Texas Department of Transportation:
An Inventory of Department of Transportation Selected Building Facility Bid Proposals at the Texas State Archives, 1985, 1993-1997
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), in cooperation with local and regional officials, is responsible for planning, designing, building, operating and maintaining the state's transportation system. This involves planning, designing, and acquiring right-of-way for state highways and other modes of transportation; researching issues to save lives and solve problems; constructing bridges and improving airports; and maintaining roadways, bridges, airports, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and ferry systems. Other functions carried out by TxDOT include 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 Texas Legislature, Regular Session) to stimulate the 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 follow 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 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 Design Division guides the development of construction projects, from preliminary engineering to the completion of plans, specifications and estimates for construction bidding. The division also manages federal funds and letting schedules, as well as oversees professional services contracts. The Construction Division provides general oversight of the letting, management and administration of highway construction contracts.
(Sources include: Guide to Texas State Agencies, 11th edition (2001); An Informal History of the Texas Department of Transportation, by Hilton Hagan (2000) (previously available on the TxDOT website, the link has since been removed); and divisional information, found on the agency's website ( http://www.dot.state.tx.us/about_us/) accessed June 2008.)
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), in cooperation with local and regional officials, is responsible for planning, designing, building, operating and maintaining the state's transportation system. This includes the design and construction of facilities for TxDOT to use in carrying out its functions. Records are successful bid proposals for significant renovations or additions to existing buildings owned by the Texas Department of Transportation, or construction of new facilities for TxDOT, dating 1985, 1993-1997. The proposals contain specifications, cost estimates, project time lines, and other construction data. Some proposals are accompanied by reduced building plans and drawings. According to the agency, all of these projects were completed. Projects include the renovation of the Judge Roy Bean Visitors Center and Opera House in Langtry, additions and/or improvements to the Austin Headquarters and the Greater Houston Traffic Management Center, additions to department structures at Camp Mabry in Austin, additions and/or improvements to regional offices or maintenance facilities in several cities, and construction of new facilities for the agency, generally at the district or regional level. Blueprints and drawings are maintained at the agency for the life of the asset; engineering or other technical data is maintained at the agency for an unspecified length of time, basically as long as it is needed for any repairs or improvements.
To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.
Restrictions on Access
Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.
Restrictions on Use
Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).
(Identify the item), Texas Department of Transportation selected building facility bid proposals. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession number: 2008/154
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas Department of Transportation on June 13, 2008.
Laura K. Saegert, June 2008
These records were appraised as archival by State Archives staff on June 6, 2008. The Archives staff is keeping selected building proposals, with the Archives staff choosing which projects will be documented and which reports can be disposed of. For more information, see the appraisal report. A copy of the appraisal report is online at http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/appraisal/index.html or in paper at the State Archives reading room.
Annual transfers of proposals are anticipated.
Detailed Description of the Records