SHA Revamps Access Manual, Accepting Comments Now

Continuing with its efforts to improve its access management/permit process, the State Highway Administration (SHA) has made revisions to its Access Manual.  The main changes/additions include the following:

  • New Traffic Impact Study Guidelines
  • New Hydraulic Guidelines
  • Minor revisions to chapters 1 through 4 of the technical guidance
  • Significant revisions and clarification provided in chapter 5 of the technical guidance
  • New routine pavement sections along with pavement and geotechnical report guidelines and design guidelines
  • Incorporation of the environmental guide into the manual
  • A brief discussion on practical design and incorporating into Access Permit reviews

SHA is formally accepting comments on the changes now through October 15, 2016 at It will respond to comments, if and when appropriate, by December 31st, 2016.

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) sponsored an Access Management Forum on August 2, 2016 to partner with stakeholders and improve the SHA access permitting process.  MDOT’s goals were to assess the effectiveness of changes made since its August 2015 forum, and to identify new opportunities for improvement – one of which was  revamping the SHA Access Manual.

As previously reported in Conduit Street, SHA agreed to work with concerned stakeholders to reform the highway access permit process in lieu of state legislation considered during the 2015 session, which would have clarified and created more certainty for the process with which SHA grants highway access permits. SHA held its first forum on the subject on August 5, 2015, and released an executive summary outlining how SHA planned to reform the highway access permit process on October 30, 2015. At the August 2016 forum, SHA solicited feedback from stakeholders and discussed changes already made, including decentralization of reviews to District Engineers and reductions in fees.

For more information about SHA’s acccess management reforms, click here to identify your District Engineer or email