Law:Title 6. Roadways (Texas)

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Subtitle A. Texas Department Of Transportation

Contents

Chapter 201. General Provisions And Administration

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section 201.001.  Definitions.

(a) In this title:

(1)  "Commission" means the Texas Transportation Commission.

(2)  "Department" means the Texas Department of Transportation.

(3)  "Director" means the executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation.

(b)  In this subtitle, "toll project" means one or more tolled lanes of a highway or an entire toll highway constructed, maintained, or operated as a part of the state highway system and any improvement, extension, or expansion to the highway, including:

(1)  a facility to relieve traffic congestion and promote safety;

(2)  a bridge, tunnel, overpass, underpass, interchange, entrance plaza, approach, toll booth, toll plaza, service road, ramp, or service center;

(3)  an administration, storage, or other building, operations center, maintenance or other facility, equipment, or system the department considers necessary to operate the project;

(4)  property rights, easements, and interests the department acquires to construct, maintain, or operate the project;

(5)  a parking area or structure, rest stop, park, and any other improvement or amenity the department considers necessary, useful, or beneficial for the operation and maintenance of the project; and

(6)  a nontolled facility that is appurtenant to and necessary for the efficient operation and maintenance of the project, including a connector, service road, access road, ramp, interchange, bridge, or tunnel.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281, Sec. 2.01, eff. June 14, 2005.



Section  201.002.  Operating Expenses; Use Of State Highway Fund.

(a) The legislature has the responsibility to:

(1)  appropriate money for the maintenance and operational expenses of the department;

(2)  determine the number of employees of the department; and

(3)  set the amount of compensation of all employees of the department, including the director, and the members of the commission.

(b)  The comptroller shall contract for equipment and supplies, including seals and number plates, required by law in the administration of the registration of vehicles and in the operation of the department.

(c)  All money authorized to be appropriated in accordance with this section for the operation of the department and the purchase of equipment shall be appropriated from the state highway fund. The commission shall use the amount remaining in the fund for the furtherance of public road construction and for establishing a system of state highways.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 937, Sec. 3.01, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  201.003.  Title Changes.

(a) A reference in law to the State Highway Department, Texas Highway Department, or State Department of Highways and Public Transportation means the Texas Department of Transportation.

(b)  A reference in law to the State Highway Commission or State Highway and Public Transportation Commission means the Texas Transportation Commission.

(c)  A reference in law to the State Highway Engineer or State Engineer-Director for Highways and Public Transportation means the director of the Texas Department of Transportation.

(d)  A reference in law to the commissioner of transportation means the chair of the commission.

(e)  A reference in law to a member of the commission means a commissioner.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 140, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Subchapter B. Texas Transportation Commission

Section  201.051.  Commission.

(a) The Texas Transportation Commission consists of five members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate.

(b)  The members shall be appointed to reflect the diverse geographic regions and population groups of this state. One member must reside in a rural area.

(c)  Each member of the commission must represent the general public.

(d)  Except as provided by Subsection (e), a person is not eligible for appointment as a member of the commission if the person or the person's spouse:

(1)  is employed by or participates in the management of a business entity or other organization that is regulated by or receives funds from the department;

(2)  directly or indirectly owns or controls more than 10 percent interest in a business entity or other organization that is regulated by or receives funds from the department;

(3)  uses or receives a substantial amount of tangible goods, services, or funds from the department, other than compensation or reimbursement authorized by law for commission membership, attendance, or expenses; or

(4)  is registered, certified, or licensed by the department.

(e)  Repealed by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.49, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

(f)  An officer, employee, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of road construction or maintenance, aviation, or outdoor advertising or a Texas trade association of automobile dealers may not be a member of the commission.

(g)  The spouse of an officer, manager, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of road construction or maintenance, aviation, or outdoor advertising or a Texas association of automobile dealers may not be a member of the commission.

(h)  A person required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code, because of the person's activities for compensation on behalf of a profession related to the operation of the department may not serve as a member of the commission.

(i)  Appointments to the commission shall be made without regard to race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin of the appointees and shall reflect the diversity of the population of the state as a whole.

(j)  In this section, "Texas trade association" means a nonprofit, cooperative, and voluntarily joined association of business or professional competitors in this state designed to assist its members and its industry or profession in dealing with mutual business or professional problems and in promoting their common interest.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.02, 1.49, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 140, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  201.052.  Terms.

Members of the commission serve staggered six-year terms, with the terms of either one or two members expiring February 1 of each odd-numbered year.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 140, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  201.053.  Chair Of The Commission.

(a) The governor periodically shall designate one commissioner as the chair of the commission, who shall serve as presiding officer of the commission.

(b)  The chair shall:

(1)  preside over commission meetings, make rulings on motions and points of order, and determine the order of business;

(2)  represent the department in dealing with the governor;

(3)  report to the governor on the state of affairs of the department at least quarterly;

(4)  report to the commission the governor's suggestions for department operations;

(5)  report to the governor on efforts, including legislative requirements, to maximize the efficiency of department operations through the use of private enterprise;

(6)  periodically review the department's organizational structure and submit recommendations for structural changes to the governor, the commission, and the Legislative Budget Board;

(7)  designate one or more employees of the department as a civil rights division of the department and receive regular reports from the division on the department's efforts to comply with civil rights legislation and administrative rules;

(8)  create subcommittees, appoint commissioners to subcommittees, and receive the reports of subcommittees to the commission as a whole;

(9)  appoint a commissioner to act in the chair's absence; and

(10)  serve as the departmental liaison with the governor and the Office of State-Federal Relations to maximize federal funding for transportation.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 140, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  201.054.  Commission Meetings.

The commission shall hold regular meetings at least once a month and special meetings at the call of the chair. Commissioners shall attend the meetings of the commission. The chair shall oversee the preparation of an agenda for each meeting and ensure that a copy is provided to each commissioner at least seven days before the meeting.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 140, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  201.0545.  Recommendations To Legislature.

(a) The commission shall consider ways in which the department's operations may be improved and may periodically report to the legislature concerning potential statutory changes that would improve the operation of the department.

(b)  On behalf of the commission, the chair shall report to the governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the presiding officers of relevant legislative committees on legislative recommendations adopted by the commission and relating to the operation of the department.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 140, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  201.056.  Compensation.

A member of the commission is entitled to compensation as provided by the General Appropriations Act. If compensation for members is not provided by that Act, each member is entitled to reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in performing functions as a member of the commission.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.057.  Grounds For Removal.

(a) It is a ground for removal from the commission if a commissioner:

(1)  does not have at the time of appointment or maintain during service on the commission the qualifications required by Section 201.051;

(2)  violates a prohibition provided by Section 201.051;

(3)  cannot discharge the commissioner's duties for a substantial part of the term for which the commissioner is appointed because of illness or disability; or

(4)  is absent from more than half of the regularly scheduled commission meetings that the commissioner is eligible to attend during a calendar year, unless the absence is excused by majority vote of the commission.

(b)  The validity of an action of the commission is not affected by the fact that it is taken when a ground for removal of a commissioner exists.

(c)  If the director knows that a potential ground for removal exists, the director shall notify the chair of the commission of the ground, and the chair shall notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists. If the potential ground for removal relates to the chair, the director shall notify another commissioner, who shall notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.03, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 140, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  201.058.  Information On Qualifications And Conduct.

The department shall provide to the members of the commission, as often as necessary, information concerning the members' qualifications for office under Subchapter B and their responsibilities under applicable laws relating to standards of conduct for state officers.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.059.  Training On Department And Certain Laws Relating To Department.

(a) To be eligible to take office as a member of the commission, a person appointed to the commission must complete at least one course of a training program that complies with this section.

(b)  The training program must provide information to the person regarding:

(1)  this subchapter;

(2)  the programs operated by the department;

(3)  the role and functions of the department;

(4)  the rules of the department with an emphasis on the rules that relate to disciplinary and investigatory authority;

(5)  the current budget for the department;

(6)  the results of the most recent formal audit of the department;

(7)  the requirements of the:

(A)  open meetings law, Chapter 551, Government Code;

(B)  open records law, Chapter 552, Government Code; and

(C)  administrative procedure law, Chapter 2001, Government Code;

(8)  the requirements of the conflict of interest laws and other laws relating to public officials; and

(9)  any applicable ethics policies adopted by the commission or the Texas Ethics Commission.

(c)  A person appointed to the commission is entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses incurred in attending the training program, as provided by the General Appropriations Act and as if the person were a member of the commission.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.04, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Subchapter C. Commission's Powers And Duties

Section  201.101.  Rules; Records.

The commission shall:

(1)  adopt rules for the operation of the department;

(2)  maintain a record of all proceedings and official orders; and

(3)  keep on file copies of all road plans, specifications, and estimates prepared by the department or under its direction.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.102.  Separation Of Responsibilities.

The commission shall develop and implement policies that clearly separate the policy-making responsibilities of the commission and the management responsibilities of the director and staff of the department.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.05, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  201.103.  Comprehensive System Of Highways And Roads.

(a) The commission shall plan and make policies for the location, construction, and maintenance of a comprehensive system of state highways and public roads.

(b)  The commission shall designate as part of the state highway system a highway that it determines is necessary for the proper development and operation of the system. The commission may remove a segment of the state highway system that it determines is not needed for the system. In planning and making policies, the commission shall consider, for incorporation into the state highway system, turnpikes that other governmental or private entities are authorized to construct.

(c)  The commission biennially shall submit a report of its work to the governor and the legislature. The report must include the recommendations of the commission and of the director.

(d)  The director, under the direction and with the approval of the commission, shall prepare a comprehensive plan providing a system of state highways.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 668, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  201.104.  Designation Of Farm-to-market Roads.

(a) The commission may designate any county road as a farm-to-market road for the purposes of construction, reconstruction, and maintenance only, if the commissioners court of the county in which the county road is located by order entered in its minutes waives any rights the county may have for state participation in any indebtedness incurred by the county in the construction of the road.

(b)  The commission and the county commissioners court by contract may set forth the duties of the state in the construction, reconstruction, and maintenance of the county road in consideration for the county's, road district's, or defined road district's relinquishing all claims for state participation in any outstanding county or road district bond, warrant, or other evidence of indebtedness that is for the construction or improvement of the road and that was created before the road was designated by the commission.

(c)  The assumption by the state of the obligation to construct and maintain a road designated under this section as a farm-to-market road is full and complete compensation for funds that were spent by the county, road district, or defined road district for the construction and maintenance of the road before its designation.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.105.  Department Districts.

(a) The commission shall divide the state into not more than 25 districts for the purpose of the performance of the department's duties.

(b)  In determining a district's boundaries, the commission shall consider all costs and benefits, including highway activity in and the number of employees required for the proposed district.

(c)  Not more than one district office may be in a district.

(d)  The commission shall determine the number of department offices necessary for maintenance and construction personnel in a district.

(e)  The commission periodically shall review the necessity for the number of maintenance, construction, and support operations in each district. The commission shall include the findings of its review as a part of the department's budget request submitted to the Legislative Budget Board.

(f)  The department is exempt from any law purporting to require the department to conform the provision of its services to service regions other than the districts established under this section.

(g)  The commission may require by rule that any product or material that is approved for use in any one district may be approved for use by any other district.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.35, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section 201.1055.  Agreements With Private Entities. (a) Notwithstanding Any

other law, including Subchapter A, Chapter 2254, Government Code, Chapters 2165, 2166, and 2167, Government Code, and Sections 202.052, 202.053, 203.051, 203.052, and 223.001 of this code, the department and a private entity that offers the best value to the state may enter into an agreement for the:

(1)  acquisition, design, construction, or renovation, including site development, of a building or other facility required to support department operations located on real property owned or acquired by the department; or

(2)  acquisition from the private entity of real property, a building, or other facility required to support department operations that is constructed on the real property in exchange for department-owned real property, including any improvements.

(b)  A project described by this section that is not wholly paid for by an exchange of department-owned real property may be financed in accordance with Section 1232.111, Government Code.

(c)  Notwithstanding Section 202.024, the commission may authorize the executive director to execute a deed exchanging department-owned real property under Subsection (a)(2).

(d)  The commission shall notify the Bond Review Board and Texas Public Finance Authority of the proposed transaction not less than 45 days before the date the commission signs an agreement under this section providing for the exchange of department-owned real property under Subsection (a)(2).

(e)  An agreement under this section providing for the exchange of department-owned real property under Subsection (a)(2) that has an appraised value greater than the appraised value of real property and improvements acquired by the department under the agreement must require the private entity to compensate the department for the difference. Any compensation paid by a private entity must be deposited to the credit of the state highway fund and is exempt from the application of Section 403.095, Government Code.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 19.01, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281, Sec. 2.02, eff. June 14, 2005.



Section  201.106.  Settlement Of Claims; Purchase Of Liability Insurance.

(a) This section applies to a claim against the department arising from the use, operation, or maintenance of equipment that is used or may be used in connection with the laying out, construction, or maintenance of the roads, highways, rest areas, or other public grounds in this state.

(b)  The department may settle a claim described by Subsection (a) if:

(1)  the department may be liable under Chapter 101, Civil Practice and Remedies Code;

(2)  the director determines that a settlement is in the best interest of the department; and

(3)  the department's liability under the terms of the settlement is less than $10,000.

(c)  Section 101.105, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, does not apply to a settlement under this section.

(d)  Settlement of a claim under this section bars any action involving the same subject matter by the claimant against the department employees whose act or omission gave rise to the claim.

(e)  The department may insure the officers and employees of the department for liability arising from a claim described by Subsection (a). Coverage under this subsection must be provided by the purchase of a policy of liability insurance from a reliable insurance company authorized to do business in this state. The form of the policy must be approved by the commissioner of insurance, and the coverage must be approved by the attorney general.

(f)  This section is not a waiver of immunity of the state from liability for the torts or negligence of an officer or employee of this state.

(g)  In this section, "equipment" includes an automobile, motor truck, trailer, aircraft, motor grader, roller, tractor, tractor power mower, and other power equipment.

(h)  to (j) Deleted by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 634, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 59, Sec. 1, eff. May 15, 2003.



Section  201.107.  Financial Reports Of The Department.

(a) The commission shall prepare a quarterly statement containing an itemized list of all money received by the department and the source of the money and of all money paid by the department and the purpose of the payment. The statement shall be filed in the records of the department, and a copy shall be sent to the governor.

(b)  The commission shall file annually with the governor and the presiding officer of each house of the legislature a complete and detailed written report accounting for all funds received and disbursed by the department during the preceding fiscal year. The report must comply with each reporting requirement applicable to financial reporting provided by the General Appropriations Act.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.06, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  201.108.  Internal Auditor.

(a) The commission shall appoint an internal auditor for the department.

(b)  The auditor shall report directly to the commission on the conduct of department affairs.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.109.  Revenue Enhancement.

(a) The commission shall:

(1)  enhance existing sources of revenue; and

(2)  create alternate sources of revenue.

