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Section 4: Project Submission

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HSIP Specific Rules

As a condition of obligating Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funds, a state is required to submit an annual report to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) that describes the progress on safety improvement projects and their contribution to reducing roadway fatalities, injuries, and crashes. In order to comply with these requirements and to maintain the integrity of the program-selection process, the following HSIP-specific rules must be adhered to and considered prior to project proposal submission:

Leveraging of Project Estimate Not Allowed. The estimate provided by the district must be for the entire construction cost of the project. Districts cannot add district funds to the requested amount in order to “leverage” the cost of the project. All items must be included in the submitted estimate.

Include all Proposed Corrective Actions. When identifying the “Proposed Corrective Action” for each proposal, give a detailed description of all corrective action to be performed. Work types are assigned based on the information provided. Only work types programmed will be considered “in scope,” and this is the only work that can be done as part of the safety project. Work considered incidental to the primary work type will not have a separate work code assigned, but the work will be allowed (for example, widening a roadway to install a left-turn lane or extend drainage structures, re-striping an overlay project, etc.). If additional non-incidental work is required or desired, it will be considered “out of scope” and will be funded by the district under a separate Control-Section Job ( CSJ).

Projects Are Location Specific. Project selection is based on the crash history, traffic volumes, and roadway geometrics at the specified location. The project parameters need to be accurately identified in order for the project to be programmed correctly. When defining project parameters, consideration should be given to including distance for project approaches and tapers, as necessary. HSIP projects are not eligible for non-site specific contracts.

Deadline for Letting. Due to the nature of HSIP projects (safety), the project must be let to contract in a timely manner. Based on category letting volumes, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Traffic Operations Division (TRF) will work with the districts to determine the earliest fiscal year the project can be let. Once a project is approved for letting in a fiscal year, every effort should be made to meet this date. Federal safety funds not obligated by the federal lapse date are forfeited by the state.

No Local Let. HSIP projects are not eligible for local letting. All HSIP projects must be let by TxDOT's competitive bid process.

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Field Evaluation

Before a project is submitted for funding consideration, a field evaluation should be done to determine the existing conditions at the proposed project site. This helps avoid the submittal of work that has already been constructed and provides the information necessary for a complete and accurate estimate. The district’s planning office should be involved in the review of all project proposals before submittal in order to determine if the improvement is already scheduled for construction under another program.

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Off-System Project Proposals

Off-system projects are eligible for funding under the federal HSIP. When a project located off the state highway system is selected for funding, the local municipality is required to provide 10 percent of the total project cost in matching funds.

The district should have a system in place to notify local municipalities within their district when a call for project proposals is issued. The district should evaluate and consider the eligibility and viability of safety projects suggested by the local municipality. If the project proposal meets the requirements of the HSIP and is considered competitive by the district, it should be submitted to TRF for funding consideration.

All off-system project proposals are to be handled through the responsible district office. All questions and comments concerning project submission will be directed to the district, not the local municipality.

Off-system project proposals are evaluated and ranked along with on-system proposals using the same rules, guidelines, and requirements.

Off-system projects are not eligible for local letting. All HSIP projects are required to be let by TxDOT's competitive bid process.

Improvements made with federal funds through the HSIP are required to be in place and maintained by the local municipality for a minimum of 10 years.

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