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Technical Services

​​​The Division of Highways' Technical Services provides project and program management services, contracts, planning and design functions as well as other technical support services for all modes of travel administered and overseen by the N.C. Department of Transportation.

Technical Services consists of several distinct business functions with work spanning from early planning efforts into construction. 

Geotechnical Engineering

The Geotechnical Engineering Unit provides expertise on the types of soil and rock at a particular project site and how it will react during and after construction. This includes evaluating and monitoring the stability of slopes for potential landslides and falling rock.


The Hydraulics Unit provides recommendations for highway projects to ensure that water properly drains from the roadway. The unit also recommends the size and type of structure (e.g., bridge, culvert or pipe) to best carry water under a roadway.   

Location & Surveys

The Location & Surveys Unit provides land-based surveys that are used to map and design projects.  The unit also locates proposed rights of way and easements on planned projects to assist the Right of Way Branch in negotiations with property owners.


The Photogrammetry Unit obtains aerial imagery and produces digital spatial products, which provide the shape and location of geographic features and boundaries that are used to plan, design and construct projects. In addition, the group provides aerial surveys of damage following natural disasters.​


The Utilities Unit facilitates and manages the relocation, adjustment, removal and addition of utilities along highways and rights of way that the N.C. Department of Transportation owns, while maintaining and preserving the integrity of the highway system and ensuring the safety of its users.

​​Human Environment

The Human Environment Section oversees aspects of a proposed project that have an impact on the people and communities in the project area. This includes:

  • Identifying and evaluating archaeological sites, historic structures and landscapes as well as other significant resources
  • Community studies documenting demographics, current land use and development patterns, growth and employment trends and local plans and policies
  • Identification, analysis and documentation of the potential effects of the project on these socio-economic resources

The section also helps ensure projects are in compliance with state and federal laws, regulations and policies concerning noise form highway traffic and project-level air quality.

Natural Environment

The Natural Environment Section is responsible for identifying natural resources within a project area and assessing the impacts a proposed project might have on these resources. This includes:

  • Determining if there are endangered plants or animals in the area
  • Studying the potential impacts to streams and wetlands as well as ways to minimize these impacts and replace impacts to regulated water resources that are simply unavoidable

In addition, the section directs the planning, design, construction oversight and post-construction monitoring and stewardship for wetland, stream and buffer mitigation sites adjacent to NCDOT projects.

Project Development & Roadway Design

The Project Development and Roadway Design Unit is responsible for determining the scope of a project, monitoring the project schedule and budget, making engineering decisions, preparing environmental documents and maintaining the administrative record, and ensuring proper public engagement is conducted. 

The unit also has the responsibility of managing the preparation of functional and preliminary designs as well as overseeing development of engineering plans for right of way acquisition and construction.

The Project Development and Roadway Design Unit is also responsible for requesting and updating project cost estimates and assembling final payment quantities.  The staff that performs these functions must coordinate with and gain agreement from a multitude of state and federal agencies to ensure that NCDOT follows all applicable state and federal ​regulations.

Transportation Program Management

From research and development to post-construction, the Transportation Program Management Unit manages several unique programs within the Department.

The Research and Development Section researches products that NCDOT's business units can use to meet the Department's mission, goals and strategic plans.

NCDOT's Value Management Office ensures the department is responsibly and efficiently uses resources and funding when building and improving North Carolina's transportation system.

Local Programs Management

The Local Programs Management Section provides guidance and oversight to local government agencies that receive federal or state funding for implementing a project, program or study.

The section also generates all agreements between local governments and NCDOT and establishes standard operating procedures for projects that local agencies administer.

5/4/2021 2:09 PM