(b)  In carrying out this section, the commission shall provide for:

(1)  maximizing the generation of revenue from existing assets of the department, including real estate;

(2)  increasing the role of the private sector and public-private projects in the leasing of real estate and other assets in the development of highway projects;

(3)  setting and attempting to meet annual revenue enhancement goals;

(4)  reporting on the progress in meeting revenue enhancement goals in the department's annual report;

(5)  contracting for an independent audit of the department's management and business operations in 2007 and each 12th year after 2007;

(6)  developing a cost-benefit analysis between the use of local materials previously incorporated into roadways versus use of materials blended or transported from other sources; and

(7)  increasing private investment in the transportation infrastructure, including the acquisition of causeways, bridges, tunnels, turnpikes, or other transportation facilities, in the border region, including the counties of Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Brewster, Brooks, Cameron, Crockett, Culberson, Dimmit, Duval, Edwards, El Paso, Frio, Hidalgo, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, Kleberg, La Salle, Live Oak, Maverick, McMullen, Medina, Nueces, Pecos, Presidio, Real, Reeves, San Patricio, Starr, Sutton, Terrell, Uvalde, Val Verde, Webb, Willacy, Zapata, and Zavala.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.32, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1395, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1413, Sec. 1, eff. June 16, 2001.



Section  201.110.  Contract With Adjoining State For Improvement Of Road Crossing States' Boundary.

(a) The commission, by the authority of the governor, may contract with an adjoining state to:

(1)  provide for the improvement of a public road or highway that crosses the states' boundary; and

(2)  establish respective responsibilities for the improvement.

(b)  In a contract for an improvement of the state highway system that is subject to a contract under Subsection (a), the commission may provide for the improvement of a segment of a public road or highway located in the adjoining state if:

(1)  the improvement of that segment is necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of the people of this state and for the effective improvement and operation of the state highway system;

(2)  that segment is an extension or continuation of a segment of the state highway system;

(3)  the contract under Subsection (a) is authorized and executed under the law of the adjoining state; and

(4)  all costs associated with the improvement of that segment are the responsibility of the adjoining state.

(c)  In this section, "improvement" includes construction, reconstruction, and maintenance.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.111.  Recommendation Of Engineer; Determination Of Fitness.

(a) On formal application by a county, road district of a county, or municipality, the commission may recommend for appointment a competent civil engineer who is a graduate of a first-class school of civil engineering and who is skilled in highway construction and maintenance.

(b)  The commission shall adopt rules necessary to determine the qualifications of engineers who apply for highway construction work.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.112.  Contract Claims.

(a) The commission may by rule establish procedures for the informal resolution of a claim arising out of a contract described by:

(1)  Section 22.018;

(2)  Chapter 223;

(3)  Chapter 361;

(4)  Section 391.091; or

(5)  Chapter 2254, Government Code.

(b)  If a person with a claim is dissatisfied with the department's resolution of the claim under the procedures authorized under Subsection (a), the person may request a formal administrative hearing to resolve the claim under Chapter 2001, Government Code.

(c)  An administrative law judge's proposal for decision rendered under Chapter 2001, Government Code, shall be submitted to the director for adoption. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the director may change a finding of fact or conclusion of law made by the administrative law judge or may vacate or modify an order issued by the administrative law judge. The director shall provide a written statement containing the reason and legal basis for a change made under this subsection.

(d)  The director's final order is subject to judicial review under Chapter 2001, Government Code, under the substantial evidence rule.

(e)  This section does not waive state immunity from liability.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.36(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 312, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 713, Sec. 3, eff. June 20, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 15.01, eff. June 21, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728, Sec. 20.001, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  201.113.  Agreements With Regional Tollway Authorities.

(a) Notwithstanding Sections 221.003 and 224.031, the commission and a regional tollway authority governed by Chapter 366 may enter into an agreement for the improvement by a regional tollway authority of portions of the state highway system.

(b)  In this section, "improvement" means construction, reconstruction, maintenance, and the making of a necessary plan or survey before beginning construction, reconstruction, or maintenance and includes a project or activity appurtenant to a state highway, including drainage facilities, surveying, traffic counts, driveways, landscaping, lights, or guardrails.

(c)  An agreement entered into under this section may provide that an improvement of a portion of the state highway system by a regional tollway authority is governed by the provisions of Chapter 366 applicable to the performance of the same function for a turnpike project under that chapter and the rules and procedures adopted by the regional tollway authority under that chapter, in lieu of the laws, rules, or procedures applicable to the department for the performance of the same function.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281, Sec. 2.03, eff. June 14, 2005.



Section 201.114.  Border Trade Advisory Committee.

(a) In this section, "coordinator" means the border commerce coordinator designated under Section 772.010, Government Code.

(b)  The coordinator shall serve on the Border Trade Advisory Committee as presiding officer.  The commission shall appoint the other members of the committee, which to the extent practicable must include:

(1)  the presiding officers, or persons designated by the presiding officers, of the policy boards of metropolitan planning organizations wholly or partly in the department's Pharr, Laredo, Odessa, or El Paso transportation district;

(2)  the person serving, or a person designated by the person serving, in the capacity of executive director of each entity governing a port of entry in this state; and

(3)  a representative each from at least two institutes or centers operated by a university in this state that conduct continuing research on transportation or trade issues.

(c)  The commission shall establish the Border Trade Advisory Committee to define and develop a strategy and make recommendations to the commission and governor for addressing the highest priority border trade transportation challenges.  In determining action to be taken on the recommendations, the commission shall consider the importance of trade with the United Mexican States, potential sources of infrastructure funding at border ports, and the value of trade activity in the department's districts adjacent to the border with the United Mexican States.

(d)  The commission may adopt rules governing the Border Trade Advisory Committee.

(e)  Chapter 2110, Government Code, does not apply to the size, composition, or duration of the Border Trade Advisory Committee.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 912, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 791, Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2005.



Section  201.115.  Borrowing Money.

(a) The commission may authorize the department to borrow money from any source to carry out the functions of the department.

(b)  A loan under this section may be in the form of an agreement, note, contract, or other form as determined by the commission and may contain any provisions the commission considers appropriate, except:

(1)  the term of the loan may not exceed two years;

(2)  the amount of the loan, combined with any amounts outstanding on other loans under this section, may not exceed an amount that is two times the average monthly revenue deposited to the state highway fund for the 12 months preceding the month of the loan; and

(3)  the loan may not create general obligation of the state and is payable only as authorized by legislative appropriation.

(c)  If the department borrows money by the issuance of notes, the notes shall be considered a state security for purposes of Chapter 1231, Government Code.

(d)  Notwithstanding Section 222.001, money in the state highway fund may be used to repay a loan under this section, if appropriated by the legislature for that purpose.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1281, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 13, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281, Sec. 2.04, eff. June 14, 2005.



Section 201.116.  Report To Secretary Of State.

(a) In this section, "colonia" means a geographic area that:

(1)  is an economically distressed area as defined by Section 17.921, Water Code;

(2)  is located in a county any part of which is within 62 miles of an international border; and

(3)  consists of 11 or more dwellings that are located in close proximity to each other in an area that may be described as a community or neighborhood.

(b)  To assist the secretary of state in preparing the report required under Section 405.021, Government Code, the commission on a quarterly basis shall provide a report to the secretary of state detailing any projects funded by the department that serve colonias by providing paved roads or other assistance.

(c)  The report must include:

(1)  a description of any relevant projects;

(2)  the location of each project;

(3)  the number of colonia residents served by each project;

(4)  the exact amount spent or the anticipated amount to be spent on each colonia served by each project;

(5)  a statement of whether each project is completed and, if not, the expected completion date of the project; and

(6)  any other information, as determined appropriate by the secretary of state.

(d)  The commission shall require an applicant for funds administered by the commission to submit to the commission a colonia classification number, if one exists, for each colonia that may be served by the project proposed in the application.  If a colonia does not have a classification number, the commission may contact the secretary of state or the secretary of state's representative to obtain the classification number.  On request of the commission, the secretary of state or the secretary of state's representative shall assign a classification number to the colonia.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 828, Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 341, Sec. 17, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section 201.117.  Advisory Committees.

(a) The commission may establish, as it considers necessary, advisory committees on any of the matters under its jurisdiction.

(b)  The commission shall determine the purpose, duties, and membership of each advisory committee.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 469, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.



Subchapter D. Texas Department Of Transportation

Section  201.201.  Governance Of Department.

The commission governs the Texas Department of Transportation.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.202.  Divisions; Division Personnel.

(a) The commission shall organize the department into divisions to accomplish the department's functions and the duties assigned to it, including divisions for:

(1)  aviation;

(2)  highways and roads; and

(3)  public transportation.

(b)  The person designated by the director to supervise the division responsible for highways and roads must be a registered professional engineer experienced and skilled in highway construction and maintenance.

(c)  Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 933, Sec. 2A.03, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 933, Sec. 2A.01, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 933, Sec. 2A.03, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  201.203.  Department Office.

The department shall have its statewide headquarters office in Austin.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.07, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  201.2035.  Accounting Structure.

The department shall create and maintain an accounting structure for roadway and warehouse inventory of the department. The accounting structure must provide for the accounting for lost or destroyed materials.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.37, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section 201.204.  Sunset Provision.

The Texas Department of Transportation is subject to Chapter 325, Government Code (Texas Sunset Act).  Unless continued in existence as provided by that chapter, the department is abolished September 1, 2011.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 2, Sec. 1.11, eff. July 10, 2009.



Section  201.205.  Protection And Use Of Intellectual Property And Publications.

(a) The department may:

(1)  apply for, register, secure, hold, and protect under the laws of the United States, any state, or any nation a patent, copyright, trademark, or other evidence of protection or exclusivity issued in or for an idea, publication, or other original innovation fixed in a tangible medium, including:

(A)  a literary work;

(B)  a logo;

(C)  a service mark;

(D)  a study;

(E)  a map or planning document;

(F)  an engineering, architectural, or graphic design;

(G)  a manual;

(H)  automated systems software;

(I)  an audiovisual work;

(J)  a sound recording; or

(K)  travel literature, including a pamphlet, bulletin, book, map, periodical, or electronic information published or produced under Section 3, Chapter 193, Acts of the 56th Legislature, Regular Session, 1959 (Article 6144e, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes);

(2)  enter into a nonexclusive license agreement with a third party for the receipt of a fee, royalty, or other thing of monetary or nonmonetary value;

(3)  waive or reduce the amount of a fee, royalty, or other thing of monetary or nonmonetary value to be assessed if the department determines that the waiver will:

(A)  further the goals and missions of the department; and

(B)  result in a net benefit to the state; and

(4)  adopt and enforce rules necessary to implement this section.

(b)  Money paid to the department under this section shall be deposited to the credit of the state highway fund.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.07(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  201.206.  Donations And Contributions.

For the purpose of carrying out its functions and duties, the department may accept, from any source, a donation or contribution in any form, including realty, personalty, money, materials, or services.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.08, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section 201.207.  Cross-border Transportation And Infrastructure Meetings.

(a) The department shall initiate efforts to meet at least quarterly with the department's counterparts in those states of the United Mexican States that border this state to discuss issues relating to truck inspections and transportation and infrastructure involved in truck inspections and transportation.

(b)  To assist the department in carrying out this section, the department shall contact the border commerce coordinator designated under Section 772.010, Government Code, and the mayors of each municipality in this state in which a port of entry for land traffic is located.

(c)  At least one department representative participating in a meeting under Subsection (a) must be proficient in Spanish.

(d)  The department, in conjunction with the border commerce coordinator, shall develop short-range and long-range plans, including recommendations to increase bilateral relations with Mexico and expedite trade by mitigating delays in border crossing inspections for northbound truck traffic.  In developing the plans, the department and coordinator shall consider information obtained from any meetings under Subsection (a).  The department shall update the plan biennially and submit the updated plan to the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and each other member of the legislature on or before December 1 of each even-numbered year.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 309, Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2005.



Section  201.208.  Payment Of Fees For Department Goods And Services.

(a) The commission may adopt rules regarding the method of payment of a fee for any goods sold or services provided by the department or for the administration of any department program.

(b)  Goods sold and services provided include the sale of travel promotional materials and department publications and the issuance of licenses, permits, and registrations.

(c)  The rules may:

(1)  authorize the use of electronic funds transfer or a valid credit card issued by a financial institution chartered by a state or the United States or by a nationally recognized credit organization approved by the department; and

(2)  require the payment of a discount or service charge for a credit card payment in addition to the fee.

(d)  Revenue generated from payments of discount or service charges under Subsection (c) shall be deposited in the state highway fund.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 507, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 918, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999.



Section  201.209.  Authority To Contract.

(a) The department may enter into an interlocal contract with one or more local governments in accordance with Chapter 791, Government Code.

(b)  The department by rule shall adopt policies and procedures consistent with applicable state procurement practices for soliciting and awarding the contracts under this section.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2001.



Subchapter E. Director

Section  201.301.  Executive Director.

(a) The commission shall elect an executive director for the department.  The director must be experienced and skilled in transportation planning and development and in organizational management.

(b)  The director serves at the will of the commission.

(c)  Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 285, Sec. 31(47).

(d)  The director shall:

(1)  serve the commission in an advisory capacity, without vote; and

(2)  submit to the commission, quarterly, annually, and biennially, detailed reports of the progress of public road construction, detailed reports of public and mass transportation development, and detailed statements of expenditures.

(e)  The director is entitled to actual expenses for and related to travel away from Austin in performance of the director's duties under the direction of the commission.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 285, Sec. 31(47), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 776, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  201.302.  State Road Map.

The director shall make, regularly revise, and keep in a form convenient for examination in the office of the department a complete road map of the state that shows road construction in the counties.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.303.  Use Of University Laboratories For Analyzing Materials.

The director may use laboratories maintained at Texas A&M University and The University of Texas to test and analyze road and bridge material. Persons in charge of the laboratories shall cooperate with and assist the director with those tests and analyses.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter F. Department Employees

Section  201.401.  Employee Qualifications.

(a) A person may not be an employee of the department who is exempt from the state's position classification plan or compensated at or above the amount prescribed by the General Appropriations Act for step 1, salary group 17, of the position classification salary schedule if the person is:

(1)  an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association:

(A)  in the field of road construction or maintenance or outdoor advertising; or

(B)  of automobile dealers; or

(2)  the spouse of an officer, manager, or paid consultant described by Subdivision (1).

(b)  A person may not act as general counsel to the department if the person is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code, because of the person's activities for compensation on behalf of a profession related to the operation of the department.

(c)  In this section, "Texas trade association" has the meaning assigned by Section 201.051.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.402.  Equal Employment Opportunity.

(a) The director or the director's designee shall prepare and maintain a written policy statement to ensure implementation of a program of equal employment opportunity under which all personnel transactions are made without regard to race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin. The policy statement must include:

(1)  personnel policies, including policies relating to recruitment, evaluation, selection, appointment, training, and promotion of personnel that comply with Chapter 21, Labor Code;

(2)  a comprehensive analysis of the department work force that meets federal and state laws, rules, and regulations, and instructions directly adopted under those laws, rules, or regulations;

(3)  procedures by which a determination can be made of significant underuse in the department work force of all persons for whom federal or state laws, rules, and regulations, and instructions directly adopted under those laws, rules, or regulations encourage a more equitable balance; and

(4)  reasonable methods to appropriately address the areas of significant underuse.

