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Chapter 3.1

Establish a New, Simpler Approach to Allocating Funds


Summary

The Texas Department of Transportation’s current planning, programming and funding approach is extremely complex and driven by several interrelated processes and considerations. Although, the Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas Transportation Commission have continually revised and improved their allocation methods, room for improvement clearly exists when state and local leaders, transportation officials, business organizations an everyday citizens find the processes complex and confusing, and as a result, question the results.

The Texas Department of Transportation should eliminate its current funding allocation processes and establish a new, simple approach that funds both strategic priorities and regional needs in a predictable, equitable and understandable manner.


Background

Planning, programming and distributing highway funding are inherently controversial processes. The federal government and nearly all state and local transportation agencies throughout the country continually struggle to allocate funds in a manner that is fair and equitable while still addressing strategic priorities. Several different and conflicting arguments can be made, however, about what a “fair and equitable” allocation of funds should look like. There are a few widely applied principles that tend to influence highway funding allocation processes throughout the country, but the citizens need to understand and accept whatever allocation process is used.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) takes these issues seriously and has worked to develop and maintain planning, programming, and allocation mechanisms the department feels are fair and equitable. No region of the state is likely to feel it receives its fair share of funding, however, when TxDOT can meet only 36 percent of the state’s transportation needs.[1]


TxDOT’s Planning and Programming Framework

Transportation planning includes all of the activities that determine Texas’ short-term and long-term transportation investment needs. Transportation programming refers to the selection and scheduling of specific projects for construction. Together, planning and programming includes the policy decisions, staff processes and public input that determine how scarce resources are allocated across the state, and what transportation facilities and services will be available to the citizens of Texas.

Several parties contribute to planning and programming decisions in Texas. At the highest level, the Texas Legislature provides TxDOT with statutory authority to perform its mission and establishes broad (and in some cases narrow) agency operating guidelines. Similarly, the federal government allocates funding to TxDOT and establishes various laws, rules and policies that broadly specify how federal highway dollars can be spent, and how planning and programming activities must be performed.

Specific TxDOT planning and programming decisions are made by the Texas Transportation Commission (TTC), aided by input from TxDOT staff, local government officials and the public.

Texas Transportation Commission: The Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) consists of three members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the state senate, one of whom is designated chairman by the governor. Commissioners serve staggered six-year terms with one member’s term expiring February 1 of each odd-numbered year. TTC (and its predecessors) has consisted of three members since its inception 83 years ago. Commissioners are considered “at-large,” meaning they do not represent specific districts or areas of the state, although a law was enacted in 1991 requiring that one commissioner reside in a rural area.[2]

TTC serves several important functions, but its primary responsibilities are to represent the general public, adopt rules for the operation of TxDOT and to “plan and make policies for the location, construction, and maintenance of a comprehensive system of state highways and public roads.”[3] Specifically, TTC has decision-making authority over the following TxDOT activities:

  • development of long-range and strategic transportation plans;
  • development of funding categories and implementation guidelines;
  • allocation of funds to funding categories;
  • development of allocation formulae for funds distributed to TxDOT engineering districts;[4]
  • development of evaluation methodologies for project evaluation; and,
  • project selection.

TxDOT Transportation Plans: The TxDOT Transportation Planning and Programming Division (TPP) is responsible for the planning, programming and business functions that support the development and implementation of TxDOT’s transportation plans, and is assisted by several other TxDOT headquarters and district personnel.

TPP’s major planning and programming responsibilities include establishing and revising the strategic vision for Texas’ future transportation system; developing and revising long- and short-term plans to implement the vision; recommending (to the TTC) district-by-district funding levels for program categories that are allocated by formula (these formulae provide TxDOT’s estimate of needs for specific system elements and/or transportation functions); and, in some areas, recommending specific projects for TTC selection.

TxDOT’s planning and programming processes are driven by the development of four interrelated planning documents described below—two strategy documents which are mandated by federal and state law (the Long Range Plan and the Strategic Plan) and two project programming documents (the State Transportation Improvement Plan mandated by federal law and the Unified Transportation Plan).

Long Range Plan – The Texas Transportation Plan: Partnerships into the 21st Century was completed and adopted by the TTC in 1994 in response to mandates in the federal Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and state statutes.[5] The plan identifies TxDOT’s strategic vision and includes an action plan for developing and preserving all modes of transportation in the state for the next 20 years (1994-2014). All other TxDOT plans must be consistent with this vision and action plan.

Strategic Plan – The Strategic Plan is a five-year internal document that identifies TxDOT’s goals, objectives and strategies, and sets targets for all outcome measures. The Texas Legislature mandates development of a Strategic Plan as part of the state’s overall performance-based planning and budgeting system.[6]

Unified Transportation Plan (UTP) – The UTP is a 10-year, project-specific plan that serves as TxDOT’s internal mechanism for managing transportation project development. The annually updated plan covers all transportation modes, all types of projects, and is “fiscally constrained,” meaning total estimated project costs cannot exceed anticipated revenues over the life of the plan. The UTP includes two classes of projects: projects with Priority One status (defining projects which are approved for construction within the next three years), and projects with Priority Two status identifying projects that can receive funding for pre-construction activities[7] in the near-term and are slated for construction approval (movement to Priority One status) in four to ten years.

State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) – The STIP is a three-year, fiscally constrained plan mandated by federal law that serves as a condition to secure federal highway and transit funds. The plan identifies all projects with Priority One status listed in the UTP that will be funded with federal resources, and incorporates all of the projects identified in federally-required plans for metropolitan areas, known as Transportation Improvement Plans (TIPs).

Allocation Of Funds: TxDOT begins its funding distribution process by dividing the $2.7 billion annual construction budget across 30 funding categories that focus on specific types of transportation investment (e.g., new construction or bridge replacement) and system components (e.g., Interstates or farm-to-market (FM) roads).[8],[9] Roughly 40 percent of total construction funding is divided among 14 categories the TTC allocates to specific projects around the state, usually in response to need-based recommendations from TxDOT headquarters staff. While TxDOT refers to these as “project specific” categories, the term “statewide” is more descriptive, and is used throughout this paper, since it indicates programs that address statewide, as opposed to local, concerns. In practice, this means that regions of the state must compete against each other to receive a piece of the more than $1 billion in construction funds that are controlled at the TTC / headquarters level. With the exception of a few program categories, no region is guaranteed any of this funding.

The remaining construction funds (approximately 60 percent of the funding) are sub-allocated to the 25 TxDOT engineering districts by formulae through 16 funding categories known by TxDOT as “Bank Balance” programs. These funds are allocated to projects by district staff (subject to TTC approval) and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs).

TPP staff recommends funding allocation levels to the TTC based on direction from the Commission, as well as other considerations such as federal requirements, state statutes and headquarters staff assessments of relative “needs” in different districts.[10], [11] Table 1: TxDOT Funding Categories identify the annual funding level, source of funds, program mandate, selection authority and allocation mechanism for each funding category.[12] (See end of this issue for Table 1).

Funding Categories. TxDOT tends to group funding categories by the source of funds, as follows: Federal Funded Project Specific; State Funded Project Specific; Federal Funded Allocation (bank balance); and 100% State Funded(bank balance). For local governments and citizens, however, the more important issues are the eligible uses of funds and who has project selection authority and influence. Taken in this light, the funding categories can be grouped into four general areas:

  1. Statewide–allocated to projects across the state by TTC, either directly or based on TxDOT ranking indices such as the cost effectiveness index (CEI). These priority projects are “statewide” programs and primarily focus on system improvements and capacity expansion.
  2. District bank balance–allocated to TxDOT’s engineering districts by established formulae and programmed through project selection processes developed by each engineering district. As districts commit and spend these funds, treated by TxDOT as “bank balances,” agency headquarters debits the respective bank balance account. Districts have the flexibility to develop and implement individual projects without receiving direct TTC approval, although TTC delegates this responsibility and retains ultimate approval authority. The allocation formulae components vary according to funding category and include truck and vehicle traffic, road conditions (lane miles with substandard distress scores), system mileage, population and other considerations deemed relevant by TxDOT staff and TTC.[13]
  3. Local bank balance–allocated to metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) according to population for Federal Surface Transportation Planning (STP), Metropolitan Mobility, and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds. Programmed projects are identified and selected through each metropolitan area’s Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) development process. These funds are allocated to the districts and also are administered as bank balances by TxDOT headquarters.
  4. Special–allocated to specific regions or purposes through specific funding categories such as Border Trade Transportation Projects (Category 13C), Hurricane Evacuation Routes (Category 13B) and Enhancements (Category 4B). Project selection responsibilities and processes for these programs are category-specific.

A list of all federal and state funding categories along with program funding sources and funding allocation and selection mechanism for each category is provided in Table 2.

