Section 2: Preliminary ActivitiesAnchor: #i999877
One key difference between TxDOT construction projects and railroad capital improvement projects is that TxDOT cannot extend credit to another party for services provided prior to reimbursement. Therefore, a Donation Agreement is needed between TxDOT and the railroad company so that the railroad company can provide funding for the work prior to the work being performed. TxDOT employees may charge time and materials to the project. Once the project is complete, any funding paid via the Donation Agreement above what was charged by TxDOT is reimbursed to the railroad company.
Once a district is notified of an impending railroad capital improvement project, a decision must be made by the District on whether a Donation Agreement should be pursued between TxDOT and the railroad company. Donation Agreements allow TxDOT to be reimbursed for labor and materials provided on railroad capital improvement projects. Some examples of TxDOT services may include:
- reviewing railroad company plans and support documentation
- attending project meetings and diagnostic inspections
- drafting permit agreements
- coordinating utility locates and relocates
- traffic control (if TxDOT agrees to provide)
- reviewing traffic control plans
- reimbursement for salvage value of active warning devices paid for by public funds being removed by railroad company
- project inspection
- public outreach efforts
- other labor and materials TxDOT may provide during construction.
A Donation Agreement typically includes an attached estimate of TxDOT services as well as a project location map. The agreement will specify design standards required from the railroad company, requirements on utility adjustments, and insurance requirements for railroad companies working on TxDOT right-of-way.
Donation Agreements usually take three to six months to execute. If the District decides to pursue a Donation Agreement, any plans developed by the railroad company cannot be reviewed until the agreement has been fully executed. In some cases, the District may decide not to pursue a Donation Agreement. Reasons may include:
- the scope of work by TxDOT is minor (plan review only)
- no lane closures are involved
- the project provides benefit to TxDOT
- the project affects other TxDOT project schedules
- TxDOT agrees to forgo Donation Agreement based on negotiations with the railroad company.
If a Donation Agreement is executed, it will be recognized by the Commission typically within one month of the agreement being executed.Anchor: #i999982
A diagnostic inspection should be conducted for any projects that:
- add additional tracks
- affect traffic flow during construction
- impact grade crossing warning devices.
Maintenance projects or projects that do not impact the traveling public may not require a diagnostic inspection.
The diagnostic inspection should be coordinated between the railroad company and District Railroad Coordinator.
For further information on conducting a diagnostic inspection, see Chapter 4 of this manual.