Law:Title 116. Roads, Bridges, And Ferries (Texas)

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Contents

Chapter 1a. Traffic Regulations

Art. 6701j-2. RAILROAD AND HIGHWAY GRADE CROSSING SAFETY INSTRUCTION. (a) All driving safety courses approved by the Department of Public Safety or by a court as authorized by law must include instruction on railroad and highway grade crossing safety.

(b) The Department of Public Safety shall by rule provide minimum standards of course content relating to operation of vehicles at railroad and highway grade crossings.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 466, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Chapter 6. Particular Counties, Law Relating To

Art. 6812b. COUNTIES OF 198,000 TO 400,000 POPULATION.

Rules, Regulations, Plans and System

Section 1.

In all counties in this State having a population of more than one hundred and ninety-eight thousand (198,000) inhabitants, and less than four hundred thousand (400,000) inhabitants according to the last preceding Federal Census, and wherein is situated an incorporated city having a population in excess of two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) inhabitants according to the last preceding Federal Census, the Commissioners Court of such counties shall have full power and authority, and it shall be its duty to adopt, at a meeting of said court of which the county judge and at least three (3) of the county commissioners of said counties shall be present and cause to be recorded in the minutes of said court, and put into effect such rules, regulations, plans and system for the maintenance, laying out, opening, widening, draining, grading, constructing, building and repairing of the public roads of said counties, other than the State highways located therein, as the available funds of the counties will permit so as to facilitate travel between the communities thereof, subject to and in harmony with the duties of the county engineer as herein specified. Where such rules, regulations, plans and system have already been adopted by the Commissioners Court of such counties and are of record, it shall not be necessary to repeat the same in the absence of public necessity therefor, but same may be amended and supplemented from time to time as the public needs may require.

County Engineer

Section 2.

The Commissioners Court of each such county shall appoint a county engineer, but the selection shall be controlled by considerations of skill and ability for the task; such engineer may be selected at any regular meeting of the Commissioners Court, or at any special meeting called for that purpose, and such engineer shall hold his office for a period of two (2) years, his term of office expiring concurrently with the terms of other county officers, but may be removed at the pleasure of the Commissioners Court. Such engineer shall receive a salary to be fixed by the Commissioners Court not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) per year, to be paid out of the second-class road and bridge fund; such engineer before entering upon the discharge of his duties, shall take the oath of office prescribed by law, and shall execute a bond in the sum of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000), with a good and sufficient surety or sureties thereon, payable to the county judge of said county and his successors in office in trust, for the use and benefit of the road and bridge fund of said county, to be approved by the court, conditioned that such engineer will faithfully and efficiently discharge and perform all of the duties required of him by law and by the orders of said Commissioners Court and shall faithfully and honestly and in due time, account for all the money, property and materials placed in his custody.

Classification and Record of Roads

Section 3.

The county engineer shall, under the direction of the Commissioners Court, and as soon as practicable, classify all public roads in such county, and such classification when completed, and when approved by the court, shall become a part of the permanent records, of roads and bridges, of said counties. He shall prepare a suitable map on which shall be delineated in appropriate colors the various roads which shall be designated as first, second and third class roads; said map shall show to which class each road belongs and the nature of its construction. He shall make a complete indexed record of each county road in the county, together with all bridges; said records shall show when each county road was dedicated to the use of the public, a complete description as to location, measured length, width of right of way, character of construction and terminals of same.

Each road shall be indexed in said record by the same number and name as it is delineated on said map. As new roads are opened and improved, and the existing roads are widened or improved so as to change their class, such facts shall be added to the record of such roads in the "Records of Roads." Such information shall be made available to the public; provided, however, that any omission in respect to the above requirement shall not invalidate any contract for the construction or repair of any road or highway in said county, and where such classification, records and indexes have heretofore been prepared there shall be no necessity to repeat the same in the absence of public necessity therefor, but same may be amended, added to or taken from as the facts and public need may demand.

Inventory and Appraisal of Equipment; Disposal and Purchase

Section 4. T

he county engineer shall at the end of every three (3) months, acting in conjunction with the county purchasing agent of said county, make a complete inventory and appraisement of all tools, machinery, equipment, materials, trucks, cars, and other property owned by the second-class road and bridge fund, and transmit the same in written form to the Commissioners Court and the county auditor, which written report shall be kept as a "Permanent Inventory Record" by the county auditor, and when any of said tools, machinery, trucks, cars and other property and equipment become unusable, the Commissioners Court shall enter an order upon the minutes of the court, stating such facts and the reason for disposing of such equipment and shall have authority to dispose of same as it deems best. When in its opinion it is necessary to purchase other machinery, supplies, tools and other equipment and materials, the Commissioners Court shall enter an order on the minutes showing the necessity therefor. All equipment purchased or acquired as herein specified, shall be shown on the "Permanent Inventory Record."

