Written by Phil Cerroni
While the Texas Department of Transportation continues to connect Texas communities through the development and expansion of critical roadways, the agency also is helping provide some much-needed improvements in cities across the Lone Star State.
TxDOT is now accepting applications for the federally-funded Transportation Enhancement Program to aid communities across the state. Up to $70 million is available to fund the improvement of areas in communities that are associated with transportation. Such projects include pedestrian and bicycle trails, the rehabilitation of historic railroad facilities, landscaping near roadways and even preventative care to protect water resources from highway runoff.
Eligible projects must demonstrate a relationship to the surface transportation system. Projects must incorporate one of the following 12 categories:
Pedestrians and bicycles facilities
Safety and education activities for pedestrians and bicyclists
Acquisition of scenic easements and scenic and historic properties
Scenic or historic highway programs (including providing tourist and welcome center facilities)
Landscaping and other scenic beautification
Rehabilitation and operation of historic transportation buildings, structures, or facilities (including historic railroad facilities and canals)
Preservation of abandoned railway corridors (including conversion and use for pedestrian and bicycle facilities)
Control and removal of outdoor advertising
Archaeological planning and research
Environmental mitigation to address water pollution due to highway runoff or reduce vehicle caused wildlife mortality while maintaining habitat connectivity
Establishment of transportation museums.
Selected projects are eligible for reimbursement of up to 80 percent of allowable costs. The entity nominating a project is responsible for the remaining cost share, including cost overruns. Submissions will be accepted until 5 PM CST on Nov. 16. Applications should be submitted to local TxDOT district offices.