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Chapter 4.4

Consolidate District Design Activities


Summary

Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) does engineering design work in numerous locations around the state and that work is reviewed at several different levels in the organization. Texas is one of only two states that decentralizes this job to such a degree. TxDOT should develop a plan to centralize design work into the district offices and make districts responsible for more plan review and shift some review staff to producing plans. Elimination of some functions at TxDOT Motor Vehicle Division offices could provide office space for reorganizing engineering functions at the district level.


Background

To enable TxDOT to award private sector contracts for construction (‘letting’), engineers and other professionals assess the nature and extent of a proposed project and, using national and state engineering standards, provide detailed plans, specifications and cost estimates (PS&E) to guide the construction process. Some complex projects may involve many engineering and related disciplines, including roadway geometry, bridge design, pavement design, land surveys, right-of-way acquisition and relocation, environmental impacts, hydraulics, landscaping, traffic control, and various permits and agreements (utilities, railroad, water pollution, etc.), among others. In the flow of project development within TxDOT, engineering design work follows project planning and precedes construction.[1]


Consultant Design

Internal design work at TxDOT is accomplished mostly by engineering technicians who are directed and supervised by Registered Professional Engineers (RPE), e.g., graduate engineers who have been tested and licensed by the state after meeting on-the-job experience requirements. RPEs make engineering decisions, and technicians conduct compilations and computations and prepare detailed drawings from design sketches developed by engineers. RPEs also are accountable for supervising the work of outside consulting firms who accomplish an increasingly large proportion of the design work though contracts with TxDOT. Table 1 below shows growth in engineering design by outside firms for fiscal years 1996–1999.[2], [3]

Table 1

Private Sector Engineering Contracts

Fiscal Year
Dollar Value of Outside Engineering Contracts
Number of Outside Engineering Contracts
Percent Outside Engineering Contracts to Total
Engineering Dollar Value
1996
$61.0 million
55
43%
1997
$87.7 million
115
52%
1998
$136.8 million
113
56%
1999
$135.8 million
125
60%

Source: Texas Department of Transportation.

As can be seen, there has been a substantial growth in the dollar value, the number of projects, and the percentage of engineering design that has been executed by outside design firms. Typically, the metropolitan and urban districts outsource over 50 percent of design work, while the rural districts outsource less than 35 percent.[4] According to TxDOT, the basic reason for outsourcing is insufficient in-house staff to handle an increasing workload.[5] This is manifested through a) increased federal funding and correspondingly increased workload, b) ability of design contractors to deliver a higher level of quality and innovation, and c) faster design contractor response time for certain activities.[6] The variability among districts is extensive. For example, in the San Angelo District, only one current design project is outsourced, representing less than six percent of total planned construction costs for the year ($2.5 million out of $44.4 million).[7] In other districts, as much as 70 percent is outsourced.

The 1997 Legislature mandated that at least $207 million of TxDOT’s 1998-1999 biennium funds be expended with private sector providers for engineering, land surveying, environmental, transportation feasibility/financial, architectural, real estate appraisal, and materials laboratory services.[8] It further mandated that, beginning in fiscal year 2000, the agency must increase its expenditures to private sector providers for engineering-related services at least one percentage point per year to a level of at least 35 percent of all funds appropriated for the purpose.[9] According to TxDOT, the department has exceeded the 35 percent minimum legislated.[10]


Area Engineer and District Office Design Work

Design work at TxDOT is spread among approximately 135 locations, including 119 area offices, and metropolitan and urban district headquarters. Each of the 25 TxDOT field districts has area engineer offices where the majority of TxDOT roadway engineering and design work is either developed or supervised. In addition, design work is accomplished in the largest district headquarters, in addition to their area offices.

