Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering

The mission of this office is to coordinate long range transportation planning statewide and project planning activities. This includes working with federal, state and local agencies on long term transportation plans, conducting public meetings, preparing environmental documentation for projects, data collection, long range traffic modeling, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), asset management, performance based planning and programming. OPPE is also responsible for producing the Official Transportation Map and many other highway map products in paper and electronic format and maintaining and dispersing SHA's highway information database. OPPE also prepares the six-year funding program for state highway projects known as the Consolidated Transportation Program.

The Office is organized into five divisions

Data Services Division (DSD)

Responsible for collecting and reporting roadway and travel characteristics on publicly maintained roads to the Federal government, State of Maryland, local governments and the public. These responsibilities include:

Program Development Division (PDD)

The Program Development Division has the lead for coordinating and producing SHA's portion of the Department's Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP). This includes projecting SHA's six year funding levels and allocating the appropriate categories of Federal Funds. The division is also responsible for preparing 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 also serves as a key player in leading the overall SHA effort in performance based planning and asset management to make better resource allocation decisions in the areas of system preservation and maintenance.

Regional and Intermodal Planning Division (RIPD)

Is responsible for the long range system planning and the integration of SHA's program with local and regional transportation plans. Responsibilities include:

Regional Planning Teams are based on geographic regions and responsible for long range planning activities for their areas. Specific Regional Planners are assigned to specific areas and counties. The geographic regions are:

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

Project Management Division (PMD)

Is responsible for the project management for all major projects in the pursuit of National Environmental Policy Act approvals.
It provides:
  • Engineering services by developing engineering alternatives for major projects
  • Conducts engineering quality assurance reviews for consultant engineering products on major projects
  • Works together with the Environmental Planning Division to
    • Develop the required environmental documentation to obtain NEPA approvals
    • Conducting public hearings and meetings
    • Coordinating project reviews with federal and state environmental agencies and local governments
It also performs pre-NEPA/feasibility/planning efforts to help identify transportation needs, determine conceptual feasibility, and perform early stakeholder involvement.

Environmental Planning Division (EPLD)

Is responsible for ensuring SHA compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, Maryland Environmental Policy Act and related federal and state laws and regulations, which includes:
  • Obtaining project specific environmental approvals for all SHA projects.
  • Coordinating projects with environmental permitting/resource agencies.
  • Coordinating public hearings, workshops, meetings and other public involvement for projects.
  • Working with project managers/engineers to develop and evaluate alternatives that avoid or minimize environmental impacts.
  • Ensuring that the possible economic, social, cultural and natural environmental effects of highway projects are identified and considered and that final decisions on highway projects are made in the best overall public interest.
  • Conducting environmental technical analyses (natural, community effects, air and noise quality, cultural resources, etc.)
  • Preparing and circulating environmental documentation for approvals and public/agency review.
  • Supporting the Project Management Division with environmental inventories and stakeholder involvement for pre-NEPA/feasibility/planning efforts.