Employees

Section 5.

The Commissioners Court shall employ all help necessary for the discharge of their public service. Such employees shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by the court, but in all such cases an order shall be passed and entered on the minutes of the court, showing in each case the public necessity for such employment and the amount of compensation to be paid each employee and the fund out of which it is to be paid.

Daily Time Sheet

Section 6.

The engineer shall keep, or cause to be kept, in duplicate a daily time sheet which shall show the amount of time and the character of work performed and the place where the same is performed by each person working for the county on road maintenance or construction, and such other records in connection therewith as the Commissioners Court and the county auditor may require, one (1) copy of which shall be furnished the county auditor, and one (1) copy shall be retained in the office of the engineer.

Master Plan

Section 7.

The county engineer shall, when funds are available and when authorized by the Commissioners Court to do so, make a careful and thorough survey of all roads at that time opened and constructed with a view of determining what new roads and connections of roads should be opened and constructed, as well as what roads should be widened and improved. In making such survey, he shall take into consideration the convenience of the traveling public, and especially the convenience of the citizenship of the county, so that each community or part of the county shall have easy and practical connection with the other and with the State highway system of roads in said county, thereby furnishing to the citizenship of the county a convenient means of ingress and egress into and out of every city and town, as well as every other community in the county. The roads indicated in such surveys to be opened and constructed, as well as existing roads that are designated to be widened and improved, shall be located and designated with a view of giving the entire county an efficient road system. The Commissioners Court shall, in selecting roads or new roads, as well as the improvement of existing roads, look to the density of the population, the amount of traffic that will normally flow over such roads. Such survey, when completed by the engineer, and when adopted by the Commissioners Court at a regular meeting thereof, shall be known as the "Master Plan." When such "Master Plan" has been completed, and adopted by the court as herein stipulated, the same shall be made in permanent record form and kept by the county engineer, and after such adoption, all new construction, widening and permanent improvement shall be done in accordance with such "Master Plan" with a view of ultimately completing the same, both as to location and character of construction. The construction and completion of said "Master Plan" shall proceed as the available funds of the county will permit, and each unit of such construction shall be made in accordance with such "Master Plan." The order in which the roads or projects in the construction of said "Master Plan" are constructed shall be determined by the county engineer, with the approval of the Commissioners Court and in determining the priority of roads or projects, the engineer and court shall take into consideration the necessity and convenience of the public and shall give priority to those roads or projects that will result in the greatest service to the greatest number of the citizenship of the county, looking at all times to the entire county as a unit and wholly disregarding precinct lines.

Adoption and Alteration of Master Plan

Section 8.

The Commissioners Court shall, when said "Master Plan" is submitted to them for adoption, or if after adoption an amendment or change thereto shall be deemed advisable, set a date at a regular meeting of the Commissioners Court called for that purpose, and give public notice thereof at least two (2) weeks in advance of such meeting and the purpose thereof, inviting the citizenship of the county to be present and protest any part of said "Master Plan" and also to make such suggestions as they deem pertinent in connection with same, or any change therein, but the decision of the Commissioners Court shall become and be final and conclusive as to said "Master Plan", and no succeeding Commissioners Court shall have the power or authority to alter and/or change or amend any of the provisions thereof except by unanimous vote of the Commissioners Court. Provided, that where such "Master Plan" has once been adopted, there shall be no necessity to repeat the same in absence of public necessity therefor, but same may be amended and altered when public necessity therefor is shown, and after notice is given as hereinabove provided.

Subdivisions and Additions

Section 9.