Most roadway design work is done at area offices, either directly or through supervision of design consultants. Some design, such as schematic design for major freeways, is also done at district headquarters, but the nature and extent varies according to the desires of district managers. For example, the San Angelo District has three individuals in the design unit at district headquarters whose primary responsibilities include review and processing of PS&E, design plan review, and input on landscape design elements, but practically no original project design. However, the district plans to set up a small design team for relatively simple projects such as seal coating and landscaping. Otherwise, the design work is done by the area offices and then reviewed by the district, adding approximately two months to the entire project development process. This additional review is intended to have the projects in “good shape” when they reach the Design Division in Austin for additional review.[11] TxDOT states that “...review will be needed regardless of where the plans are prepared...[each project] should have an independent review by a multi-disciplined team.”[12]

Note that “centralized design” at TxDOT is taken to mean centralized within the district, primarily at district headquarters. In other words, “centralized” does not mean centralized in Austin.

Some districts, such as El Paso, are increasing the level of design work in the district headquarters. Also, for certain projects, the Design Division established a “district review only” process, used by all but one or two districts, which is reported to cut about 1.5 months from the project development process.[13] The Design Division also is gradually delegating various activities, including some design review and road closing authority to the districts.[14] In addition, the Austin District headquarters handles schematic design for major freeways.[15] Considerable design work is accomplished in the district headquarters, especially for projects that tend to be more complex, sometimes requiring expertise in traffic forecasting, noise, air, and other environmental issues, congestion management, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and so forth. According to District staff, the area office designs “...won’t be as involved as the District’s projects.”[16]

In small area offices, only one design project may be underway at a time. In larger offices, such as the Bexar Area Office in the San Antonio District, thirteen designers–including five engineers-in-training (EITs) and other technicians–will typically be involved in two or three projects at a time, all working together on those projects.[17] At the same time, there may be one or more design projects in the area office under development by outside consultants.

TxDOT has taken steps to ensure standard practices in this decentralized environment. In August 1999, TxDOT issued the “Project Development Process Manual,” “...intended to facilitate uniform communication of information so that districts can avoid overlooking tasks necessary for timely project development. It provides the tasks that need to be performed, who is responsible for them and when they should be performed. It should result in improved coordination to avoid situations that may result in delaying projects scheduled for letting.” The manual is very comprehensive and covers the following primary activities: Planning and Programming, Preliminary Design, Environmental, Right-of-Way and Utilities, PS&E Development, and Letting.[18] With the development of these guidelines, there should be little question as to how the TxDOT design and engineering processes are to be carried out.

According to TxDOT’s executive director, TxDOT plans to centralize design in the district offices over a period of time, because of the following benefits:[19]

  • efficiencies in operations;
  • increased networking among design employees;
  • mutual support among designers;
  • increased tutoring of newer staff; and,
  • a more focused effort.

Even with the intention to centralize design at the district offices, there are still benefits to dispersed design efforts, according to TxDOT:[20]

  • good customer service, with informed professionals close to the community they serve and the projects in which they are involved;
  • proximity to the project site to minimize travel time and cost;
  • direct input from maintenance and construction staff in the area office; and,
  • reduced cost of living of employees, since area office locations are typically less expensive than district office locations.

It should be noted that design work is frequently done by individuals or groups not located in the county of the project, both in Texas and in the majority of the other states. This is the case when a project is designed by a consultant in another location or even state, when another district or area office does the design, or when the design is done in Austin, as is the case for all bridge design.


CAD Workstations and IT Requirements

Officially, there are 119 area offices in the TxDOT organization.[21] Distributed throughout these offices are 662 computers configured to execute GEOPAK software for Computer-Aided Design and Microstation software for Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD). An additional 592 workstations exist in the district and maintenance offices, and 245 are in the divisions in Austin, for a total of 1,499 licenses under a statewide license pool for CAD software.[22]

The advent of sophisticated CAD software has enabled improvements in plan accuracy, speed, and clarity, as well as allowing distribution of plans on electronic media, such as compact disc. However, plan review is carried out primarily in the traditional fashion by viewing hard copy plan sets, typically in small group meetings to address design issues. PS&E assembly for construction letting is still primarily accomplished using hard copies, as well. Thus, to date, the ability to send plans via electronic means has not reduced the need for printed copies to any great degree, and the predominant plan review activities are still done on paper. Within the decade, it is expected that true electronic transfer will be more available, enabling two designers or a designer and a reviewer to examine the same plan set at the same time over large distances. Ultimately, once matters of access, legality, and high-speed data transmission for exceedingly large files have been resolved, project plans will be reviewed electronically, transmitted electronically, and, undoubtedly, bid electronically.[23] Nonetheless, TxDOT currently believes that to review PS&E electronically would “...require a huge investment in hardware and software to implement.”[24]

