The Assam Public Works Department was established in the year 1880 under British Rule. At the beginning it had the responsibility for all public infrastructure development, construction and maintenance work, but, in the year 1956 the Embankment and Drainage wing came out of the parent Department and established as an independent Department. The department has undergone considerable expansion since after attainment of independence and for smooth functioning of the organization, to share the increasing work load and for providing more stress to development works, the Assam P.W.D. has been divided into two wings viz. Roads and Building wings in August 1977 and continued to function with their prescribed identity till May, 2010.
The PWD has been further bifurcated into two separate departments – Public Works Building and NH Department and Public Works Roads Department in May, 2010.
Public Works Building and NH Department has two wings– National Highways and Building at directorate level under two Chief Engineers.
The principal function of the Public Works Building and NH Department is -construction and maintenance of the National Highways, which play the key role in providing intra state and interstate road connectivity; construction and maintenance of Government buildings of all non-technical departments.