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Section 2: Traffic Signal Projects Funding

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This section covers projects installed by the state, which includes all projects using state administered funds. Depending on the type of project, construction may be accomplished using state forces, contract forces, or city forces. These projects generally fall under the following categories:

Program choice is often dependent on the scope of the proposed work and whether or not the installation is urgently needed.

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HSIP Projects. Highway safety projects are funded under the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). For more information on the HSIP, contact the Safety Engineering Group of the Traffic Safety Division (TRF).

Other Federal Aid Projects. Districts should program all proposed federal-aid projects and assign preliminary control-section-job (CSJ) numbers prior to conducting traffic studies. Once the project is programmed, all costs incurred in performing the traffic study should be charged to a project CSJ number for the purpose of documentation for federal reimbursement.

State Funded Construction Projects. Districts obtain work authority for projects funded under state construction programs by programming them through the Transportation Planning and Programming Division (TPP). It is not advisable to program state forces for these projects. Although work authority is provided through an approved program, financing comes from the district’s maintenance budget. Construction program funds are applied only to contract work.

State Funded Maintenance Projects. Installation of traffic signals can be accomplished using maintenance funds. A maintenance contract can be let to purchase and install traffic signals. Maintenance funds may also be used to purchase equipment, and state, city, or county forces can be used for installation.

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See the Negotiated Contracts Procedures Manual for information on securing and processing traffic signal agreements.

Third-Party Funding. When securing funds from a private entity to install a traffic signal, a three-party agreement is necessary. The third party in these agreements must be the relevant city or county. For details concerning content and execution of these agreements, contact the Contract Services Division (CSD).

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Method of Construction

All projects financed using federal-aid funds should be let to contract unless there are valid reasons to provide other methods of construction, such as state or city forces. Projects may be constructed by state or city forces if it can be justified to the FHWA that this method of construction is cost effective and in the public interest. The district should be aware that any force account items provided by the state will be charged to the district maintenance budget. Federal reimbursement for these items is not applied back into the district’s account, but is placed in TxDOT’s general revenue accounts. City force account work, however, is paid initially from state construction funds, which are reimbursed directly by federal funds, because the city is considered to be a contractor for the state.

State Funded Construction Projects. State funded construction projects should go through the construction letting process.

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Contract letting, which includes the advertising, preparation of proposals, furnishing of proposals to prospective bidders, etc., and preparation of the contract award or rejection by Commission minute is handled in Austin.

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Once a project is let to contract, the Construction Division (CST) issues an “Authorization to Begin Work” or “Work Order Authorization” upon award of the contract by the Commission and the signing of the contract.

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Shop Drawings

Traffic Signal Poles. Shop drawings for non-standard traffic signal poles should be submitted to the project engineer. The project engineer reviews the shop drawings for general design features and then forwards them to the Bridge Division (BRG) for review and approval of the structural design, fabrication, and erection details.

Lighting Poles. If the poles are to be fabricated in accordance with the RIP standard, no shop drawings are required. If the poles are non-standard (including Aluminum material vs Steel), shop drawings and calculations should be submitted to in accordance with the Guide to Electronic Shop Drawing Submittal.

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Changes on Contract Projects

Change Orders. If it becomes necessary to change design, correct errors in plans, modify specifications, or extend project limits and the total value of the change order is greater than $100,000, then a change order request must be submitted to the Construction Division (CST) (see the Construction Contract Administration Manual for details). Change order requests involving force account items on contract projects should also be submitted to CST.

Supplemental Agreements. A supplemental agreement is required to pay the contractor for any necessary extra work on a unit basis. In most cases, a change order request is also required. The supplemental agreement should be submitted to CST.

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Changes on City Force Projects

Change Orders. If, on a project constructed by city forces, it becomes necessary to make substantial design changes, correct errors in plans, or extend project limits on a project, the district should submit a change order request to CST.

Supplemental Funds. If it becomes apparent that the project will overrun the authorized funds, a request for additional funds should be made.

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Project Administration

For additional details on managing a contract for a construction project, refer to the Construction Contract Administration Manual.

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