(b)  A policy statement prepared under Subsection (a) must cover an annual period, be updated at least annually, be reviewed by the Texas Commission on Human Rights for compliance with Subsection (a)(1), and be filed with the governor's office.

(c)  The governor's office shall deliver a biennial report to the legislature based on the information received under Subsection (b). The report may be made separately or as a part of other biennial reports made to the legislature.

(d)  The department's designated equal employment opportunity officer shall report directly to the director.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.09, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  201.403.  Hiring Women And Minorities.

(a) To provide adequate numbers of women and minority applicants for all positions in the department, the department shall:

(1)  open all positions compensated at or above the amount prescribed by the General Appropriations Act for salary group B17 of the position classification salary schedule to applicants from inside and outside the department;

(2)  seek applicants from this state and, if sufficient numbers are not available from this state, from other states;

(3)  coordinate recruiting efforts with college placement officers and college student organizations;

(4)  develop an extensive cooperative education program with colleges; and

(5)  ensure that employees are aware of continuing educational opportunities and encourage employee participation in the programs.

(b)  The department shall designate a central authority to set and monitor women and minority hiring goals. After consultation with appropriate persons in each division and regional office, the central authority shall set annual women and minority hiring goals in each division and regional office of the department and shall monitor progress toward those goals. The central authority shall provide recruiting and technical assistance to each division and regional office.

(c)  Not later than February 1 of each year, the director shall report to the commission, each house of the legislature, and the Sunset Advisory Commission on the department's progress in the recruitment and hiring of women and minority applicants.

(d)  In this section, "minority" includes African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, American Indians, Alaska natives, and Pacific Islanders.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 595, Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2005.



Section  201.404.  Employee Programs.

(a) The director or the director's designee shall develop an intra-agency career ladder program that addresses opportunities for mobility and advancement for employees in the department. The program shall require intra-agency posting of all positions concurrently with any public posting.

(b)  The director or the director's designee shall develop a system of annual performance evaluations that are based on documented employee performance. All merit pay for department employees must be based on the system established under this subsection.

(c)  The department shall provide to its employees, as often as necessary, information concerning the employees' qualifications for employment under this subchapter and their responsibilities under applicable laws relating to standards of conduct for state employees.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  201.405.  Exchange Of Engineers With Mexico.

(a) The commission may employ not more than five citizens of the United Mexican States who are student engineers or graduate engineers for a period of not more than six months and pay those employees for their services from the state highway fund if the United Mexican States employs an equal number of engineers of the department in similar work in the United Mexican States for similar periods and pays them for their services.

(b)  The commission may grant leaves of absence to not more than five engineers of the department to accept employment with the United Mexican States as provided under Subsection (a).

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.406.  Relocation Assistance.

(a) In addition to authority granted by other law, the department may reimburse transferred employees for expenses or costs related to selling existing housing and purchasing and financing comparable replacement housing if the director determines that the transfer will enhance the department's ability to accomplish its goals and missions.

(b)  For purposes of this section, the following expenses or costs related to the selling of existing housing and the leasing, purchasing, and financing of comparable replacement housing are reimbursable:

(1)  any commissions and fees due to a broker or real estate agent;

(2)  costs incurred as a purchaser to obtain a home loan, including loan application fees, credit report fees, and mortgage points;

(3)  origination fees, title insurance, recording fees, and all other closing costs required to be paid by the employee;

(4)  fees or charges, other than refundable deposits, necessary to establish telephone, gas, and electric service; and

(5)  travel expenses incurred while looking for a new residence, reimbursed at the standard mileage rate, for travel to and from the new designated headquarters.

(c)  Under this section, the department may not:

(1)  provide reimbursement for more than five employees per fiscal year;

(2)  pay a sum of more than $15,000 to any employee;

(3)  purchase or pay any part of the purchase price of any employee's home;

(4)  provide reimbursement for the purchase or financing of a house if the employee did not own and occupy existing housing at the time of transfer; or

(5)  provide reimbursement when the distance between the two designated headquarters of a transferred employee is less than 25 miles.

(d)  The department may pay the reasonable, necessary, and resulting costs of moving the household goods and effects of a transferred employee if:

(1)  the director determines that the transfer will enhance the department's ability to accomplish its goals and missions; and

(2)  the distance between the two designated headquarters of a transferred employee is at least 25 miles.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.38, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Subchapter G. Records

Section  201.501.  Reproduction Of Records.

(a) The department may photograph, microphotograph, or film any record that pertains to department operations.

(b)  The department may create original records in micrographic form on media, such as computer output microfilm.

(c)  The department shall provide an adequate number of microfilm readers and printers to allow the public convenient and inexpensive access to records created under Subsection (a). The department shall index the records alphabetically, by number, by subject matter, or by other appropriate references and shall provide the index to the public to promote convenient access.

(d)  A photograph, microphotograph, or film of a record reproduced under Subsection (a) is equivalent to the original record for all purposes, including introduction as evidence in all courts and administrative agency proceedings. A certified or authenticated copy of such a photograph, microphotograph, or film is admissible as evidence equally with the original photograph, microphotograph, or film.

(e)  The director or an authorized representative may certify the authenticity of a photograph, microphotograph, or film of a record reproduced under this section and shall charge a fee for the certified photograph, microphotograph, or film as provided by law.

(f)  Certified records shall be furnished to any person who is authorized by law to receive them.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.502.  Retention Of Deed.

A deed that conveys any interest in real property to the state for a highway purpose shall be deposited and retained in the Austin office of the department.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.503.  Disposal Of Records.

Unless otherwise required by law, and subject to Chapter 441, Government Code, the department may dispose of or destroy a record that the department determines is not required for the performance of the department's duties and functions.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter H. Plans And Projects

Section  201.601.  Statewide Transportation Plan.

(a) The department shall develop a statewide transportation plan that contains all modes of transportation, including:

(1)  highways and turnpikes;

(2)  aviation;

(3)  mass transportation;

(4)  railroads and high-speed railroads; and

(5)  water traffic.

(b)  In developing the plan, the department shall seek opinions and assistance from other state agencies and political subdivisions that have responsibility for the modes of transportation listed by Subsection (a). As appropriate, the department and such an agency or political subdivision shall enter into a memorandum of understanding relating to the planning of transportation services.

(c)  The plan must include a component that is not financially constrained and identifies transportation improvements designed to relieve congestion. In developing this component of the plan, the department shall seek opinions and assistance from officials who have local responsibility for modes of transportation listed in Subsection (a).

(d)  The plan shall include a component, published annually, that describes the evaluation of transportation improvements based on performance measures, such as indices measuring delay reductions or travel time improvements. The department shall consider the performance measures in selecting transportation improvements.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 19.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section 201.6011.  International Trade Corridor Plan.

(a) To the extent possible, the department shall coordinate with appropriate entities to develop an integrated international trade corridor plan.  The plan must:

(1)  include strategies and projects to aid the exchange of international trade using the system of multiple transportation modes in this state;

(2)  assign priorities based on the amount of international trade, measured by weight and value, using the transportation systems of this state, including:

(A)  border ports of entry;

(B)  commercial ports;

(C)  inland ports;

(D)  highways;

(E)  pipelines;

(F)  railroads; and

(G)  deepwater gulf ports; and

(3)  address implementation of the recommendations of the Border Trade Advisory Committee under Section 201.114.

(b)  The department shall update the plan biennially and report on the implementation of this section to the presiding officer of each house of the legislature no later than December 1 of each even-numbered year.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 312, Sec. 78(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 791, Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2005.



Section 201.6012.  Coordination Of Statewide Passenger Rail System.

To facilitate the development and interconnectivity of rail systems in this state, the department shall coordinate activities regarding the planning, construction, operation, and maintenance of a statewide passenger rail system.  The department shall coordinate with other entities involved with passenger rail systems, including governmental entities, private entities, and nonprofit corporations.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 801, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 201.6013.  Long-term Plan For Statewide Passenger Rail System.

The department shall prepare and update annually a long-term plan for a statewide passenger rail system.  Information contained in the plan must include:

(1)  a description of existing and proposed passenger rail systems;

(2)  information regarding the status of passenger rail systems under construction;

(3)  an analysis of potential interconnectivity difficulties;

(4)  ridership projections for proposed passenger rail projects; and

(5)  ridership statistics for existing passenger rail systems.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 801, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  201.602.  Project Selection Hearings.

The commission annually shall hold hearings on its highway project selection process and the relative importance of the various criteria on which the commission bases its project selection decisions.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.603.  Agreement With Other Agencies For Roads.

(a) On request of the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation or the Texas Youth Commission, the department may enter into agreements with that department or commission for the construction, maintenance, or repair of roads in an institution, hospital, or school under the control, management, or supervision of that department or commission.

(b)  The Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation or the Texas Youth Commission may reimburse the appropriate fund of the department for the cost of construction or maintenance performed under Subsection (a). Before a transfer of an amount under this subsection, the reimbursing agency shall notify in writing the comptroller of the amount to be transferred and the fund from which the amount is to be taken.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.604.  Environmental Review. (a)

The commission by rule shall provide for the commission's environmental review of the department's transportation projects that are not subject to review under the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. Section 4321 et seq.). The rules must provide for:

(1)  public comment on the department's environmental reviews, including the types of projects for which public hearings are required, and a procedure for requesting a public hearing on an environmental review for which a public hearing is not required;

(2)  the department's evaluation of direct and indirect effects of its projects;

(3)  analysis of project alternatives; and

(4)  a written report that briefly explains the department's decision on a project and that specifies the mitigation measures on environmental harm on which the project is conditioned.

(b)  An environmental review of a project must be conducted before the location or alignment of the project has been adopted.

(c)  The commission shall consider the results of its reviews in executing its duties.

(d)  The department shall coordinate with the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission and the Parks and Wildlife Department in preparing an environmental review. To give those agencies time to respond, the department shall submit the review of a project and the department's mitigation proposals on the project to them for comment before the 30th day preceding the date on which the department issues the written report explaining its decision on that project.

(e)  At least once during each five-year period, the commission, after a public hearing, shall review the rules relating to environmental reviews and make appropriate changes.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.606.  Property In Endangered Species Habitat. If

the department acquires for a transportation project property that is a habitat of one or more species listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. Section 1531 et seq.) and that is within the boundaries of a regional habitat conservation plan, the department may participate in the regional habitat conservation plan. If the department does not comply with the regional habitat conservation plan, it shall comply with the Endangered Species Act and the applicable requirements of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.607.  Environmental, Historical, Or Archeological Memorandum Of Understanding.

(a) Not later than January 1, 1997, and every fifth year after that date, the department and each state agency that is responsible for the protection of the natural environment or for the preservation of historical or archeological resources shall examine and revise their memorandum of understanding that:

(1)  describes the responsibilities of each agency entering into the memorandum relating to the review of the potential environmental, historical, or archeological effect of a highway project;

(2)  specifies the responsibilities of each agency entering into the memorandum relating to the review of a highway project;

(3)  specifies the types of information the department must provide to the reviewing agency and the period during which the department must provide the information;

(4)  specifies the period during which the reviewing agency must review the highway project and provide comments to the department; and

(5)  includes any other agreement necessary for the effective coordination of the review of the environmental, historical, or archeological effect of a highway project.

(b)  The department and each agency by rule shall adopt all revisions to the memorandum.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.608.  Projects For Traffic From International Trade.

(a) The department annually shall review its proposed road projects to determine whether the projects are adequate to allow for the projected volume of highway traffic resulting from international trade over the five-year period following the date of the review.

(b)  The department may reassign priorities to its projects in accordance with the results of its review.

(c)  Not later than February 1 of each odd-numbered year, the department shall report to the legislature on the ability of the state highway system to allow for the projected volume of highway traffic resulting from international trade over the five-year period following the date of the report.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.609.  Notice To Legislators Of Completed Projects.

(a) Not later than the 10th day before the date on which a major road project is scheduled for completion, the department shall provide notice of the location and completion date of the road project to each member of the legislature who represents the county in which the road project is located and who wants to receive the notice.

(b)  The department shall ask each legislator whether the legislator wants to receive notices under this section.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.610.  Highway Sound Barriers.

The department may erect a sound barrier to reduce the noise from a road or highway in the state highway system at any location the department determines is appropriate, including along the right-of-way of a railroad that runs parallel or adjacent to a road or highway.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.39, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  201.611.  Coordination Of Flood Control.

In the construction of its highway projects, the department shall coordinate with local flood control authorities to minimize the impact of flooding.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.40, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  201.612.  Approval By Commission Of Bridge Over Rio Grande.

(a) A political subdivision or private entity authorized to construct or finance the construction of a bridge over the Rio Grande:

(1)  must obtain approval from the commission and from the United States under Subchapter IV, Chapter 11, Title 33, United States Code, for the construction of the bridge; and

(2)  shall submit to the commission a report that details the feasibility, location, economic effect, and environmental impact of the bridge and any other information the commission by rule may require.

(b)  The department shall:

(1)  to the maximum extent practicable, implement the approval process in the manner least burdensome to an applicant; and

(2)  allow an applicant to concurrently seek approval from the commission and the United States under Subsection (a)(1).

(c)  In determining whether to approve construction of the bridge, the commission shall consider:

(1)  the financial resources available to the political subdivision or private entity for construction of the bridge;

(2)  whether the revenue to be generated by the bridge is sufficient to finance the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the bridge;

(3)  whether the construction of the bridge is consistent with the transportation plan adopted by the state and, if appropriate, by the metropolitan planning organization with jurisdiction over the bridge;

(4)  the potential effect of the bridge on:

(A)  the economy of the region in which the bridge is to be located;

(B)  the environment of the region in which the bridge is to be located;

(C)  traffic congestion and mobility; and

(D)  the free flow of trade between the United Mexican States and this state; and

(5)  commitments from the appropriate jurisdictions of the United Mexican States to provide adequate approach roadways to the bridge.

(d)  In determining whether to approve the construction of the bridge, the commission shall solicit the advice of:

(1)  the Department of Public Safety;

(2)  the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission;

(3)  the Texas Historical Commission;

(4)  the Department of Agriculture;

(5)  the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission;

(6)  the Texas Department of Commerce; and

(7)  any other state agency the commission determines is appropriate.

(e)  If the commission fails to make a determination before the 121st day after the date the commission receives a request for approval under Subsection (a), the request is considered approved.

(f)  The commission may adopt rules to administer this section.

(g)  If the commission does not approve construction of the bridge, the applicant shall withdraw the request for approval from the United States.

Added by Acts 1997, ch. 165, Sec. 30.08(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, ch. 165, Sec. 30.08(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 201.610 by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(93), eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section 201.613.  One-stop Border Inspection Facilities.

(a) The department shall erect and maintain border inspection facilities along a major highway at or near a border crossing from Mexico in the Pharr, Laredo, and El Paso districts for the inspection of motor vehicles for compliance with federal and state commercial motor vehicle regulations.