Table 2: Federally-funded Categories for Texas Highways



Funding Source*

No.
Program Category [14]
Federal
State &Local
Category Type/ Project Recommendation and/or Selection Method
1
#1 High Priority Interstate Corridors
80%
20%
Statewide/Commission selects
2
#2 Interstate Maintenance
90%
10%
District bank balance/Districts recommend
3
#3A National Highway System (NHS) Mobility
80%
20%
Statewide/Cost effectiveness index (CEI)
4
#3B Texas Trunk System
80%
20%
Statewide/Districts recommend and/or CEI
5
#3C NHS Rehabilitation
80%
20%
District bank balance/Districts recommend
6
#3D NHS Traffic Management Systems
80%
20%
Statewide/Traffic index
7
#3E NHS Miscellaneous
80%
20%
Statewide/TPP staff recommend
8
#4A STP Safety
90%
10%
Statewide/Safety index
9
#4B STP Enhancements
80%
20%
Special/committee recommends/Commission selects
10
#4C STP Metropolitan
80%
20%
Local bank balance/MPOs Select
11
#4D STP Urban
80%
20%
District bank balance/Districts recommend
12
#4E STP Rural
80%
20%
District bank balance/Districts recommend
13
#4F STP Rehabilitation
80%
20%
District bank balance/Districts recommend
14
#4G STP RR Grade Separations
80%
20%
Statewide/Index
15
#5 CMAQ
80%
20%
Local bank balance/MPOs select
16
#6A On System Bridge
80%
20%
Statewide/Bridge index
17
#6B Off System Bridge
80%
20%
Statewide/Bridge index
18
#12 Strategic Priority
80%
20%
Statewide/Commission selects
19
#13B Hurricane Evacuation
80%
20%
Special/Commission & district consensus
20
#15 Congressional High Priority Projects
80%
20%
Special/Selected by Congress
State Funded Categories for Texas Highways
21
#7 State Preventive Maintenance

100%
District bank balance/Districts recommend
22
#8A Rehabilitation of Texas Farm to Market Roads

100%
District bank balance/Districts recommend
23
#8B Texas Farm to Market Roads System Expansion

100%
Statewide/Index
24
#9 State Park Roads

100%
Special/Parks and Wildlife Department
25
#10A Traffic Control Devices

100%
Bank Balance/Districts selects
26
#10B Rehabilitation of Traffic Management Systems

100%
District bank balance/Districts recommend
27
#11 State District Discretionary

100%
District bank balance/Districts recommend
28
#13A State Funded Mobility (currently not funded)

100%
Statewide/Commission selects
29
#13C Border Trade Transportation Projects

100%
Project specific/border district consensus/Commission approves
30
#13D Urban Streets (no additional funding)

100%
Local bank balance/MPOs select
31
#14 State Rehabilitation

100%
District bank balance/Districts recommend
32
#16 Miscellaneous

100%
Statewide/Commission/Districts
33
#17 State Principal Arterial Street System

100%
Statewide/Commission selects
34
#18 Candidate Turnpike Projects (State Portion Only – projects may also receive federal funds depending on circumstances)

100%
Commission/Project specific

*These figures represent the typical split of state and federal funding. All federally-funded projects can be (and frequently are) funded with a higher percentage of state and/or local funding than listed here.
Source: Texas Department of Transportation.


Project Selection and Implementation

The processes and procedures for project selection, planning, development and implementation vary considerably from one funding category to another and add to the complexity of TxDOT’s overall planning and programming process. These processes can be grouped based on the type of funding category: statewide, district bank balance, local bank balance, or special.

Statewide: The Strategic Priority (Category 18) projects are directly selected by TTC. Each year, TxDOT staff prepares a list of candidate projects ready for immediate letting (approved for development funding under other program categories) based upon commission delegation appearances; letters of interest from various entities including Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), legislators, and local governments; and nominations by TxDOT engineering districts. This list is then presented to TTC along with staff recommendations for selection based on a project’s cost efficiency index (CEI) score, i.e., the ratio of TxDOT’s project costs to an estimated dollar value of project benefits.[15] While TTC may consider various staff analyses and recommendations on requested projects, final selection is solely the discretion of the commission. A key element of this selection process is that local governments can influence a project’s CEI score by contributing local funds (or locally controlled TxDOT funds) to the project and effectively reduce the cost of the project to TxDOT.

The remaining statewide categories are allocated by TTC to projects based on recommendations from TxDOT headquarters staff through a two-step process.[16] The first step occurs when TTC selects projects for “development,” which includes such activities as rights-of-way acquisition, utilities relocation and design.[17] Each year, TxDOT solicits project proposals from its engineering districts for each statewide program category and ranks the proposals based on various project benefit indices, such as the CEI (described above) or similar measures for bridge, safety and railroad crossing projects. The selected projects are given what is known as “Priority Two” development authority, which means funds may be expended to prepare the projects for construction, with the expectation that the project will move to construction within four to ten years. Although no commitment is made to fund a Priority Two project in a specific year, districts establish a proposed fiscal year for construction contract award.

The second step occurs when projects with Priority Two authority that are “fully-developed” compete for the authority to move to construction status, known as “Priority One”.[18] Once again, TxDOT staff evaluates projects through benefit indices and recommends the top ranked projects for each category to the TTC until all of the available funds are committed. Once awarded Priority One authority, a construction project may move to letting within the next four years, depending on the availability of funding. Projects that compete for but do not receive Priority One authority must re-compete each year against all new and existing Priority Two projects in a given category.[19]

District: The processes that determine which projects will be selected for funding through district bank balance programs are established at the discretion of each district engineer and vary considerably across the state. Since most of these categories are for preventive maintenance and rehabilitation projects which do not require as much project development time, projects are only selected for construction up to four years in advance, and not given Priority Two status. The exceptions to this rule are the STP Urban, STP Rural and State District Discretionary programs, for which TxDOT headquarters does provide Priority Two development authority.[20]

The project selection process for district bank balance programs is straightforward. Each year the TTC approves allocation levels for each program category and lets district engineers know how much funding they can commit to projects. Each district then selects projects based on their own selection procedures. In some districts these processes are based on quantitative rating schemes similar to those used by TxDOT headquarters, while other districts rely on less formal assessments of district needs.[21]

Local: Project selection processes for local bank balance funds are established by individual MPOs. As a general rule, these processes are driven by federal metropolitan planning regulations, include consultation with TxDOT and follow a basic pattern.

  1. Each year TxDOT provides MPOs with funding commitments (known as “Priority One” or “letting” authority) for CMAQ and STP Metropolitan Mobility categories four years in advance. In addition, TxDOT provides MPOs with “Priority Two” authority for seven additional years to assist in the development of a project pipeline.[22] As needed, MPOs estimate funds beyond the eleventh year to develop long-range plans.[23]
  2. MPOs issue calls for projects that ask local governments or other entities to submit project requests; all applications typically must have a local government sponsor.
  3. MPOs rank new and existing projects based on either formal evaluation (e.g., cost/benefit analysis) or informal processes and identify the projects that will be constructed in the next four years.[24] In addition, MPOs identify projects that may be constructed in years 5–20 of their long-range plan, although a specific year typically is not identified for these projects.[25]

Special: Project selection processes for special programs vary by category. For Border Trade Transportation funding, eligible districts select projects the same way they select projects for bank balance funding, with the exception that projects must be “NAFTA-related.” The commission selects projects for Hurricane Evacuation Route funding based on a consensus recommendation from TxDOT staff in eligible districts. Enhancement funding decisions are made by the commission, based on the recommendation of a special TxDOT committee. State park funding is allocated to projects based on decisions made by state parks officials.


Local Participation in TxDOT Planning and Programming

The role of local governments in project selection varies depending on the funding category and whether or not an area is in a designated MPO region.[26] Within designated urban areas, federal law requires states to work in cooperation with MPOs for carrying out metropolitan planning processes, which include the development of planning procedures, conducting transportation planning studies and analyses, and the selection of projects funded with federal dollars.[27] This requirement provides MPOs with the authority to approve or disapprove the overall list of federally-funded TxDOT projects in their region.[28] Also, it is TxDOT’s stated policy that districts select projects for “Bank Balance” and apply for statewide project funding in consultation with MPOs.[29]

In non-MPO areas, TxDOT staff selects all District Bank Balance projects, and the level of local government participation in these decisions varies from district to district.

Local governments also influence the project selection process through voluntary and mandatory contributions and cost sharing. For several funding categories, such as Farm-to-Market (FM) Expansion and Off-System Bridge, local entities are required to contribute funding to the project or pay for project elements such as utility relocations and rights-of-way acquisition. The ability and willingness of local government to come up with the required contribution can influence both project selection and the timing of project construction. In addition, TxDOT encourages local entities to participate in projects funded with statewide category funds by allowing them to reduce TxDOT’s project costs, thus improving the ranking or CEI for a given project when it competes for Category 12 Strategic Priority funding.


Other States

Over the last decade, changes in transportation needs and government responsibilities have altered the way state transportation agencies must do their job. Most importantly, local governments and citizens now demand a more active role in transportation decision-making. While state transportation departments (DOTs) have reacted differently to this new environment, a few stand out as the best examples of agencies that have developed innovative approaches and adapted their overall planning, programming, project selection, and funding allocation processes to meet new challenges.[30]

Florida, Pennsylvania and South Carolina have developed “priority corridor” or “mega-project” programs through processes that include working with local interests to select projects, establish project implementation schedules and determine project financing strategies to include local participation. The cornerstone of these programs is a commitment from the states to complete all program projects, and agreement from local officials to accept short-term funding inequities due to project scheduling. The greatest benefit of these programs is that they have led to broad-based support for financial initiatives to implement them sooner.

DOT headquarters and field staff in Colorado, Minnesota and Pennsylvania do not control selection of regional capacity and preservation projects. Instead, district offices are provided annual funding level targets and work in partnership with regional planning bodies to select projects. Beyond planning for statewide priority projects, headquarters’ planning staff assumes a technical support role, providing districts and regional planning advisory committees with technical assistance.