Many subdivisions and additions, for residential, industrial and commercial purposes, lying and being outside the corporate limits of any city, town or village, have in recent years been platted and such plats and dedications approved by Commissioners Courts and filed for record in such counties. And many more such subdivisions will hereafter be prepared and submitted to Commissioners Courts of said counties. The platting and dedicating of such additions and the consequent sale of lots in such subdivisions have caused the rapid development of such subdivisions and consequent increase of traffic in, on and along the dedicated streets in said additions and subdivisions, and it shall be the duty of the county engineer and the Commissioners Court to cause the "Master Plan" to be conformed to such needs and demands of such subdivision by constructing adequate highways leading from such subdivisions to the county seat, provided that from and after the passage of this Act the Commissioners Court, before approving the plat or plan of any subdivision lying outside the corporate limits of any city, town or village, as required by Article 6626 of the Revised Civil Statutes of the State of Texas, 1925, as amended, shall require such subdivider to enter into a written contract and agreement with the county that such subdivider or dedicator will grade, and gravel, all streets and provide all necessary drainage structures within such tract of land so subdivided. Such street improvements and drainage structures shall be in accordance with standard plans and specifications prepared by the county engineer. Such contract shall be for the benefit of any person or persons, firm or corporation who may thereafter acquire by purchase or otherwise any lot or lots in said addition or subdivision, and the faithful performance of said contract as to the initial improvements of said streets shall be deemed a part of the consideration paid for said lot and be read into the contract of sale of same, and such contract shall be enforceable at the instance, and suit if necessary, of the owner or owners of any of said lot or lots in a given subdivision suing singly or as a group or class. After such initial street improvements have been completed in accordance with such plans, said streets then become and remain a part of the county road system and shall be maintained by the county unless and until included within the corporate limits of some city, town or village capable of maintaining its own streets.

Payment of Employees

Section 10.

It shall be the duty of the county auditor to compute the pay for all employees under the court's supervision from time sheets furnished him by the engineer, and no check or warrant shall be issued in favor of any such employee without the approval of such auditor. It shall be the duty of said auditor to see that no employee is paid for time not actually served by such employees and to this end he shall have authority, and it is hereby made his duty, at such time or times as he deems advisable, to check any or all of such employees while they are actually engaged in work. Nothing in this Act, however, shall be construed as repealing or being in conflict with the provisions of Article 2372g-1, Vernon's Revised Statutes of 1925.

Special Counsel

Section 11.

The Commissioners Court shall have the authority to employ special counsel, learned in the law, to advise the court or the Commissioners thereof in all matters wherein the services of counsel may be required, and also to conduct the litigation of the county in which the interests of the county may be involved, which employment may be made for such time and on such terms as the Commissioners Court may deem proper and expedient.

Surveys, Plans and Specifications; Gradings; Drainage; Culverts and Bridges

Section 12.

Before actual construction shall have begun on any road or highway so to be improved, the county engineer, under the direction of the Commissioners Court, shall make careful and accurate surveys of the roads and highways to be improved, and shall file with the records of the courts plans and specifications and estimates as to the cost thereof. Provided, that the provisions of this Section shall not apply to work done by county convicts. As far as practicable, all such roads shall be thoroughly graded and drained, and all roadbeds, bridges, culverts and drain pipes shall be of durable material, the bridges to be of steel or cement and the drain pipes of vitrified clay or of material equally durable and lasting. All culverts and bridges on first and second-class roads shall not be less than twenty-four (24) feet in length and of sufficient strength to support all forms of motor traffic, and the weight of all farm and road engines.

Acquisition of Land; Condemnation

Section 13.

Whenever in the judgment of the Commissioners Court it shall be or become necessary to lay out and construct any road or highway in or through the county or any part thereof, whether said road extends through any city, town, village, hamlet, community or otherwise or whenever it shall be or become necessary in the judgment of the Commissioners Court to occupy any land, in town or county, for the purpose of constructing, building, opening, widening, straightening, draining, grading, improving, repairing or maintaining any public road or highway of said counties or any part thereof, said court, through the agents and employees of the county may enter upon, occupy and take such land, paying therefor, if the owner thereof and said court can agree on the price thereof, as to the value of the land so taken and the amount of damage, if any there be to the remainder, but if such owner and the Commissioners Court cannot agree with respect to such value or damage or both, then said county may proceed to condemn such land for any of the purposes hereinabove mentioned in the same manner as now or may hereafter be prescribed by law for condemnation by railroad corporations and may condemn land for right of way under such proceeding with a right to invoke the Statutes, in so far as the same may be applicable for the exercise of the right of eminent domain by railroad corporations except that, in no case, shall the county be required to give bond or to deposit more than the amount assessed by the Commissioners in condemnation; provided, however, that nothing contained in this Section shall be held to repeal the provisions of the General Law now in force or that may hereafter be passed relating to the opening or construction of public roads by a jury of view, but this Section shall be held to be cumulative thereof, and the Commissioners Court of said county may, at the option of said court, in such cases proceed under the provisions of such General Law or under the provisions of this Act according as same may be best adapted, in the judgment of said Commissioners Court, to expedite the relief sought to be obtained.

Drainage of Railroad Rights of Way

Section 14.

