California Department of Transportation

Advance Planning

Overview and Purpose

The Advance Planning Unit in District 1 coordinates between Caltrans and Regional Transportation Planning Agencies (RTPAs) to determine upcoming needs for Project Initiation Documents (PIDs) that are required for both State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) projects and State Highway Operation and Protection Plan (SHOPP) projects. Advance Planning develops Project Initiation Documents (PIDs) for projects on the State Highway System.

For a State Highway System project, a PID is usually the minimum qualification required to compete for funding. The PID is a record of the purpose and need for the project, and the approach that will be taken to meet or reduce structural or operational transportation deficiencies. The most important function of the PID is to establish a project as a viable candidate for Federal, State, regional and local funds. Without completion of a PID, most capital projects would be ineligible for programming-which is the commitment of funds.

Advance Planning prepares the District's PIDs and performs quality assurance reviews of local agency PIDs for projects modifying the State Highway System.

Products and Process

California and its regional transportation planning agencies develop transportation plans and programs through a continuing, comprehensive and cooperative process. The goal of each planning process is to develop and maintain a system that provides safe, reliable transportation and mobility for people goods and services in the State. Planning processes identify structural or operational deficiencies in the transportation system and generally recommend consideration of a range of projects to address these deficiencies in a Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). Once a project to address a deficiency is identified in an RTP, the department and local agencies use a Project Initiation Document (PID) as the vehicle for determining the type and scope of project that will be developed to address the targeted deficiency. This is normally done using a Project Study Report (PSR), which is a type of PID with a format that meets statutory requirements and serves as a model for other types of PID documents. When the PID has been developed, the project is sufficiently defined for an agency-either the State or a local transportation planning agency-to compete for funds for that project.

Detailed information about the PID process is provided in Chapter 9 of the Project Development Procedures Manual (PDF).


For questions regarding processes represented on the page, please contact Talitha Hodgson (707) 441-3969, TTY 711

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