The Design Section is responsible for the preparation of engineering plans, specifications and estimates for the construction and reconstruction of Rhode Island's state-owned and maintained highways, bridges, traffic signal systems and bicycle and pedestrian paths. This work also involves coordination with Rhode Island's 39 cites and towns, and various citizen advocacy groups.

The Design Section coordinates with various Federal agencies, notably the Federal Highway Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This section is also responsible for the review of Utility Permits, Land Sale Requests and Physical Alteration Permit Applications (PAPA)

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