Whenever it shall be made to appear to the satisfaction of said Court that it is necessary for the better drainage of any public road or roads within said county that the ditches along the right of way of any railroad in the county should be emptied and drained, said court may, by an order entered upon its minutes at a regular or special term of the court, require any such railway whose ditches or borrow pits are so constructed or so out of repair as to impede the easy and rapid flow of water accumulating on, along or near its right of way to the nearest gully, ravine, creek, water course or outlet, and it shall be the duty of said railway in reference to which said order is made and entered within sixty (60) days after a certified copy of said order shall have been delivered to any general officer of such railway company or to any of its agents in said county to supply proper and sufficient drainage in the premises and within sixty (60) days thereafter to commence the work so ordered to be done and to continue such work with reasonable dispatch until its completion. In the event such railway company, its officers and agents shall fail to commence work within sixty (60) days from the date of service of a certified copy of such order, or having begun shall fail to finish the same within a reasonable time, the Commissioners Court may have such work performed, keeping an accurate account of the money expended upon said work, and said money so expended being reasonable in amount, may be recovered from the railway company along whose right of way said work was done at the suit of the county for the benefit of its road and bridge fund in any court of competent jurisdiction.

Payment of Road Taxes; Overseers

Section 15.

In such county the payment of road taxes by labor is abolished and all provisions of laws concerning overseers shall be of no further force or effect.

County Commissioners; Duties and Compensation

Section 16.

Each member of the Commissioners Court shall be and he is hereby required to devote all of his time (unless prevented by illness) to the duties of his office, and shall be in attendance at all sessions of the court. In addition thereto he shall personally inspect the conditions of the roads and bridges of the county, and shall see to it that employees under the control of the Commissioners Court perform their full duties. Each member shall receive an annual salary as provided by the General Statutes of the State of Texas relating to the salaries of county commissioners in counties having a population which conforms to the population of the counties affected by this Act. Said salaries to be paid out of the road and bridge fund of the county.

Amount of Road and Bridge Tax

Section 17.

It shall be unlawful for said Commissioners Court to levy any road and bridge tax in excess of the maximum rate prescribed by law, and any member of said court who shall vote for such excessive levy, knowing it to be excessive, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500).

Convict Labor

Section 18.

Said court may require all county convicts of said county, who may be physically able and not otherwise employed, to work on the public roads of said county under such rules and regulations as the court may prescribe, and each convict so worked shall receive a credit of Three Dollars ($3) per day, one half of which shall be as nearly as practicable, applied to the fine, and one half to the court costs, provided that this shall not be so construed as to relieve a convict from the payment of all costs for which he would be liable under the General Laws of this State; said court may, as a reward for good behavior and faithful service, grant a reasonable commutation which shall in no case exceed one-tenth (1/10) of the whole time. Said court may provide all such houses, tents, clothing, bedding, food, medicine, medical attention, supplies and guards as it may deem necessary or proper for the safe and humane treatment and for the safe-keeping of such county convicts. Said court may also provide and enforce and such guards may, under the direction of said court and in accordance with its rules and regulations, administer such reasonable and humane punishment as may be necessary to require such convicts to perform good work. Said court may provide a reward, not exceeding Ten Dollars ($10) in any instance, to be paid out of the road and bridge fund for the capture and delivery of an escaped convict, but no such reward shall be paid to any guard or persons in charge of or assisting such convict at the time of his escape.

Bond Issues; Resolution; Election

Section 19.

Whenever the Commissioners Court shall deem it necessary or expedient to build, construct, improve, repair or maintain first or second-class roads of a permanent nature with the proceeds of the sale of bonds issued for road and bridge purposes under the terms of this Act, said court, shall at any regular meeting pass and record in its minutes a resolution setting forth that it is the sense of said court that public roads and bridges of a permanent nature should be built, constructed, improved, repaired or maintained and that the county should issue its bonds to raise money for that purpose in an amount to be named in such resolution, and said resolution shall be submitted to the vote of the property-owning, qualified voters of the county under the law and the Constitution at any regular or special election which the court may order for that purpose, and if at such election a majority of the votes cast shall be for such resolution, then the same shall be deemed to be adopted; otherwise it shall be deemed to be rejected. Such election shall be governed in all respects by the laws governing elections in this State, save that the time for holding such elections, the manner and kind of notice shall be fixed by the Commissioners Court, and the returns shall be made and canvassed in the same manner and the result declared by proclamation of the county judge, which proclamation shall be posted in at least three (3) public places in the county, or at the option of the court published one time in a daily newspaper of general circulation in the county.

Qualifications of Voters; Ballots

Section 20.

