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Design Exceptions

What is the design exception process used for?

Design Exception FormThe design exception process is intended to ensure that sound engineering decisions are made when design options are limited.

Exceptions to design standards should be discussed early in the design process when project limits are first determined. All design exception requests must show justification.

Who determines when an exception is acceptable?

The Oregon Department of Transportation chief engineer is responsible to set design standards and evaluate whether modifications are appropriate. The chief engineer has delegated the authority to approve roadway design exceptions to the state traffic roadway engineer.

Design engineers cannot design outside the standard without approval.

Applying for a Design Exception

Please note: Applying for an exception does not guarantee approval. Exceptions must be submitted at or before the Design Acceptance Package milestone.

Forms and Instructions

General Design Exception Request Form

General Request Form Instructions

Video - Adding Your PE Stamp and Digital Signature

Application Process

  1. Obtain a control number.
  2. Request a control number by emailing the Design Exceptions Team. The state traffic roadway engineer is the approving engineer. When the approving engineer is unavailable, an interim authority will be assigned. The design exception administrator will provide the seal.

  3. Create a draft design exception request form.
  4. Add the control number to the top of the form and the approving state traffic roadway engineer seal at the bottom of the form.

  5. Submit a draft.
  6. Roadway subject matter experts, based in the Statewide Project Delivery Branch, will review your draft design exception request.

  7. Finalize the form.
  8. Incorporate any necessary details or changes.

  9. Apply the digital signature fields to the form.
  10. This includes the engineer of record, appropriate project and region representatives, and the approving engineer.

  11. Route for signatures.
  12. Collect digital signatures from region technical center representatives.

  13. Submit the form.
  14. Send your completed form or the ProjectWise link to the design exception administrator for final review by the approving engineer.

  15. Save it.
  16. Save a copy of the form in the corresponding project file. Use ProjectWise when available and follow ODOT naming conventions.

  17. Review approved request.
  18. Once approved, you will receive an email with a link to the approved design exception.

Additional information about this process is included in chapter 14 of the Highway Design Manual.

Forms and Instructions

Curb Ramp Design Exception Request Form

ADA Curb Ramp Exception Form User Guide

Exhibit "A" Curb Ramp Location and Numbering

Related information about engineering for accessibility and ADA compliance

Video - Adding Your PE Stamp and Digital Signature

Application Process

  1. Create a draft design exception request form.
  2. Send the MS Word version to the designated reviewers at the Statewide Project Delivery Branch. Save a copy of the draft form in the project file. Use ProjectWise when available and follow ODOT naming conventions.

  3. Finalize the form.
  4. Incorporate any necessary details or changes. Insert information into the most current version of the ADA curb ramp design exception from the web.

  5. Apply the engineer of record seal and sign the form digitally.
  6. Digital signature fields are already in the PDF form.

  7. Route for signatures.
  8. Representatives from the appropriate region technical center must review and digitally sign the form.

    Once signed, each reviewer must save and finalize his or her section of the form. Reviewers must adhere to standard ODOT naming conventions during this step.

  9. Send the signature confirmation email.
  10. As each reviewer finalizes the file, an email is auto-generated. This email must be sent to the signature authority; we recommend including the engineer of record as a courtesy copy recipient.

  11. Send it to the Roadway Unit.
  12. Send the form to ODOT Design Exceptions once all region technical center reviews are complete and signatures applied.

    The design exception administrator will assign a control number and route the form to the state traffic roadway engineer for review. An email with a link to the final design exception will be sent when approved.

  13. Save it.
  14. Save a copy of the form in the corresponding project file. Use ProjectWise when available and follow ODOT naming conventions.

  15. Review approved request.
  16. You will receive an email indicating whether you request was approved or rejected. If approved, the email will include a link to the approved design exception.

Search for Approved ADA Curb Ramp Design Exceptions

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Designated Reviewers for General Roadway and ADA Curb Ramp Requests

The following personnel will review draft design exceptions, as applicable.

Please contact the respective unit for guidance regarding deviations from bridge, geo-hydro or traffic standards.

Contact the Roadway Engineering Unit

4040 Fairview Industrial Drive SE
Salem, Oregon 97302
Phone: 503-986-3568

Current Exceptions

The Design Exception Status spreadsheet is updated weekly.

Please note, this document is for ODOT users only. All others will receive an error message when attempting to open this document.

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