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Shop drawing submittal cycle

Typical shop drawing submittal cycle

As stated in the 2014 Standard Specifications Book, Item 5.2, Control of Work, shop drawings are required to be submitted electronically in accordance with the Guide to Electronic Shop Drawing Submittal.

Submittals of structural items must be identified by:

  • CCSJ
  • County
  • Item
  • Submitter

Identify each submittal using a sequential submittal number that is identifiable on a by-item basis. As a best practice, all submittals sent to TxDOT for review and/or approval, require official identification in the subject line of the email and as the name of the submittal file. Submittals lacking this information may be returned as invalid submittals.

The 2014 Submittal Requirements by Specification Item Number table lists items that require submittal and/or approval.

The Texas Board of Professional Engineers rules say:

  • Any shop drawing sheet that contains structural design information which departs from contract plan design values must be sealed, signed and dated by an engineer registered in the state of Texas.
  • Optional designs are those formally allowed by TxDOT and typically propose design values that vary from the contract plan designs and therefore fall under this ruling.
  • Alternate designs are new design proposals that are not shown as an option on the project plans. Alternate designs require more attention from TxDOT staff and must be approved prior to proceeding with shop drawing submittals.

Before submitting shop drawings for review, check the following:

  • Each bridge component must be referenced to a placement layout with an orientation mark for placement and review.
  • Each drawing should have sufficient information for correct fabrication and inspection without reference to any standard drawing.
  • The 2014 Standard Specifications Book requires each drawing to be identified by showing the CCSJ, county, district, highway and contractor. It is recommended to follow the page title format shown on the project plans. Refer to specification item 4.1.1. to view a complete list of title block requirements.
  • Each drawing must be legible at full scale on a monitor without zooming in (that is, 1-inch width on an 11x17 inch sheet is 1 inch on the monitor).
  • Detailers should use drawing practices similar to those used in TxDOT standard drawings. Fonts must be no smaller than those used on TxDOT standard drawings.
  • Drawings, other than manufacture data sheets, must be black lines on a white background.
  • The first sheet of optional design calculations and all affected shop drawing detail sheets must be sealed, signed and dated by an engineer registered in the state of Texas.
  • Distill the drawings to an 11x17 inch PDF in ready to read landscape layout.
  • Name the file for handling in the TxDOT archives  using the CSSJ followed by county, item, fabricator, submittal number, and revision number. 
    • Example: 1234-12-123 Tarrant Tx28 ACE 1 Rev 1  (using spaces as shown)
  • Attach the submittal file, including the optional design when applicable, to an email whose subject line matches the file name of the submittal PDF.
  • Format the body of the email per the Guide to Electronic Shop Drawing Submittal, Figure A-1.
  • Include the name and phone number of the fabricator’s point of contact for the reviewer’s use in resolving issues associated with the submittal.
  • Include the email address of the contractor.
  • When submitting to any non-district entity, include the district’s dedicated shop drawing submittal address found at: TxDOT Shop Drawing Submittal Addresses/Contacts.

Items reviewed by the Bridge Division are shown in the 2014 Submittal Requirements by Specification Item Number. Many items do not require official approval and have special instruction notes as shown in the table. This table provides a by-item guide to assist in determining what level of review is required.

Send all eligible shop drawing submittals directly to the reviewing office. The reviewer replies to the original email to acknowledge receipt of the submittal which also alerts the contractor of the status of the submittal for planning and tracking purposes. It is advisable to CC the area engineer or project manager. Search for the area engineer under the appropriate district location.


The reviewer verifies the submittal meets the requirement shown in the contract plans and complies with the TxDOT Specifications. The reviewer uses the mark-up tools found in Adobe Acrobat Pro for making annotations to the drawing file.

Annotations must be made in red and must not obscure any information. Final drawing files require a status update be added as an extension to the drawing file name by adding AP, AX or RC depending on the final status of the review.

  • AP = approved
  • AX = approved except as noted
  • RC = returned for correction

Example: 1234-12-123 Tarrant Tx28 ACE 1 Rev 1 AP (using spaces as shown)

Never return an approved submittal marked with a question. Resolve all questions in the review process before final approval distribution.

Replying to the original email received with the submittal attachment is the method used for distributing the shop drawing review whether the final status of the submittal is approved or returned for correction. If the submittal is approved, include the Construction Division's Shop Drawing email address. See page 3 of the TxDOT Shop Drawing Submittal Addresses/Contacts for the complete address.

Do not return approved drawings with question mark annotations. Resolve all issues before approving. Items cannot be fabricated from drawings that have unanswered questions.

Each district has an email address and contact associated with shop drawing review, TxDOT Shop Drawing Submittal Addresses/Contacts. Each submittal that is not reviewed by the district is required to have the district dedicated address and the contractor’s email address in the cc: field of the submittal email.

Question: How can I find who the reviewer is?
Answer: The contractor is given the project manager’s name and email address and can pass this information to the fabricators selected for the project. Typically, the engineer of record (design engineer) is the reviewer; however the Bridge Division reviews bridges designed using un-modified bridge standards.


Question: Why can’t I put my P.O. number in the subject line or file name of the submittal?
Answer: Organization and tracking. We use the information assigned to the project for locating, forwarding, saving and other activities. Lost submittals occur because they lack identifying features. Many users are involved with submittals after the reviewer is finished. The area office uses them to aid construction and preparation of as-built files, the Construction Division uses them to maintain their records and communicate with inspectors and, the contractor uses them to construct the bridge.


Question: Why don’t we send our submittals to the contractors since they know who the reviewer is?Answer: Primarily because TxDOT works with the fabricator to speed the submittal along to facilitate production scheduling. The best way we can help ensure that happens is to ensure the approved drawings are returned directly to the fabricator.

  • Shop Drawing – Fabrication detail sheet prepared by fabricators for their manufacturing shop to use in fabrication of bridge components in compliance with contract plans and applicable TxDOT specifications and standards. A set of drawings is compiled and submitted for approval prior to fabrication. Typically the engineer of record reviews shop drawings. Shop drawings become part of the as-built drawings for the completed structure.
  • Working Drawing – Forming detail sheet prepared for or by the contractor for form work, false work, shoring or erection. Work detailed does not require review by the engineer of record. However, a professional engineer must sign and seal these drawings. Submittal is required, but approval is not required.
  • Engineer – TxDOT’s executive director authorized representative. For shop or working drawing submittals, the engineer is usually the area engineer or district bridge engineer.
  • Engineer of Record – The design engineer who seals and signs the bridge plans. The engineer of record is a bridge engineer with the district, Bridge Division or a consultant. The engineer of record is usually the reviewer for shop drawing submittals.
  • Modified Bridge Standard (MOD) – These are items detailed on TxDOT standard drawings that have been modified by a design engineer. They are distinguished by a (MOD) label in the title block and are subject to requirements for shop drawing submission and review by the engineer of record.
  • Alternate Design (Alt Dsn) – Precast alternate designs for box culverts, junction boxes and manhole/inlet items and any required calculations are typically submitted to the engineer for approval. These items are sealed by the fabricator’s engineer and do not go through the usual shop plan review. Though commonly reviewed by TxDOT districts, these submittals are also reviewed by the Bridge design section at the request of the engineer.

Fabrication and support branch contacts

Contact Phone
Transportation specialist 512-416-2207
Transportation engineer 512-416-2179

Physical address

TxDOT Bridge Division
Bridge Design Section (Fabrication)
6230 E Stassney Lane
Austin, TX 78744

Mailing address 

TxDOT Bridge Division
Bridge Design Section (Fabrication)
125 E. 11th St.
Austin, TX 78701-2483