No person shall be permitted to vote at any election provided for in the next preceding Section of this Act unless he is a property owner, taxpayer, who has duly rendered his property for taxation, and a qualified voter of the county under the law and Constitution of Texas. Those desiring to vote for the resolution shall have written or printed on their ballot the words "FOR the Resolution to issue bonds to ____________" and those desiring to vote against the resolution shall have written or printed on their ballots the following: "AGAINST the Resolution to issue bonds to ____________" (here insert such purpose of the proposed bond issue as set forth in said resolution). Such ballots shall be written or printed on plain white paper with black ink and shall contain no distinguishing mark or device except as above provided, and if printed, shall be in type of uniform size and face.

Preparation and Execution of Bonds; Terms of Bonds; Registration and Enrollment; Sale or Negotiation; Tax Levy

Section 21.

If, at the election hereinabove provided for, a majority of the property-owning qualified voters, under the Constitution and Laws of the State, shall vote in favor of the resolution hereinbefore provided for and the Commissioners Court shall have canvassed the vote and declared the result, and proclamation therefor has been made by the county judge or publication made in lieu thereof, declaring said result, than it shall be the duty of said court to prepare and execute the bonds of the county in such sums as may be deemed advisable by the court, not exceeding the amount authorized at the election, said bonds to bear interest at not exceeding five per cent (5%) per annum, payable annually or semi-annually as the courts shall direct, which bonds shall be redeemable or payable not more than forty (40) years from date thereof, and at such intermediate periods, serially or otherwise as the court may direct, the time of maturity to be expressed on the face of the bonds and such bonds shall be registered or enrolled as in case of other county bonds, and the same shall not be sold or negotiated at less than their par value; provided, however, that the tax levy for the payment of interest and principal on any issue of bonds under the terms of this Act shall not exceed in any one case the sum of Fifteen Cents (15ยข) on the One Hundred Dollars ($100) property valuation, and the amount of bonds so to be issued shall be limited accordingly; provided further, that nothing in this language or in the terms of this Act shall be held to impair the right of the county to issue bonds under the provisions of Article 3 of Section 52 of the State Constitution and the Statutes enacted pursuant thereof.

Levy of Tax; Use of Tax and Bond Proceeds

Section 22.

At or prior to the issuance of said bonds, it shall be the duty of said Commissioners Court to levy an annual ad valorem tax on all property within the county liable to taxation, sufficient to provide for the interest on such bonds and to create a sinking fund for the payment of the principal thereof at the maturity of same. Such tax and the levy thereof may vary or lessen accordingly as assessed taxable values may increase or diminish from year to year. The fund arising from such tax and the levy thereof shall not be used for any other purpose than that for which it was created, and the proceeds of the sale of such bonds shall be confined strictly for the purpose of which they were issued and for all necessary and incidental expense incurred in the issuance and sale thereof. It shall be unlawful for said court to transfer any money or fund from the road and bridge fund to any other purpose, except as outlined in Section 15 of this Act, than the laying out, opening, widening, draining, constructing, building, repairing and maintaining the public roads of said counties and the incidental and necessary expense growing out of the issuance of said bonds and the sale thereof.

Account and Disbursement of Bond Proceeds

Section 23.

It shall be the duty of the county treasurer to keep a separate account of all moneys received from the sale of bonds of said county issued for road and bridge purposes, and said treasurer shall pay out none of it except on written order or warrant of said court, specifying the contract against which it is drawn or for the purpose for which it is expended.

Contracts; Alternative Methods; Record of Cost

Section 24.

Except as otherwise provided in this Act, no contract requiring the expenditure of money derived from the sale of bonds authorized by this Act shall be made until said county engineer shall have made and filed with the Commissioners Court maps, profiles, plans, specifications, and estimates of the work to be done under such contract and not until said court shall have considered the same and ordered it of record. Provided, however, that in the event said court shall have advertised for and rejected bids, it may in its discretion proceed to do the work mentioned in said advertisement. In the expenditure of road funds other than moneys derived from the sale of bonds, the Commissioners Court may authorize the building, construction and repair of roads by contract, day labor or convict labor as said court may deem to be for the best interest of the county. In every instance where the court chooses to do so under the terms of this Act to build, improve, repair or maintain roads by having the work done by the county, then the county must keep a careful and accurate record of the cost of the work, provided the work referred to in this Section shall be done under the direction of the county engineer in harmony with the other provisions of this Act.

Secs. 25, 26. Repealed by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 641, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Transfers to Road and Bridge Fund

Section 27.

The Commissioners Court is authorized and empowered, whenever and in such manner as it may determine, to transfer to and make a part of the road and bridge fund of said county any money now in the county, to pay interest and create a sinking fund for any bonds of said county heretofore issued and which have now been retired and cancelled. Such money so transferred to the road and bridge fund may be expended by the Commissioners Court at their discretion in constructing or repairing any of the first-class or cross roads of the county, such expenditures to be made in compliance with the provisions and requirements of this Act.