Through state law or administrative policy, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Minnesota have created or designated formal regional planning bodies. Rather than simply approving or disapproving overall plans developed by their state DOTs, these planning bodies work with district staff to select projects and identify local priorities. In addition, Colorado enacted a law that established a statewide advisory committee to advise the transportation department on statewide priorities. The group played a major role in developing Colorado’s statewide plan, and in building support for a mega-project plan and financing strategy. The key benefits of this approach are that it builds trust with local governments and works towards consensus on how to balance transportation investments between statewide strategic needs and regional priorities.

State transportation departments have established simple and predictable funding allocation methods. Pennsylvania splits its funding into two program pools: statewide mega-projects and regional. Colorado divides funding into 13 programs that fall into one of three major pools (mega-projects, statewide programs, and regional programs). For both states, as well as several other states around the country, the key to simplifying funding allocation processes has been to move away from sub-allocating federal funds to districts and instead managing federal eligibility requirements at the headquarters level. In practice this means that regions have broad discretion in how they spend funds, and determines the specific category of funds used to pay for projects once they are selected. Federal requirements are still met, but at a statewide rather than local level. In essence, funds are managed by holding district staff and regions accountable to goals and objectives, not by parceling money into several rigid categories.[31]

State transportation departments have established fair share distribution approaches. States continue to wrestle with fair share distribution issues and continue to revisit their funding allocation formulas. The Minnesota Department of Transportation established a “minimum guarantee” funding level for metropolitan areas that guarantees metropolitan areas will receive 90 percent of what they pay in.

States have created accountability mechanisms to ensure both the transportation department is keeping its commitments and regions are addressing stated objectives. Pennsylvania addresses these accountability needs by requiring the transportation department to provide an annual report to the legislature on the status of the mega-projects program, and the success of district offices and local governments in implementing projects and achieving anticipated system performance improvements.

These states and others have changed the way they do business by working as equal partners with citizens and local governments, sharing decision-making authority, and building trust.


Findings

Transportation Planning, Programming and Allocation of Funds: A Complex Process

TxDOT’s current planning and programming approach is extremely complex and driven by several inter-related processes and considerations. Although hardly a complete list of considerations, the primary TxDOT activities that drive the planning process, and sometimes lead to the public’s discontent with the department’s allocation processes, can be grouped into four areas:

  • annual allocation of funds to program categories;
  • project planning and development processes;
  • project selection procedures; and,
  • TxDOT’s evolution of funding programs and project selection processes.

Although TxDOT and TTC have continually worked to revise and improve their allocation methods, room for improvement clearly exists when state and local leaders, transportation officials, business organizations and everyday citizens find the processes complex and confusing, and as a result, question the results.


Evolution of TxDOT’s Funding Allocation Process

TxDOT’s funding categories and the processes used to select projects have evolved over time. Several key factors have influenced these ongoing changes:

  • Federal legislation–reauthorization of federal surface transportation laws, such as the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), frequently require states to change their planning, programming and project implementation processes to maintain federal funding eligibility. In some cases, these changes create new categories that must be allocated to specific regions, while in other cases, TxDOT has chosen to create additional sub-allocations to manage new federal categories.
  • State legislation–the Texas Legislature occasionally establishes new programs or program mandates. For example, the legislature recently enacted a law that requires TxDOT to allocate at least $2 million to each engineering district.[32]
  • Political pressures–pressure from politicians, economic interests, and other stakeholder groups frequently influences the structure of TxDOT programs and processes. For example, the Border Trade Transportation Projects (formerly the NAFTA Discretionary Program) program was created in response to mounting political pressures to address border investment needs associated with increased US-Mexico trade.
  • Administration priorities–changes in TxDOT executive directors and commissioners often lead to new program directions for the agency and revised priorities for existing programs. For example, a 1994 TTC initiative to improve system safety, access and mobility led to the development of the Hurricane Evacuation Route program.[33]
  • Economic trends and changing transportation demands–growth in vehicle travel, changing transportation needs and demographic trends influence the type of transportation services and facilities that citizens demand from TxDOT. For example, increased border traffic due to NAFTA contributed to the development of the Border Trade Transportation Project program, and the growing focus on traffic operation system investment to address increased travel demand led to the creation of the Rehabilitation of Traffic Management Systems suballocation.[34]


Development of the Project Planning and Programming Process

Over the last twenty years, TxDOT has continually adjusted its planning and programming processes. While limited information is available about how TxDOT’s processes evolved and how funds were allocated in the 1980s, the most significant policy and procedural change appears to have occurred in 1984 when TxDOT created the Project Development Plan (PDP). The first PDP established a 10-year planning and project selection horizon with biennial updates.

Since 1984, PDP updates and recommendations from PDP task forces and other similar working groups have led to numerous changes in TxDOT’s overall allocation processes. The PDP task forces, staffed with senior professional engineers from TxDOT headquarters and district offices, review existing planning and programming policies and develop recommendations for program and process changes.

In general, the findings of PDP task forces have led to the proliferation of funding categories and subcategories that prescribe how and where TxDOT funds can be spent. This was particularly true of the 1994 PDP task force, which created five new funding categories, and the 1995 PDP which divided the National Highway System funds into 9 different suballocations. A summary of the various changes in TxDOT’s planning and programming processes since 1980 is provided in Table 3: Evolution of TxDOT Funding Categories and Project Selection Processes. (See end of this issue for Table 3).


Allocation of Transportation Funding

The root of the public’s discontent with the allocation of funding process is TxDOT’s rationale for the process. When the study team interviewed TxDOT planning staff, they began their description of the funding allocation process and goal stating, “they [TxDOT] know they can’t make everyone happy, so they strive to have processes and procedures that are defensible.”[35] The department later qualified this statement by saying, “the objective is to place limited transportation dollars on the greatest transportation needs throughout the state.”[36] There is no doubt that both statements are true. TxDOT and TTC spend enormous resources to select what they think are the most deserving projects and defend these selection processes. The weakness in TxDOT’s rationale for the process may be that they believe they can accomplish the goal and objective without sharing decision-making authority.

Instead, TxDOT needs to change its funding allocation processes so they are understandable; acceptable to TxDOT, elected officials and the public; and provide equity among regions of the state over the long term. The following issues prevent TxDOT from achieving these objectives:

Top-down style – TxDOT conducts a significant amount of outreach with citizens and local governments, particularly MPOs, and is to be commended for these efforts. Outreach activities include training on the allocation process, public review of annual programming documents and public hearings. The problem is that these efforts focus on TxDOT as an “educator” rather an equal partner. Simply put, the agency frequently makes major policy decisions, tells the public what it decided, and then listens to comments; in the words of one local official “we get the chance to say no; we don’t get the opportunity to say we want “this” rather than “that.” For example, initiatives to revise program categories and allocation formulae are conducted with little or no participation from external TxDOT customers.[37]

Additionally, while the annual allocation of funds to different program categories has significant implications for the transportation districts, it is also developed internally, and is not shared with the public until after it is approved by TTC. Finally, TxDOT headquarters staff’s responsibilities in the project selection for statewide categories frequently puts them in the role of assessing the need for many projects that are mostly local or regional in nature.

Complexity – Over the last twenty years, TxDOT has continually expanded the number of program categories and suballocations. The result is a convoluted funding framework comprising 34 funding categories—several with suballocations—and a maze of formulae and project ranking mechanisms.

While TxDOT claims that the number of categories reflect state and federal requirements, the funding framework is more a function of how TxDOT chooses to administer its funds, creating categories by source of funds as well as by function. The process is unnecessarily complex. The number of funding categories could be drastically reduced.

Rigidity – While TxDOT insists that districts have broad flexibility in how they allocate Bank Balance funds, the eligibility requirements for these categories often provide little room for discretion. For example, there are several different funding categories for rehabilitation, each of which focuses on a different part of the system.[38]

There is no reason why each district could not receive a lump sum allocation for all district rehabilitation activities, and, in consultation with local interests, decide how the funds should be spread across system elements. The Transportation Planning and Program Division (TPP) could then use processes it already has in place to ensure the department complies with federal program requirements.

Unpredictability – Transportation planning has a long time horizon, which is why the federal government requires states and metropolitan planning organizations to develop 20-year plans. TxDOT’s project selection processes for statewide funding programs only provide regions with firm construction funding commitments for the next four years. While it is true that funding levels become difficult to accurately predict beyond this period, TxDOT’s approach to selecting statewide projects provides districts with little indication of when projects with Priority Two authority (four to ten years out) might get funded. Establishing targeted funding levels for each region, in the form of percentage share of total funding, would reduce this unpredictability.

Invalid assessment of needs – TxDOT relies heavily on project ranking mechanisms to allocate statewide funding categories, such as the cost effectiveness index (CEI), safety index and rail-grade crossing index. These indices provide a rough and subjective estimate of project benefits. Scores are based on extremely generalized assumptions about the value of potential time savings for only one year and therefore, cost and benefit computations do not consider the entire life of a facility. Furthermore, economic, environmental and community impacts are not considered, nor are other special considerations such as NAFTA issues. TxDOT assumes these benefits have equal weight with respect to cost for all projects.[39]

In addition, the CEI only considers the direct time savings impacts over the length of a project and does not look at positive or negative impacts a project (or combination of projects) may have on the highway system or a specific corridor.

Local buy-in – Allowing local governments to “buy up” to achieve a higher CEI rating for Strategic Priority candidate projects is a questionable public policy. TxDOT strongly encourages local governments to invest in the state system. Yet, few staff could offer any rationale for this policy beyond “it’s better if locals share the cost” and “it allows TxDOT to build more roads.” This is an isolated [TxDOT] view of public benefit. What is not said is that the policy may preclude local governments from using their resources to perform other important functions. Moreover, a project of marginal value could be selected over a more critical one if local buy-in sufficiently reduces the CEI cost component.

