Chapter 4: Elements of the Unified Transportation Program


Section 1: UTP Overview

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Description of the UTP

The Unified Transportation Program (UTP) is a ten-year plan that authorizes project planning, development, and construction. The annually updated UTP is a multimodal plan that includes highway, public transportation, and aviation programs. It is financially constrained to reasonable projections of available funds.

A very large portion of the UTP involves the highway program, which is the portion predominantly discussed in this manual. The other modes of transportation are discussed in other documents.

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Function of the UTP

The UTP is the core document for the planning and scheduling of TxDOT projects. It identifies projects, indicates the authorized level of development, and lists estimated letting years for project-specific programs. For the bank balance allocation programs, the UTP authorizes the program funding and specifies the allocation of funds to each district.

Projects and programs authorized in the UTP are linked to anticipated funding and are scheduled to fully and effectively use the forecasted federal and state funds on a timely basis.

The UTP is both a result of and a major resource for the planning functions. It is the result of the transportation planning efforts of TxDOT, the MPOs, and local authorities. The UTP is also a major resource of project information used in the transportation planning function.

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UTP Categories

UTP categories are groupings of similar projects resulting from one or a combination of federal requirements, state legislative requirements, and/or the accomplishment of objectives specified by the Texas Transportation Commission. UTP categories are described in detail in Chapter 5, UTP Categories. That chapter includes a discussion of programming authority, funding source, eligibility, bank balance allocation program classification, ranking criteria, responsibility for project selection, restrictions, applicable policies, and other critical information.

The Federal-Aid Highway Program, the State-Funded Highway Program, and the corresponding UTP categories (see utpsum for a summary of all UTP categories) are discussed in Chapter 2, Funding Considerations.

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Modifications to the UTP during the Fiscal Year

If necessary, the UTP can be modified by Commission action during the FY. These modifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Programming and Scheduling Section of the Transportation Planning and Programming Division. Modifications will be made through a Special Minute Order prepared by TPP and approved by the Commission.

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Availability of the UTP

The UTP is available in hardcopy from the General Services Division.

Online versions of the UTP (beginning with the FY 2000 UTP) are available on the Internet at

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