Record of Vote on Expenditures

Section 28.

The records of the Commissioners Court shall show in detail every vote for expenditure of any of the funds mentioned in this Act.

Shade Trees; Signboards or Signposts

Section 29.

The Commissioners Court may, where funds are available for that purpose, plant shade trees along the side of the public roads; the Commissioners Court may protect all shade trees along the side of said thoroughfares and erect, place and keep a substantial signboard or signpost at every point where a public road forks or is intersected by another public road and such signboard or signpost shall contain a legible inscription directing the way and giving the distance of the next important place on such highway. Any person who shall willfully remove, injure, deface or mutilate or injure the growth of any shade tree along the side of a public road or any signboard or signpost thereon or thereabouts shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not less than Twenty-five Dollars ($25) nor more than One Hundred Dollars ($100).

Financial Interest of Members of Commissioners Court; Violations of Act

Section 30.

It shall be unlawful for any member of the Commissioners Court or for any county officer to be or become financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract with said county for road work or for the purchase or sale of any material or supplies of any character or in any transaction whatsoever in connection with any of the roads of said county, excepting only his own salary, fees or per diem. If any such county commissioner or such county officer shall willfully violate any of the foregoing provisions of this Section, he shall be punished by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500) nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment in the county jail of said county for not more than one (1) year or by both such fine and imprisonment and in addition thereto shall be forthwith removed from office as provided for by General law. If any member of said Commissioners Court or any such officer shall willfully violate any of the other provisions of this Act, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500) or by imprisonment in the county jail of said county for not more than six (6) months or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Fines and Moneys Collected Applied to Road and Bridge Fund

Section 31.

All fines for any and all violations of any of the provisions of this Act and any and all moneys which may be collected by or on behalf of said county on, under, or by virtue of any contract which may be executed under the provisions of this Act shall be applied to the road and bridge fund of said county.

Definitions

Section 32.

The terms "Road" and "Highway" as used in this Act shall be held to include bridges, viaducts, causeways, culverts, roadbeds, ditches, drains and every part of a road or highway as such terms are commonly understood whether herein specified or not.

Judicial Notice of Law

Section 33.

This Act is and shall be held and construed to be a public act of which the court shall take cognizance without proof thereof, and in any court proceedings wherein the provisions of this Act are drawn in question, the necessity for pleadings or proving same is hereby dispensed with.

Law Cumulative; Conflict or Inconsistency

Section 34.

The provisions of this Act are and shall be held and construed to be cumulative of all General Laws of this State on the subject treated of and embraced in this Act when not in conflict or inconsistent herewith, but in case of such conflict or inconsistency in whole or in part, this Act shall control said county.

Partial Invalidity

Section 35.

If any section, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause or word of this Act shall be held to be unconstitutional, the remaining portions of same shall, nevertheless, be valid and it is declared that such remaining portions would have been included in this Act though the unconstitutional portion had been omitted.

Acts 1951, 52nd Leg., p. 472, ch. 300. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 641, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Art. 6812b-1. COUNTIES OF 160,000 TO 185,000; COUNTY ENGINEER; DUTIES.

County Engineer

Section 1.

The Commissioners Court of any county having a population of not less than 280,000 nor more than 300,000 may appoint a County Engineer, but the selection shall be controlled by considerations of skill and ability for the task. The engineer may be selected at any regular meeting of the commissioners court, or at any special meeting called for that purpose. The engineer selected shall be a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas. The engineer shall hold his office for a period of two years, his term of office expiring concurrently with the terms of other county officers, and he may be removed at the pleasure of the commissioners court. The engineer shall receive a salary to be fixed by the commissioners court not to exceed the amount of the salary paid to the highest county official, to be paid out of the Road and Bridge Fund. The engineer, before entering upon the discharge of his duties, shall take the oath of office prescribed by law, and shall execute a bond in the sum of $15,000 with a good and sufficient surety or sureties thereon, payable to the county judge of the county and successors in office in trust, for the use and the benefit of the Road and Bridge Fund, of the county to be approved by the court, conditioned that such engineer will faithfully and efficiently discharge and perform all of the duties required of him by law and by the orders of said commissioners court and shall faithfully and honestly and in due time account for all of the money, property and materials placed in his custody.

Classification and Record of Roads

Section 2.