Local project participation is good, and should be considered in project selection. However, TxDOT needs to focus on the overall benefit that Texas citizens, not the agency, receive from local participation.

Unofficial allocation influences – While TxDOT states that it does not consider geographic distribution in the allocation of funding to statewide categories, evidence suggests it does occur through a combination of informal policies. For example, dividing National Highway System (NHS) Rehabilitation funds into metropolitan, urban, and rural pools ensures that funds will be spread out across the state geographically. Moreover, to avoid having a project in one district soak up all of a category’s funding for one or more years, district staff are told not to submit project applications for statewide funding categories that are “too large.”

Finally, the CEI selection process encourages TxDOT districts to break up projects into smaller pieces so the individual projects can receive a higher ranking. The result is that more projects can be selected from a given category and the funding can be spread out across the state.

Incremental solutions to major needs – Like transportation departments in many states, TxDOT struggles to expeditiously address mega-project needs because the projects soak up so many resources. Instead, the department tends to address a little bit of these needs each year, resulting in long-term construction delays in high-usage areas. TxDOT and the TTC have made efforts to address these needs in a less incremental manner (i.e., by focusing a lot of resources on only a few projects). For example, Texas’ High Priority Interstate Corridors funding category will concentrate on the development of three major transportation corridors: Interstate 35, Interstate 27, and Interstate 69. Category 3B is devoted to the Texas Trunk System—expanding a system of rural highways from two lane to four lane divided. Other projects underway include the Category 13C Border Trade Transportation projects, and the development of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor.[40]

The department’s chances of completing projects expeditiously are limited because the rigidity and extent of their funding categories spread resources too thin, and they encounter difficulties gaining the public trust when they ask communities to “wait their turn.” Other states have successfully gained support for financial initiatives to fund mega-project programs because they have established this trust.


Geographical Distribution of Funds

The overall distribution of funds to different regions of the state is the end result of TxDOT’s allocation and project selection processes. While funding from the maintenance and Bank Balance categories are allocated to the districts based on established formulae, TxDOT’s policy is that all funding, whether for maintenance, preservation or new capacity, is allocated based on need.

State leaders, local officials and citizens view the historical distribution of funds as a way to assess if TxDOT is treating them fairly. Specifically, people want to know if they are getting a fair share of state highway spending. The problem is that fair share is a vague term: it can be calculated several different ways, and what is fair to one person or region may appear dramatically unfair to another. To illustrate:

  • Criteria that include an area’s contribution to funding highways tend to ignore benefits from having a statewide system (e.g., manufacturers benefit from investments in rural roads that connect them to markets and suppliers throughout the rest of the state).
  • Length criteria (e.g., center lane miles) tend to favor rural areas over urban districts.
  • Facility usage criteria (e.g., daily vehicle miles traveled, or DVMT) tend to favor urban districts over rural areas.
  • Population criteria may not directly equate to highway fund contributions or needs.
  • System condition criteria (miles of distressed roadway) may reward areas for bad investment practices and encourage poor asset management.

As it should, TxDOT takes funding allocation fairness issues seriously and believes that all regions of the state are receiving equitable levels of funding. The Department has developed allocation mechanisms it feels are fair and equitable, and appears to use informal mechanisms to ensure relatively consistent district funding levels are maintained from year to year. In fact, senior TxDOT officials recently told the Texas House Research Organization that the agency tries to ensure larger districts receive at least a 90 percent proportional share of the funds they would receive if allocations were strictly based on their contributions to the state transportation fund.[41] Still, the question remains, are regions of the state getting their fair share? The answer, to the extent one can objectively be provided requires three assumptions:

  • The definition of fair share – 90 percent of estimated contributions is reasonable and is consistent with current national transportation funding policies.[42]
  • Identification of district revenue contributions – TxDOT has developed a “calculated percentage” methodology to estimating district contributions based on a 70 percent weighting for daily vehicle miles traveled (to estimate fuel consumption) and a 30 percent weighting for vehicle registrations. This is a reasonable approach to estimating district contributions from each district.[43]
  • The Laredo engineering district was established in fiscal year 1994 and thus district data are not available prior to fiscal year 1995. For the following analyses, however, annual construction and maintenance expenditures, vehicle miles traveled, vehicle registrations, and population figures for 1985-1994 were grouped for the counties comprising the Laredo district to create a “virtual” Laredo district. The analysis for the period 1985-1999 includes data from the counties within the Laredo engineering district as if the district existed from 1985 through 1994.

Figure A:

Total District Funding, 1985-1999, as a Percent of “Calculated Percentage”

Source: Texas Department of Transportation

Based on these assumptions, and looking at the overall period from 1985-1999, TxDOT appears to have done a reasonable but imperfect job at meeting its definition of a fair allocation. As shown graphically in Figure A, a comparison of district calculated percentage targets to actual district spending for the entire 15-year period provides several important findings:

  • five of the 25 engineering districts (Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Tyler and Waco) received less than 90 percent of their calculated percentage target;
  • the Waco District received an inordinately low percentage of funding; and,
  • a few districts (Childress, Laredo, Lubbock and San Angelo) received 30 percent or more above their calculated percentage for the period, but this does not indicate any major inequities. These districts have relatively smaller budgets and investment in statewide connectivity needs tends to skew their share of construction dollars.

Comparisons can also be made by examining historical funding allocations based on functions of need and equity in two straightforward ways: 1) average district and average statewide spending per DVMT (Figure B)[44]; and 2) average district and average statewide spending per capita (Figure C).[45]

Figure B:

District vs. Statewide Average Spending Per Daily Vehicle Mile Traveled: 1985-1999

Source: Texas Department of Transportation

Looking strictly at spending per DVMT yields findings similar to the calculated percentage analysis: seven of the 25 districts received less than 90 percent of the statewide average (the same five districts, plus Odessa and Yoakum) and the Childress District received an inordinately high level of funding. Looking strictly at per capita spending, the Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio, Waco, and border districts received less than 90 percent of the statewide average (Figure C: District vs. Statewide Per Capita Spending: 1985-1999).

While these analyses do not show great inequities in funding allocation, it is clear that many political officials, business interests, local agencies and everyday citizens are not happy with TxDOT’s allocation processes and mistrust their outcomes. To some degree this is not TxDOT’s fault. NAFTA and the state’s unprecedented economic expansion have created highway investment needs that simply cannot be met with current TxDOT resources; no allocation approach is going to give regions all of the highway investment they believe they need and deserve.

Another component of the construction spending process to consider is letting volume. Projects are let for construction after plans are completed and bids have been taken. Construction work begins after a contract is awarded. Therefore, letting volume—the value of construction contracts awarded in a fiscal year—shows construction work scheduled to start that fiscal year.

Figure C:

District vs. Statewide Per capita Spending: 1985-1999

Source: Texas Department of Transportation

In fiscal 1990, the letting volume for the 24 TxDOT districts totaled $1.54 billion, and the border districts (El Paso and Pharr) accounted for $64.4 million, or 4.2 percent of the total. In fiscal 2000, the letting volume for 25 TxDOT districts totaled $3.06 billion, and the border districts of El Paso, Laredo and Pharr accounted for $332.3 million, or almost 11 percent of the total. Furthermore, since NAFTA was implemented, the letting volume during the period between fiscal 1995 and fiscal 2000 for the 25 TxDOT districts totaled more than $14.6 billion and the border districts accounted for $1.44 billion, or about 10 percent of the total.[46]

On the other hand, TxDOT’s lack of clearly defined district allocation targets turns the project selection process into a win-lose competition between different areas of the state and fails to build a statewide consensus around how funds are spent. Finally, the first three analyses did identify some inequities—allocations to a few districts should be brought closer in line to statewide averages (e.g., within 90 percent of each district’s calculated percentage). But, recent letting volume trends indicate expenditures will rise.


Recommendations

TxDOT should eliminate its current program planning and funding allocation processes and establish a new, simple approach that funds both strategic priorities and regional needs in a predictable, equitable and understandable manner.

A. State law should be amended to establish transportation planning regions based on logical geographical boundaries and the prerogatives of local interests.

The number of planning regions and their geographical boundaries should be established through a consensus-based process that is led by TxDOT but incorporates the needs and interests of local governments. Once the planning regions are defined, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) should assist local officials in establishing regional planning advisory bodies and work in partnership with the planning advisory bodies to select projects for the region.

Key elements that should be considered in the development of the planning regions include:

  • Large MPOs (e.g., Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston-Galveston and San Antonio) already have well-established planning processes and can likely serve as stand-alone planning regions.
  • Planning regions should incorporate areas with common characteristics, such as industries, development patterns, and cultural identities (for example: the Border, Central Texas, East Texas, Gulf Coast, Houston-Galveston, Metroplex (Dallas-Fort Worth), Panhandle and far West Texas).
  • Avoid creating planning regions that split TxDOT engineering districts (redraw TxDOT district boundaries, if necessary).
  • Limit the number of regions to keep the planning process manageable. In many cases, planning regions will include more than one TxDOT engineering district.