(b)  If a facility that serves a bridge that had more than 900,000 commercial border crossings during the state fiscal year ending August 31, 2002, is to be located in a municipality or a municipality's extraterritorial jurisdiction, the municipality may choose the location of the facility within the municipality or the municipality's extraterritorial jurisdiction.  The municipality shall choose a location before the later of the 180th day after:

(1)  the date the department makes a request for a location; or

(2)  the effective date of the Act enacting this provision.

(c)  One or more inspection facilities may be constructed in a municipality described by this section.

(d)  In determining the location for a border inspection facility under Subsection (b), the municipality shall:

(1)  obtain and pay for an independent study completed by a university that conducts transportation studies or any other entity that conducts transportation studies to identify commercial truck traffic patterns for the location at which the facility is to be located to ensure that the location has adequate capacity to conduct a sufficient number of meaningful vehicle safety inspections in compliance with 49 U.S.C. Section 13902;

(2)  choose a location that does not impair the receipt of federal or state funds for implementation of this section;

(3)  choose a location within one mile of an international border;

(4)  choose a location within one mile of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection federal port of entry; and

(5)  choose a location that provides a dedicated route for commercial vehicles coming from the federal port of entry to the state port of entry commercial vehicle inspection station.

(e)  To the extent the department considers appropriate to expedite commerce, the department shall provide for implementation by the appropriate agencies of the use of Intelligent Transportation Systems for Commercial Vehicle Operations (ITS/CVO) in:

(1)  any new commercial motor vehicle inspection facility constructed; and

(2)  any existing facility to which this section applies.

(f)  Implementation of systems under Subsection (e) must be based on the Texas ITS/CVO business plan prepared by the department, the Department of Public Safety, and the comptroller.  The department shall coordinate with other state and federal transportation officials to develop interoperability standards for the systems.

(g)  In implementing systems under Subsection (e) in the construction of a facility, the department to the greatest extent possible shall:

(1)  enhance efficiency and reduce complexity for motor carriers by providing:

(A)  a single point of contact between carriers and state and federal officials regulating the carriers; and

(B)  a single point of information, available to wireless access, about federal and state regulatory and enforcement requirements;

(2)  prevent duplication of state and federal procedures and locations for regulatory and enforcement activities, including consolidation of collection of applicable fees;

(3)  link information systems of the department, the Department of Public Safety, the comptroller, and, to the extent possible, the United States Department of Transportation and other appropriate regulatory and enforcement entities; and

(4)  take other necessary action to:

(A)  facilitate the flow of commerce;

(B)  assist federal interdiction efforts;

(C)  protect the environment by reducing idling time of commercial motor vehicles at the facilities;

(D)  prevent highway damage caused by overweight commercial motor vehicles; and

(E)  seek federal funds to assist in the implementation of this section.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1527, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1275, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  201.614.  Safe Routes To School Program. (a

) The department shall establish and administer a Safe Routes to School Program to distribute money received under the Hazard Elimination Program (23 U.S.C. Section 152), as amended, to political subdivisions for projects to improve safety in and around school areas. Projects eligible to receive money under this program may include:

(1)  installation of new crosswalks and bike lanes;

(2)  construction of multiuse trails;

(3)  construction and replacement of sidewalks;

(4)  implementation of traffic-calming programs in neighborhoods around schools; and

(5)  construction of wide outside lanes to be used as bike routes.

(b)  The department, in considering project proposals under this section, shall consider:

(1)  the demonstrated need of the applicant;

(2)  the potential of the proposal to reduce child injuries and fatalities;

(3)  the potential of the proposal to encourage walking and bicycling among students;

(4)  identification of safety hazards;

(5)  identification of current and potential walking and bicycling routes to school; and

(6)  support for the projects proposed by local school-based associations, traffic engineers, elected officials, law enforcement agencies, and school officials.

(c)  The department may allocate money received by the department from the federal government under the Hazard Elimination Program (23 U.S.C. Section 152), as amended, to projects under this section.

(d)  The department shall adopt rules to implement this section.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1085, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  201.615.  Design Considerations.

(a) The department shall consider the following factors when developing transportation projects that involve the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or resurfacing of a highway, other than a maintenance resurfacing project:

(1)  the extent to which the project promotes safety;

(2)  the durability of the project;

(3)  the economy of maintenance of the project;

(4)  the impact of the project on:

(A)  the natural and artificial environment;

(B)  the scenic and aesthetic character of the area in which the project is located;

(C)  preservation efforts; and

(D)  each affected local community and its economy;

(5)  the access for other modes of transportation, including those that promote physically active communities; and

(6)  except as provided by Subsection (c), the aesthetic character of the project, including input from each affected local community.

(b)  The commission shall adopt rules to implement this section.

(c)  Subsection (a)(6) does not apply to transportation projects that involve the rehabilitation or resurfacing of a bridge or highway.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1264, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Renumbered from Transportation Code Sec. 201.614 by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1275, Sec. 2(125), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281, Sec. 2.05, eff. June 14, 2005.



Section  201.616.  Annual Report To Legislature On Certain Matters.

(a) Not later than December 1 of each year, the department shall submit a report to the legislature that details:

(1)  the expenditures made by the department in the preceding state fiscal year in connection with:

(A)  the unified transportation program of the department;

(B)  turnpike projects and toll roads of the department;

(C)  the Trans-Texas Corridor;

(D)  rail facilities described in Chapter 91; and

(E)  non-highway facilities on the Trans-Texas Corridor if those expenditures are subject to Section 227.062(c);

(2)  the amount of bonds or other public securities issued for transportation projects; and

(3)  the direction of money by the department to a regional mobility authority in this state.

(b)  The report must break down information under Subsection (a)(1)(A) by program category and department district. The report must break down information under Subsections (a)(1)(B), (C), (D), and (E) and Subsection (a)(3) by department district. The report must break down information under Subsection (a)(2) by department district and type of project.

(c)  The report may be submitted in an electronic format.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 8, Sec. 5.02, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.



Section 201.617.  Mitigation Of Adverse Environmental Impacts.

(a) If authorized by an applicable regulatory authority, to mitigate an adverse environmental impact that is a direct result of the construction, improvement, or maintenance of a state highway or the construction, improvement, or maintenance of a facility used in connection with the construction, maintenance, or operation of a state highway, the department may:

(1)  pay a fee to an appropriate public agency or private entity in lieu of acquiring or agreeing to manage property;

(2)  transfer any interest in real property to an appropriate public agency or private entity, as authorized by the regulatory authority that requires the mitigation, with or without monetary consideration if the property is used or is proposed to be used for mitigation purposes; or

(3)  contract with any public or private entity for the management of property owned by the department and used for mitigation purposes.

(a-1)  Before the commission may acquire by purchase or condemnation real property to mitigate an adverse environmental impact that is a direct result of a state highway improvement project, the department shall, if authorized by an applicable regulatory authority, offer to purchase a conservation easement from the owner of the real property.  If the landowner does not accept the offer to execute a conservation easement before the 61st day after the date the offer is made, the department may acquire the property by purchase or condemnation.

(b)  A contract under this section is not subject to Chapter 771, Government Code.

(c)  In this section, "management" means administration, control, or maintenance that is required by an agency of the United States.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 922, Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2001.

Transferred from Transportation Code, Section 203.004 and amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281, Sec. 2.07, eff. June 14, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 738, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section 201.618.  Hydrogen-fueled Vehicles And Refueling Stations.

(a) The department may seek funding from public and private sources to acquire and operate hydrogen-fueled vehicles and to establish and operate hydrogen refueling stations as provided by this section.

(b)  If the department secures funding under Subsection (a), the department may establish and operate at least five hydrogen refueling stations.  A refueling station established under this subsection must be located in an urbanized area along a major state highway and be accessible to the public.

(c)  If the department secures funding under Subsection (a), the department may purchase to operate in an area in which a refueling station is established under Subsection (b) vehicles capable of operating using hydrogen, including, at a minimum:

(1)  four vehicles with internal combustion engines that run on hydrogen; and

(2)  three fuel-cell vehicles, one internal combustion engine bus that runs on hydrogen, or one fuel-cell bus.

(d)  A vehicle purchased to meet the requirements of Subsection (c) may be used to satisfy the alternative fuels percentage requirement under Subchapter A, Chapter 2158, Government Code.

(e)  The department may establish hydrogen refueling stations on the Trans-Texas Corridor under Chapter 227.

(f)  The department shall:

(1)  ensure that data on emissions from the vehicles and refueling stations purchased under this section and from the production of hydrogen for the vehicles and refueling stations are monitored and analyzed and compared with data on emissions from control vehicles with internal combustion engines that operate on fuels other than hydrogen; and

(2)  report the results of the monitoring, analysis, and comparison to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

(g)  The department may charge the public a reasonable fee to use a hydrogen refueling station operated under Subsection (b).  The amount of the fee shall be based on the department's estimate of the number of customers that will use the refueling stations and the direct and indirect costs that will be incurred by the department to operate the refueling stations.  Fees collected by the department under this section shall be deposited in the state highway fund, may be appropriated only to the department to implement this section, and are exempt from the application of Section 403.095, Government Code.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281, Sec. 3.03, eff. June 14, 2005.



Section 201.619.  Cooperative Planning With Counties.

(a) In this section, "corridor" means a geographical band that follows a general directional flow connecting major sources of trips.

(b)  The department and a county may enter into an agreement that identifies future transportation corridors within the county in accordance with this subsection.  The corridors identified in the agreement must be derived from existing transportation plans adopted by the department or commission, the county, or a metropolitan planning organization.

(c)  The department shall publish in the Texas Register and in a newspaper of general circulation in the county with which the department has entered into an agreement under Subsection (b) a notice that states that the department and the county have entered into the agreement and that copies of the agreement and all plans referred to by the agreement are available at one or more designated department offices.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1040, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 201.621.  Motorcyclist Safety And Share The Road Campaign.

From funds appropriated for that purpose, the department shall conduct a continuing public awareness campaign to promote motorcyclist safety and the concept of sharing the road with motorcyclists.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1391, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter I. Funds And Expenditures

Section  201.701.  Funds For Emergency Medical Services.

(a) If the department receives state or federal highway safety funds that may be used for emergency medical services, the department shall:

(1)  contract with the Texas Department of Health for the administration of the funds by the department of health; and

(2)  designate a part of the funds to be used for improvement of emergency medical services.

(b)  If an agency of the federal government formally notifies the department that a contract described by Subsection (a) violates federal law or would cause the loss of any federal highway safety funds, the department may not execute the contract or, if the contract has been executed, the contract is void.

(c)  This section does not affect any responsibility of the department for oversight of state or federal highway safety funds.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.702.  Disadvantaged Business Program.

(a) The department shall:

(1)  set annual goals for the awarding of state or federally funded contracts, including construction, maintenance, supply, and service contracts, to disadvantaged businesses and shall attempt to meet the goals;

(2)  assess the availability of disadvantaged businesses in this state;

(3)  attempt to identify disadvantaged businesses in this state that provide or have the potential to provide supplies, materials, equipment, or services to the department;

(4)  give disadvantaged businesses full access to the department's contract bidding process, inform the businesses about the process, offer the businesses assistance concerning the process, and identify barriers to the businesses' participation in the process; and

(5)  allocate the responsibility for performing the duties prescribed by this section among persons in the department's headquarters and regional offices.

(b)  The goals under Subsection (a)(1) must approximate the federal requirement for federal money used for highway construction and maintenance consistent with other applicable state and federal law.

(c)  The department's equal opportunity office shall participate in the development of requests for proposals and other departmental documents relating to the bidding process.

(d)  This section does not exempt the department from competitive bidding requirements provided by other law.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.703.  Expenditures For Roads Not On The Highway System.

(a) The department in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration may spend for the improvement of a road not in the state highway system money appropriated by the United States Congress and allocated by the United States secretary of transportation to the department for expenditure on the road. That federal money may be matched or supplemented by an amount of state money necessary for proper construction and performance of the work.

(b)  State money may not be used exclusively for the construction of a road not in the state highway system.

(c)  The expenditure of state money is limited to the cost of construction and engineering, overhead, and other costs on which the application of federal money is prohibited or impractical.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.704.  Contract For Repair Or Maintenance Of Equipment.

(a) The department shall contract with a private entity for the repair or maintenance of highway equipment and passenger cars used by the department if the department determines that the private entity can:

(1)  provide maintenance and repair services that are of sufficient quality and in sufficient quantity; and

(2)  perform those services for a charge that is less than 90 percent of the total cost for the department to provide equivalent services.

(b)  During a fiscal year the department shall spend for all contracts under this section not less than 35 percent of the total amount it spends for vehicle repair and maintenance in that year.

(c)  In determining the total cost of providing maintenance and repair services for the purpose of Subsection (a)(2), the department shall consider direct and indirect costs of providing those services.

(d)  In this section:

(1)  "Highway equipment" means machinery or equipment, other than a passenger car, that is used by the department for the construction, reconstruction, maintenance, or repair of a road or highway.

(2)  "Passenger car" has the meaning assigned that term by Section 502.001.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 600, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999.



Section 201.706.  Local Government Assistance.

From appropriated funds, the department shall assist counties with materials to repair and maintain county roads.  The department shall:

(1)  provide that the total annual value of assistance under this section is:

(A)  at least $12 million per year for fiscal years 1998 and 1999; and

(B)  at least $6 million per year for a fiscal year other than 1998 or 1999;

(2)  make maximum usage of surplus materials on hand;

(3)  develop rules and procedures to implement this section and to provide for the distribution of the assistance with preference given to counties with an above average number of overweight trucks receiving weight tolerance permits based on the previous year's permit totals; and

(4)  undertake cooperative and joint procurement of road materials with counties under procedures of the comptroller.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.41, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 937, Sec. 1.110, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  201.707.  Agreements For Services On Regional Tollway Authority Projects.

Notwithstanding Section 201.703(c), the department and a regional tollway authority governed by Chapter 366 may enter into an agreement for the provision by the department, for fair and reasonable compensation, of services on the regional tollway authority's turnpike projects, including but not limited to courtesy patrols.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 576, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  201.710.  Planning And Funding Of Ports Of Entry.

(a) In this section:

(1)  "Port of entry" means a place designated by executive order of the president of the United States, by order of the United States secretary of the treasury, or by Act of the United States Congress at which a customs officer is authorized to accept entries of merchandise to collect duties, and to enforce the various provisions of the customs and navigation laws.

(2)  "Project related to a port of entry" means a transportation project on the state highway system related to access to a port of entry in this state.

(b)  This section applies only to a port of entry on the border with the United Mexican States. This section does not apply to a port of entry at an airport.

(c)  The department shall include projects related to ports of entry in its unified transportation program or any successor to that program.

(d)  A metropolitan planning organization that has a port of entry within its jurisdiction shall include projects related to ports of entry in its transportation improvement plan.

