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Section 5: Construction Funding Identification

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Overview

This section discusses activities involved in identifying potential construction funding sources including state, federal, and outside sources. Outside sources could include local governmental entities, other public agencies, and private sources.

This section includes the following tasks. The tasks are listed in approximate chronological order, but may be performed concurrently in some cases.

10500. Identify potential design and construction funding

10510. Prepare and execute advance funding agreements

10520. DEVELOP Authority

10530. CONSTRUCT Authority

10540. Place project in Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

10550. Develop Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)

10560. Place project in one-year letting schedule

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10500: Identify potential design and construction funding

Description. The Unified Transportation Program (UTP) is a 10-year, mid-range planning document, approved annually. The UTP authorizes planning, development and construction activities for highways, public transportation, aviation, state and coastal waterway, and rail. Twelve specific purpose categories of funds have been established by federal and state legislation and commission policy for highway transportation programs. Categories have target LET dates and are either allocation programs or project specific.

Authority.

Resource Material.

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10510: Prepare and execute advance funding agreements

Description. Advance funding agreements (AFAs) are used when other entities participate in funding project development. Funding may be directed toward preliminary engineering, construction, right of way, utility relocation costs, maintenance or any other project expense. Generally, agreements should only be executed with governmental entities except for certain work with utilities and railroads. TxDOT generally uses two payment methods: Standard (fixed price) and Specified Percentage as described in 43 TAC §15.52.

Many local governments have signed the department’s Master Advanced Funding Agreement (MAFA). This agreement contains all the standard clauses found in an AFA. Once a MAFA is signed, a Local Project Advance Funding Agreement (LPAFA) is used. The LPAFA is much shorter than a regular AFA.

Standard (Fixed Price) AFA. A fixed price AFA is based on the estimated cost of the work performed by the department on a project which receives state or federal funds. A fixed price funding arrangement is not subject to adjustment, except as provided by 43 TAC 15.52 (5) under conditions defined in 43 TAC 15.52 (3)(A)(i).

Specified Percentage AFA. Requires special approval by the executive director. The AFA specifies the percentage of cost each funding entity will provide. Local government covers overruns.

TxDOT allows for either a single payment or periodic payments. The local government must have TxDOT administration approval to use periodic payments. The AFA provides that the local government is responsible for any amount that will exceed the AFA estimate. Any overpayment by the local government, after all cost and claims are paid, is returned or funds may be applied by the department to the local government's contractual obligations under another AFA. If the scope of work involving the local government changes after the execution of the original AFA, the AFA must be amended.

The AFA must be executed and the funds provided to TxDOT before the required services are performed unless periodic payments are approved. Districts are responsible for negotiations and development of the AFA. Contract Services Office has developed contract forms and procedures associated with developing and processing AFAs.

Accurate estimates are essential for preparing AFAs. Local governments may not be able to afford the project at letting if an inaccurate, low estimate was used to determine participation amounts.

Pertinent Project Types. Projects containing local funding participation. Other projects legally required to match participation (i.e. required to match state or federal funds).

Responsible Party. District Director of Transportation Planning and Development

Subtasks.

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  • Prepare a draft AFA.
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  • Send the AFA to the CSO for review and revision as needed.
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  • Send the AFA (with partial execution by local government) to CSO or proper signatory (i.e. off system bridge AFA to BRG).
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  • Proper signatory executes the AFA for TxDOT.
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  • Proper signatory sends an original of the fully executed AFA to the district for return to the local government.
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  • Complete DCIS and PeopleSoft or other electronic tracking reports relating to AFAs per CSO requirements.
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  • District or division managing the AFA is responsible for collecting the funds in accordance with the terms of the AFA.

Helpful Suggestions.

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  • Start the AFA process as early as possible. The district should contact the local government as soon as it appears an AFA is required.
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  • The estimate should be accurate to allow the local government opportunity to budget for the project. This will help ensure that funds will be available when they are required.
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  • Entities may need additional time to schedule meetings (i.e. city council) necessary to accept AFA provisions and to transfer funds.
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  • CS and the administering divisions are available to assist districts.
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  • The district is responsible for ensuring that all provisions of any agreement executed by the district engineer comply with all applicable laws, policies, and procedures.

Critical Sequencing.

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  • Execute AFAs at the beginning of project development to ensure that the responsibilities of each party are agreed to before incurring preliminary design costs.

Authority.

Resource Material.

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  • Transportation Planning and Programming - Local Government Projects office (LGP)
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10520: DEVELOP Authority

Description. DEVELOP Authority phase is for projects in the years 5 to 10 of the UTP. The districts perform advanced planning, engineering, environmental studies, surveying, initial utility and right of way planning, and preliminary design.

Pertinent Project Types. Projects authorized for project development, but not for CONSTRUCT Authority

Responsible Party. District Director of Transportation Planning and Development.

Resource Material.