Regional planning advisory boards should be established with the help of TxDOT and incorporate the following considerations:

  • Members should cover a range of interests, including city and county elected officials, representatives of relevant industries (e.g., trucking and developers), and interest groups (e.g., chambers of commerce and environmental groups).
  • Border areas could include representatives from Mexican cities as non-voting members (e.g., Brownsville/Matamoros, El Paso/Juarez and Laredo/Nuevo Laredo). In exchange, border regions should ask for more input into Mexican transportation planning.
  • Regional planning advisory boards should be kept to a manageable size.

Creating planning regions that work as partners with TxDOT to develop short- and long-range transportation plans will have several benefits:

  • greater input from local officials about regional priorities, particularly in non-MPO areas that currently do not have formal public roles in project selection;
  • assurance that funding goes to highest overall priorities, not just the highest priority in a given funding category; and,
  • greater public appreciation for TxDOT’s funding and process constraints.

B. State law should be amended to establish a Statewide Advisory Committee and direct TxDOT to work with the committee and the regional planning advisory committees to establish a 10-year “Statewide Mega-Project” transportation program.

As with the regional transportation advisory boards, the Statewide Advisory Committee (STAC) should be comprised of a variety of interests. In the case of Colorado, a STAC was established by legislation requiring that the committee include the chairman of each regional transportation planning region advisory board. Also in the statute, the Colorado STAC is charged with providing the Department and its commission with advice on all regional and statewide transportation plans. As a result of this mission, the Colorado STAC played a large role in the development of Colorado’s 7th Pot (mega-project) Program and helped the Department win public and political support for it.

In addition to including members of the transportation planning regions on STAC, TxDOT should consider including representatives from already established organizations and coalitions such as the Texas Motor Carriers Associations, the Texas chapter of the Environmental Defense Fund, the Texas Municipal League, the Texas Transportation Funding Coalition, TEX-21, the Border/Infrastructure Coalition, the Consulting Engineers Council of Texas, Texas Society of Professional Engineers, and similar organizations.

TxDOT should work with STAC to develop a statewide pool of mega-projects. Considerations that should drive the development of the list should include:

  • cost–projects should cost at least $250 million;
  • system contribution–projects should focus on linking areas of the state and improving inter-regional, interstate, and international trade;
  • congestion/air quality–projects should help to eliminate the largest causes of pollution and traffic delays;
  • intermodal connectivity–projects should focus on improvements to freight and passenger intermodal connections;
  • economic benefits–projects should focus on maximizing economic develop-ment and trade, such as NAFTA investment needs;
  • existing commitments–the most important projects currently planned for construction, along with their designated funding, should be migrated to the mega-projects list to expedite their completion.

It is important to note that STAC’s role would be completely advisory. All existing decision making responsibilities about the allocation of funds and selection of projects would remain with TTC.

C. State law should be amended to direct TxDOT to eliminate its current funding category structure, and combine funds into two primary categories: mega-projects (40 percent of total construction funding), and regional programs (60 percent of total construction funding).

TxDOT should abandon all non-mandatory funding categories and manage their funding through two primary pools of funding. One would combine all of the current statewide funding categories and focuses on mega-projects throughout the state, and the other would combine all of the district bank balance programs into one fund that is allocated by formula and programmed based on consensus decision by the engineering districts and the appropriate regional planning advisory bodies.

The mega-projects program would address the fact that high-dollar project and corridor development needs are often politically difficult to quickly implement because they tend to create short-term inequities in funding allocations. The inefficient alternative is to complete small pieces of a project each year. The mega-project program should be created with the following characteristics:

  • projects in the program are all large ($250 million or more), offer significant statewide mobility and economic benefits, and are clearly identified regional priorities;
  • annual level of funding is large enough to address multiple major projects in two to three years, and the total level of funding is sufficient to complete the entire program;
  • the state makes a commitment to fund all of the program’s projects in a set and reasonably short time (e.g., 10 years); and,
  • in return for the commitment, local officials accept that there will be years when their region may receive no mega-project funding.

This recommendation addresses four critical issues identified in the review:

  1. a way to expedite completion of the state’s most critical projects;
  2. reduction in the complexity, confusion and mistrust associated with TxDOT’s current funding allocation and project selection processes by providing local governments a clear description of how allocation decisions will be made;
  3. more input for TxDOT’s customers in the planning process, more certainty about total future allocation levels and assurance that limited resources are spent on the highest regional priorities; and,
  4. greater public support for future transportation funding initiatives and toll road projects by providing more information about actual transportation costs and available resources.

D. TxDOT and the Statewide Advisory Committee should establish a new allocation formula for overall construction funding. This formula should include a minimum guarantee funding level for planning regions equal to 90 percent of a region’s estimated highway fund contributions. The minimum guarantee level should apply to Regional Program allocations on an annual basis, and mega-project funding over the life of the program.

The allocation of funds should be determined by the stakeholders, and should not be prescribed by either an outside consultant or TxDOT. The recommended minimum guarantee level provides a starting point and serves as a guideline for the development of new formulas.

The minimum-guarantee level should be established as a percentage of each newly created planning region’s estimated highway revenue contributions, using either TxDOT’s calculated percentage methodology or another formula developed with consensus of the statewide advisory committee. This minimum guarantee level should apply to all construction funds, not just system preservation funding, and should be set at a level that returns most of the funds that a region pays in, while allowing the agency the flexibility to reallocate some funding if appropriate. The current federal minimum guarantee level of 90.5 percent, as well as Minnesota’s experience using a 90 percent minimum guarantee in urban areas, provides a basis for the 90 percent recommendation in Texas. This recommendation allows more flexibility in distributing funds than suggested by TxDOT’s position that states should receive back at least 95 percent of the federal funding they pay in.[47]

While it is not possible to identify how this recommendation would change specific funding allocations, The table below provides an example of current and future funding for some likely planning regions. The figure compares actual annual figures to hypothetical minimum levels; $230 million would be available for redistribution to address past inequities or highest priority needs.

Hypothetical Allocation of Funding

Hypothetical Planning Region(Current Districts)
Average
Annual Funding
1999-2002[48]
PERCENT
OF
TOTAL
CALCULATED PERCENTAGE
POTENTIAL
ANNUAL MINIMUM GUARANTEE LEVEL[49]
Dallas-Fort Worth (Dallas & Fort Worth Districts)
$513,003,230
23.02%
23.23%
$465,958,995
Border Areas (Laredo, El Paso and Pharr)
$180,233,590
8.05%
6.98%
$140,026,198
Houston-Galveston
(Houston)
$396,174,863
17.78%
18.27%
$366,520,736
San Antonio (San Antonio)
$148,912,026
6.680%
8.18%
$164,112,476
Available for redistribution



$230,000,000

The minimum guarantee levels should also apply to the mega-projects list over the course of an entire program, not for a single year or even group of years. Hence, for a 10-year mega-project program, each region would receive projects worth a minimum of 90 percent of their calculated percentage for the 10-year period.

E. TxDOT should implement the new funding allocation over the next four years, and should develop a plan, in consultation with the Statewide Advisory Committee and regional planning advisory bodies, to avoid disruption of existing project requirements.

Transportation planning and programming is a cyclical process and, as a result, it is always a struggle to balance the desire to implement new polices and programs with the need to honor past commitments. The best way to achieve this balance is to work with local stakeholders, through the regional planning advisory bodies and Statewide Advisory Committee, to build consensus on migrating projects to the new planning and programming structure. The migration plans for each planning region will need to:

  • determine which currently selected projects should be added to the mega-projects list and which should be funded with Regional Program funding, or dropped;
  • specify the use of any local funds; and,
  • identify any projects that will be dropped to make funds available for other projects.

As an example, the hypothetical Border planning region (identified in Recommendation D) would be funded at a minimum of $1.4 billion over the next 10 years. This funding could be programmed for either mega-projects or regional activities, in addition to any share it might get of the $2.3 billion in funds available for redistribution over the same period. [Note – These funding levels are based on an average annual construction budget of $2.3 billion. Current TxDOT estimates are closer to $2.7 billion per year, which would significantly increase each region’s funding.]

F. TxDOT should provide an annual report to the Legislature documenting the status of the mega-projects program and the ability of district offices and local governments to implement projects and achieve anticipated system performance improvements.

TxDOT districts and regional planning advisory bodies should work together to establish annual performance goals and then report on how their selection and implementation of regional funds contributes to attaining these goals. This approach will allow the planning regions to have maximum flexibility in how they use their funds, but holds them accountable to TTC, the Texas Legislature and the public.

Requiring TxDOT headquarters to report progress on implementation of the mega-project plan will help build trust between the agency and local governments and the public. Such reporting would also help ensure that regional programs are being funded efficiently and effectively.

G. TxDOT should make their highway construction project programming, planning, and funding allocation processes more available to the general public.

Communication with Texas residents is one of TxDOT’s basic responsibilities. TxDOT should put information regarding these processes on their agency Web site. The Web site should include the funding categories and formulae, projects by transportation district in the unified transportation program (UTP) and in the statewide transportation improvement program (STIP). Other transportation district project and funding information should include project lettings by district, project status (Priority 1 and Priority 2), construction project status, ranking according to the cost effectiveness index (CEI), the CEI index, and ranking according to disadvantaged county status. The Web site should include a glossary of terms and frequently asked questions.

TxDOT’s Web site should also include a Web page that provides project status and funding information about the state’s priority corridors and transportation projects underway or planned for these corridors. For example, Texas’ High Priority Interstate Corridors funding category will concentrate on the development of three major transportation corridors: Interstate 35, Interstate 27, and Interstate 69. Category 3B is devoted to the Texas Trunk System—expanding a system of rural highways from two lane to four lane divided. Other projects underway include the Category 13C Border Trade Transportation projects and the development of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor. An ongoing review of these projects would be beneficial to the Legislature and the general public.