The substantially decentralized area engineer workstations require a significant amount of time from district-based Information Technology (IT) personnel, of which there are 185 full-time equivalent positions (FTEs). These personnel support the primary IT requirements of the districts, including design functions. Four sample districts illustrate this resource commitment in Table 2.[25]

Table 2

IT Support

District
IT FTEs
Time (Percent)
Supporting Area
Engineer Offices
Houston
33
75%
Dallas
13
80%
San Antonio
11
80%
San Angelo
6
75%

Source: Texas Department of Transportation

In some cases, the geographic extent of the district ties up IT personnel in extensive travel time. In San Angelo, for example, a round trip to one of the area engineer offices is 314 miles, requiring a full day to solve an IT issue.

It should be noted that moving design activities to district offices would not entirely eliminate the need for IT support at area offices, but it would lessen it.


Benchmarking Design Approaches

Approximately two years ago, TxDOT conducted an informal telephone survey of all 49 state DOTs on how they perform project plan design. TxDOT discovered that only one other state, South Dakota, performs any part of its in-house design at a level below the district level, e.g., at area (or as some states call them, “resident”) offices. Furthermore, 21 of the states perform all of their in-house design at the central headquarters, seven DOTs perform their in-house design primarily at the district level, and the rest complete design work through a combination of district and headquarters offices.[26] A recent check with a small number of randomly selected states showed that Massachusetts does in-house design at the district offices.[27] In Florida and South Carolina, design is performed at both the central office and the districts.[28] TxDOT is the only state that prepares its in-house design work almost exclusively at the area engineer office level. (As noted above, South Dakota partially does so.) Regarding benchmarking TxDOT with other states, however, the Department asserts “...it is difficult (if not impossible) to find another state comparable to Texas.”

As noted elsewhere, the rationale since the mid-1980s has been to establish design capacity close to the project under design. This approach further integrates engineer and engineering technician designers into the maintenance and construction activities by having them co-located. Clearly, the sheer size of the state lends itself to a decentralized approach in the core functions of maintenance and construction, where common sense dictates a dispersed work force. The same argument for extensively decentralized design work below the district level is less compelling.


Design Division Activities

No full-scale design work is initiated and produced in the Design Division in Austin, although there are current plans to re-establish some level of “headquarters centralized design” within the Division. According to TxDOT, functions in this section will focus on testing new design technologies and training, rather than design production as a primary activity.[29] Most Design Division engineers do not have experience with GEOPAK design software because actual design work is done in the area offices, as indicated earlier.[30] Rather, Design Division personnel check for: compliance with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) guidelines; conformity to federal and state laws, rules, regulations, and policies; ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) design criteria; railroad requirements, if applicable; and TxDOT policy.[31] The division does provide design contributions for landscaping and other elements for some projects.

Since 1996, the Design Division has executed the following number of professional engineering contracts primarily on behalf of the districts for various services at the dollar value indicated in Table 3.[32]

Table 3

Other Engineering Contracts

Year
Bridge Inspection
Various Engineering
Laboratory
1996
20/$6.05 million
3/$7.80 million
N/A
1997
7/$2.25 million
9/$4.50 million
N/A
1998
N/A
1/$0.14 million
1/$0.14 million
1999
34/$12.06 million
N/A
N/A

Source: Texas Department of Transportation.

These contracts served several purposes in supporting the districts, none were full-scale project design jobs. Rather, they include systematic bridge inspection services for the districts, sub-surface utility location work for the Right of Way Division, and some lab testing services.[33] In addition, five large engineering contracts in 1996 ($3.8 million each) were for bridge design work on an as-needed basis. This basic ordering agreement approach means that the districts do not have to contract independently for these services.

