Highway Design

About Us

Highway Design Branch plans, designs, manages and protects the province’s highway system. The Branch provides design, standards, specifications, policies, technical evaluation, guidance and approval. The Branch’s roles also include research, assessment, management, and review of development affecting the transportation system. These allow for a safe, reliable and efficient highway network.

Our Mandate

Highway Design Branch operates as a central engineering and specialized support team within Technical Services & Operations Division of Manitoba Infrastructure. Services are provided with a team of highly skilled staff in highway design, standards, research, geographic map and plan development, roadside development, permits, land use, transportation planning, materials, pavements, geotechnical and drainage design.

Our Goal

The goal of the Highway Design Branch is to provide design and technical support for protecting and developing Manitoba’s existing and future highway system. This is achieved by comprehensive and integrated consideration of the current capacity and growth, development needs, engineering and socio-economic factors, innovations and performance management.

Our Services

To meet our goal, the key services provided by the Branch include:

  • establishing engineering standards, specifications, policies, manuals and guidelines
  • undertaking and reviewing highway geometric design projects
  • undertaking pavement design, analysis and management, pavement/materials research, new material/product evaluation and overweight vehicle impact assessment
  • assessing nonstandard vehicles permit requests
  • managing the seasonal variation of allowable axle loads, pavement structural strength and surface condition data, and approved product lists
  • reviewing, assessing and recommending gross vehicle and axle weight limits       
  • undertaking geotechnical investigations and studies for highway infrastructure
  • providing technical guidance in various aspects of developments, planning, design, assessment, studies, construction and project management
  • performing quality management of highway construction drawings and tenders
  • managing access and development permits on the highway network
  • managing utility agreements
  • reviewing land use and transportation planning
  • providing geographic and drafting services
  • providing records management and inventories

To provide expertise design, review and technical support in different distinct areas, Highway Design Branch has been divided into seven sections: Administration, Geometric Design and Standards, Geographic and Records, Roadside Development, Land Use and Transportation Planning, Geotechnical Engineering and Pavement Engineering.

Administration Section

  • Provides executive and administrative management to the Branch.

Geometric Design and Standards Section

  • Provides geometric design guidance and reviews designs for adequacy and compliance with department design standards.
  • Develops geometric design standards, practices and guidelines.
  • Evaluates new knowledge and initiatives in the area of highway design for possible adoption by the department.
  • Undertakes design studies involving highway projects such as multi-lane rural and urban highways, channelized at-grade intersections, and grade-separated interchanges.
  • Provides technical guidance on geometric design issues and reviews traffic impact studies.

Geographic and Records Section

  • Provides support, guidance and standards to the department in CADD (computer aided design and drafting) and GIS (geographic information system).
  • Maintains the department's plan depository for highway engineering drawings and legal plans.
  • Provides information and prepares annual report on the departments HIS (Highway Inventory System), distance summaries and road network datasets. These include construction history, road structure, revised distances and control section data.
  • Publishes the official Highway Map and provides a wide range of mapping, cartographic and graphic services.
  • Manages the department's Quality Management System (QMS) for project construction drawings.
  • Provides information to the department's GIS data warehouse including a wide variety of base map layers, topographic maps, ortho photos and satellite imagery.

Roadside Development Section

  • Administers access and development controls established to protect the highway system through The Transportation Infrastructure Act.
  • Reviews permit applications for access and development adjacent to provincial highways.
  • Reviews proposals to develop land adjacent to the provincial highway system and provide recommendations related to their compatibility with current and future highway system requirements.
  • For more information regarding subdivisions, please visit: subdivision_guide2019.pdf (gov.mb.ca)

Land Use and Transportation Planning Section

  • Reviews development plans, zoning by-laws, annexations, Traditional Area Land Use plans, Wildlife management/protected areas/provincial park plans and boundary adjustments. This is to ensure the safe, efficient operation and future enhancements of the provincial transportation system, as well as well planned and integrated infrastructure/land use development.

Geotechnical Engineering Section

  • Provides technical support for the geotechnical and drainage components related to the design, construction and maintenance of highway infrastructure.
  • Provides geotechnical and drainage design guidance and review for projects to ensure compliance with department design standards.
  • Services include: design and analysis for stability of slopes and embankment settlements; developing mitigations for groundwater impacts and erosion protection; and managing  geotechnical investigations and assignments performed by the department and engineering service providers.

Pavement Engineering Section

  • Develops construction strategies and provides pavement designs for highway construction and rehabilitation.
  • Manages pavement surface deflection and condition data collection programs, monitors pavement performance and develops pavement management strategies.
  • Evaluates and recommends vehicles weight limits, assesses overweight vehicles impact and develops pavement damage fees, and reviews special vehicles permits.
  • Manages spring restrictions and winter seasonal weights programs.
  • Develops, monitors and manages various research and development projects.
  • Develops highway construction and materials specifications, technical standards, policies and guidelines.
  • Manages and reviews material mix designs, and provides support in highway construction and quality assurance programs.
  • Develops and maintains design standards and guidelines, and construction and product specifications.
  • Researches and evaluates new products for potential application by the department.

Meet Our Team

Highway Design Branch Organization Chart

Contact Us

Manitoba Infrastructure
Highway Design Branch
1420 - 215 Garry Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 3P3

Telephone: 204-945-3660
Fax: 204-945-0593
Email: HighwayDesign@gov.mb.ca

To find an individual staff member in Highway Design, please visit the Manitoba Government Phone Book website.