Standard plans prioritization

Discover the many factors when considering prioritizing the development of a standard plan. Contrary to popular belief, the frequency of use is not the primary driver. Our standard plans are an extension of WSDOT’s design policy. As we change our Design Manual to address new practices or requirements, our plans must reflect these changes.

As an example, the mandate to provide accessible routes for persons with disabilities (ADA requirements) has generated numerous changes in our design policies. Our standard plans have been modified to reflect these requirements. Past practices and older standard plans, no matter how frequently used, are no longer acceptable to address this mandate.

We constantly receive requests for new standard plans and revisions to older plans. The total number of requests far exceeds our capacity to deliver them in a timely fashion. In order to address these requests fairly, we have developed a “point driven” prioritization system. Those requested plans with the highest accumulated points are addressed first. Our list of “drivers” and their point values is as follows:

  • Federal Highway Administration mandate – 5 points
  • Design policy change – 5 points
  • Motorist, pedestrian, or bicyclist safety improvement – 5 points
  • Cost savings in construction practice or contract preparation – 3 points
  • Functional improvement (plan clarity, missing construction details, etc.) – 2 to 5 points
  • Customer commitment (promised, but delayed, plans) – 3 to 5 points
  • Frequency of use – 5 to 10 points
  • Elimination of contract change orders – 5 points

We attempt to concentrate on those requested plans with a total value of 20 points or higher. This means we are working on over one hundred plans at any given time.

Process for plan development and review (PDF 53KB) 

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Improved access to 98.2 miles of upstream fish habitat

through 15 fish passage projects in 2021.

28% increase in the value of exports and imports 

from $90.2 billion in 2020 to $115.5 billion in 2021.