(e)  In allocating money to projects, the department shall fund projects related to ports of entry from money other than North American Free Trade Agreement discretionary funds.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1226, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Subchapter J. Information Furnished By Department

Section  201.801.  Information About Department; Complaints.

(a) The department shall prepare information of public interest describing the functions of the department and the department's procedures by which a complaint is filed with the department and resolved by the department. The department shall make the information available to the public and appropriate state agencies.

(b)  The commission by rule shall establish methods by which consumers and service recipients are notified of the department's name, mailing address, and telephone number for directing complaints to the department. The commission may provide for that notification:

(1)  on each registration form, application, or written contract for services of an individual or entity regulated by the department;

(2)  on a sign prominently displayed in the place of business of each individual or entity regulated by the department; or

(3)  in a bill for service provided by an individual or entity regulated by the department.

(c)  The department shall:

(1)  keep an information file about each written complaint filed with the department that the department has the authority to resolve; and

(2)  provide the person who filed the complaint, and each person or entity that is the subject of the complaint, information about the department's policies and procedures relating to complaint investigation and resolution.

(d)  The department, at least quarterly and until final disposition of a written complaint that is filed with the department and that the department has the authority to resolve, shall notify the parties to the complaint of its status unless the notice would jeopardize an undercover investigation.

(e)  With regard to each complaint filed with the department, the department shall keep the following information:

(1)  the date the complaint is filed;

(2)  the name of the person filing the complaint;

(3)  the subject matter of the complaint;

(4)  a record of each person contacted in relation to the complaint;

(5)  a summary of the results of the review or investigation of the complaint; and

(6)  if the department takes no action on the complaint, an explanation of the reasons that no action was taken.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.12, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  201.802.  Public Access To Commission And To Department Programs.

(a) The commission shall develop and implement policies that provide the public with a reasonable opportunity to appear before the commission and speak on any issue under the jurisdiction of the commission.

(b)  The director shall prepare and maintain a written plan that describes the manner in which a person who does not speak English or who has a physical, mental, or developmental disability is provided reasonable access to the department's programs.

(c)  The department shall comply with each applicable law of the United States or this state that relates to program or facility accessibility.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.13, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  201.803.  Information For Road Construction And Maintenance.

(a) The department shall collect information and compile statistics about the mileage, character, and condition of public roads in each county and the cost of construction of the classes of roads in the county.

(b)  The department shall investigate and determine the methods of road construction best adapted to different sections of the state.

(c)  The department shall establish standards for the construction and maintenance of highways, bridges, and ferries, considering natural conditions and the character and adaptability of road building material in the counties of the state.

(d)  The department may be consulted, at all reasonable times, by county and municipal officials for any information or assistance the department can give concerning the highways in the county or municipality. The department shall provide the requested information.

(e)  The department may request from county and municipal officials any information necessary for the performance of the department's duties under this section.

(f)  Before any proceeds from the sale of bonds or other legal obligations issued by a county or a subdivision or defined district of a county are spent for road construction by the commissioners court of the county or under its direction, the commissioners court shall obtain from the department information and advice on the general plans and specifications for the road construction to be undertaken. On request of a county commissioners court, the department shall consider and advise the commissioners court on those plans and specifications.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.8035.  Inspection Of County And Municipal Bridges. (a)

If the department inspects a bridge under the jurisdiction of a county or a municipality and determines that the bridge qualifies for a lower load rating under 23 C.F.R. Part 650, Subpart C, than is currently permitted, the department shall notify the commissioners court of the county or the governing body of the municipality.

(b)  A commissioners court or governing body that is notified under Subsection (a) shall post notices on the road or highway approaching the bridge that state the maximum load permitted on the bridge. The notices must be posted at locations that enable affected drivers to detour to avoid the restricted bridge.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.09(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  201.804.  Submission Of Bridge Design Plans To Department.

(a) This section applies to any governmental entity of this state that is authorized by law to construct or maintain a public road and that:

(1)  constructs or rehabilitates a bridge;

(2)  proposes to assume responsibility for a bridge constructed or rehabilitated by another person; or

(3)  issues a permit for the construction or rehabilitation of a bridge by another person.

(b)  Before the 31st day after the date the construction or rehabilitation of the bridge is completed, the governmental entity shall submit to the department a copy of the final structural design plans for the bridge.

(c)  The department shall use information submitted under Subsection (b) as necessary in seeking to comply with 23 C.F.R. Part 650, Subpart C.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 831, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999.



Section 201.805.  Reports And Information.

(a) The department shall annually publish in appropriate media and on the department's Internet website in a format that allows the information to be read into a commercially available electronic database a statistical comparison of department districts and the following information, calculated on a per capita basis considering the most recent census data and listed for each county and for the state for each fiscal year:

(1)  the number of square miles;

(2)  the number of vehicles registered;

(3)  the population;

(4)  daily vehicle miles;

(5)  the number of centerline miles and lane miles;

(6)  construction, maintenance, and contracted routine and preventive maintenance expenditures;

(7)  combined construction, maintenance, and contracted routine and preventive maintenance expenditures;

(8)  the number of district and division office construction and maintenance employees;

(9)  information regarding grant programs, including:

(A)  Automobile Theft Prevention Authority grants;

(B)  Routine Airport Maintenance Program grants;

(C)  Public Transportation Grant Program grants;

(D)  Medical Transportation Program grants; and

(E)  aviation grants or aviation capital improvement grants;

(10)  approved State Infrastructure Bank loans;

(11)  Texas Traffic Safety Program grants and expenditures;

(12)  the dollar amount of any pass-through toll agreements;

(13)  the percentage of highway construction projects completed on time;

(14)  the percentage of highway construction projects that cost:

(A)  more than the contract amount; and

(B)  less than the contract amount; and

(15)  a description of real property acquired by the department through the exercise of eminent domain, including the acreage of the property and the location of the property.

(b)  The department shall include information from all department contracts in the statistical comparison and information reports required under Subsection (a).

(c)  The department shall annually publish in appropriate media and on the department's Internet website in a format that allows the information to be read into a commercially available electronic database the following information for each fiscal year:

(1)  the amount of money in the Texas Mobility Fund itemized by the source of the money; and

(2)  the amount of money received by the department:

(A)  itemized by the source of the money; and

(B)  compared to the amount of money appropriated by the legislature to the department in the General Appropriations Act.

(d)  The department shall annually publish in appropriate media and on the department's Internet website in a format that allows the information to be read into a commercially available electronic database a list of each contract the department has with:

(1)  a person required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code;

(2)  a public relations firm; or

(3)  a government consultant.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 494, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 201.806.  Accident Reports.

(a) The department shall:

(1)  tabulate and analyze the vehicle accident reports it receives;

(2)  annually or more frequently publish statistical information derived from the accident reports as to the number, cause, and location of highway accidents, including information regarding the number of:

(A)  accidents involving injury to, death of, or property damage to a bicyclist or pedestrian; and

(B)  fatalities caused by a bridge collapse, as defined by Section 550.081; and

(3)  not later than December 15 of each even-numbered year provide to the governor and the legislature:

(A)  an abstract of the statistical information for the biennium ending on the preceding August 31; and

(B)  a report with the department's conclusions, findings, and recommendations for decreasing highway accidents and increasing highway and bridge safety.

(b)  The department shall provide electronic access to the system containing the accident reports so that the Department of Public Safety can perform its duties, including the duty to make timely entries on driver records.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1407, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Renumbered from Transportation Code, Section 201.805 by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87, Sec. 27.001(90), eff. September 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 522, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter K. Road And Highway Use; Signs

Section  201.901.  Prohibiting Use Of Highway Or Road.

(a) The commission may prohibit the use of any part of a highway or road under the control of the department by any vehicle that will unduly damage the highway or road when:

(1)  because of wet weather or recent construction or repairs, the highway or road cannot be safely used without probable serious damage to it; or

(2)  a bridge or culvert on the highway or road is unsafe.

(b)  Before prohibiting the use of a highway or road under this section, the commission shall post notices that state the maximum load permitted and the time the use of the highway or road is prohibited. The notices must be posted at locations that enable drivers to detour to avoid the restricted highway or road.

(c)  The commission may not prohibit the use of a highway or road under this section until a detour has been provided.

(d)  If the owner or operator of a vehicle that is prohibited from using a highway or road under this section is aggrieved by the prohibition, the person may file with the county judge of the county in which the restricted highway or road is located a written complaint that sets forth the nature of the grievance. On the filing of the complaint the county judge immediately shall set the issue for a hearing to be held not later than the third day after the date on which the complaint is filed. The county judge shall give to the commission written notice of the day and purpose of each hearing.

(e)  The county judge shall hear testimony offered by the parties. On conclusion of the hearing, the county judge shall sustain, revoke, or modify the commission's decision on the restriction. The county judge's judgment is final as to the issues raised.

(f)  A person who violates a prohibition established under this section before or after it is approved by the county judge under Subsection (e) commits an offense. An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.902.  Road Use By Bicyclists.

(a) The department shall designate:

(1)  a statewide bicycle coordinator; and

(2)  a bicycle coordinator in each regional office.

(b)  A bicycle coordinator shall assist the department in developing rules and plans to enhance the use of the state highway system by bicyclists.

(c)  The commission shall adopt rules relating to use of roads in the state highway system by bicyclists, including provisions for:

(1)  the specific duties of the statewide bicycle coordinator and the regional bicycle coordinators;

(2)  obtaining comments from bicyclists on:

(A)  a highway project that might affect bicycle use;

(B)  the use of a highway for bicycling events; and

(C)  department policies affecting bicycle use of state highways;

(3)  the consideration of acceptable national bicycle design, construction, and maintenance standards on a project in an area with significant bicycle use; and

(4)  any other matter the commission determines necessary to enhance the use of the state highway system by bicyclists.

(d)  A rule adopted under this section may not be inconsistent with Chapter 551.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section 201.9025.  Texas Bicycle Tourism Trails.

(a) The Texas Department of Transportation Bicycle Advisory Committee shall advise and make recommendations to the commission on the development of bicycle tourism trails in this state.  Recommendations on bicycle tourism trails developed under this section:

(1)  shall be made in consultation with the Parks and Wildlife Commission and the Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office;

(2)  shall reflect the geography, scenery, history, and cultural diversity of this state;

(3)  shall maximize federal and private sources of funding for the designation, construction, improvement, maintenance, and signage of the trails and the promotion of bicycle tourism; and

(4)  may include multiuse trails to accommodate equestrians, pedestrians, and other nonmotorized trail users when practicable.

(b)  The department may contract with a statewide bicycle nonprofit organization for assistance in identifying, developing, promoting, or coordinating agreements and participation among political subdivisions of this state to advance bicycle tourism trails.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 161, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  201.903.  Classification, Designation, And Marking Of Highways.

(a) The department may classify, designate, and mark state highways in this state.

(b)  The department may provide a uniform system of marking and signing state highways under the control of the state. The system must correlate with and, to the extent possible, conform to the system adopted in other states.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.904.  Speed Signs.

The department shall erect and maintain on the highways and roads of this state appropriate signs that show the maximum lawful speed for commercial motor vehicles, truck tractors, truck trailers, truck semitrailers, and motor vehicles engaged in the business of transporting passengers for compensation or hire (buses).

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  201.905.  Traffic Safety Signs.

(a) The department may implement a traffic safety program that includes posting signs along the roadside at the 500 sites with the highest number of traffic fatalities. The signs shall be designed by the department and may contain the following information:

(1)  the number of fatalities that occurred at that location in the last 10 years;

(2)  the importance of driving safely and wearing seat belts;

(3)  the importance of not drinking and driving; and

(4)  any other information the department determines is necessary to promote safe driving.

(b)  A program under this section may also include literature distributed to the public by the department.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1214, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  201.906.  Multimodal Road Use.

(a) The department shall conduct a comprehensive analysis of the multimodal use of roads and highways in the state highway system. The analysis shall include the collection of data on users' concerns about road conditions and actual and potential use patterns of roads or highways.

(b)  After the analysis required by Subsection (a) is completed, the department shall initiate and coordinate a campaign to help increase public awareness of traffic safety issues.

(c)  The department shall initiate a program of continuing community involvement sessions to help other state agencies, local decision-makers, interest groups, and the general public improve the state's comprehensive transportation system to include all modes of transportation.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.14, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.14, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 201.905 by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(94), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section 201.907.  Contract For Enforcement.

The department or a public or private entity contracted to operate a toll project may contract with an agency of this state or a local governmental entity for the services of peace officers employed by the agency or entity to enforce laws related to:

(1)  the regulation and control of vehicular traffic on a state highway; and

(2)  the payment of the proper toll on a toll project.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281, Sec. 2.09, eff. June 14, 2005.



Section 201.908.  Removing Or Covering Signs In Construction Or Maintenance Work Zone. (a)

In this section, "construction or maintenance work zone" has the meaning assigned by Section 472.022.

(b)  The department shall remove or cover or require the removal or covering of a sign that restricts the speed limit in a construction or maintenance work zone during any period when no hazard exists that dictates the need for a restricted speed limit.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1086, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 2005.

Renumbered from Transportation Code, Section 201.907 by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87, Sec. 27.001(91), eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 201.909.  Memorial Sign Program.

(a) In this section, "victim" means a person killed in a highway accident involving alcohol or a controlled substance, excluding an operator who was under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

(b)  The commission by rule shall establish and administer a memorial sign program to publicly memorialize the victims of alcohol or controlled substance-related vehicle accidents.

(c)  A sign designed and posted under this section shall include:

(1)  the phrase "Please Don't Drink and Drive";

(2)  the phrase "In Memory Of" and the name of one or more victims in accordance with the commission rule; and

(3)  the date of the accident that resulted in the victim's death.

(c-1)  The sign may include the names of more than one victim so long as the total length of the names does not exceed one line of text.

(d)  A person may request that a sign be posted under this section by:

(1)  making an application to the department on a form prescribed by the department; and

(2)  submitting a fee to the department in an amount determined by the department to help defray the costs of posting the memorial sign.

(e)  If the application meets the department's requirements and the applicant pays the memorial sign fee, the department shall erect a sign.  A sign posted under this section may remain posted for one year.  At the end of the one-year period the department may release the sign to the applicant.  The department is not required to release a sign that has been damaged.

(f)  A sign posted under this section that is damaged shall be removed by the department.  Except as provided in Subsection (g), the department may post a new sign if it has been less than one year from the posting of the original sign and a person:

(1)  submits a written request to the department to replace the sign; and

(2)  submits a replacement fee in the amount provided under Subsection (d)(2).

(g)  During the one-year posting period the department shall replace a sign posted under this section that is damaged because of the department's negligence.

(h)  The commission shall adopt rules to implement this section.

(i)  This section does not authorize the department to remove an existing privately funded memorial that conforms to state law and department rules.  A privately funded memorial may remain indefinitely as long as it conforms to state law and department rules.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 907, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 744, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 201.910.  Memorial Markers For Certain Peace Officers Killed In Line Of Duty.

(a) The commission by rule shall authorize memorial markers honoring peace officers killed in the line of duty who are not Department of Public Safety troopers.  The program established under this section shall be identical to the commission's existing program for memorial markers for honoring Department of Public Safety troopers.

