Section 3: Multi-state/Statewide Corridor/Feasibility Studies

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Federal/TxDOT Authority

ISTEA Section 1105 adds High Priority Corridors to the National Highway System (NHS) and allows the U. S. Secretary of Transportation to work cooperatively with the states to prepare long-range plans and feasibility studies for these corridors. That requirement was included in Title 23 United States Code (USC) Section 103(b)(5). TEA-21 Section 1118 adds the National Corridor Planning and Development Program. This program broadened corridor types that can be studied with feasibility studies.

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TxDOT Studies

TxDOT performs feasibility studies to determine critical elements of engineering and the economic feasibility of a proposed facility/corridor. Typically, these studies focus on improvements to particular transportation facilities or corridors, including construction of a new highway route instead of adding capacity to an existing facility or adding a high-occupancy vehicle facility or express lanes to an existing roadway rather than adding main lanes.

Such studies establish design concepts, general right-of-way requirements, and associated project impacts. Cost estimates are developed from these elements to determine the project’s overall financial feasibility in terms of a benefit/cost ratio. They are not intended to result in detailed design, environmental analysis, or cost estimates. The objective of completing a feasibility study is to determine if a project warrants further consideration and development. The typical elements of a feasibility study are as follows:

  • study various alternatives
  • analyze current and future traffic
  • analyze potential environmental problems
  • develop cost estimates
  • determine feasibility.
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FHWA Procedural Guidelines

In May of 1995, FHWA published “Procedural Guidelines for Highway Feasibility Studies.” To see these guidelines, click pln_apc.

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