Office of Highway Development

The Office of Highway Development (OHD) is the office within the Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) State Highway Administration (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.


 

DESIGN TECHNICAL SERVICES DIVISION


The Design Technical Services Division (DTSD) sets policy and provides design guidance for highway access and development to SHA and local Maryland governments. In support of that effort, 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 SHA’s divisions and districts, and supports the district offices' administration of state regulations pertaining to highway access for commercial and subdivision development.

 

ENGINEERING RESOURCE DIVISION


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

 

HIGHWAY DESIGN DIVISION


The Highway Design Division (HDD) is responsible for delivering roadway design projects. These vary in size from safety and congestion improvements to major interchange and corridor projects. This work involves the use of in-house design staff, on-site project management consultants, as well as consultant firms for design and project management. This division is also responsible for the budgetary management of the Major Projects Programs in Design. The division manages SHA’s Traffic Barrier and Noise Barrier programs. The HDD is also involved in the Road Safety Audit Program. This division employs a team of licensed engineers to provide design services to other divisions within the Office of Highway Development.

 

HIGHWAY HYDRAULICS DIVISION


The Highway Hydraulics Division (HHD) is responsible for the planning, design, construction, and maintenance aspects of SHA’s operations. This division provides engineering support and project management services 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. They also handle 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.

 

INNOVATIVE CONTRACTING DIVISION


The Innovative Contracting Division (ICD) is responsible for implementing new processes and supporting the Office of Highway Development in several areas, including alternative project delivery, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the SHA Bicycle Program, as well as construction engineering and management. This division is responsible for the planning, implementation and coordination of the SHA’s alternative project delivery program. The ICD also develops new policies and best practices as they apply to innovative contracting methods, such as design-build and construction management at risk. In addition, this division provides direction regarding design, policy, and project schedule in the management and coordination of these projects within SHA. To support the agency’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ICD develops policies, specifications, procedures, and standards. Employees in this division also develop and implement new bicycle design policy, 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 also provides reviews related to compliance of SHA facilities with ADA requirements and bicycle policy and design requirements. The ICD is responsible for overseeing the design, 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 is also responsible for implementing Construction Management projects within the OHD and providing construction engineering review and support.

 

PLAN REVIEW DIVISION


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 provided The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) the ability to delegate plan review and permitting authority to a designee, in this case the SHA. The main function of this division is to review and provide approvals for all 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 SHA projects gives this division direct control of review priorities and the resources utilized to complete the reviews, providing a new tool to reduce delays and costs while ensuring desired environmental outcomes and improving customer service to all stakeholders. Furthermore, this delegation enables the SHA to demonstrate environmental commitment through improved predictability for securing stormwater and erosion/sediment control approvals for projects, and ultimately providing an improved 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 and other state agencies. The early, and continuous access to field survey information and property boundary information is the basis for developing 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 can influence the design and costs of projects. The cadastral and topographic surveys developed by this division are essential elements used for the support and development 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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