Section 2: Project Source and Program Type

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Source of Projects

A project is an identifiable addition to, modification of, and/or improvement of the transportation system. It is described by its location, limits, length, and the work to be accomplished.

Transportation projects are generated from the identification of needs, whether for access, increased mobility, the reduction of congestion, safety improvements, maintenance, rehabilitation, reconstruction, or some specialized transportation need. The majority of transportation projects for improving access, increasing mobility, and reducing congestion result from planning activities of the metropolitan planning organizations (MPO) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). These activities are identified in the metropolitan transportation plans (MTP) developed by each MPO and the rural transportation plans (RTP) generated by TxDOT district offices. These planning efforts involve extensive interaction with and involvement of city and county governments.

Local governments, citizen groups (such as chambers of commerce), and individual citizens have opportunities to request transportation improvements at local public hearings and/or at public hearings conducted by the Texas Transportation Commission.

Some transportation projects result from needs identified by the U.S. Congress, such as priority corridors for NAFTA traffic or specific projects included in federal law.

Many projects are identified by the TxDOT district and area offices. Many of these projects are characterized as maintenance, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and safety improvements.

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Types of Programs

There are two types of programs based on the selection authority granted by the Texas Transportation Commission. These are project-specific programs and bank balance allocation programs.

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Project-Specific Programs

Projects included in project-specific programs are authorized for development in a Commission action which specifically identifies the project and specifies the level of authorization.

Project-specific programs include the following UTP categories:

  • Category 1 - High-Priority Interstate Highway Corridors
  • Category 3A - NHS: Mobility
  • Category 3B - Texas Trunk System
  • Category 3D - NHS: Traffic Management
  • Category 3E - NHS: Miscellaneous
  • Category 4B - Transportation Enhancements
  • Category 4G - STP: Railroad Grade Separation
  • Category 6A - Bridge Replacement/Rehabilitation: On-State System
  • Category 6B - Bridge Replacement/Rehabilitation: Off-State System
  • Category 8B - Texas Farm to Market Road Expansion
  • Category 12 - Strategic Priority
  • Category 13A - State-Funded Mobility
  • Category 13B - Hurricane Evacuation Routes
  • Category 15 - Congressional High-Priority Projects
  • Category 17 - Principal Arterial Street System
  • Category 18 - Candidate Turnpike Projects

The project selection for project-specific programs is normally made on a statewide basis. Exceptions are Categories 1, 12, 13B, 15, and 17.

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Bank Balance Allocation Programs

The Commission authorization for bank balance allocation programs assigns the authority for selecting the projects, establishing the development level, and establishing the letting schedule to the district engineer or, for some UTP categories, to a division director or to the MPO. Project selection for bank balance allocation programs is also subject to the TxDOT-MPO interactions specified in the Responsibility/Authority for Project Selection subsection of Section 3.

The Bank Balance Allocation Programs include the following UTP categories:

  • Category 2 - Interstate Maintenance
  • Category 3C - NHS: Rehabilitation
  • Category 4A - STP: Safety - Federal Hazard Elimination
  • Category 4A - Railroad Signal Safety
  • Category 4C - STP: Metropolitan Mobility/Rehabilitation
  • Category 4D - STP: Urban Mobility/Rehabilitation
  • Category 4E - STP: Rural Mobility/Rehabilitation
  • Category 4F - STP: Rehab - Urban/Rural
  • Category 5 - Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality (CMAQ)
  • Category 7 - State Preventive Maintenance
  • Category 8A - Rehabilitation: Texas Farm to Market Roads
  • Category 9 - State Park Roads
  • Category 10A - Traffic Control Devices
  • Category 10B - Rehabilitation of Traffic Management Systems
  • Category 11 - State District Discretionary
  • Category 13C - NAFTA Discretionary
  • Category 13D - Urban Streets
  • Category 14 - State Rehabilitation
  • Category 16 - Miscellaneous
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