TxDOT’s Web site already contains much general information about the commission, doing business with the department, information about the agency’s 25 transportation districts, revenues and expenditures and vigor investment studies. Finally, TxDOT’s Web site should provide a Web page for public comment regarding commission meetings and public hearings at the transportation districts. Texas residents are a resource to TxDOT.


Fiscal Impact

These recommendations could be implemented by the agencies involved using existing resources.


Appendix

Table 1: TxDOT Funding Categories

Program Funding Category
Annual Funding (2001-2003,
in millions)
Funding Sources
Eligible Activities
Program
Origin/
Mandate
Program Responsibility/
Selection Mechanism
Allocation Mechanisms
1. Interstate Construction
$30.0
Federal 90%
State 10%
Statewide Mobility
Federal Funding Category
Allocated to Head Quarters/Selected based on construction schedule for Interstate Corridors
N/A
2. Interstate Maintenance
$205.7
Federal 90%
State 10%
System Preservation
Federal Funding Category
Formula allocation to districts/Selected by district
45% Equivalent Single Axle Loads (ESALs), 10% mileage, 45% miles w/ substandard distress scores
3A. National Highway System (NHS) Mobility
$280.0
Federal 80%
State 20%
Statewide Mobility
Sub-allocation of Federal Funding Category
Allocated to Head Quarters/Selected by CEI rankings
Funding subdivided by project type (expansion, new location, and interchanges) and eligible county (metropolitan, urban and rural)
3B. Texas Trunk System
$150.0
Federal 80%
State 20%
Statewide Mobility
TTC Established Program
Allocated to Head Quarters/Selected based on construction schedule for Phase I projects or CEI rankings
90% of funds for current Priority One and 10% for new projects
3C. NHS Rehabilitation
$55.0
Federal 80%
State 20%
Regional System Preservation
Sub-allocation of Federal Funding Category
Allocated to districts by formula/Selected based on district discretion
30% (ESALs), 30% NHS miles, 35% lane miles w/ substandard distress scores, 5% bridge deck surface area
3D. NHS Management System
$9.6
Federal 80%
State 20%
Statewide Capital Improvements
Sub-allocation of Federal Funding Category
Allocated to Head Quarters/ Selected by Traffic Management Index
N/A
3E. NHS Miscellaneous
$10.0
Federal 80%
State 20%
Statewide Mobility
Sub-allocation of Federal Funding Category
Allocated to Head Quarters/ Selected by Identified need
N/A
Program Funding Category
Annual Funding (2001-2003,
in millions)
Funding Sources
Eligible Activities
Program
Origin/
Mandate
Program Responsibility/
Selection Mechanism
Allocation Mechanisms
4A. Surface Transportation Planning (STP) Safety and Railroad Signal Safety Programs
$45.9
Federal 90%
State 10%
Statewide Capital Improvements
Federal Program Requirement
Allocated to Head Quarters/ Selected by Safety Improvement Index
N/A
4B. STP Transportation Enhancements
$51.6
Federal 80%
State 20%
Or
Federal 80%
Local 20%
Other
Federal Program Requirement
Allocated to Head Quarters/ Selected by Statewide Advisory Committee
N/A
4C. STP Metropolitan Mobility Rehabilitation
$305.0
Federal 80%
State 20%
Or
Federal 80%
Local 20%
Regional Mobility or System Preservation
Federal Program Requirement
Allocated to MPOs/ Selected by MPOs
Distributed to MPOs based on population to areas with populations greater than 200,000
4D. STP Urban Mobility/
Rehabilitation
$110.0
Federal 80%
State 20%
Or
Federal 80%
Local 20%
Regional Mobility or System Preservation
Federal Program Requirement
Allocated to districts by formula/Selected based on district discretion
Distributed to districts based on population to areas with populations between 5,000 and 200,000
4E. STP Rural Mobility/
Rehabilitation
$41.1
Federal 80%
State 20%
Regional Mobility or System Preservation
Federal Program Requirement
Allocated to districts by formula/Selected based on district discretion
Distributed to districts based on population to areas with populations less than 5,000
4F. STP Rehabilitation in Urban and Rural Areas
$160.0
Federal 80%
State 20%
Regional System Preservation

Allocated to districts by formula/Selected based on district discretion
30% ESALs, 30% miles, 35% lane miles w/ substandard distress scores, 5% bridge deck surface area
4G. STP Railroad Grade Separations
$38.0
Federal 80%
State 20%
Statewide Capital Improvements
Federal Program Requirement
Allocated to Head Quarters/
Selected based on cost/benefit evaluation
50% for overpasses, 50% for underpasses
5. Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement
$91.9
Federal 80%
State 20%
or
Federal 80%
Local 20%
Regional Capital/
Operating Improvements
Federal Program Requirement
Allocated to MPOs/ Selected by MPOs
Distributed to MPOs with non-attainment areas by population and air quality severity
Program Funding Category
Annual Funding (2001-2003,
in millions)
Funding Sources
Eligible Activities
Program
Origin/
Mandate
Program Responsibility/
Selection Mechanism
Allocation Mechanisms
6A. On-System Bridge Replacement/ Rehabilitation
$117.5
Federal 80%
State 20%
Statewide Preservation
Federal Program Requirement
Allocated to Head Quarters/Selected by TEBSS (Texas Eligible Bridge Selection System)
N/A
6B. Off-System Bridge Replacement/ Rehabilitation
$39.2
Federal 80%
Local 20%
Or
State 10%
Local 10%
Statewide Preservation
Federal Program Requirement
Allocated to Head Quarters/Selected by TEBSS (Texas Eligible Bridge Selection System)
N/A
7. State Preventative Maintenance
$250.0
State 100%
Regional System Preservation
TTC Established Program
Allocated to districts by formula/Selected based on district discretion
80% lane miles, 10% VMT/lane mile, 10% mileage w/ substandard distress scores
8A. Rehabilitation of Texas Farm- to-Market Roads
$50.0
State 100%
Regional System Preservation
Sub-allocation of State Statutory Program
Allocated to districts by formula/Selected based on district discretion
30% ESALs, 30%NHS miles, 35% lane miles with substandard distress scores, 5% bridge deck
8B. Texas Farm-to-Market Roads System Expansion
$20.0
State 100%
Statewide Mobility
Sub-allocation of State Statutory Program
Allocated to Head Quarters/Selected by CEI rankings
N/A
9.State Park Roads
$5.0
State 100%
Other
State Statutory Program
Allocated to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
N/A
10A. Traffic Control Devices
$20.0
State 100%
Regional Capital Improvements
TTC Established Program
Allocated to districts by formula/Selected based on district discretion
50% non-Interstate lane miles; 50% population
10B. Rehabilitation of Traffic Management Systems
$10.0
State 100%
Regional System Preservation
TTC Established Program
Allocated to districts by formula/Selected based on district discretion
Based on sophistication of equipment, type of control center, and miles under control
11. State District Discretionary
$75.0
State 100%
Regional
Mobility/ System Preservation
TTC Established Program
Allocated to districts by formula/Selected by individual district processes
70% VMT; 30% Registered vehicles; minimum of $2 million annually per district
Program Funding Category
Annual Funding (2001-2003,
in millions)
Funding Sources
Eligible Activities
Program
Origin/
Mandate
Program Responsibility/
Selection Mechanism
Allocation Mechanisms
12. Strategic Priority
$200.0
Federal 80%
State 20%
or
State 100%
Statewide mobility
TTC Established Program
Allocated to Head Quarters/Selected by the TTC
N/A
13A. State Funded Mobility
$2.5
State 100%
Other
TTC Established Program
Allocated to Head Quarters/no further commitments being made
Based on construction schedule
13B. Hurricane Evacuation Routes
$25.0
Federal 80%
State 20%
or
State 100%
Regional Mobility
TTC Established Program
Allocated to coastal districts/District selection with TTC participation
Even distribution of funds to five coastal districts
13C. Border Trade Transportation Projects
$35.8
State 100%
Regional Mobility
TTC Established Program
Allocated to districts by formula/Selected by individual district processes
Allocated to Border districts based on number of border crossings
13D. Urban Streets (being phased out)
$7.3
State 80%
Local 20%
Regional System Preservation
TTC Established Program
Allocated to MPOs/
Selected by MPOs
Distributed based on urbanized area population
14. State Rehabilitation
$150.0
State 100%
Regional System Preservation
TTC Established Program
Allocated to districts by formula/Selected by individual district processes
30% ESALs, 30%NHS miles, 35% lane miles with substandard distress scores, 5% bridge deck
15. Congressional High Priority Projects
$85.3
Federal 80%
State 20%
Regional or Statewide Mobility/ System Preservation
Federal Program Requirement
Selected by Congress
N/A
16. Miscellaneous
$11.0
Varies
Varies
Varies
Varies
Varies
17. PASS
(contains both PASS and PASS Metro Match)
$40.1
State 100%
Or
State 50%
Local 50%
Regional Mobility/
System Preservation
TTC Established Program to Continue old Federal Program
Allocated to Head Quarters/
No additional projects will be selected
Allocation based on construction schedule for Priority One projects
18. Toll Facilities
N/A
N/A
Mobility
N/A
N/A
N/A