(b)  As used in this section, "peace officer" means a person who was:

(1)  a law enforcement officer or peace officer for this state or a political subdivision of this state under Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, or other law; or

(2)  a federal law enforcement officer or special agent performing duties in this state, including those officers under Article 2.122, Code of Criminal Procedure.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 564, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter L. Electronic Issuance Of Licenses

Section  201.931.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Digital signature" means an electronic identifier intended by the person using it to have the same force and effect as the use of a manual signature.

(2)  "License" includes:

(A)  a permit issued by the department that authorizes the operation of a vehicle and its load or a combination of vehicles and load exceeding size or weight limitations; and

(B)  a license or permit for outdoor advertising issued under Chapter 391 or 394.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.15, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 14A.819, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 933, Sec. 2A.02, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  201.932.  Application For And Issuance Of License.

(a) The commission may by rule provide for the filing of a license application and the issuance of a license by electronic means.

(b)  The commission may limit applicant eligibility under Subsection (a) if the rules include reasonable eligibility criteria.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.15, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  201.933.  Digital Signature.

(a) A license application received by the department is considered signed if a digital signature is transmitted with the application and intended by the applicant to authenticate the license in accordance with Subsection (b).

(b)  The department may only accept a digital signature used to authenticate a license application under procedures that:

(1)  comply with any applicable rules of another state agency having jurisdiction over department use or acceptance of a digital signature; and

(2)  provide for consideration of factors that may affect a digital signature's reliability, including whether a digital signature is:

(A)  unique to the person using it;

(B)  capable of independent verification;

(C)  under the sole control of the person using it; and

(D)  transmitted in a manner that will make it infeasible to change the data in the communication or digital signature without invalidating the digital signature.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.15, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  201.934.  Payment Of Fees.

The commission may adopt rules regarding the method of payment of a fee for a license issued under this subchapter. The rules may authorize the use of electronic funds transfer or a valid credit card issued by a financial institution chartered by a state or the federal government or by a nationally recognized credit organization approved by the department. The rules may require the payment of a discount or service charge for a credit card payment in addition to the fee.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.15, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Subchapter M. Obligations For Certain Highway And Mobility Projects

Section  201.941.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Comptroller's certification" means:

(A)  as to long-term obligations, the certification made under Section 201.943(e); and

(B)  as to short-term obligations, the certification made under Section 201.943(f).

(2)  "Credit agreement" has the meaning assigned by Section 1371.001, Government Code.

(3)  "Fund" means the Texas Mobility Fund.

(4)  "Long-term obligations" means an issue or series of obligations the latest scheduled maturity of which is more than five years.

(5)  "Maximum obligation amount" means the maximum aggregate principal amount of long-term obligations and short-term obligations that the commission may issue from time to time after receipt of the applicable comptroller's certification.

(6)  "Obligations" means bonds, notes, and other public securities.

(7)  "Short-term obligations" means an issue or series of obligations the latest scheduled maturity of which is five years or less.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1213, Sec. 1, eff. Nov. 6, 2001.



Section  201.942.  Administration Of Fund.

The comptroller shall hold the fund, and the commission, through the department, shall manage, invest, use, and administer the fund as provided by this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1213, Sec. 1, eff. Nov. 6, 2001.



Section  201.943.  Authority To Issue Obligations; Purposes; Limitations.

(a) Subject to Subsections (e), (f), and (g), the commission by order or resolution may issue obligations in the name and on behalf of the state and the department and may enter into credit agreements related to the obligations. The obligations may be issued in multiple series and issues from time to time in an aggregate amount not exceeding the maximum obligation amount. The obligations may be issued on and may have the terms and provisions the commission determines appropriate and in the interests of the state. The obligations may be issued as long-term obligations, short-term obligations, or both. The latest scheduled maturity of an issue or series of obligations may not exceed 30 years.

(b)  Obligations must be secured by and payable from a pledge of and lien on all or part of the money in the fund. Obligations may be additionally secured by and payable from credit agreements. The commission may pay amounts due on the obligations from discretionary money available to it that is not dedicated to or appropriated for other specific purposes.

(c)  The commission may create within the fund accounts, reserves, and subfunds for purposes the commission finds appropriate and necessary in connection with the issuance of obligations.

(d)  Obligations may be issued for one or more of the following purposes:

(1)  to pay all or part of the costs of constructing, reconstructing, acquiring, and expanding state highways, including any necessary design and acquisition of rights-of-way, in the manner and locations determined by the commission that, according to conclusive findings of the commission, have an expected useful life, without material repair, of not less than 10 years;

(2)  to provide participation by the state in the payment of part of the costs of constructing and providing publicly owned toll roads and other public transportation projects that are determined by the commission to be in the best interests of the state in its major goal of improving the mobility of the residents of the state;

(3)  to create debt service reserve accounts;

(4)  to pay interest on obligations for a period of not longer than two years;

(5)  to refund or cancel outstanding obligations; and

(6)  to pay the commission's costs of issuance.

(e)  Long-term obligations in the amount proposed to be issued by the commission may not be issued unless the comptroller projects in a comptroller's certification that the amount of money dedicated to the fund pursuant to Section 49-k(e), Article III, Texas Constitution, and required to be on deposit in the fund pursuant to Section 49-k(f), Article III, Texas Constitution, and the investment earnings on that money, during each year of the period during which the proposed obligations are scheduled to be outstanding will be equal to at least 110 percent of the requirements to pay the principal of and interest on the proposed long-term obligations during that year.

(f)  Short-term obligations in the amount proposed by the commission may not be issued unless the comptroller, in a comptroller's certification:

(1)  assumes that the short-term obligations will be refunded and refinanced to mature over a 20-year period with level principal requirements and bearing interest at then current market rates, as determined by the comptroller; and

(2)  projects that the amount of money dedicated to the fund pursuant to Section 49-k(e), Article III, Texas Constitution, and required to be on deposit in the fund pursuant to Section 49-k(f), Article III, Texas Constitution, and the investment earnings on that money, during each year of the assumed 20-year period will be equal to at least 110 percent of the requirements to pay the principal of and interest on the proposed refunding obligations during that year.

(g)  The commission may agree to further restrictions in connection with the issuance of obligations and may retain independent professional consultants to make projections in addition to, but not instead of, those of the comptroller if required as a prerequisite to the issuance of the obligations.

(h)  The commission has all powers necessary or appropriate to carry out this subchapter and to implement Section 49-k, Article III, Texas Constitution, including the powers granted to other bond-issuing governmental agencies and units and to nonprofit corporations by Chapters 1201, 1207, and 1371, Government Code.

(i)  As required by Section 49-k(h), Article III, Texas Constitution, proceedings authorizing obligations and related credit agreements to be issued and executed under this subchapter shall be submitted to the attorney general for approval as to their legality. If the attorney general finds that they will be issued in accordance with this subchapter and other applicable law, the attorney general shall approve them, and, after payment by the purchasers of the obligations in accordance with the terms of sale and after execution and delivery of the related credit agreements, the obligations and related credit agreements are incontestable for any cause.

(j)  A comptroller's certification under this section must be based on economic data, forecasting methods, and projections that the comptroller determines are reliable.

(k)  The holders of obligations and the counterparties to credit agreements have the rights granted in Section 49-k(j), Article III, Texas Constitution.

(l)  Obligations may not be issued if the commission or the department requires that toll roads be included in a regional mobility plan in order for a local authority to receive an allocation from the fund.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1213, Sec. 1, eff. Nov. 6, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281, Sec. 2.08, eff. June 14, 2005.



Section  201.944.  Pledge Of State's Full Faith And Credit.

(a) The commission may guarantee on behalf of the state the payment of any obligations and credit agreements issued under Section 201.943 by pledging the full faith and credit of the state to the payment of the obligations and credit agreements in the event the revenue and money dedicated to the fund pursuant to Section 49-k(e), Article III, Texas Constitution, and on deposit in the fund pursuant to Section 49-k(f), Article III, Texas Constitution, are insufficient for that purpose.

(b)  The exercise of the authority granted by Subsection (a) does not modify or relieve the commission from complying with Section 201.943(e) or (f) and does not permit the issuance of aggregate obligations in an amount exceeding the maximum obligation amount.

(c)  If the commission exercises the authority granted by Subsection (a), the constitutional appropriation contained in Section 49-k(g), Article III, Texas Constitution, shall be implemented and observed by all officers of the state during any period during which obligations and credit agreements are outstanding and unpaid.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1213, Sec. 1, eff. Nov. 6, 2001.



Section  201.945.  Dedication Of Revenue To Fund.

Annually, the revenue of the state that is dedicated or appropriated to the fund pursuant to Section 49-k(e), Article III, Texas Constitution, shall be deposited to the fund in accordance with Section 49-k(f), Article III, Texas Constitution.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1213, Sec. 1, eff. Nov. 6, 2001.



Section  201.946.  Investment And Uses Of Money In Fund.

(a) Money in the fund may be invested in the investments permitted by law for the investment of money on deposit in the state highway fund.

(b)  As a part of its covenants and commitments made in connection with the issuance of obligations and the execution of credit agreements, the commission may limit the types of investments eligible for investment of money in the fund but may not expand the types of investments to include any investments that are not authorized by Subsection (a).

(c)  Income received from the investment of money in the fund shall be deposited in the fund, subject to requirements that may be imposed by the proceedings authorizing obligations to protect the tax-exempt status of interest payable on the obligations under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

(d)  To the extent money is on deposit in the fund in amounts that are in excess of the money required by the proceedings authorizing the obligations and credit agreements to be retained on deposit, the commission may use the money for any purpose for which obligations may be issued under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1213, Sec. 1, eff. Nov. 6, 2001.



Section  201.947.  Strategic Plan.

The commission may not issue obligations under this subchapter before the department has developed a strategic plan that outlines how the money will be used and the benefit the state will derive from use of money in the fund.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1213, Sec. 1, eff. Nov. 6, 2001.



Subchapter N. Highway Tax And Revenue Anticipation Notes

Section  201.961.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Committee" means the cash management committee described in Section 404.122, Government Code.

(2)  "Credit agreement" has the meaning assigned by Section 1208.001, Government Code.

(3)  "Notes" means tax and revenue anticipation notes issued under this subchapter. The term includes any obligation under a credit agreement.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1281, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  201.962.  Notes Authorized; Committee Approval.

(a) In anticipation of a temporary cash flow shortfall in the state highway fund during any fiscal year, the commission, subject to the approval of the committee, may issue, sell, and deliver tax and revenue anticipation notes on behalf of the state.

(b)  Before issuing the notes, the commission shall submit to the committee a state highway fund cash flow shortfall forecast containing a detailed report of estimated revenue and expenditures. Based on the forecast, the committee may approve the issuance of notes in an amount not to exceed the maximum temporary cash flow shortfall forecast.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1281, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  201.963.  Issuance Of Notes.

(a) The commission, consistent with the committee's determination under Section 201.962, may issue, sell, and deliver the notes.

(b)  Notes issued under this subchapter are not debts of the state and may be used only to make up a temporary shortfall in the state highway fund's cash flow. All notes must mature and be paid in full during the fiscal biennium in which they were issued.

(c)  Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, the proceeds of the notes shall be deposited in a special fund in the state treasury known as the highway tax and revenue anticipation note fund. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, depository interest shall be credited to the fund. The department shall transfer the net proceeds from the fund to the state highway fund as necessary to pay authorized expenditures. The comptroller may invest funds in the highway tax and revenue anticipation note fund as authorized under Section 404.024, Government Code. Proceeds of a credit agreement may be deposited as provided by the order authorizing the credit agreement.

(d)  The commission may exercise the powers granted to the governing body of an issuer in connection with the issuance of obligations under Chapter 1371, Government Code, to the extent not inconsistent with this subchapter. The notes are not subject to review by the Bond Review Board but are subject to review and approval by the attorney general as provided by Chapter 1371, Government Code. On request, the comptroller may assist the commission with the issuance of notes under this subchapter.

(e)  The commission is an authorized issuer under Chapter 1201, Government Code, and that chapter applies to notes authorized by this subchapter.

(f)  Amounts in the highway tax and revenue anticipation note fund may be pledged to secure the payment of the notes and performance of obligations under credit agreements relating to the notes and may be used to pay issuance costs and required rebates to the federal government.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1281, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  201.964.  Fund Transfers; Interest; Payment Of Notes.

(a) The department periodically shall transfer cash received in the state highway fund to the highway tax and revenue anticipation note fund to ensure the timely payment of the notes.

(b)  On payment of all outstanding notes, rebates to the federal government, and costs of issuance, the department shall transfer to the state highway fund any amounts remaining in the highway tax and revenue anticipation note fund. If amounts credited to the highway tax and revenue anticipation note fund are insufficient to pay principal, any premium, interest, issuance costs, and any required rebate to the federal government, amounts in the state highway fund are available for appropriation by the legislature to make those payments.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1281, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Subchapter O. Rail Relocation And Improvement

Section 201.971.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Comptroller's certification" means:

(A)  as to long-term obligations, the certification made under Section 201.973(e); and

(B)  as to short-term obligations, the certification made under Section 201.973(f).

(2)  "Credit agreement" has the meaning assigned by Section 1371.001, Government Code.

(3)  "Fund" means the Texas rail relocation and improvement fund.

(4)  "Long-term obligations" means an issue or series of obligations the latest scheduled maturity of which is more than five years.

(5)  "Maximum obligation amount" means the maximum aggregate principal amount of long-term obligations and short-term obligations that the commission may issue from time to time after receipt of the applicable comptroller's certification.

(6)  "Obligations" means bonds, notes, and other public securities.

(7)  "Rail facility" means real or personal property, or any interest in that property, that is determined to be necessary or convenient for the provision of a freight or passenger rail facility, including commuter rail, intercity rail, and high-speed rail.  The term includes all property or interests necessary or convenient for the acquiring, providing, using, or equipping of a rail facility or system, including rights-of-way, trackwork, train controls, stations, and maintenance facilities.

(8)  "Short-term obligations" means an issue or series of obligations the latest scheduled maturity of which is five years or less.

(9)  "Station" means a passenger or freight service building, terminal, station, ticketing facility, waiting area, platform, concession, elevator, escalator, facility for handicapped access, access road, parking facility for passengers, baggage handling facility, or local maintenance facility, together with any interest in real property necessary or convenient for those items.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1070, Sec. 1, eff. November 8, 2005.



Section 201.972.  Administration Of Fund.

The comptroller shall hold the fund, and the commission, through the department, shall manage, invest, use, and administer the fund as provided by this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1070, Sec. 1, eff. November 8, 2005.



Section 201.973.  Authority To Issue Obligations; Purposes; Limitations.

(a) Subject to Subsections (e), (f), and (g), the commission by order or resolution may issue obligations in the name and on behalf of the state and the department and may enter into credit agreements related to the obligations.  The obligations may be issued in multiple series and issues from time to time in an aggregate amount not exceeding the maximum obligation amount.  The obligations may be issued on and may have the terms and provisions the commission determines appropriate and in the interests of the state.  The obligations may be issued as long-term obligations, short-term obligations, or both.  The latest scheduled maturity of an issue or series of obligations may not exceed 30 years.