The Design Division has 112 FTEs, having recently lost nearly 100 FTEs when the bridge and hydraulics functions were separated and a Bridge Division was re-established. The Design Division thus effectively has become the Roadway Design Division. The allocation of design work for bridge projects differs from roadway projects. Within the purview of the Bridge Division, approximately 40 percent of the design work is done in Austin, 20 percent in a few districts, and 40 percent by consultants.[34]

According to representatives of one metropolitan district and some division staff, the Design Division performs the following primary duties for the districts: [35], [36]

  • certification to the Federal Highway Administration that each federally-funded project complies with federal regulations by issuing a Letter of Authority;
  • review and approval of preliminary schematics, typical sections, pavement designs, and basic design criteria;
  • statewide uniformity and direction to the design process;
  • production of policies and procedures for all districts (since 1993);
  • more thorough review on landscaping treatments;
  • some landscape design;
  • participation in preliminary design conferences in some area offices and/or districts, when invited;
  • information exchange around the state;
  • interpretation of specifications;
  • dissemination of information about innovations in design practices;
  • review of design exceptions; and,
  • additional review of some district projects, especially those requiring more in-depth review than is usually performed at the district level and projects that have received no district review.

Other divisions, most notably Environmental Affairs, Traffic Operations, and Bridge Division, also assist in the review of plan sets because some districts have less expertise in these areas.[37]

TxDOT Executive Director Ray Stotzer (1986–1989) apparently was the primary force behind moving design work from the districts into the area offices. Stotzer contended that individuals in the area offices were most knowledgeable of the area, the people, and the geography,[38] and thus in a much better position to accomplish design work. Simultaneously, a small group of design engineers was transferred from the Design Division to a newly created unit, now known as the South Austin Area Engineer Office.

Today, every area office has design capability in addition to their core responsibilities for maintenance and construction, although some may have only 1-2 simple design projects (e.g., overlay, rehab, etc.) per year.[39] None has structural design capability, however, and no area office has developed expertise in all areas of design.[40] According to the Design Division, current approaches to accomplishing design work vary significantly among districts; accordingly, they believe that a “formal review” on each project by the respective district would be a good idea.[41]


Design Plan Review

Roadway engineering plans and specifications typically undergo several design reviews before being issued for letting purposes. This process may include review a) by a supervisor within a consulting firm if the design work was outsourced; b) by the project engineer in an area or sometimes sub-area office; c) by one or more individuals or units within a district headquarters; d) by representatives of the Design Division in Austin; and, e) for about 100 projects per year, by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regional office in Austin.[42] Each of these design reviews is conducted either by or under the supervision of a Registered Professional Engineer. In the most complex design situations, additional reviews are required to check specific design components, such as structures, hydrology and hydraulics, and traffic engineering.

The more reviews that a set of plans receives, the more accurate and complete they will be. At some point, however, the process reaches a point of diminishing returns as it becomes less efficient and cost-effective to conduct additional reviews. One way of addressing this issue is for the district designer to take more responsibility for ensuring review in the district, especially for routine projects.

The acknowledgement by TxDOT that “...it is not uncommon” for projects to be sent to the Design Division with no prior review indicates a problem with the project development process overall, particularly the accountability for design review in the field. A checklist of Design

Division responsibilities for ensuring design compliance, as identified by TxDOT, could be delegated to the field and includes:[43]

  • use of proper design standards;
  • inclusion of all required standard drawings;
  • use of the right specifications;
  • correct calculation of estimated quantities;
  • all agreements and permits; and,
  • environmental clearances.

The FHWA Division Administrator believes that the Design Division may review too much.[44] According to An Audit Report on the Department of Transportation’s Highway Design Function by the State Auditor’s Office (SAO), 28 percent in 1998 and 26 percent in 1999 of the districts’ plans submitted for review required revision, and the revision rate for some districts was considerably higher.[45] According to TxDOT, “On almost every project, something has to be changed once it reaches Austin for this final review.”[46] The district plans are prepared with considerable local review by some of the best engineers in the state of Texas and some of the country’s leading design firms. More review responsibility could be given to the districts and that the Design Division could primarily be a processing group to prepare plan sets for letting,[47] except for review of complex projects.

