes an Integrated Design System aimed at the development of design 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 pertaining to highway access for commercial and subdivision development.



The Engineering Resource Division (ERD) is responsible for managing 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 direction and expertise to the office and other engineering offices that may use statewide contracts to complete engineering design and management.



The Highway Design Division (HDD) is responsible for delivering the design of transportation projects varying in size from stormwater management facilities to major interchange and corridor projects. 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 is involved in numerous initiatives, providing the resources of our project managers and licensed engineers to provide design and project management services to other divisions within OHD.



The Highway Hydraulics Division (HHD) is responsible for the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of SHA’s 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 activities associated with major highway projects. The HHD is also responsible for the coordination of erosion and sediment control and stormwater management approvals for all 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 for meeting waterway and floodplain regulations. Employees in this division maintain SHA’s drainage assets and storm water management facilities inventory database. They perform inspections, drainage investigations, storm drain outfalls and stream channels assessments to assure proper functionality of all SHA drainage and storm water management assets. The HHD manages the Drainage Improvement Fund 74 through which the division implements drainage improvement projects, stormwater remedial activities and water quality improvement projects.



The Innovative Contracting Division (ICD) is responsible for implementing new processes and supporting 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 is responsible for the planning, implementation and coordination of the MDOT SHA’s alternative project delivery program and developing new policies and best practices as they apply to innovative contracting methods, such as design-build and construction management at risk. The ICD provides direction regarding design, policy, and project schedule in the management and coordination of these projects within the OHD, as well as other MDOT SHA offices. To support MDOT SHA compliance with the ADA, the ICD develops policies, specifications, procedures, and standards. The ICD takes the lead at the MDOT SHA in implementing new bicycle design policy, and in developing procedures, and guidelines in direct coordination 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 is responsible for overseeing the design, developing construction contracts for Facilities projects, developing construction contracts, and managing 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.



The Plan Review Division (PRD) is responsible for reviewing and issuing 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. The main function of this division is to review and approve  all MDOT SHA projects and ensure compliance with these State laws, regulations and MDE requirements in accordance with this delegated authority. The delegated responsibility of the stormwater management and erosion and sediment control approvals for all MDOT SHA projects gives this division 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 enables MDOT SHA to demonstrate its environmental commitment by predicting stormwater and erosion/sediment control approvals for projects, through improving program delivery.



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 explores and 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 SHA. As the custodian of field survey information, this division maintains an up-to-date inventory of existing survey data. It is used by both the private and public land surveying, and civil engineering, communities statewide.

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