(b)  Obligations must be secured by and payable from a pledge of and lien on all or part of the money in the fund, including the revenues of the state dedicated or appropriated for deposit to the fund.  Obligations may be additionally secured by and payable from credit agreements.  The commission may pay amounts due on the obligations from discretionary money available to it that is not dedicated to or appropriated for other specific purposes.

(c)  The commission may create within the fund accounts, reserves, and subfunds for purposes the commission finds appropriate and necessary.

(c-1)  If proceeds of obligations are to be used for a project located in the planning area of a metropolitan planning organization, the project must first be approved by the policy board of the metropolitan planning organization.

(d)  Obligations may be issued for one or more of the following purposes:

(1)  to pay all or part of the costs of relocating, constructing, reconstructing, acquiring, improving, rehabilitating, or expanding rail facilities owned or to be owned by the department, including any necessary design, in the manner and locations determined by the commission that according to conclusive findings of the commission have an expected useful life, without material repair, of not less than 10 years;

(2)  to provide participation by the state in the payment of part of the costs of relocating, constructing, reconstructing, acquiring, improving, rehabilitating, or expanding publicly or privately owned rail facilities, including any necessary design, if the commission determines that the project will be in the best interests of the state in its major goal of improving the mobility of the residents of the state and will:

(A)  relieve congestion on public highways;

(B)  enhance public safety;

(C)  improve air quality; or

(D)  expand economic opportunity;

(3)  to create debt service reserve accounts;

(4)  to pay interest on obligations for a period of not longer than two years;

(5)  to refund or cancel outstanding obligations; and

(6)  to pay the commission's costs of issuance.

(d-1)  The fund may also be used to provide a method of financing the construction of railroad underpasses and overpasses, if the construction is part of the relocation of a rail facility.

(d-2)  Proceeds of obligations may not be used to relocate an existing rail line unless the governing bodies of a majority of the total number of counties and municipalities in which the relocated rail line will be located have first approved the relocation.

(e)  Long-term obligations in the amount proposed to be issued by the commission may not be issued unless the comptroller projects in a comptroller's certification that the amount of money dedicated to the fund pursuant to Section 49-o(d), Article III, Texas Constitution, and required to be on deposit in the fund pursuant to Section 49-o(e), Article III, Texas Constitution, and the investment earnings on that money, during each year of the period during which the proposed obligations are scheduled to be outstanding will be equal to at least 110 percent of the requirements to pay the principal of and interest on the proposed long-term obligations during that year.

(f)  Short-term obligations in the amount proposed by the commission may not be issued unless the comptroller, in a comptroller's certification:

(1)  assumes that the short-term obligations will be refunded and refinanced to mature over a 20-year period with level debt service requirements and bearing interest at then current market rates, as determined by the comptroller; and

(2)  projects that the amount of money dedicated to the fund pursuant to Section 49-o(d), Article III, Texas Constitution, and required to be on deposit in the fund pursuant to Section 49-o(e), Article III, Texas Constitution, and the investment earnings on that money, during each year of the assumed 20-year period will be equal to at least 110 percent of the requirements to pay the principal of and interest on the proposed refunding obligations during that year.

(g)  The commission may agree to further restrictions in connection with the issuance of obligations and may retain independent professional consultants to make projections in addition to, but not instead of, those of the comptroller if required as a prerequisite to the issuance of the obligations.

(h)  The commission has all powers necessary or appropriate to carry out this subchapter and to implement Section 49-o, Article III, Texas Constitution, including the powers granted to other bond-issuing governmental agencies and units and to nonprofit corporations by Chapters 1201, 1207, and 1371, Government Code.

(i)  As required by Section 49-o(g), Article III, Texas Constitution, proceedings authorizing obligations and related credit agreements to be issued and executed under this subchapter shall be submitted to the attorney general for approval as to their legality.  If the attorney general finds that they will be issued in accordance with this subchapter and other applicable law, the attorney general shall approve them, and, after payment by the purchasers of the obligations in accordance with the terms of sale and after execution and delivery of the related credit agreements, the obligations and related credit agreements are incontestable for any cause.

(j)  A comptroller's certification under this section must be based on economic data, forecasting methods, and projections that the comptroller determines are reliable.  In determining the principal and interest requirements on outstanding and proposed obligations, and subject to the express limitations of this subchapter and Section 49-o, Article III, Texas Constitution, the comptroller shall rely on the assumptions included in the resolutions authorizing the obligations for the computation of debt service.

(k)  The holders of obligations and the counterparties to credit agreements have the rights granted in Section 49-o(i), Article III, Texas Constitution.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1070, Sec. 1, eff. November 8, 2005.



Section 201.974.  Pledge Of State's Full Faith And Credit.

(a) The commission may guarantee on behalf of the state the payment of any obligations and credit agreements issued under Section 201.973 by pledging the full faith and credit of the state to the payment of the obligations and credit agreements in the event the revenue and money dedicated to the fund pursuant to Section 49-o(d), Article III, Texas Constitution, and on deposit in the fund pursuant to Section 49-o(e), Article III, Texas Constitution, are insufficient for that purpose.

(b)  The exercise of the authority granted by Subsection (a) does not modify or relieve the commission from complying with Section 201.973(e) or (f) and does not permit the issuance of aggregate obligations in an amount exceeding the maximum obligation amount.

(c)  If the commission exercises the authority granted by Subsection (a), the constitutional appropriation contained in Section 49-o(f), Article III, Texas Constitution, shall be implemented and observed by all officers of the state during any period during which obligations and credit agreements are outstanding and unpaid.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1070, Sec. 1, eff. November 8, 2005.



Section 201.975.  Dedication Of Revenue To Fund.

Annually, the revenue of the state that is dedicated or appropriated to the fund pursuant to Section 49-o(d), Article III, Texas Constitution, shall be deposited to the fund in accordance with Section 49-o(e), Article III, Texas Constitution.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1070, Sec. 1, eff. November 8, 2005.



Section 201.976.  Investment And Uses Of Money In Fund.

(a) Money in the fund may be invested in the investments permitted by law for the investment of money on deposit in the state highway fund.

(b)  As a part of its covenants and commitments made in connection with the issuance of obligations and the execution of credit agreements, the commission may limit the types of investments eligible for investment of money in the fund but may not expand the types of investments to include any investments that are not authorized by Subsection (a).

(c)  Income received from the investment of money in the fund shall be deposited in the fund, subject to requirements that may be imposed by the proceedings authorizing obligations to protect the tax-exempt status of interest payable on the obligations under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

(d)  To the extent money is on deposit in the fund in amounts that are in excess of the money required by the proceedings authorizing the obligations and credit agreements to be retained on deposit, the commission may use the money for any purpose for which obligations may be issued under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1070, Sec. 1, eff. November 8, 2005.



Section 201.977.  Strategic Plan.

The commission may not issue obligations under this subchapter before the department has developed a strategic plan that outlines how the money will be used and the benefit the state will derive from use of money in the fund.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1070, Sec. 1, eff. November 8, 2005.



Section 201.978.  Acquisition And Disposal Of Property.

(a) The department may acquire by purchase property or an interest in property necessary or convenient for one or more of the purposes for which obligations may be issued under Section 201.973(d).

(b)  Property acquired under Subsection (a) may be used for any transportation purpose.

(c)  Notwithstanding Chapter 202, the department may sell or lease property acquired under Subsection (a) that is no longer needed for a transportation purpose.  Revenue from a sale or lease shall be deposited in the fund.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1070, Sec. 1, eff. November 8, 2005.



Section 201.979.  "welcome To Texas" Signs.

(a) The department shall erect a "Welcome to Texas" sign to designate the state boundary on an interstate, United States, or state highway entering the state.

(b)  A "Welcome to Texas" sign erected by the department must include the following elements:

(1)  a depiction of the state flag; and

(2)  the phrase "Drive Friendly - The Texas Way."

(c)  A "Welcome to Texas" sign may also include the phrase "Welcome to Texas - Proud Home of Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush."

(d)  Notwithstanding Subsection (c) above, if the president of the United States is a resident of Texas, a "Welcome to Texas" sign erected by the department shall include the phrase "Welcome to Texas - Proud Home of President [insert name of the president of the United States]."

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1041, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2010.



Section 201.980.  Texas Flags At International Ports-of-entry.

(a) The department shall erect and maintain a Texas flag to designate the state boundary at an appropriate location at or near each interstate, United States, or state highway originating at an official port-of-entry along an international border.

(b)  A Texas flag flown under this section shall be visible from the international port-of-entry and must be equal in size or larger than the flag of any foreign nation flown at the port-of-entry operating on the other side of the international border.

(c)  The department may contract with any governmental or private entity for the care and maintenance of any Texas flag flown under this section.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1041, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2010.



Subchapter Y. Department Building Names

Section 201.2001.  Honorable Hilary B. Doran Transportation Building.

The building in which, on June 1, 2009, is located the office of the area engineer for Val Verde County is designated as the Honorable Hilary B. Doran Transportation Building.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1023, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Chapter 202. Control Of Transportation Assets

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  202.001.  Administration.

(a) The commission may maintain state highways.

(b)  A county is:

(1)  not liable for expenses associated with the maintenance of a state highway; and

(2)  not responsible for the supervision of a state highway.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.002.  Funds.

(a) The commission shall use automobile registration fees in the state highway fund to maintain state highways and may not divert funds from automobile registration fees for another use.

(b)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a), if the commission is without sufficient funds from other sources to match the federal aid for roads in the state, the commission may by resolution transfer a sufficient amount from the state highway fund to match the federal aid.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter B. Sale, Exchange, Or Return Of Highway Property

Section  202.021.  Real Property No Longer Needed.

(a) The commission may recommend to the governor the sale or transfer of any interest in real property, including a highway right-of-way, that:

(1)  was acquired for a highway purpose; and

(2)  as determined by the commission, is no longer needed for a state highway purpose.

(b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c), real property shall be transferred or sold with the following priorities:

(1)  to a governmental entity with the authority to condemn the property; or

(2)  to the general public.

(c)  A highway right-of-way shall be transferred or sold with the following priorities:

(1)  to a governmental entity with the authority to condemn the property;

(2)  to abutting or adjoining landowners; or

(3)  to the general public.

(d)  The commission shall:

(1)  determine the fair value of the state's interest in the real property; and

(2)  if the value is $10,000 or more, advise the governor of the value.

(e)  The commission may waive payment for real property transferred to a governmental entity under this section if the estimated cost of future maintenance on the property equals or exceeds the fair value of the property.

(f)  Any revenue from the sale of property under this subchapter shall be deposited to the credit of the state highway fund.

(g)  The governor may execute a deed conveying the state's interest in the property.

(h)  If the commission determines that the value of the real property is less than $10,000, it may authorize the executive director to execute a deed conveying the state's interest in the property without a recommendation to the governor.

(i)  Notwithstanding Subsection (b), Tract 11, Block 49, of the Ysleta Grant located in El Paso County shall be sold to a federally recognized Indian tribe:

(1)  whose reservation is located within counties of this state bordering the United Mexican States; and

(2)  that is not subject to the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 668, Sec. 2, eff. June 20, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 763, Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2005.



Section  202.022.  Notice Of Sale.

Notice of a sale to the general public must be published in the English language:

(1)  once a week for three consecutive weeks, with the final publication occurring not later than the 20th day before the date of the sale; and

(2)  in a newspaper in the county where the property is located.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.023.  Sale Of Real Property By Bid. (a)

A sale to the general public of an interest in real property under this subchapter is by sealed bid and may not be for less than the value determined by the commission under Section 202.021.

(b)  The commission may require that each bidder pay to the commission a bid deposit in an amount and form determined by the commission.

(c)  The commission shall apply the bid deposit to the purchase price of the property for the bid accepted by the commission.

(d)  If for any reason the bidder fails to complete the purchase before the 61st day after the date on which the bidder receives written notice that the state is ready to complete the sale, the bid deposit is forfeited.

(e)  The state shall refund the bid deposit if the state is unable to complete the sale.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.024.  Exchange Of Real Property.

The governor, on the recommendation of the commission, may execute a deed exchanging an interest in real property acquired but not needed for a highway purpose as whole or partial consideration for another interest in real property needed for a state highway purpose.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.025.  Execution Of Deed: Method.

The governor, on the recommendation of the commission, may execute a deed relinquishing and conveying under this subchapter the state's interest in real property as follows:

(1)  if the state's title was acquired by donation, convey to the grantor or the grantor's heirs or assigns;

(2)  if the state's title was acquired by purchase by a county or municipality, convey to the county or municipality, or to the grantor or the grantor's heirs or assigns at the request of the county or municipality;

(3)  if the interest conveyed to the state is only the right to use the property, convey to the owner of the fee in the property;

(4)  if the interest in the property was acquired and held by a county or municipality in its own name for use by the state, quitclaim to the county or municipality any interest that might have accrued to the state by use of the property;

(5)  if there is no record title to the property, quitclaim any interest that might have accrued to the state by use of the property to the county or municipality where the property is located or to abutting property owners at the request of the county or municipality; or

(6)  if necessary to comply with a reversionary clause contained in the instrument that originally conveyed the interest to the state, quitclaim the state's interest.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.026.  Reconveyance Of Property Acquired For Freeway.

(a) The governor, on recommendation of the commission, may execute a deed reconveying the property to the grantor or the grantor's heirs or assigns, if, not later than 12 months after the date the property is acquired for use as an approach-way to an urban freeway, the commission determines that the property is not needed for a highway purpose because of relocation of the approach-way.

(b)  The sale price for the property must be the same as the purchase price paid by or for the state plus six percent annual interest from the date the original purchase price was paid.

(c)  When the commission determines that the property is not needed for a highway purpose, it shall send written notice to the grantor, at the grantor's address at the time of acquisition.

(d)  Not later than the second anniversary of the date the notice is mailed, the grantor or the grantor's heirs or assigns may request in writing that the state reconvey the property to them.

(e)  If the commission does not receive a request to reconvey the property before the expiration of the period, the commission may dispose of the property at a public sale.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.027.  Reimbursement To County Or Municipality.

(a) If real property owned by the state and sold under this subchapter was acquired by a county or municipality and if a part of that acquisition cost was reimbursed to the county or municipality by the state, the department may pay the county or municipality a percentage of the proceeds of the sale that is equal to the percentage of the value or cost not reimbursed to the county or municipality at the time of the initial acquisition.

(b)  Reimbursement under this section applies only to real property that the commission determines was never used for the purpose for which it was acquired.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.028.  Correction Of Error Or Ambiguity In Instrument.

(a) The governor, on the recommendation of the commission, shall execute and deliver a quitclaim deed, correction deed, or other conveyance necessary to resolve an ambiguity or error in an instrument that conveyed an interest in real property to the state for a highway right-of-way.

(b)  The ambiguity or error may be for any reason, including a metes and bounds description that is incomplete or incorrect.

