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Section 5: 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 Secretary of Transportation that describes the progress on safety improvement projects, their effectiveness, 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:

Each Submission a Project. Each Safety Evaluation Report (SER) submitted is a project. A project can have multiple control-sections (up to four), but these control-sections cannot be split up and let at different times if the project is programmed. If a portion or portions of your project will be affected by other on-going or planned improvements or construction, the affected portions should be submitted on a separate SER form.

Leveraging of Project Estimate Not Allowed. The estimate included on the SER must be for the entire 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 completing the “Proposed Corrective Action” portion of the SER, give a detailed description of all corrective action to be performed. Work types are assigned based on the information contained in this portion of the SER. 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. Once a project is programmed, the project location cannot be moved or altered.

No Changes After Programming. The location, length, and scope of work cannot be changed on a Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) project once it is programmed. For example, if the project was programmed for "Safety Treat Fixed Objects" from point "A" to point "B" for a length of 10 miles, the project length cannot be reduced to five miles or increased to 15 miles, changing the programmed beginning and ending points. Also, additional work outside the scope of the approved project cannot be added. On the same note, programmed work cannot be eliminated from the project. Once programmed, each HSIP project is all or nothing.

Deadline for Letting. Due to the nature of HSIP projects (safety), the project must be let to contract prior to the program lapse date. Federal safety funds not obligated by the lapse date are forfeited by the state. Do not submit projects for consideration that cannot be let to contract by the published lapse date.

No Local Let. HSIP projects are not eligible for local letting. All HSIP projects must be let by the Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT's) competitive bid process.

No District Processing of Plans, Specifications and Estimate (PS&E). HSIP projects PS&E are not eligible for district processing. All PS&E must be submitted through the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Design Division (DES) for review.

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Field Evaluation

Before the Safety Evaluation Report (SER) is completed for submission, 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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Additional Off-System Project Information

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. For more information on local project requirements, refer to the Local Government Project Procedures (LGPP) Modules at http://www.txdot.gov/services/design/lgpp_modules.htm.

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 program and is considered competitive by the district, it should be submitted to the TxDOT Traffic Operations Division (TRF) for funding consideration.

The local municipality is required to provide all of the requested data (traffic volumes, roadway geometrics, diagrams, etc.) to the district in order for the proposal to be properly evaluated and the Safety Evaluation Report (SER) form to be completed. Crash reports may be obtained by the district through the Crash Records Information System (CRIS).

All off-system project proposals are to be handled through the responsible district office. Using the information provided by the local municipality, the district is required to complete the off-system SER and make the submission to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Traffic Operations Division (TRF). 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 Highway Safety Improvement Program (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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Submission Form

Districts should use the automated SER form to submit proposed HSIP projects to TRF. The automated form is updated prior to any program call. All information requested on the SER is required.

The SER form is available in two versions — “on-system” and “off-system.”

The automated MS Word SER forms are available from TRF and through the on-line version of this manual. To open either form in MS Word, click the appropriate link below:

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Filling Out the SER

Complete instructions for filling out the SER form are provided in Section 8 of this manual.

When filling out the SER form, districts should consider the following points for on- and off-system projects:

On-System Projects:

  • The “Proposed Corrective Action” should be as detailed as necessary to provide a clear understanding of the work to be performed. An additional page may be attached if needed.
  • The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Traffic Operations Division (TRF) uses three years of crash history in determining the Safety Improvement Index (SII). The appropriate three-year period is stated in the program call and on the Safety Evaluation Report (SER) (See Section 6 for information on the SII).
  • Diagrams and typical sections of the existing conditions and proposed improvements must be submitted with the SER for all roadway work projects.
  • Plan or roadway layouts showing the placement of all requested traffic control devices and luminaire poles must be submitted with the SER. The quantity of these devices should also be noted.
  • For resurfacing projects, reasonably current skid data must be provided with the SER. Current skid numbers must be less than 40.
  • For traffic signal installation projects, traffic signal warrant worksheets must be provided with the SER.
  • The estimate must include all relevant cost, and all major work items must be shown on the SER. A detailed estimate should be attached to the SER if available. "Mobilization/Barricade" cost should be calculated at a minimum of 8 percent. A 10-percent inflation-factor cost is required to be added to all estimates.

Off-System Projects. For off-system projects, the same points listed for on-system projects apply, in addition to the following point:

  • The off-system SER requires more roadway system information than the on-system SER.
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