Chapter 3: Maintenance Projects

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Section 1: Letter Agreements

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Timelines

Letter agreements for maintenance work and other work with minimal impacts to railroad rights-of-way typically require one to three months for execution. As the need is identified, the District Railroad Coordinator contacts the TxDOT Traffic Operations Division-Rail Safety Section (TRF-RSS) Contract Specialist with:

  • a description of the work to be performed on railroad right-of-way
  • a location map
  • the number of days of flagging required
  • clarification if work is invasive or non-invasive. Invasive work generally includes any excavation or milling of roadway surfaces.
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Types of Work Requiring a Letter Agreement

On maintenance projects or projects with minimal impact to railroad right-of-way, authority to perform the work and allow the railroad company to provide flagging services is accomplished with a letter agreement. The following types of work are typically handled via a letter agreement:

  • Seal coat & pavement maintenance
  • Overlays and inlays
  • Bridge inspection
  • Minor bridge repair or maintenance
  • Some types of maintenance work on an underpass
  • Surveying
  • Mowing
  • Barrier or guardrail repair
  • Installation or replacement of roadside signs
  • Culvert or ditch maintenance
  • Conduit & cable replacement or realignment
  • Traffic signal maintenance
  • Traffic control plans over an at-grade crossing
  • Removing rail on abandoned rail line within railroad right-of-way
  • Activity outside of railroad right-of-way with equipment that could tip over the tracks.
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Letter Agreement Considerations

Letter agreements for minor work on railroad right-of-way are typically one to two pages in length and are two-party agreements between TxDOT and the railroad company. In general, three main points must be considered on letter agreements:

  • Flagging: The letter agreement should clarify how many days of flagging are anticipated for the work to be performed and the estimated daily cost of flagging to be charged by the railroad company. If there is any work within 25 feet of nearest rail, or if any heavy equipment could tip over the railroad tracks, a flagger will be required. The railroad has the final authority when flagging is needed. NOTE: On spur permit crossings, the railroad company provides flagging free of charge.
  • Insurance: The letter agreement should clarify the insurance limits the contractor will carry if working on railroad right-of-way.
  • Right-of-Entry Agreement: The letter agreement should clarify if the contractor performing the work will be required to execute a Right-of Entry-Agreement. Right-of-Entry Agreements are required if any invasive work is performed within railroad right-of-way. Types of work that would typically not require a Right-of-Entry Agreement are seal coats, overlays, and non-invasive surveying.
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Letter Agreement Execution

Letter agreements are typically submitted by TRF-RSS to the railroad company electronically. The railroad company executes and returns the agreements to be fully executed by TRF-RSS and forwarded to FIN to be uploaded in the Finance Imaging Database.

Executed letter agreements are uploaded into the TRIMS Project Management Module by the TRF-RSS Contract Specialist.

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