In those states that perform a majority of their design work in the districts, the central staff provides little or no review.[48] One of the results of recent business process re-engineering at the Colorado DOT, for example, was to completely phase out any design review at headquarters and to make the districts responsible for design production and quality. In fact, the Colorado DOT Chief Engineer was quoted as saying, “Once you made field engineers responsible for their design, they made less mistakes.” Colorado also was able to move headquarters engineers to the field to increase production. According to the chief engineer, “We recognized that with the shortage of RPEs, you have to get as many of them as possible in the field and stop having them check one another’s work.”[49]


Benefits

Although a February 2000 report did not address the issue of consolidating all design efforts at the district office, the SAO’s report did address the issue of consultant coordination within the district. Specifically, it recommended establishing a consultant contract management office to coordinate district-wide contracts with design consultants. It said:

El Paso, “...is planning to centralize its design function...” and Houston and Dallas are already centralized,[50], [51] the area offices are responsible for most of the design efforts, for both in-house and consultant designed projects. Some consultants have multiple design contracts with multiple area offices within the same district. In districts experiencing tremendous spikes in workload where multiple staff members are responsible for managing the design function, the risk increases that coordination, consistency, communication, and efficiency will suffer and costly mistakes may result. Centralizing consultant contract management [at the district level] improves consistency of planning and design efforts when multiple consultants are contracted to design multiple projects throughout the district.[52]

Consolidating all area office design, both in-house and consultant, in the district would accomplish the above objective of improving the coordination of consultant design efforts, as well as providing other benefits of increased control of design work and reduced IT and other support costs.

Design engineering requires equipment (CAD workstations, for example), an understanding of national and state standards, professional engineering supervision, knowledge of TxDOT policies and procedures, and creativity. It also requires information about the design environment—physical, social, economic, and, sometimes, political. Most of these requirements are readily met in the district offices.

The primary objective in consolidating design production and in reducing the levels of design review is to produce PS&E at a greater pace and at less cost. Specifically, the benefits include:

  • improved cross training and exchange of ideas, as well as exposure to a greater variety of projects due to increased communication among the designers;
  • faster turnaround of plans;
  • more concentrated knowledge and understanding in the districts of design standards, policies, and conventions (given that “the experience level of key district design personnel is decreasing,”[53] concentrating design expertise in the districts should take place over several years to avoid unnecessary disruptions and costs);
  • greater consistency in design approaches and in meeting AASHTO and state standards;
  • improved checks and balances in the selection of design consultants, per the SAO report cited earlier;
  • more consistent direction of design consultants serving the district, per the SAO report cited earlier;[54]
  • less time and cost involved in maintaining technology (CAD) support;
  • more consistency in design decisions and increased opportunities for review during plan development, e.g., an improved “economy of scale with expertise in one location;”[55]
  • increased district control over PS&E development in terms of priority and production; and,
  • a shortened review process.

Greater concentration of individuals committed to doing and managing design work in the district offices, and the resulting availability of others with which to confer, would enable the design process to meet standards during design and thus reduce the level of design review required. Limiting division plan review also could reduce the number of full-time equivalent positions (FTEs) in the Design Division, or the positions could be used to better address other responsibilities.[56] Some of the RPE positions in the Design Division could be transferred to districts with substantially increased workload (for example, Austin, Laredo, Waco and others[57]) in order to provide more design engineering capacity, as was done in the Colorado DOT.


Recommendations

A. TxDOT should develop a detailed plan to move existing design work from the area offices and consolidate it in the district headquarters, supported by the Design Division in Austin, within existing budget levels.

Since TxDOT has recognized the value of moving toward more centralized design in the districts, the agency should develop a comprehensive plan to accomplish this task. At least 25 percent of design work should be moved to the districts within the next four years, and 50 percent should be centralized within eight years. This transition should take place within existing TxDOT budget resources, and TxDOT should provide a report on progress to the Legislature every two years.

Focusing this kind of expertise in the 25 districts, rather than the more than 119 area offices, is a logical, efficient, and cost-effective approach. TxDOT should be able to speed and improve the design review process and improve and simplify consultant coordination and supervision. TxDOT should be able to:

  • reduce the high IT costs associated with supporting 662 CAD design work stations in the area offices;
  • improve coordination and manpower assignments among all projects within the district;
  • improve the selection and management of consultant design projects;
  • increase the exposure of designers to a wider variety of projects and increased tutoring by peers;
  • increase the consistency of design decisions and the opportunity for on-going review during design; and,
  • refocus the area offices on maintenance, operations, and construction activities.

