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Plans Online FAQ

If you can't find an answer to your question, submit an email question to our Plans Online Help Desk or call the toll free number at (888) 900-7322.

How can I get copies of plan drawings that are no longer available on the internet?

There are some options to obtain copies.
  • Purchase copies from one of the plans companies that provide copies for resale. Some of them maintain inventories of jobs older than 5 months. The companies who archive post-letting jobs are noted with an X in the right column of the plans company list.
  • Submit an Open Records Request for a copy of the plan to the TxDOT District where the project is located. You may also contact the district office by email, phone, fax or in person to request a copy of the plans. You will need to provide detailed information to the district, i.e., name, business, address, etc. Also, provide the project number, CSJ, or other information that will help the district locate the plans.
When are letting plans made available on Plans Online?

The release day is 21 days prior to the first day of letting and all plans should be posted on Plans Online by the release date if they have been received.

When are proposals posted on Plans Online?

Proposals should be posted on the project release date, which is 21 days prior to the first day of letting.

Where do I find plans for a proposed highway that may be built near my home or business?

Plans Online only posts project plans that are available for bidding.  To find information about projects in the planning stages, there are several options:
  • To find information about projects that are under study, visit the Transportation Studies page. Here you'll find information about various highway project studies listed by TxDOT district.
  • You can also contact the local TxDOT district where the project is planned.
Is a CD or other program needed to run and view Plans Online?

No program is needed. Alchemy Web license agreements have been purchased by TxDOT enabling the general public to view the plans without any special software. You will however need to download a quick utility that will automatically open the first time you open a database to view plans, but after the initial download, you will not need any special software or program to enter the plans online area. Please make sure that you have your pop-up blockers turned off or the plans will not be able to be viewed in the databases.

Why can't I open the proposals in Plans Online?

Check your version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. The current Plans Online software is not upgraded to work with Adobe 7.0. If you are using Acrobat Reader 7.0, you may encounter an error, especially if double-clicking on the PDF.

Instead, you can view plans if you right-click on the PDF, rather than double-click. Select "Launch Application," which opens the PDF successfully via Reader 7.0.

Plans Online is working with the vendor to get a "fix" for the Acrobat Reader 7.0 upgrade and hope to have it in place soon.

Other options to view the proposals are:

Why can't I see recently posted jobs on the FTP site?

If a job is on the FTP site and you cannot view it on your monitor, there are two things you can try if you are using Internet Explorer (if using another browser, use its "Help" feature to search for how to delete your history and/or cache).

First, you may need to refresh your screen. You can do this by pressing the "F5" key or clicking on the "refresh" icon in your tool bar. If that does not work you may need to clear the history, or temporary, files off your computer. You can do this by:

  1. Selecting "Tools" from the tool menu
  2. Select "Internet Options"
  3. Select "Delete Files..."
  4. Select "OK" to delete all files in the Temporary Internet Files
  5. Select "OK" to close Internet Options
  6. Close and re-start Internet Explorer
Is there any way to print all of the sheets of any given job (entire plan set) without having to select one page at a time to print?

Yes, you can download the entire set of drawings for any of the jobs currently posted on Plans Online (5-month rolling window of current jobs). In order to download a plan set, select Plans Online - FTP Download (Print) on the Plans Online Information page and follow these steps:
  • Review the License Agreement - If you accept the license agreement, click on the "I Agree" button at the bottom of the page.
  • On the next page, the "Click Here" button will take you to the FTP directory.
  • Select the category you are looking for (i.e., State-let Construction, Local-let Maintenance).
  • Select the letting month.
  • Select the appropriate folder that contains the data you are searching for, such as plans, proposals, addenda, etc.
  • Select the county/CSJ number for the job you wish to download and double-click it.
  • Select RUN.
  • Select BROWSE from the dialog box that pops up, to save the file to a location of your choice or desktop. Click OK, then UNZIP, and OK to exit after it completes.
  • Go to the area (or desktop) where you saved the folder and this folder will be named the County/CSJ and contain all the .tif images of the plans.
  • Finally, set your printer options and print any or all of the individual images.
  • You can also save the project to a CD or other area for future reference.
Why can't I print the Informational Proposals directly from the Plans Online viewing database - I get an error message stating, Adobe "Could not start print job"?

The documents are in Adobe PDF file format and they open in Adobe Acrobat Reader to view, but they cannot be printed directly from the viewing database. TxDOT has contacted the Alchemy software manufacturer, regarding this issue and they are working on resolving the problem. In the mean time, there is a work-around that can be used to enable printing of PDF documents from Plans Online.

Why does it take so long to download a plan set?
  • Plan sheets are scanned in and saved as image files, so a downloadable file for an entire plan set can often be quite large.
  • Downloading a large plan set takes time depending on the Internet Service Provider, especially if your provider is a dial-up service. DSL or cable internet greatly speeds downloading time. If you do not have DSL or cable internet, you might find somewhere that does, i.e., public library, and download and save the plans to DVDs/CDs or print the pages you need.
  • Make sure you are downloading from our Plans Online - FTP Download (Print) area rather than trying to download one page at a time through the viewing databases.
Are there any other options to obtain the plans I need besides downloading the complete file?
  • If you only need a couple of plan sheets, you can download only the pages you need, one at a time, from the viewing database.
  • Purchase the pages you need or the entire plan set from a Plans Company on our list.
When I open a PDF form in my Web browser, the form will not open and I get a message that I need to download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. However, I already have the latest version installed. What should I do?

Internet Explorer

Repair your installation from your Adobe Reader application menu bar.

Chrome and Firefox

Current browsers include a built-in PDF viewer that is not compatible with some PDF forms. Modify your browser settings to use Adobe Reader rather than the built-in PDF viewer.