Records Appraisal Report:
Department of Transportation, Texas Turnpike Authority Division
reports and studies, feasibility analyses

Contents of this report
Agency Contact | Record Series Review

Internal link to series review
Reports and studies, feasibility analyses

Archival finding aid
Texas. Department of Transportation, Texas Turnpike Authority Division: An Inventory of Texas Turnpike Authority Division Feasibility Studies and Proposals at the Texas State Archives, 1972-2005 (not inclusive).

June 6, 2008, Laura K. Saegert, Appraisal Archivist

Agency contact

This agency contact information was current at the time of the report but may have changed in the interim. Please call (512-463-5455) for current contact information of the agency's records manager or records liaison for these records.

Thomas MacMorran, Records Management Officer

Record Series Review

Records Series Review
Series Title: Reports and studies, feasibility analyses

Obsolete record series? No

Ongoing record series? Yes

Annual accumulation: unknown

Agency holdings: This is just a small part of the agency's reports series covering a single type of report, consisting of two cubic ft.

This series consists of feasibility analyses or studies undertaken by the Texas Turnpike Authority and later the Texas Turnpike Authority Division of the Texas Department of Transportation for building or altering roads or bridges that would ease traffic congestion or provide new avenues of access to a particular area, and generate revenue to offset the construction costs. Dates covered are 1972, 1976, 1978-1979, 1985-1986, 1989-1990, 1996-1997, 2000, 2003, and 2005. Consultants prepared most, if not all of the studies. Feasibility studies were typically prepared at the request of local or regional authorities for long-range transportation planning goals. Types of studies undertaken include Bolivar Channel crossing feasibility analysis, initial assessment of Houston tollways, proposal for a statewide toll collection system, toll rate study of the Houston Ship channel bridge, exploratory investigations of the Offatts Bayou Bridge, proposed development of State Highway 45 toll road and the US 183-A toll road, and others. Information found in the studies can include cost analysis and revenue projections, environmental impact data, maps of proposed routes, structural analysis of affected structures, traffic capacity analysis, shipping lane studies, technical drawings, and the scope of the construction. Staff at the agency could not say if all of these studies resulted in completed or even accepted projects. Some projects were undertaken by the department, such as the construction of State Highway 45 and US 183-A toll roads in central Texas.

Feasibility analyses were typically prepared at the request of local or regional authorities for long-range transportation planning goals.

Agency program:
The Texas Department of Transportation, in cooperation with local and regional officials, is responsible for planning, designing, building, operating and maintaining the state's transportation system. This involves the planning, designing, and right-of-way acquisition of state highways and other modes of transportation, plus transportation research to save lives and money; highway and bridge construction, and airport improvements; the maintenance of roadways, bridges, airports, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and ferry systems; public transportation, vehicle titles and registration, vehicle dealer registration, motor carrier registration, traffic safety, traffic information, and auto theft prevention.

The Texas Highway Department was created in 1917 (House Bill 2, 35th Legislature, Regular Session) to stimulate building and improvement of roads throughout the state. The Federal Aid Road Act of July 11, 1916 (39 Stat. 355; 16 U.S.C. 503; 23 U.S.C. 15, 48), signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, initiated federal aid for highways with the requirement that each state receiving aid have a state highway department that controlled the building of roads. The Department was to administer federal funds to counties for state highway construction and maintenance and to provide for state motor vehicle registration, fees from which were to generate the state's required matching funds. The department began operation on June 4, 1917. After gathering information at public hearings over that summer the commission proposed an 8,865-mile state highway network. Further influence from the national level came with the Federal Highway Act of 1921, which required state highway departments to control the design, construction and maintenance of roads rather than Texas' practice of allowing counties to undertake the work themselves with oversight from department engineers.

In 1969, the Legislature created the Texas Mass Transportation Commission (House Bill 738, 61st Legislature, Regular Session) to develop public mass transportation in Texas. This agency was merged with the Highway Department in 1975, creating the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation (Senate Bill 761, 64th Legislature, Regular Session). An executive order of May 1976 transferred the Governor's Office of Traffic Safety to the Department. The Texas Department of Transportation was created in 1991 (House Bill 9, 72nd Legislature, 1st Called Session), merging the Texas State Department of Highways and Public Transportation, the Texas Department of Aviation (created as the Texas Aeronautics Commission in 1945, name changed to Texas Board of Aviation in 1989); and the Texas Motor Vehicle Commission (created in 1971). In 1997 the Texas Turnpike Authority merged with the Texas Department of Transportation (Senate Bill 370, 75th Legislature, Regular Session).

The Texas Department of Transportation's governing body is the Texas Transportation Commission, originally composed of three-members, increased to five in 2003 (Senate Bill 409, 78th Texas Legislature, Regular Session). Commissioners are representatives of the general public appointed by the governor with advice and consent of the senate for overlapping six-year terms. Since 2003, one of the members must represent rural Texas. The positions are part-time salaried positions, and the chair (appointed by the governor) was originally called the commissioner of transportation; since 2003, each member is referred to as a commissioner.

The Texas Turnpike Authority (TTA) Division strives to improve mobility and safety through the development and operation of a safe, reliable and cost-effective system of toll roads using private-sector partners and financing options to accelerate project delivery. It is responsible for feasibility studies, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of tolled turnpikes, bridges, and tunnels at locations with high traffic volume. A TTA Board exists, consisting of six members appointed by the governor as well as the chair of the Texas Transportation Commission as an ex-officio member. Board members serve staggered six-year terms and are independent of the Transportation Commission.

Sources include: Guide to Texas State Agencies, 11th edition (2001); An Informal History of the Texas Department of Transportation, Hilton Hagan, 2000 (previously available on the TXDOT Website, the link has since been removed) and divisional administrative information, found at, accessed in June 2008.)

Reports are arranged by project.

Access constraints: None

Use constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? None

Problems: None known

Known related records in other agencies: None known

Previous destructions:
Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records: Unknown

Internet pages based on records: Not at this time

Series data from agency schedule: or Suggested series from state Records Retention Schedule:
Title: Reports and studies
Series item number: 1.1.067
Agency item number: ADM09
Archival code: R
Retention: 3

Archival holdings:
We do not have any other series of feasibility studies. We do have one series of Texas Turnpike Authority records:

Texas Turnpike Authority, Minutes, 1978-1996, bulk 1980-1996, 0.94 cubic ft.

Texas Documents Collection holdings:
According to agency staff, these were not sent to the State Publications Depository.

Gaps: None known

Appraisal decision:
This series consists of feasibility studies undertaken by the Texas Turnpike Authority and later the Turnpike Authority Division of the Texas Department of Transportation for building or altering roads or bridges that would ease traffic congestion or provide new avenues of access to a particular area, and generate revenue to offset the construction costs. The studies vary in scope but all provide useful and sometimes valuable information about the area being studied, especially when discussing impacts to the environment, analyzing structural changes, or discussing other changes to the area if the proposed project were undertaken. These could provide some valuable insight into the planning processes of regional or local areas; they could also provide a historical analysis of areas affected. Even though it is possible some of the projects were never undertaken, the studies show how the area existed at that point in time. I recommend we accept these reports and future feasibility studies of this nature from the agency. Because this is just one type of report present in the reports and studies series we cannot make an absolute archival determination on this series. It will need to retain its archival code of "R."

The appraisal recommendation was approved and reports were transferred to the State Archives.

Page last modified: August 31, 2011