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10530: CONSTRUCT Authority

Description. All phases of work are permitted for projects with CONSTRUCT Authority. Generally, projects with CONSTRUCT Authority are the highest ranked projects that have proposed letting dates within the next four years, and are eligible to be selected for the 2-year letting schedule based on readiness.

Pertinent Project Types. Projects with environmental and right of way clearance and secured funding.

Responsible Party. District Director of Transportation Planning and Development

Resource Material.

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10540: Place project in Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

Description. The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a central component of the multimodal transportation planning process developed by the MPO in cooperation with the department and local public transportation operators The TIP is a four-year list of transportation projects approved for development and prioritized by project within each UTP funding category. The TIP for rural areas and urban areas outside an MPO is developed by the responsible TxDOT district in cooperation with local government entities. The TIP is a list of priority projects to be funded and likely implemented within a four year period.

A new TIP shall be updated and approved at least every two years and in a format consistent with the STIP. Modifications to a currently approved TIP can be made as defined in 43 TAC §16.101(k).

The TIP is approved by the MPO and the Governor's designee (TTC or TxDOT Executive Director). After approval, the TIP shall be included without modification, directly or by reference, in the STIP program except that in nonattainment and maintenance areas, a conformity finding by the FHWA and the FTA must be made before it is included in the STIP.

All TIPs must be financially constrained and are merged into the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. See Task 10550: Develop Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). Generally, a project's letting year is established as part of placing it in the TIP.

Pertinent Project Types.

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  • Federal regulations require that projects proposing to use FHWA or FTA funds are shown in the TIP before project approval.
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  • Projects that will not use FHWA or FTA funds, but that will require approval by these agencies (such as new access to an interstate) should also be in the TIP.
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  • In non-attainment areas or maintenance areas, all regionally significant projects, regardless of funding (federal, state or local), must be in the TIP.
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  • In all areas, locally funded, regionally significant projects let in the previous fiscal year, should be listed in the Annual Project List provided to the FHWA/FTA at the end of the fiscal year for every year in the TIP/STIP.

Responsible Party. District Director of Transportation Planning and Development

Helpful Suggestions.

Critical Sequencing.

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  • All projects listed in the STIP must be included in a TIP and MTP (MTP only where applicable).
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  • Projects must be in the STIP before federal reimbursement of work will be authorized.

Resource Material.

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  • Transportation Planning and Programming Division - Systems Planning Office
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10550: Develop Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)

Description. The Department must develop a comprehensive intermodal statewide transportation plan for all areas of the state including metropolitan planning bound by federal requirements. The STIP is a compilation of Transportation Improvement Programs and projects selected by districts. See Task 10540: Place project in Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

For non attainment areas, the MPO must prove conformity with the Statewide Implementation Plan (SIP) before the TIP can be included in the STIP. See Task 10420: Determine if Texas Statewide Implementation Plan requirements apply. As with each TIP, the STIP is financially constrained.

TPP compiles the STIP, which is then approved by the Texas Transportation Commission acting for the governor. The Commission forwards the STIP to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for review and approval. All federal-aid projects must be included in the STIP before federal funds may be authorized for the phase of project development.

Pertinent Project Types.

Responsible Party. Transportation Planning and Programming Division

Helpful Suggestions.

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  • The STIP must be consistent with expected funding levels.
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  • Before STIP approval, there must be reasonable opportunity for public comment.

Critical Sequencing.

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  • Federally funded projects must be included in the STIP before issuance of an FPAA.
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  • FPAA to obligate federal funds must be obtained before incurring reimbursable project costs.

Resource Material.

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  • Transportation Planning and Programming Division - Systems Planning Office
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10560: Place project in one-year letting schedule

Description. On an annual basis, the Letting Management Section of the Financial Management Division (FIN) requests that districts formulate a three-year letting schedule to meet specific letting volumes provided for each District. This involves updating PeopleSoft and various fields in DCIS in accordance with specific instructions provided by the Letting Management Section. The “LET SCH FY” field on the DCIS Project Identification Screen (P01) are opened, or ‘unlocked’, for changes during a six-week period for districts to enter let years for their projects. Other fields requested to be updated, including the “PRES DIST EST LET DATE” are open for changes throughout the year.

From DCIS data in the LET SCHEDULE YEAR and the PRES DIST EST LET DATE fields, the Letting Management Section forms a one-year letting schedule. Letting Management reviews the schedule on a statewide basis to ensure funding goals are met. The schedule is also reviewed for completeness, funding eligibility, federal oversight, etc. and any necessary changes are coordinated with the district. The schedule is then submitted to the administration for their approval. The one-year letting schedule is a planning document and is subject to change. Letting schedules are posted on the Internet.

Financial Management Division tracks letting volumes by district and by funding category. This information is sent to the Texas Transportation Commission monthly and summarized in a quarterly report (with cumulative results) to districts.

Pertinent Project Types. All projects.

Responsible Party. Financial Management Division (FIN) - Letting Management Section

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