(a) The county engineer shall, under the direction of the commissioners court, and as soon as practicable, classify all public roads in such county, and such classification when completed, and when approved by the court, shall become a part of the permanent records of roads and bridges of said county. He shall prepare a suitable map of which shall be delineated in appropriate colors the various roads which shall be designated as first, second, and third class roads. The map shall show to which place each road belongs and the nature of its construction. He shall make a complete indexed record of each county road in the county and all bridges. The records shall show when each county road was dedicated to the use of the public, a complete description as to location, measured length, width of right-of-way, character of construction, and terminals of same.

(b) Each road shall be indexed in the record by the same number and name as it is delineated on the map. As new roads are opened and improved, and the existing roads are widened or improved so as to change their class, such facts shall be added to the record of such roads in the "Records of Roads." Such information shall be made available to the public; provided, however that any omission in respect to the above requirement shall not invalidate any contract for the construction or repair of any road or highway in said county, and where such classification, records and indexes have heretofore been prepared there shall be no necessity to repeat the same in the absence of public necessity therefor, but same may be amended, added to or taken from as the facts of public need may demand.

Inventory and Appraisal of Equipment; Disposal and Purchase

Section 3.

The county engineer shall at the end of every 12 months, acting in conjunction with each commissioner of the county, make a complete inventory and appraisement of all tools, machinery, equipment, materials, trucks, cars, and other property owned by the respective commissioners, and transmit the same in written form to the commissioners court and the county auditor, which report shall be kept as a permanent inventory record by the county auditor. When any of said tools, machinery, trucks, cars, and other property becomes unusable, the commissioners court shall enter an order upon the minutes of the court, stating such facts and reason for disposing of such equipment and shall have authority to dispose of same as it deems best. When in its opinion it is necessary to purchase other machinery, supplies, tools, and other equipment and materials, the commissioners court shall enter an order on the minutes showing the necessity therefor. All equipment purchased or acquired as herein specified, shall be shown on the permanent inventory record.

Master Plan

Section 4.

The county engineer shall, when funds are available and when authorized by the commissioners court, to do so, make a careful and thorough study of all roads at that time opened and constructed with a view of determining what new roads and connections of roads should be opened and constructed, as well as what roads should be widened and improved. In making such survey, he should take into consideration the convenience of the traveling public, and especially the convenience of the citizenship of the county, so that each community a part of the county shall have easy and practical connection with the other and the state highway system of roads in the county, thereby furnishing to the citizenship of the county a convenient means of ingress and egress into and out of every city and town, as well as every other community in the county. The roads indicated in such surveys to be opened and constructed, as well as existing roads that are designated to be widened and improved, shall be located and designated with the view of giving the entire county an efficient road system. The commissioners court shall, in selecting roads or new roads, as well as the improvement of existing roads, look to the density of the population and amount of traffic that will normally flow over such roads; such survey when completed by the engineer, and when adopted by the commissioners court at a regular meeting thereof, shall be known as the Master Plan. When such Master Plan has been completed and adopted by the court as it is stipulated, the same shall be made into permanent record form and kept by the county engineer, and after such adoption, all new construction, widening and permanent improvement shall be done in accordance with such Master Plan and with the view of ultimately completing the same, both as to location and character of construction. The construction of said Master Plan shall proceed as the available funds of the county will permit, and each unit of such construction shall be made in accordance with such Master Plan. The order in which the roads or projects in the construction of said Master Plan are constructed shall be determined by the county engineer, with the approval of the commissioners court and in determining the priority of roads or projects, the engineer and court shall take into consideration the necessity and convenience of the public and should give priority to those roads or projects that will result in the greatest service to the greatest number of the citizenship of the county, looking at all times to the entire county as a unit and wholly disregarding precinct lines.

Adoption and Amendment of Master Plan

Section 5.

The commissioners court shall when said Master Plan is submitted to them for adoption, or if after adoption, an amendment or change thereto shall be deemed advisable, set a date at a regular meeting of commissioners court called for that purpose, and give public notice thereof at least two weeks in advance of such meeting and the purpose thereof, inviting the citizenship of the county to be present to protest any part of said Master Plan and also to make such suggestions as they deem pertinent in connection with same, or any change therein, but the decision of the commissioners court shall become and be final and conclusive as to said Master Plan, and no succeeding commissioners court shall have the power or authority to alter or change or amend any of the provisions thereof except by unanimous vote of the commissioners court. Provided, that where such Master Plan has once been adopted, there shall be no necessity to repeat the same in absence of public necessity thereof, for same may be amended and altered when public necessity therefor is shown, and after notice is given as herein above provided.

Subdivisions

Section 6.