Legitimate issues regarding centralized design exist in two primary areas: 1) cost of moving personnel, and 2) availability of office space at or in proximity to district headquarters. In the first case, TxDOT’s 10 percent annual employee turnover rate allows for positions rather than employees to be moved. That is, as employees leave or retire, design-related positions would be reestablished at district headquarters rather than area offices.

There are several possible solutions to the problem of finding office space for district design staff. One is to refurbish or reuse, if possible, proximate surplus buildings, shuffle employee locations within existing district buildings, or reuse the Vehicle Titles and Registration (VTR) regional office space discussed elsewhere in this report. Ten of the VTR regional offices are co-located with district offices and two more will be within fiscal year 2001, providing surplus office space in nearly half of the districts.[58] (These locations are Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, Fort Worth/Arlington, Longview, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, Pharr, San Angelo, San Antonio, and Wichita Falls.)

B. Except for unusual and/or significantly complex engineering projects, the districts should provide more of their own design review, lessening the need for routine review by the Design Division in Austin. As part of the above-recommended plan for centralizing design, TxDOT should include the reallocation of some engineering positions to the field to enhance production and design review in district headquarters.

Given the existing and anticipated design workload, agency staff resources should be reallocated to create a more aggressive and accountable project development process centralized in the districts. Some engineering positions could be transferred to the districts over the next four years, mostly through attrition rather than transfers. Many of these positions could be for production or supporting design review activities in the districts, so that routine designs would be ready to be packaged for letting upon reaching the Design Division in Austin.

Complex projects would continue to be reviewed by the Roadway Design and Bridge Divisions for conformity with recent changes in standards, specifications, or rules and regulations on which district design teams may not be current. The divisions would continue to provide consultants for bridge inspection, large bridge design, subsurface utility location, and selected lab work. They also would work in standards development, landscape, enhancements, hydraulics, project services, and pavement management, as at present. Final design authority would rest with the responsible parties in the districts, however.

The shifting of routine plan review from the Design Division to the districts will enable the reassignment of some positions in the three field coordination units to the districts. This would enhance the district’s internal design and review capacity, improve the coordination of consultant work in the districts, and increase the rate of plan production in the districts. Remaining RPE expertise in the Design Division would be assigned to complex project review and support of the districts on design standards and other existing functions.

Promoting centralized design in the districts and concurrently reducing the amount of design review in Austin will result in increased efficiency and accountability in the entire design review process. There would be fewer reviews and more focus on plan completion and review in the districts. Those districts where centralized design is already a reality should provide solid test cases for implementing this new approach.

B.1. As part of this plan, TxDOT should reduce the number of IT FTEs allocated to districts.

TxDOT currently has 185 IT staff assigned to districts. Centralizing design would make more efficient use of IT staff’s time.


Fiscal Impact

TxDOT should implement all of the above recommendations within existing resources. Benefits from these recommendations would include greater efficiency, faster production of engineering plans and lower technology costs. More staff could be allocated to production work and the time for finalizing plans could be reduced.

Design Centralization would reduce the amount of IT staff needed in the districts and FTEs could be reduced beginning 2004. The goal is to centralize 25 percent of design in four years. Assuming 50 percent of IT time is spent serving area offices, efficiency gains would mean fewer positions would be required. Currently, TxDOT has 185 IT staff assigned to districts. Lessening the amount of time IT staff spend driving between district and area offices by just one hour per day would save the equivalent amount of staff time calculated above.

Fiscal Year
Net Savings to the
State Highway Fund
Available to Redirect
Change in FTEs
2002
$0
0
2003
$0
0
2004
$0
0
2005
$1,091,000
-23
2006
$1,091,000
-23

Endnotes

[1] “Highway Design Cost Comparison,” PriceWaterhouseCoopers, (February 1999), Figure 2, p. 13.