Source: Texas Department of Transportation

Table 2

Evolution of TxDOT Funding Categories and Project Selection Processes

Planning Activity or Project Development Plan Task Force
Date
Key Results, Findings and Changes
Revised 20-Year Project Development Plan (baseline for describing the evolution of TxDOT’s Project Development Plan processes)[50]
1980
Total of 8 funding categories: 1. Interstate ; 2. Interstate Rehabilitation; 3. Primary; 4. Secondary & State; 5. Rehabilitation; 6. Farm to Market; Urban System; 7. Safety and Betterment; 8. Miscellaneous Categories 1-3 selected on a statewide basis using ranking indices; Categories 4-8 allocated by formula and selected by districts (with no guidance from TxDOT Headquarters).
District allocations based on historical fund distribution levels.
Projects broken into categories A, B and C.
10-Year Project Development Plan Administrative Order[51]
1984
Creation of 10-year Project Development Plan, biennial updates
First year of plan approved for letting, four years approved for ROW acquisition and construction, last five years approved for development.
Changed number of major program categories from 8 to 9 (Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation added as category 8, with Miscellaneous changed to category 9).[52]
Categories 1, 2, 3 and 8 selected on a statewide basis using various ranking indices.
1996 Update of the 10-Year PDP[53]
1986
Ranking index basis for Category 3 projects (Primary and Secondary Added Capacity) switched from cost per vehicle mile to congestion relief benefit.
Established a priority ranking order for projects in the 10-year plan (priorities A, B and C) to improve the allocation of project development resources.
1998 Update of the 10-Year PDP[54]
1988
Created new nomenclature for different project authorization levels:
-Level I – Feasibility study authorization.
-Level II – Preliminary engineering authorization.
-Level III – Design, ROW acquisition and construction authority for 4 years.
-Level IV – Design, ROW acquisition and construction authority for 1 year.
Added “Geometry, Safety and Miscellaneous” subcategory to Category 3.
Creation of Texas Trunk System
1990
Established network of roadways to be expanded to at least four-lane divided facilities – led to creation of Texas Trunk System Program (Category 3A).
Task Force for the Review of Planning, Programming and Scheduling of Construction Projects
1991
Established first Project Development Plan
Divided programs into three major functions:
Preservation: Preventive Maintenance (Category 7), Rehabilitation (Category 14), Bridge Rehabilitation and Replacement (Categories 6A and 6B), Safety, and Discretionary
Mobility: Texas Trunk System (Category 3B)
Strategic Priority (Category 12)
Recommended 42% of construction funds be used for system preservation
Established use of CEI for mobility projects
Established a four level structure for project authorization
Planning Activity or Project Development Plan Task Force
Date
Key Results, Findings and Changes
PDP Task Force
1993
Created State Rehabilitation of Signs Program (Category 10).
Developed Texas Ranking of Interchange Projects (TRIP) model for ranking interchange projects funded through the NHS Mobility Program (Category 3A).
PDP Review Task Force – Volume I, Section B: System Preservation
1994
Increased allocation for system preservation to 43% of construction dollars.
Expanded eligible activities under the Rehabilitation of Signs Program (Category 10) to include traffic management systems.
Recommended combining the Preventive Maintenance Program (Category 7) and State Rehabilitation Program (Category 14).
Recommended variable design standards for FM roads.
PDP Review Task Force – Volume I, Section C: State Rehabilitation of Signs, Signals, and Pavement Markings
1994
Separated the Rehabilitation of Signs Program (Category 10) into two subcategories: 75% of funds for Traffic Control Devices (Category 10A) and 25% for Rehabilitation of Traffic Management Systems (Category 10B).
Established allocation formulas for each subcategory.
PDP Review Task Force – Volume I, Section D: FM Roads
1994
Recommended removing FM routes in urban areas from the FM system (not approved).
Split FM Roads Program (Category 8) into two subcategories: 60% of FM funds for FM Rehabilitation (Category 8A) and 40% for FM System Expansion (Category 8B).
Established allocation formula for Category 8A and CEI selection process for Category 8B.
Recommended reducing local participation for rehabilitation and capacity expansion of existing FM Roads.
PDP Review Task Force – Volume I, Section E: Bridge Programs
1994
Eliminated minimum allocations to districts for on-system bridge projects
Established Texas Eligible Bridge Selection System (TEBSS) to rank and select on-system bridge projects
TxDOT agreed to pay half of required 20% non-federal match.
Recommended phase-out of existing off-system bridge project selection process and implementation of same process recommended for on-system bridges
PDP Review Task Force – Volume I, Section F: Texas Hurricane Evacuation Route Program
1994
Established Hurricane Evacuation Route Program (Category 13B) with annual allocations to selected districts.
PDP Review Task Force – Volume I, Section G: NAFTA Discretionary Program
1994
Established NAFTA Discretionary Program (Category 13C) with district selection (border districts only) and allocations based on the number of border crossings; initial annual funding at $5 million.
Planning Activity or Project Development Plan Task Force
Date
Key Results, Findings and Changes
PDP Review Task Force – Volume I, Section H: Urban Street Program
1994
Created Urban Street Program (Category 13D) for urbanized areas >50,000, with MPO selection and allocation based on urbanized area population; initial annual funding at $15 million.
Combined Metropolitan Transit (Categories 17) and Principle Arterial Street System (PASS) (Categories 18) into PASS METRO Match Program (Categories 17).
Recommended continuation of PASS funding for projects ready to let by September 1999, but cancellation of projects without environmental clearance by September 1996 or right-of-way by September 1997.
PDP Review Task Force – Volume I, Section I: Unified Program Announcement
1994
Created a task force to establish implementation procedures for a unified program announcement.
PDP Review Task Force – Volume II, Section A: Program Funding Levels
1995
Created allocation levels for non-federal programs based on different state revenue scenarios.
PDP Review Task Force – Volume II, Section B: Fair Share
1995
Established that all funding categories except District Discretionary (Category 11) would be allocated based on need rather than fair share considerations
Recommended “Fair Share” distribution of Category 11 funds.
PDP Review Task Force – Volume II, Section C: District Owned Bank Balance Programs
1995
Established steps to realign Bank Balance programs.
PDP Review Task Force – Volume II, Section D: Restructuring Authorization Levels
1995
Restructured project authorization process:
Long Range Projects–advanced planning and right-of-way determinations.
Priority Two–PS&E preparation and right-of-way acquisition (fiscally constrained for last seven years of UTP).
Priority One–completion of PS&Es, utility adjustments, and construction (fiscally constrained for first three years of UTP).
Established criteria for evaluating project feasibility.
PDP Review Task Force – Volume II, Section E: Needs Distribution of Nation Highway System Funds
1995
Expanded criteria to move NHS Mobility Program (Category 3A) projects from Priority Two to Priority One, including considerations other than CEI ranking.
Created sub-allocations of NHS Mobility Program (Category 3A) funds for metropolitan/ urban/ rural counties and interchanges/expansion/new locations.
PDP Formula and Selection for Mobility Projects (Categories 3A and 3B) Task Force
1995/
1996
Maintained methodology for allocating NHS Mobility (Category 3A) funding for specific activities and types of region.
Maintained $75 million annual allocation for Texas Trunk System (Category 3B) and established an objective to avoid creating bottlenecks in the existing Texas Trunk System.
Created priorities for Texas Trunk System project selection: 1) Two to four-lane divided expansion; 2) Four-lane undivided to divided expansion; 3) Development of small urban relief routes.
Maintained use of CEI formula for mobility projects.
Maintained use of TRIP model for ranking interchange projects.
Planning Activity or Project Development Plan Task Force
Date
Key Results, Findings and Changes
Transportation Commission Minute Order
1996
Added minimum requirements for the FM Expansion (Category 8A) projects: must be outside urban areas >50,000; have minimum ADT of 250; and local jurisdiction agrees to pay 100% of right-of-way and utility adjustment costs.
PDP Task Force to review Interstate maintenance Allocation Formula (Category 2)
1996
Changed allocation formula for Interstate Maintenance (Category 2) to place a greater emphasis on miles of distressed Interstate pavement.
Phased in broadening definition of distressed mileage.
PDP Task Force to Review STP Safety (Category 4A) and FM Road Expansion (Category 8B)
1997
Increased funding for the STP Hazard Elimination Program (Category 4G).
Encouraged districts to use other funding categories, such as Traffic Control Device funds (Category 10A) to meet additional safety investment needs.
Established the “HRX Corridor Approach” for implementation of the Rail Crossing Safety Improvement Program (Category 4G).
Made adjustments to rail crossing prioritization index
Recommended removal of 6 FM Road Expansion Projects (Category 8B) from the UTP.
Review of Bridge Selection Processes (Categories 6A and 6B)
1997
Expanded the number of bridge projects eligible for Priority One.
Allowed local governments to substitute non-Priority One bridge projects for Priority One projects.
Required local agency agreement for Off-System Bridge funding (Category 6B) within 120 days of project being placed in Priority Two in the UTP.
Required 10% local match in engineering and construction on new FM roads.
PDP Task Force to Review Allocation of Rehabilitation (Categories. 3C, 4F and 8A) and Preventive Maintenance (Category 7) Funds
1997
Changed allocation formulas for rehabilitation (Categories 3C, 4F and 8A) to place a greater emphasis on pavement distress scores and consider bridge needs.
Changed allocation formula for preventive maintenance to place a greater emphasis on system size (i.e., lane miles).
Recommended TxDOT Design Division make various improvements to the Pavement Management Information System (PMIS).

Source: Texas Department of Transportation.


Endnotes

[1] E-mail communication from Max Proctor, director, Program and Scheduling Division, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, August 10, 2000.