It shall be the duty of the county engineer and the commissioners court in each respective precinct to cause the Master Plan to be conformed to the needs and demands of existing and new subdivisions by constructing adequate highways leading from such subdivisions to the county seat. Provided that from and after the passage of this Act, the commissioners court, before approving the plan or plans of any subdivision lying outside the corporate limits of any city, town, or village, as required by Article 6626, Revised Civil Statutes of Texas, 1925, as amended, shall require such subdivision to enter into a written contract in agreement with the county, then such subdivider or dirt dealer will grade, and gravel all streets and provide all necessary drainage structures within such tract of land so subdivided. Such street improvements and drainage structures shall be in accordance with standard plans and specifications prepared by the county engineer. Such contracts shall be for the benefit of any person or persons, firm or corporation who may thereafter acquire by purchase or otherwise any lot or lots in said addition or subdivision, and the faithful performance of said contract as to the initial improvements of said streets shall be deemed a part of the consideration paid for said lot and be read into the contract of sale of same, and such contract shall be enforceable at the instance, if necessary, of the owner or owners of any lot or lots in a given subdivision, suing singularly or as a group or class. After such initial street improvements have been completed in accordance with such plans, said streets then become and remain a part of the county road system and shall be maintained by the county unless and until included within the corporate limits of a city, town or village capable of maintaining its own streets.

Inspections of Plats, Subdivision Plans and Land Encompassed; Advice to Commissioners Court and Developers

Section 7.

The county engineer when directed to do so by the commissioners court of the county, shall inspect all plats and plans of subdivisions to be recorded within said county, and make an on-site inspection of the land encompassed within said subdivision and advise the court as to the roads, drainage, sewage, and all aspects of said subdivision and terrain. The county engineer when and if required by the commissioners court, shall affix his signature to said plat along with the county judge and the commissioners court upon any plat approved and accepted by the commissioners court and filed in the county clerk's office. The county engineer will offer advice and suggestions to said developer and commissioners court in order to promote conformity with any and all rules and regulations for subdividing as laid out by the commissioners court.

Inspection of Various Utility Districts Within County; Map

Section 8.

The county engineer when directed by the commissioners court shall make such inspections of any and all utility districts, water districts, sewage districts, and any other type district formed within the confines of the county, to ascertain whether or not said districts meet the state and county requirements. The county engineer will keep a map setting out each and every type district created within the county and make it available for public use at any and all times required to do so.

Assistance on County Functions

Section 9.

The county engineer when requested to do so by the commissioners court or by a commissioner shall assist said commissioner in connection with any county road in said county, any drainage problem, public buildings, health and sanitation district, planning commissions, and any other function or service over which the commissioner or commissioners court might have jurisdiction.

Employees

Section 10.

The commissioners court shall employ all help necessary for the discharge of their public service or for the discharge of the duties of the county engineer. Such employees shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by the court, but in all such cases an order shall be passed and entered on the minutes of the court, showing in such case the public necessity for such employment and the amount of compensation to be paid each employee and the fund out of which it is to be paid.

Work Records; Daily Time Sheet

Section 11.

The county engineer shall keep or cause to be kept, in duplicate, a daily time sheet which shall show the amount of time and the character of work performed and the place where the same is performed by himself and each person working for the county engineer, and such other records in connection therewith as the commissioners court and county auditor may require, one copy of which shall be furnished to the county auditor, and one copy shall be retained by the engineer.

County Commissioners; Duties

Section 12.

This Act shall in no way diminish, alter or eliminate any of the duties presently handled by the commissioners court or by any individual commissioner. Each member of the commissioners court shall be and he is hereby required to devote all of his time unless prevented by illness to the duties of his office, and shall be in attendance at all sessions of the court.

Cumulative Effect; Conflict or Inconsistency

Section 13.

The provisions of this Act are and shall be held and construed to be cumulative of all general laws or special laws of this state on the subject treated in this Act when not in conflict or inconsistent herewith, but in case of such conflict or inconsistency in whole or in part, this Act shall control.

Severability

Section 14.

If any section, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause, or word in this Act shall be held to be unconstitutional, the remaining portions of same shall nevertheless be valid and it is declared that such remaining portions would have been included in this Act though the unconstitutional portion had been omitted.

County Engineer; Release From Position

Section 15.

If at any time the commissioners court at any time feels that the county engineer position is no further of any necessity or benefit to the county, then said commissioners court has the authority to release said engineer without any obligation to fill said position or vacancy.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 2483, ch. 809, eff. June 8, 1971. Sec. 1 amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 593, ch. 237, Sec. 127, eff. Sept. 1, 1981; Sec. 1 amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 597, Sec. 53, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Sec. 1 amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 669, Sec. 171, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.


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