[2] Texas State Auditor’s Office, An Audit Report on the Department of Transportation’s Highway Design Function (Austin, Texas, February 2000), p. 2. NOTE: The label on the ordinate in this figure should say “(in millions)” rather than “(in billions).”

[3] Texas Department of Transportation, Design Division, “Engineering Professional Services Data,” Austin, Texas, January 2000. (Computer spreadsheet.)

[4] “Highway Design Cost Comparison,” PriceWaterhouseCoopers, (February 1999), p. 4.

[5] Letter from Charles W. Heald, P.E., executive director, Texas Department of Transportation, to Clint Winters, Research and Policy Development Division, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, September 19, 2000.

[6] “Highway Design Cost Comparison,” PriceWaterhouseCoopers, (February 1999), pp. 4-5.

[7] Interview with senior managers, Walter McCullough, John DeWitt and Dennis Wilde, Texas Department of Transportation-San Angelo District, San Angelo, Texas, February 25, 2000.

[8] “Outsourcing of Professional Services,” Rider 44, A601-S51-01-01-P01, July 1, 1997, p. VII-29.

[9] V.T.C.A., Transportation Code §223.041.

[10] Letter from Charles W. Heald, P.E., executive director, Texas Department of Transportation, to Clint Winters, Research and Policy Development Division, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, September 19, 2000.

[11] Interview with senior managers, Walter McCullough, John DeWitt and Dennis Wilde, Texas Department of Transportation-San Angelo District, San Angelo, Texas, February 25, 2000.

[12] Letter from Charles W. Heald, P.E., executive director, Texas Department of Transportation, to Clint Winters, Research and Policy Development Division, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, September 19, 2000.

[13] Letter from Charles W. Heald, P.E., executive director, Texas Department of Transportation, to Clint Winters, Research and Policy Development Division, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, September 19, 2000.

[14] Interview with senior managers, John Kelly, Tony Arredondo and Gilbert Gavia, Texas Department of Transportation-San Antonio District, San Antonio, Texas, February 8, 2000.

[15] E-mail from Sharon Barta, Texas Department of Transportation, to John Cameron, Trans Tech Management, Inc., February 17, 2000.

[16] Interview with design engineers, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, February 9, 2000.

[17] Interview with senior managers, John Kelly, Tony Arredondo and Gilbert Gavia, Texas Department of Transportation-San Antonio District, San Antonio, Texas, February 8, 2000.

[18] Texas Department of Transportation, Project Development Process Manual (Austin, Texas, August 1, 1999).

[19] Texas Department of Transportation representatives’ comments at the Comptroller’s office meeting, Austin, Texas, October 3, 2000.

[20] Letter from Charles W. Heald, P.E., executive director, Texas Department of Transportation, to Clint Winters, Research and Policy Development Division, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, September 19, 2000.

[21] E-mail from Jefferson Grimes, manager, State Legislative Affairs, Texas Department of Transportation, to Frank Smith, Hagler Bailly Services, Inc., April 28, 2000.

[22] Texas Department of Transportation, “Location of Engineering Workstations,” Austin, Texas, May 2000. Engineering workstations are defined as computers configured to execute MicroStation CAD software.

[23] Telephone interview with Richard Young, P.E., program manager, PBSJ, Jackson, Mississippi, August 26, 2000.

[24] Letter from Charles W. Heald, P.E., executive director, Texas Department of Transportation, to Clint Winters, Research and Policy Development Division, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, September 19, 2000.

[25] Estimates provided by Information Technology personnel in the Texas Department of Transportation Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and San Angelo districts, March-April 2000.

[26] Texas Department of Transportation, “Results of Telephone Inquiry: How State DOTs Perform Project Plan Design,” Austin, Texas, May 1998.

[27] Telephone interview with Massachusetts Department of Transportation engineers, Springfield, Massachusetts, March 1, 2000.

[28] Telephone interviews with Florida Department of Transportation engineers, Tallahassee, Florida, and South Carolina Department of Transportation engineers, Columbia, South Carolina, March 1, 2000.

[29] Letter from Charles W. Heald, P.E., executive director, Texas Department of Transportation, to Clint Winters, Research and Policy Development Division, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, September 19, 2000.

