Access Design Guidelines

Office of Access Design

  Section 1 Introduction
    1.1 Purpose & Need
    1.2 Objective
    1.3 Definitions
  Section 2 Access Impact Summary (AIS) Requirements
  Section 3 Overall Project Access Plan (PAP) Requirements
  Section 4 - Individual Access Cut-Outs (ACO) Requirements
  Section 5 - General Guidelines for Designer on Access Design
    5.1 In Conformance
    5.2 Not In Conformance
    5.3 Complex Alterations
  Section 6 - General Guidelines for Access Impact Assistance (AIA) report
  Section 7 Format of Access Impact Assistance (AIA) report
    7.1 Phase I
    7.2 Phase II
  Section 8 - Administer Access Process
  Attachments


Section 1 - Introduction
  back to top

1.1 Purpose & Need

Access Design is an important design component in all State Capital Improvement projects. The Initiation, Execution and Closing of all access alterations are always on a critical path for almost every project and are key elements to the timely completion of the design phase of a project. The Access Design includes following activities:

• Activity (3105): Prepare Project Access Plan & Access Impact Summary
• Activity (4705): Prepare Access Cut-outs
• Activity (4710): Review Access Cut-outs
• Activity (4715): Administer Access Alterations

Activity 3105 occurs during the Preliminary Engineering phase and activities 4705, 4710 and 4715 occur during the Final Design phase in the Project Delivery Process Network.
The information presented in this document shall serve as a Guide and shall be used as a reference by all Designers (In-house and consultants), Project Managers, Office of Access Design (OAD) staff and other Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).

1.2 Objective

This “Guidelines” document:

1.3  Definitions

Adjustment of Access:  (refer to N.J.A.C. 16:47-4.33(b)) Any alteration to an access point in conjunction with the implementation of a State highway improvement project, which results in changing the width of an access point by 5 feet or less, or changing the location of an access point by 10 feet or less, or moving an access point away from the centerline of the highway, such as when a highway is widened, or changing the elevation or profile of an access point. A legal notification to the lot owner is not required for this type of access alteration unless the limit of proposed access alteration is beyond the State Right Of Way (ROW) line.

Change of Access: Any access point alteration along a non-State highway. Access alterations on non-State highways may be designed in accordance with the New Jersey State Highway Access Management Code (Access Code) if there are no other local access codes requirements. Administrative processes of this type of access alteration are not required to be executed in accordance with the New Jersey State Highway Access Management Code. Implementation of the Access Code on non-State highways will be at the discretion of the Office of Access Design (OAD) and the Project Manager. If at all possible, impacted non-State highway access points shall be replaced “in-kind”. A legal notification to the lot owner is not required for this type of access alteration unless the limit of proposed access alteration is beyond the public ROW line or the access alterations impact the apparent existing use of the lot. OAD will notify the owner and the Project Manager will address all follow-up proceedings directly with the owner. OAD will provide any necessary assistance.

Legal Notification:  (refer to N.J.A.C. 16:47-4.33(c)2 & (d)3-4)) The Department’s written notification to a lot owner whose existing access points will be impacted by a State highway improvement project.

Lot Owner Access Concurrence (LOAC) and Lot Owner Lease Agreement (LOLA):

• When proposed access alteration work is beyond the public ROW line, OAD attempts to obtain from the lot owner an access concurrence (LOAC) to alter the access and a lease agreement (LOLA) to enter the property to construct the alteration. (The LOLA is a ROW document that will be signed by the Director). The Access cut-out (ACO) and ROW plans will show a short dashed line approximately 5 feet beyond the physical limits of the proposed driveway or access related alterations. The line will be labeled “Temporary Site Mitigation Work Line (Access)”. See attachments 1A and 1B for templates of the LOAC and LOLA forms and for further information see the OAD procedure for administering access alterations
• If the limits of the proposed driveway(s) or access related alterations are within the existing and /or proposed ROW line, only the LOAC may be sent. The LOAC will be sent for all modification or revocation, but not be sent for adjustment or changes if the alteration does not temporarily or permanently impact the operation of the property.

