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Section 2: Contractual Agreements

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An agreement must be executed by and between TxDOT and the applicable metropolitan planning organization (MPO) or LPA on all projects with State reimbursement. This will customarily be executed early on in project development. The agreement will give details about the project and will state who is responsible for the acquisition of the ROW. In any case, the purchase of ROW on any designated highway on the State Highway System must be in accordance with 49CFR and the Uniform Act if Federal funds are used in any phase of the project, including construction.

For example agreements, see TxDOT’s Right of Way Manual, Volume 1, Chapter 2, Section 1. Although TxDOT does not mandate the use of its forms, they are, however, preferred. TxDOT will approve all instruments of conveyance; refer to Chapter 3, Section 14 in this Guide for more information on instruments of conveyance.

The acquiring agency is responsible for all aspects of the acquisition process as detailed in the agreement between the parties.

The Contract Services Office of TxDOT has implemented a new agreement procedure, which will eventually replace the most commonly used agreements. The new procedure consists of two agreements. These are:

  • a Master Agreement Governing Local Transportation Project Advance Funding Agreement (MAFA), and
  • a Local Project Advance Funding Agreement (LPAFA).

At this time, the Right of Way Division (ROW) of TxDOT still requires the use of a contractual agreement with LPAs, which can be either the LPAFA or a Contractual Agreement for Right of Way Procurement – Local Government.

Through these agreements, regardless of the type of agreement signed, TxDOT will authorize and request the LPA to proceed with ROW acquisition and agrees to reimburse the LPA for its share of costs incurred according to the agreement’s provisions. The agreement provides LPA acceptance of responsibility to acquire all needed ROW and to obtain acceptable title in the name of the State of Texas.

Terms of the contractual agreement apply to:

  • new ROW authorized and requested by TxDOT which is needed and not yet dedicated, in use, or previously acquired in the name of the State or LPA for highway, street, or road purposes; and
  • needed outstanding property interests in existing ROW, and eligible utility adjustments not previously made, as authorized and requested by TxDOT.
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An amendment or amendments to the agreement will be necessary if certain acquisition responsibilities or participation requirements change during the course of an ongoing project. If the agreement originally called for the LPA to be the acquiring agency and it desires to transfer all or a portion of the remaining acquisition responsibilities to TxDOT, an amendment to the agreement shall be used, subject to TxDOT approval.

If the participation ratios or roles change, an amendment will be necessary. For example, a Minute Order designating an LPA as an economically disadvantaged county would require an amendment. Also see Appendix A.

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