[2] Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch.551 §5.

[3] V.T.C.A., Transportation Code §201.103.

[4] Funding categories allocated on a geographical basis are generally used for rehabilitation purposes, although there are some minor exceptions.

[5] CFR, Title 23, Section 135; and V.A.C.S. 6663, §f(1).

[6] V.T.C.A., Government Code, Title 10, Chapter 2056.

[7] Preconstruction activities include rights-of-way acquisition, design, utility relocation, environmental clearance, etc.

[8] Memorandum from Alvin Leudecke, director, Transportation Planning and Programming Division, Texas Department of Transportation, to Charles W. Heald, P.E., executive director, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, August 23, 1999. Figure represents the estimated projected funding level for FY 2001-2003.

[9] Officially, there are a total of 34 funding categories, but some are no longer in use or funding is allocated for non-TxDOT purposes.

[10] Interview with Max Proctor, director, Programming and Scheduling Division, and Al Luedecke, director, Transportation Planning and Programming Division, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, January 24, 2000.

[11] Texas Department of Transportation, “Funding Category Workshop Manual, November 2 and 3, 1999,” Austin, Texas, Section 3.

[12] Interview with Max Proctor, director, Programming and Scheduling Division, and Al Luedecke, director, Transportation Planning and Programming Division, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, January 24, 2000; and memorandum from Al Luedecke, director, Transportation Programming and Planning Division, Texas Department of Transportation, identifying annual funding category targets for fiscal years 2000-2006.

[13] Texas Department of Transportation, “Funding Category Workshop Manual, November 2 and 3 1999,” Austin, Texas, Section 3.

[14] Categories represent all of the Texas Department of Transportation programs that use federal funds.

[15] Texas Department of Transportation, “Funding Category Workshop Manual, November 2 and 3 1999,” Austin, Texas, Section 3.

[16] Texas Department of Transportation, “Funding Category Workshop Manual, November 2 and 3, 1999.” The five coastal districts eligible for Hurricane Evacuation Route funding develop a consensus recommendation that the Texas Transportation Commission either accepts or rejects.

[17] Interview with Max Proctor, director, Programming and Scheduling Division, and Al Luedecke, director, Transportation Planning and Programming Division, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, January 24, 2000; and memorandum from Al Luedecke, director, Transportation Programming and Planning Division, Texas Department of Transportation, identifying annual funding category targets for fiscal years 2000-2006.

[18] Projects should have completed 75 percent of the design work and right-of-way acquisition before moving from Priority Two to Priority One authority.

[19] Interview with Max Proctor, director, Programming and Scheduling Division, and Al Luedecke, director, Transportation Planning and Programming Division, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, January 24, 2000; and memorandum from Al Luedecke, director, Transportation Programming and Planning Division, Texas Department of Transportation, identifying annual funding category targets for fiscal years 2000-2006.

[20] E-mail communication from Max Proctor, director, Programming and Scheduling Division, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, August 16, 2000. TxDOT provides each district with seven years of Priority Two authority for Federal Surface Transportation Plan (STP) Urban and Rural funds, and approximately 15 years worth of Priority Two authority for State District Discretionary Funds. This authority allows the districts to access project development funds and create a larger pipeline of projects that can go to construction.

[21] Interview with Max Proctor, director, Programming and Scheduling Division, and Al Luedecke, director, Transportation Planning and Programming Division, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, January 24, 2000. TxDOT headquarters provides little or no direction on district-level project selection practices.

[22] E-mail communication from Max Proctor, director, Programming and Scheduling Division, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, August 15, 2000. TxDOT is currently holding back some CMAQ programming authority because additional regions may soon fall into clean air non-attainment, and will be eligible for CMAQ funds.

[23] E-mail communication from Max Proctor, director, Programming and Scheduling Division, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, August 15, 2000.

[24] In most cases, projects selected for years 1-3 were picked in prior years, although there are cases where projects previously selected for Priority One are replaced by new projects.

[25] Telephone interview with Kerri Hacket, program manager, Houston-Galveston Area Council, Houston, Texas, August 15, 2000.

[26] States must designate Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) for all urban area with populations of more than 200,000. MPOs are regional government entities that can either be a subunit if a city or county, or a stand-alone entity that encompasses several cities and/or counties (e.g., the Houston-Galveston Area Council has more than a hundred member jurisdictions). While MPOs have been in existence since the mid 1960s, their current transportation planning responsibilities were largely established by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 (Pub. L. 102-240). For additional information about the evolution of MPOs, go to (http://ampo.org/who/about_mpos.html). (Internet document.)

[27] 23 CFR Part 450, Subpart C.

[28] 23 CFR Part 450, Subpart C. A three-year plan of all federally-funded projects in an MPO area (known as a Transportation Improvement Plan TIP) and a 20-year Long-range Plan) must be approved by the designated MPO before the projects can be constructed.

[29] Texas Department of Transportation, “Funding Category Workshop Manual, November 2 and 3, 1999,” Austin, Texas, pp. Section 3.

[30] Based on interviews with Dee Span, director, Office of Statewide Planning, Federal Highway Administration, and Dave Clawsen, staff to the Standing Committee on Planning, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, April 20, 2000.

[31] The only federal category that must be allocated to specific areas of a state is Federal Surface Transportation Plan (STP) Metropolitan Mobility funding. All other Federal funding categories apply to overall state spending. States vary in the degree to which federal funding categories are trickled down to engineering districts and/or planning regions. Texas does more than most and as a result, has more funding categories than most states. Telephone interview with Dan Reagan, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Texas Division Administrator, Austin, Texas, August 18, 2000. A deputy director of another state transportation department remarked that he did not realize many states were still doing that (administering most or all federal programs down to the district level), his state stopped doing that years ago to simplify there planning process and give districts more flexibility in how they spend their funds.

[32] Texas H.B. 1, 75th Leg. Reg. Sess. Texas Department of Transportation’s Appropriations, Article 7, Rider 41.

[33] Texas Department of Transportation, Report of the Task Force, “Review of Various Aspects of the Project Development Plan Process, Volume I, Section F,” Austin, Texas, October 1994.

[34] Texas Department of Transportation, Report of the Task Force, “Review of Various Aspects of the Project Development Plan Process, Volume I, Section C,” Austin, Texas, October 1994.

[35] Interview with Al Luedecke, director, Planning and Programming Division, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, January 24, 2000.

[36] Texas Department of Transportation, official response to the findings document by Jefferson Grimes, manager, State Legislative Affairs, Austin, Texas, September 30, 2000.

[37] The numerous Project Development Plan Task Forces established to review and revise the planning and programming process since 1991 have all been staffed by internal TxDOT staff, predominantly by professional engineers.

[38] Funding categories that are focused or may be used for rehabilitation include: Interstate Maintenance, NHS Rehabilitation, STP Metro, STP Urban, STP Rural, STP rehabilitation, On-system and Off-system Bridge Replacement/Rehabilitation, State Preventative Maintenance, FM Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation of Traffic Management Systems, State District Discretionary, and State Rehabilitation.

[39] The Pharr District has developed a variation of the CEI index which takes into account economic development, etc.

[40] Texas Department of Transportation, official response to the findings document by Jefferson Grimes, manager, State Legislative Affairs, Austin, Texas, September 30, 2000.

[41] Texas House of Representatives, House Research Organization, Highway Funding: Toward a New Fiscal Roadmap, by Patrick K. Graves, Austin, Texas, August 3, 2000.

[42] The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century strives to ensure each state receives 90.5 percent of what they contribute to the Federal Highway Trust Fund.

[43] Because fuel taxes are collected at the distributor level rather than at the pump, it is not possible to determine actual fuel sales in any one county or district. Vehicles miles traveled divided by an average vehicle fuel usage rate is used as a proxy for district/local fuel consumption throughout the country.

[44] Since daily vehicle miles traveled (DVMT) reflects facility usage levels, it can serve as a loose substitute for facility depreciation and additional capacity needs

[45] While there is less correlation between population and needs than facility usage and needs, per capital spending does provide some assessment of funding allocation equity.

[46] Texas Department of Transportation, Design Division, Letting Management Office Letting Volume reports for construction and maintenance projects 1989 through 2000.

[47] E-mail communication from Denise Prittard, State Legislative Affairs, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, June 7, 2000.

[48] Texas Department of Transportation, Transportation Planning and Programming Division, Analysis of the 1999 UTP (Austin, Texas, September 22, 1998).
[49] Based on 90 percent of the ‘calculated percentage of average total construction funding from 1999-2002, as identified in an analysis of the 1999 UTP prepared by TxDOT Transportation Planning and Programming Divisions, Austin, Texas, September 22, 1998.
[50] Interoffice memorandum by R. I. Lewis, Texas Department of Transportation, “Revised 20-Year Project Development and Control Plan,” Austin, Texas, January 22, 1980.
[51] Administrative Order No. 33-84, from M. G. Goode, executive director, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas, December 14, 1984.
[52] The On and Off-system Bridge Rehabilitation Category may have actually been created sometime between 1980 and 1984. It is not possible to tell exactly when the program was established based on currently available documentation. Also, it appears that some categories, Category 3 in particular, had several subcategories. Again limited documentation is available on how and when they were first established.
[53] Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Design Division, 1986 Update of the 10-Year Project Development Plan (Austin, Texas, October 22, 1986.)
[54] Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Design Division, 1988 Update of the 10-Year Project Development Plan, (Austin, Texas, September 16, 1988).