Modification of Access:  (refer to N.J.A.C. 16:47-4.33(c)) Any alteration to an access point in conjunction with the implementation of a State highway improvement project, which results in changing the number of access points, or changing the width of an access point by more than 5 feet, or changing the location of an access point by more than 10 feet. A legal notification to the lot owner is required for this type of access alteration.

Revocation of Access: (refer to N.J.A.C. 16:47-4.33(d)) Any alteration to an access point in conjunction with the implementation of a State highway improvement project, which results in elimination of direct ingress from the State highway or elimination of direct egress to the State Highway, or elimination of direct ingress and egress (two way driveway) on the State highway with provision of an alternative access point to a street, highway, easement, service road or common driveway other than the subject State highway. A legal notification to the lot owner and all lessees, is required for this type of access alteration.

Waiver:  (refer to N.J.A.C. 16:47-4.35) A waiver is the Department’s relinquishment of its right to wholly enforce provisions of the Access Code. Waivers may either reduce or eliminate Access Code requirements. The designer shall list all required waivers for the proposed recommended driveways with proper justifications in the Access Impact Summary (AIS) document by implementing the flexible and right sizing design approach of the project. Also, a Form MT-159 (Request of Waiver - See Attachment No. 8) needs to be completed and submitted along with the submission of ACO. OAD will review those justifications with respect to the project’s scope, safety and operation of the State highways, and may grant the waivers accordingly.

Section 2 - Access Impact Summary (AIS) Requirements  back to top

The Designer shall start preparing this report as part of Activity 3105 (Prepare Project Access Plan & Access Impact Summary). Activity 3105 should not begin until the completion of Activity 3030 (Prepare Horizontal & Vertical Geometry). Generally the AIS should include but not be limited to the following information: (See Attachment No. 2 Access Impact Summary sample)

Section 3 - Overall Project Access Plan (PAP) Requirements  back to top

The Designer is responsible for preparing an overall PAP. The Designer shall prepare PAP and finalize AIS also as part of the Activity 3105. Generally, the PAP should include but not be limited to the following information: (See Attachment No. 3 Overall Project Access Plan sample in the Attachments Section)

The Designer shall submit the PAP along with the AIS to OAD as part of Activity 3105. OAD will review the AIS and PAP, and provide comments and/or a set of marked up plans to the Designer. An on-board review meeting among PM, Designer and OAD is recommended to expedite the review process.

Section 4 - Individual Access Cut-Outs (ACO) Requirements  back to top

The Designer is responsible for preparing individual access cut-outs (ACO) as part of the Activity 4705 (Prepare Access Cutouts). The Designer shall comply with all OAD’s comments on the AIS and the PAP, and submit 2 copies of draft ACOs to OAD. Upon OAD’s review and approval of the draft ACOs, the Designer shall submit final ACOs (12 color copies each). Generally, the ACOs must be prepared using the following guidelines and should include but not be limited to: (See Attachment Nos. 4, 5, 6 and 7 - types of access alteration samples in the Attachments Section)

Section 5 - General Guidelines for Designer on Access Design  back to top

During the Preliminary Engineering phase, the Designer is responsible for reviewing all existing driveways within the limits of the project to determine if they are or will be in conformance with the applicable requirements of the Access Code.

5.1 In Conformance

If the existing driveway within the project limit is in conformance with the Access Code and it will not be impacted by the proposed geometry then no changes should be proposed.

5.2 Not In Conformance

If the existing driveway within the project limit is not in conformance with the Access Code, the designer shall evaluate revising the existing driveway based on the following flexible design approach:

  1. What is required to bring the existing driveway into conformance by adhering to the Access Code?
  2. Would the lot owner be agreeable to the proposed alterations that fully conform to the Access Code?
  3. Are there any flexible and cost effective design solutions that will make the lot owner agreeable to the proposed alterations?
  4. Do the proposed alterations satisfy the safety and operational requirements?

