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Section 17: Historic Routes

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Introduction

A county historical commission working through the Texas Historical Commission may assign an historic route designation to a farm-to-market or ranch-to-market highway. Signing for such routes is placed at the beginning and end of the highway (TxDOT practice allows a maximum of two signs per route). Signs are reflective and have a brown background and white legend. For further details on signing standards, see Sign Placement and Standards later in this section.

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Legal Basis for Naming and Signing

Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 225, Subchapter A, establishes the process for designating historical routes through the Texas Historical Commission in coordination with TxDOT.

Title 43, Texas Administrative Code, Section 25.9, provides the rules for implementing Chapter 225 of the Texas Transportation Code.

NOTE: TxDOT is specifically prohibited from naming or otherwise designating a highway, street, or bridge with any name or symbol other than the “regular highway number.”

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Records Management

Historic routes are recorded and tracked by the Traffic Operations Division (TRF).

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Designation Process

The process by which a farm-to-market or ranch-to-market road may be designated as a historic route is as follows:

Anchor: #i1006759Designation of Historic Routes

Step

Responsible Party

Action

1

County historical commission

Applies to the Texas Historical Commission and TxDOT for marking an FM or RM road with an historic name. The application should include evidence showing that the name has been in common usage in the area for at least 50 years, and must be supported by affidavits from at least five long-time residents of the area.

2

Texas Historical Commission

Certifies, based on the evidence submitted by the county historical commission, that the name has been in common use in the area for at least 50 years

3

Texas Historical Commission

Submits a request to TxDOT along with the certification and supporting documents and the name of the historic route.

4

TRF

Reviews the certification and sends it to the appropriate district office.

5

District office

Contacts the county historical commission that originally applied for the designation and initiates an advanced funding and general terms agreement, which requires that the county historical commission pay the cost of preparing, installing, and maintaining the signs.

6

County historical commission

Executes the agreement and provides the necessary funding to the state. See Agreement following this table.

7

District office

Prepares and installs the signs indicating the road’s historic name (see Sign Placement and Standards later in this section), then informs TRF and the county historical commission that the signs have been installed.


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Agreement

Before TxDOT installs an historic route sign on the right of way, an executed “County Historical Commission Historical Route Sign Agreement” is required. This agreement can be accessed through the TxDOT intranet (accessible only within the TxDOT network) at <http://crossroads/org/cso/standard_contract_forms.htm#Traffic> under “Traffic.”

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Sign Placement and Standards

TxDOT fabricates and erects a maximum of two signs per historic FM or RM route.

Sign Placement. Historic route signs must be mounted independently in accordance with TxDOT installation procedures and at a suitable location near each end of the route. The signs must not be erected within 1,000 feet of an intersection. The signs must not be mounted on the same support with other traffic control signs. See Figure 7-7.

NOTE: The highway route markers must not contain the historic route name.

Sign Standards. Historic route signs must be reflective and fabricated in accordance with TxDOT specifications and procedures. The sign must have a brown background with a white border and white, 8- or 6-inch Clearview letters (8-inch preferred). Overall dimensions may vary; however, it is recommended the text be limited to 3 lines. Figure 7-6 shows a sample sign layout, and Figure 7-7 shows a suggested signing schematic.

Typical historic route sign.  Eight-inch
letters are preferred, but 6-inch letters are acceptable. (click in image to see full-size image) Anchor: #i1002055

Figure 7-6. Typical historic route sign. Eight-inch letters are preferred, but 6-inch letters are acceptable.

 Layout and suggested schematic for historic
route signs. (click in image to see full-size image) Anchor: #i1002061

Figure 7-7. Layout and suggested schematic for historic route signs.

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