Chapter 9: Passes, Stock Passes, and Cattle Guards

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Section 1: Pass Policies (for State)

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The Commission's policy for passes on the highway system is contained in 43 TAC Section 21.81. Handle pass installations in the right of way transaction with construction and cost responsibilities as outlined in this TAC Section.

TxDOT will conduct land use and ownership studies and determine property owners' need or desire for passes during the project location stage. Also, provision is made for safety studies and analyses to determine the need for passes as a safety measure. Safety passes, if required by a safety study, will be included in public hearing displays and discussed at the hearing.

Negotiations with the property owner shall be based on comparing separate appraisals of market value of the right-of-way parcel and damages to the remainder both with and without the proposed pass to the estimated cost of a pass.

Using the economic difference in damages as established by the appraisals, if such difference equals or exceeds the estimated cost of such a structure, TxDOT will bear all of the costs of the structure, provided the landholder agrees to a reduction in compensation in the amount of damages offset by providing the pass.

It is TxDOT’s policy to negotiate with landowners for passes or cattle guards with the objective of continuing farm, ranch, or other agricultural operations when a new highway location or relocation severs the property, or when an existing highway is to be widened into a multi-lane facility. When a drainage structure is adequate for pass purposes, and the landowner is allowed to retain these rights, additional right of way would be acquired on the basis of continued operation.

When use of a pass across the right of way is allowed, it will be accomplished by permit, by contractual agreement with the state, or as a retained right in the right of way conveyance to the state. Use the method that meets the legal requirements pertaining to that particular case.

When pass privileges are part of the right of way transaction, except in cases where an existing pass is to be continued, design approval is required. Such approval will be obtained from the Design Division by the ROW Program Office prior to approval of recommended values, as indicated in Chapter 3, Section 5 of the ROW Appraisal and Review Manual. Refer to this manual for pass privilege appraisal procedures and for arriving at values.

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