Designer shall present the most practical and feasible solution for each access alteration case along with the justifications and the list of required waivers. The OAD and the Project Manager shall decide on a final access solution to progress as part of the final project design.

5.3 Reasonable Alternative Access

For all revocation and some modification cases, the Designer shall evaluate and document if the alternative access (the proposed solution) is reasonable or unreasonable. The documentation for reasonable alternative access (results of below mentioned tests) must be completed and submitted to OAD along with the final submission of the ACO. Specifically, a reasonable alternative access is achieved when the requirements of following tests are met:

5.3.1 Commercial Property

The alternative access is onto a parallel or perpendicular street, highway, easement, service road or common driveway of sufficient design to support traffic to and from the site and is direct, convenient and well marked. Three tests for reasonable alternative access of commercial property are:

  1. Alternative access is onto a perpendicular or parallel street.  A Perpendicular street is one that directly intersects the State highway and a parallel street is one that directly intersects the perpendicular street.
  2. Alternative access is of sufficient design:
  3. Alternative access is convenient, direct and well marked.

5.3.2 Industrial Property

The alternative access must be onto any improved street, highway, easement, service road or common driveway of sufficient design to support the necessary truck and/or employee access as required by the industry. Note: for an industrial property, signage is not required.

5.3.3 Residential or Agricultural Property

The alternative access must be onto any improved public street or highway.

Section 6 - General Guidelines for Access Impact Assistance (AIA) report  back to top

During the Preliminary Engineering phase and as part of Activity 4705 (Preparation of Access Cut-outs), the Designer is responsible to identify the need and preparation of the AIA report. Generally the AIA report will be required, if site impacts due to access alteration result in but not limited to:

In these cases, the Department shall provide all necessary assistance to the lot owner in the establishment of the alternative accesses as per the Access Code. A qualified Traffic Engineer or a Site Planner shall investigate, analyze and document all site impacts related to access alterations along with all feasible mitigation measures in the AIA report as part of Activity 4705. The Project Manager and OAD will make final decision on the need for this report on case by case basis.

Section 7 - Format of Access Impact Assistance (AIA) report  back to top

The scope of services of this report will be decided by the Project Manager (PM) and OAD. This report shall be prepared and submitted in two phases:

7.1 Phase I

7.1.1 Introduction

7.1.2 Before Access Modification/ Revocation

7.1.3 Feasibility of Alternative Access

7.2 Phase II

7.2.1 After Access Modification/ Revocation

OAD will have examples of AIA reports.


Section 8 - Administer Access Process

After the 12 copies of the approved version of the ACOs are submitted, OAD will begin to Adminster Access Alterations (Activity 4715). The Designer may be asked to particapate in informal meetings with property owners, to explain the driveway design in question and give an overview of the overall project. The Designer will also revise cutouts as necessary. A new date in the title block will be used for each cutout revision. For further information contact the OAD and see the State Highway Access Management Code.

Attachments  back to top

Attachment 1A - Lot Owner Consent Form (dot 54k)
Attachment 1B - Lot Owner Lease Agreement (dotx 37k)
Attachment 2 - Access Impact Summary Form (xlsx 32k)
Attachment 2 - Access Impact Summary Sample (pdf 38k)
Attachment 3 - Project Access Plan Sample (pdf 618k)
Attachment 4 - Adjustment of Access Sample (pdf 204k)
Attachment 5 - Modification of Access Plan Sample (pdf 166k)
Attachment 6 - Change of Access Sample (pdf 204k)
Attachment 7 - Revocation of Access Sample (pdf 301k)
Attachment 8 - Request of Waiver - Form MT-159 (dot 79k)
Attachment 9 - QA/QC Checklist Form (dot 146k)

Updated:
Feb 14, 2008


Last Maintenance Correction:
May 9, 2012