State of California
Business, Transportation and Housing Agency
M e m o r a n d u m

Attention: Project Managers & Staff

Date :

File No.:

February 10, 1997

Subject:Safety Requirements & Considerations for Project Initiation Documents

As highlighted in the Director's January 9, 1997 memorandum to all employees, the 1998 STIP will include a significant amount of new transportation improvements -- a welcome change from the long series of STIP cycles devoid of new projects. As you strive to develop the project initiation documents (PID's) needed to program these new improvements, the challenge will be to efficiently manage each effort to produce a comprehensive and accurate report within the usual time and resource constraints.

A risk, which normally accompanies such efforts, is that we become tempted to sacrifice or neglect functions or processes which may be essential to our core purpose and mission. As managers, we are responsible to identify and rectify such occurrences before they affect the quality and safety of our products and services.

As we develop the scope of new projects, it is critical that we contemplate the incorporation of the latest safety concepts and features developed for highway system users and the workers who maintain, improve, and operate our highway system. In order to ensure that we meet this minimum requirement for safety, I remind you of the importance of an unheralded, yet core process, which many of us may take for granted: the safety review. The attached Highway Design Manual excerpt (Index 110.7) describes the Department's current policy on Safety Reviews and is provided for emphasis.

The Department values its work force and the natural environment and is therefore committed to the protection of these resources. This commitment is reflected in a new program to minimize the use of herbicides for the control of roadside vegetation. In order to make designers aware of the latest concepts being developed to minimize repetitive vegetation control activities and, therefore, maintenance worker exposure, each District has recently established a Vegetation Management Team comprised of specialists from Maintenance, Environmental, Landscape Architecture, Design, and Construction.

Because they may only be functioning in an informal capacity at this point, the Vegetation Management Team chairpersons have been asked to take a proactive role in the scope development of candidate projects for the next STIP. Therefore, Project Managers responsible for the preparation of project initiation documents may be approached by the chairperson to discuss the need for and value that can be added by his/her team's input. Please contact your District Landscape Architect for more information about the Vegetation Management Team and/or chairperson in your District.

Let's continue to make safety paramount -- not only in how we do our work, but in the work which we produce.

Deputy Director
Project Development