(c)  The ambiguity or error must be of sufficient consequence to raise doubt as to the location or extent of the interest conveyed, or must have resulted in the acquisition of real property or an interest in real property not intended to be included and not needed for a highway purpose.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.029.  Rights Of Public Utility Or Common Carrier.

Under this subchapter, if the state sells, conveys, or surrenders possession of real property that is being used by a public utility or common carrier having a right of eminent domain for right-of-way and easement purposes, the sale, conveyance, or surrender of possession of the real property is subject to the right and continued use of the public utility or common carrier.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.030.  Approval Of Transfers.

(a) The attorney general must approve a transfer or conveyance that is made under this subchapter if the value of the real property transferred or conveyed is $10,000 or more.

(b)  The state's right to full and exclusive right of possession of all retained rights-of-way may not be infringed or lessened in any way by a transfer or conveyance made under this subchapter.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 668, Sec. 3, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  202.031.  Expenses.

(a) The person requesting the sale of an interest in property or the grantee in a deed issued under this subchapter shall pay expenses incurred by the department, including handling, appraising, or advertising the sale.

(b)  The department may not process a request or deliver a deed until the expenses under Subsection (a) are paid.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.032.  Rules.

The commission may adopt rules to implement this subchapter and to provide requestor refunds.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.033.  Transfer Of Historic Bridge.

(a) In this section, "historic bridge" means a bridge that is included on or eligible to be included on the National Register of Historic Places.

(b)  The department may transfer ownership of a historic bridge scheduled for replacement to a governmental entity or a responsible private entity. The entity that accepts ownership of the bridge:

(1)  assumes all legal and financial responsibility for the bridge; and

(2)  must maintain and preserve the bridge and its historic features.

(c)  The department may not transfer a bridge under this section unless it first reviews the proposed recipient's intended use of the bridge and determines that the bridge can be safely used for that purpose.

(d)  The following laws do not apply to a transfer under this section:

(1)  Chapter 2175, Government Code;

(2)  Section 202.030(a); and

(3)  Section 202.031.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 668, Sec. 4, eff. June 20, 2003.



Subchapter C. Leases, Easements, And Agreements Concerning Highway Property

Section  202.051.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Highway asset" means an interest in real property that is held or controlled by the department for a highway or department purpose.

(2)  "Rest area" means an area of public land designated by the department as a rest area, comfort station, picnic area, or roadside park.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.052.  Lease Authority.

(a) The department may lease a highway asset, part of a right-of-way, or airspace above or underground space below a highway that is a part of the state highway system if the department determines that the interest to be leased will not be needed for a highway purpose during the term of the lease.

(b)  The lease may be for any purpose that is not inconsistent with applicable highway use.

(c)  The department shall charge not less than fair market value for the highway asset, payable in cash, services, tangible or intangible property, or any combination of cash, services, or property.

(d)  The department may authorize exceptions to the charges under Subsection (c) for:

(1)  the lease of a highway asset to a public utility provider;

(2)  a lease for a social, environmental, or economic mitigation purpose; or

(3)  a lease to an institution of higher education for a purpose of the institution.

(e)  In this section, "institution of higher education" has the meaning assigned by Section 61.003, Education Code.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.10(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.19, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  202.053.  Lease Of Highway Assets: Terms.

(a) The department may determine all terms of the lease except:

(1)  a tenant may not be required to post a bond or security for a lease in an amount in excess of six months' rental under the lease; and

(2)  the lease must allow the tenant to mortgage or otherwise pledge or grant a security interest in the leasehold to secure financing for the acquisition of the leasehold and for the construction and operation of an improvement permitted under the lease.

(b)  The department may not convey title to, or sever from the real property, any permanent improvement constructed on the area leased under this subchapter.

(c)  The lease may:

(1)  contain a provision for early termination, at the option of either party, with or without cause; and

(2)  provide that the right of one party to terminate without cause before the stated termination date may be conditioned on the payment of an amount negotiated by the parties and specified in the lease.

(d)  In evaluating the consideration proposed by a tenant, the department may consider the value of any real property the tenant proposes to donate or convey for a highway purpose.

(e)  Subject to rules of the commission to preserve safety and scenic beauty, a tenant may erect and maintain signs and other advertising displays relating to a business conducted on the leasehold.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.054.  Revenue From Leases.

The department shall deposit payments received under a lease under this subchapter to the credit of the state highway fund.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.055.  Lease Of Rest Areas.

(a) The department may lease a rest area to a person engaging in sales, services, or other commercial activities that serve the needs of the traveling public.

(b)  The department shall require the person to maintain the rest area in a proper manner and repair promptly any damage to the rest area caused by the person or a customer of the person, or pay to the state all expenses incurred by the department in repairing the damage.

(c)  The department shall adopt rules to implement this section.

(d)  Section 94.002, Human Resources Code, does not apply to a lease authorized under this section.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.056.  Certain Oil And Gas Leases Prohibited.

The commission may not enter into an oil and gas lease for real property owned by the state that was acquired to construct or maintain a highway, road, street, or alley.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.057.  Conveyance Of Easement Or Interest For Flood Control.

(a) The commission may, on request of an officer of the United States or the county judge of an affected county, convey without monetary consideration to the United States, or to a county that has agreed to convey real property or an interest in real property to the United States under an Act of Congress, an easement or interest in that property if:

(1)  the state acquired the property for use as a right-of-way for a state highway in a county that borders on the United Mexican States, or in a county adjacent to such a county; and

(2)  the property is used or is proposed to be used by that county or the United States for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a system to control flood waters of a navigable stream of the state.

(b)  If the state does not own fee simple title to the property, the commission may join and consent to an easement to be used for a flood control purpose if the owner of the fee has executed an easement.

(c)  The commission may execute a necessary deed, conveyance, or agreement, to be signed by the chair of the commission as provided by commission order, for flood control purposes under this section.

(d)  In lieu of the monetary consideration waived by Subsection (a), the commission may make a reservation or agreement for the construction, reconstruction, alteration, operation, or maintenance of a structure or facility used or projected to be used for a highway purpose on real property that is needed for a flood control purpose.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 140, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  202.058.  Agreement To Use Or Cultivate Right-of-way.

(a) The department may agree with the owner of real property abutting or adjoining property acquired by the department for the right-of-way of a road in the state highway system, allowing the owner to use or cultivate a portion of the right-of-way not required for immediate use by the department.

(b)  An agreement must be in writing and may provide for:

(1)  use or cultivation of the property;

(2)  construction of improvements on the property;

(3)  placement of fences on the property; and

(4)  other matters.

(c)  The director or the director's authorized representative and the owner of the property shall execute the agreement.

(d)  The department may not execute an agreement that would impair or relinquish the state's right to use the property for a right-of-way purpose when the property is needed to construct or reconstruct the road for which it was acquired.

(e)  Use by the owner of adjoining or abutting property under this section is not abandonment of the property by the department.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.059.  Mowing, Baling, Shredding, And Hoeing Material On Right-of-way.

(a) A department district engineer, on request of a person, may, but is not required to, permit the person to mow, bale, shred, or hoe material on the right-of-way of a portion of a state highway that is in the district supervised by that engineer.

(b)  If the person requesting permission under Subsection (a) is not the owner of the real property adjacent to the right-of-way that is the subject of the request, the district engineer must first provide the owner of the property the option of mowing, baling, shredding, or hoeing material on the right-of-way before granting permission to another person.

(c)  A person permitted to mow, bale, shred, or hoe the right-of-way may not receive compensation for the mowing, baling, shredding, or hoeing but is entitled to use or dispose of the hay or other material produced.

(d)  The state, the department, and the district engineer are not liable for any property damage, personal injury, or death resulting from the performance of a service or agreement under this section.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.060.  Living Logos; Pilot Project.

(a) The commission may adopt rules implementing a pilot project for the leasing of state highway right-of-way, subject to any applicable federal regulation of outdoor advertising, as a location or locations for commercial advertising by means of a floral mosaic living logo.

(b)  Rules adopted under this section shall:

(1)  provide for the award of a lease in a manner that maximizes revenue to the state;

(2)  regulate the content, composition, placement, installation, and maintenance of a floral mosaic living logo;

(3)  set a bond for faithful performance of the lessee;

(4)  provide for the public safety;

(5)  ensure that installation and maintenance of a floral mosaic living logo will not interfere with access to, or be inconsistent with the use of, abutting property; and

(6)  include such other matters as may be necessary to protect the integrity of the involved highway.

(c)  A floral mosaic living logo installed or placed under this section may not contain a message, symbol, or trademark that resembles an official traffic-control device.

(d)  This section applies to state highway right-of-way in a county with a population of 500,000 or more.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.16, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section 202.061.  Environmental Covenant.

(a) The commission may enter into an environmental covenant for the purpose of subjecting real property in which the department has an ownership interest to a plan or the performance of work for environmental remediation if the plan or work performed is first approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality or a federal agency with the authority to approve the plan or work under the applicable laws and regulations.

(b)  The environmental covenant must:

(1)  contain a legally sufficient description of the property subject to the covenant;

(2)  describe the nature of the contamination on or under the property, including the contaminants, the source, if known, and the location and extent of the contamination; and

(3)  describe the activity and use limitations on the property.

(c)  The plan or performance of work for environmental remediation must:

(1)  meet applicable state and federal standards for environmental remediation; and

(2)  bring the property into compliance with zoning or land use controls imposed on the property by each applicable local government.

(d)  For each property for which the commission may enter into an environmental covenant, the commission by order may authorize the executive director to execute an environmental covenant on behalf of the commission.  Not less than 30 days before the date the commission considers a proposed order under this subsection, the commission must mail to each owner of a property interest in the applicable property, each adjacent landowner, and each applicable local government a notice that includes a clear and concise description of the proposal to enter into the environmental covenant and a statement of the manner in which written comments may be submitted to the commission.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 743, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter D. Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement

Section  202.081.  Definition.

In this subchapter "reclaimed asphalt pavement" means hot mix asphalt pavement and any accompanying tack coat, seal coat, or chip seal removed as millings or broken pavement pieces from a road during construction, reconstruction, or repavement under the authority of the department.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  202.082.  Disposal Of Asphalt.

(a) The department shall dispose of all reclaimed asphalt pavement from a road in the state highway system in the most cost-effective and environmentally sensitive manner the department considers appropriate, giving priority to political subdivisions of this state for the maintenance, development, and construction of public works projects.

(b)  Disposal of reclaimed asphalt pavement under this section is not subject to:

(1)  Chapter 2175, Government Code; or

(2)  the statutory or regulatory authority of the comptroller formerly exercised by the General Services Commission.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.11(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 937, Sec. 1.111, eff. September 1, 2007.



Subchapter E. Telecommunications Facilities

Section  202.091.  Definition.

In this subchapter, "telecommunications" means any transmission, emission, or reception of signs, signals, writings, images, or sounds of intelligence of any nature by wire, radio, optical, or other electromagnetic systems.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.20, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  202.092.  Use Of Department Facilities. Not

withstanding any other law, a telecommunications provider may not place or maintain its facilities or otherwise use improvements, including structures, medians, conduits, or telecommunications equipment or lines, constructed or installed by the state as components of the state highway system except by a lease under Section 202.052 or an agreement under Section 202.093.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.20, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  202.093.  Agreement.

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, the department may enter into an agreement with a telecommunications provider allowing the provider, for the provider's commercial purposes, to:

(1)  place the provider's telecommunications facilities within the median of a divided state highway; or

(2)  place lines within or otherwise use telecommunications facilities owned or installed by the state in or on the improved portion of a state highway, including a median, structures, equipment, conduits, or any other component of the highway facilities constructed or owned by the department.

(b)  An agreement entered into under Subsection (a) may provide for compensation between the department and the telecommunications provider in the form of cash or the shared use of facilities.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.20, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  202.094.  Competitive Sealed Proposal.

(a) Before entering into an agreement with a telecommunications provider under this subchapter, the department shall follow a procedure using competitive sealed proposals.

(b)  The department shall solicit proposals by a request for proposals and shall publish notice of the request in at least two newspapers of general circulation and in the Texas Register.

(c)  The proposals shall be opened so as to avoid disclosure of contents to competing offerors during the process of negotiation. After a contract is awarded, all proposals that have been submitted shall be open for public inspection subject to Subchapter C, Chapter 552, Government Code.

(d)  The department may discuss an acceptable or potentially acceptable proposal with an offeror to assess the offeror's ability to meet the solicitation requirements. After the submission of a proposal but before making an award, the department may permit the offeror to revise the proposal in order to obtain the best final offer. The department may not disclose any information derived from proposals submitted from competing offerors in conducting discussions under this section. The department shall provide each offeror with an equal opportunity for discussion and revision of proposals.

(e)  The department shall make a written award of a contract to the offeror whose proposal is the most advantageous to the state, considering price and the evaluation factors in the request for proposals, except that if the department finds that none of the offers is acceptable, it shall refuse all offers. The contract file must state in writing the basis on which the award is made.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.20, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  202.095.  Applicability.

(a) Subtitle D, Title 10, Government Code, does not apply to a procurement under this subchapter.

(b)  This subchapter does not limit a telecommunications provider from placing lines or facilities in the unimproved portion of state highway right-of-way to the extent authorized by applicable law.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.20, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  202.096.  Revenue.

The department shall deposit in the state highway fund any revenue received under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.20, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  202.097.  Rulemaking.

The commission shall adopt rules for the implementation of this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1171, Sec. 1.20, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Subchapter F. Advance Acquisition Of Property

Section  202.111.  Definition. In

this subchapter, "advance acquisition" means an acquisition by the commission under Section 202.112.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 3.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  202.112.  Advance Acquisitions.

(a) The commission may purchase an option to acquire property for possible use in or in connection with a transportation facility, including a facility as defined by Section 227.001, before a final decision has been made as to whether the transportation facility will be located on that property.

(b)  An advance acquisition shall be made by the commission using the procedures authorized under Subchapter D of Chapter 203 or other law authorizing the commission or the department to acquire real property or an interest in real property for a transportation facility. If the commission acquires real property or an interest in real property under Subchapter D of Chapter 203 or other law, the commission may make an advance acquisition in the manner provided by this subchapter.

(c)  The commission may not make an advance acquisition by condemnation.

(d)  An option to acquire property purchased under this section or Section 227.041 may not expire later than the fifth anniversary of the date the option was purchased and may be renewed for subsequent periods that expire not later than the fifth anniversary of the date the option was renewed, by agreement of the commission and the grantor of the option or the grantor's heirs or assigns.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 3.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281, Sec. 2.06, eff. June 14, 2005.



Section  202.113.  Disposal Of Surplus Property.

The commission shall dispose of property acquired by advance acquisition that is not needed for a transportation facility in the manner provided by Subchapter B.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 3.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  202.114.  Management.

If requested by the department, property acquired by advance acquisition may be managed by the General Land Office on behalf of the department as the department and the General Land Office may agree. Subchapter E, Chapter 31, Natural Resources Code, does not apply to property acquired under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 3.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.


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