[30] Telephone interviews with Robert Kovar, deputy director, and senior managers, Maria Burke and Elizabeth Hilton, Design Division, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, January 28, 2000.

[31] Letter from Charles W. Heald, P.E., executive director, Texas Department of Transportation, to Clint Winters, Research and Policy Development Division, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, September 19, 2000.

[32] Texas Department of Transportation, “Contracts Executed FY 1996 Through FY 1999,” Austin, Texas, January 12, 2000.

[33] Telephone interview with Robert Kovar, deputy director, Design Division, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, August 25, 2000.

[34] Letter from Charles W. Heald, P.E., executive director, Texas Department of Transportation, to Clint Winters, Research and Policy Development Division, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, September 19, 2000.

[35] Interview with senior managers, John Kelly, Tony Arredondo and Gilbert Gavia, Texas Department of Transportation-San Antonio District, San Antonio, Texas, February 8, 2000.

[36] Interview with Robert Kovar, deputy director, and senior managers, Maria Burke and Elizabeth Hilton, Design Division, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, January 28, 2000.

[37] Letter from Charles W. Heald, P.E., executive director, Texas Department of Transportation, to Clint Winters, Research and Policy Development Division, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, September 19, 2000.

[38] Interview with senior managers, John Kelly, Tony Arredondo and Gilbert Gavia, Texas Department of Transportation-San Antonio District, San Antonio, Texas, February 8, 2000.

[39] Telephone interviews with Robert Kovar, deputy director, and senior managers, Maria Burke and Elizabeth Hilton, Design Division, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, January 28, 2000.

[40] Letter from Charles W. Heald, P.E., executive director, Texas Department of Transportation, to Clint Winters, Research and Policy Development Division, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, September 19, 2000.

[41] Telephone interviews with Robert Kovar, deputy director, and senior managers, Maria Burke and Elizabeth Hilton, Design Division, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, January 28, 2000.

[42] Telephone interview with Dan Reagan, administrator, Federal Highway Administration, Austin, Texas, February 11, 2000.

[43] Letter from Charles W. Heald, P.E., executive director, Texas Department of Transportation, to Clint Winters, Research and Policy Development Division, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, September 19, 2000.

[44] Telephone interview with Dan Reagan, administrator, Federal Highway Administration, Austin, Texas, February 11, 2000.

[45] Texas State Auditor’s Office, An Audit Report on the Department of Transportation’s Highway Design Function (Austin, Texas, February 2000), p. 4.

[46] Letter from Charles W. Heald, P.E., executive director, Texas Department of Transportation, to Clint Winters, Research and Policy Development Division, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, September 19, 2000.

[47] Telephone interview with Dan Reagan, administrator, Federal Highway Administration, Austin, Texas, February 11, 2000.

[48] Telephone interviews with selected states, May 2000.

[49] Telephone interview with William Reisbeck, chief engineer, Colorado Department of Transportation, Denver, Colorado, April 3, 2000.

[50] Texas State Auditor’s Office, An Audit Report on the Department of Transportation’s Highway Design Function (Austin, Texas, February 2000), p. 17.

[51] Texas Department of Transportation representatives’ comments at the Comptroller’s office meeting, Austin, Texas, October 3, 2000.

[52] Texas State Auditor’s Office, An Audit Report on the Department of Transportation’s Highway Design Function (Austin, Texas, February 2000), p. 17.

[53] Texas State Auditor’s Office, An Audit Report on the Department of Transportation’s Highway Design Function (Austin, Texas, February 2000), p. 4.

[54] Texas State Auditor’s Office, An Audit Report on the Department of Transportation’s Highway Design Function (Austin, Texas, February 2000), p. 17.

[55] Interview with design engineers, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, February 9, 2000.

[56] Letter from Charles W. Heald, P.E., executive director, Texas Department of Transportation, to Clint Winters, Research and Policy Development Division, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, September 19, 2000.

[57] State Auditor’s Office, “An Audit Report on the Department of Transportation’s Highway Design Function,” Report # 00-014, (Austin, Texas, February 2000, page 5.)

[58] Memo to Frank Smith from Harry Morgan, Vehicle Title and Registration Division, TxDOT, Austin, Texas, October 23, 2000.