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Section 8: Category 4A - Surface Transportation Program: Safety

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Description

TEA-21 provided that 10 percent of all the Surface Transportation (STP) funds apportioned to the state be dedicated to safety projects. This category is composed of the following TxDOT safety programs: Federal Hazard Elimination Program and the Federal Railroad Signal Safety Program.

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Restrictions

Safety funds apportioned under the Federal Hazard Elimination Program are to be used to implement highway safety improvement projects on any public road other than interstate highways. Safety funds apportioned under the Federal Railroad Signal Safety Program are to be used to implement highway-rail grade crossing safety projects on any public road. Safety funds apportioned under the Federal Hazard Elimination Program or the Federal Railroad Signal Safety Program can also be used to develop a crash records information system.

All projects must be developed in accordance with applicable federal and state environmental requirements. All projects must be designed, constructed, operated, and maintained in accordance with state laws, regulations, directives; and safety, design, and construction standards as required by TEA-21.

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Project Selection

Allocations for the safety programs are approved by the commission, with the programs managed as bank balance programs on a statewide basis with projects evaluated, ranked, prioritized, and selected by the Traffic Operations Division.

Districts/Divisions receive program authority for the projects selected for inclusion in a safety program. The Federal Hazard Elimination Program is usually a one-year program with the program funds available for use within three years. The Federal Railroad Signal Safety Program is usually a one-year program with the program funds available for use within four years.

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Policy

Federal Hazard Elimination Program projects are evaluated and ranked by a safety improvement index using three years of accident data.

All highway-rail crossings on the statewide inventory are prioritized using the Texas Priority Index (PI). This index is based on the number of trains per day, speed of trains, current average daily traffic, number of school bus crossings per day (special vehicles), type of warning devices, and train-involved accidents within the prior five years. Those crossings with the highest PI are selected for the Federal Railroad Signal Safety Program.

Funds for a crash records information system will be approved by the Executive Director (or designee).

Match for preliminary engineering, construction, and right-of-way purchase/utility adjustments will be in accordance with TxDOT's Policy for Matching Funds - Participation Ratios.

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