(a) The department may agree with an authority to provide for or contribute to the payment of costs of financial or engineering and traffic feasibility studies and the design, financing, acquisition, construction, operation, or maintenance of a turnpike project or system on terms agreed on by the commission or department, as applicable, and the authority. The agreement may not be inconsistent with the rights of the bondholders or persons operating the turnpike project under a lease or other contract.
(b) The department may use its engineering and other personnel, including consulting engineers and traffic engineers, to conduct feasibility studies under Subsection (a).
Terms Used In Texas Transportation Code 370.301
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
- Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
(c) An obligation or expense incurred by the commission or department under this section is a part of the cost of the turnpike project for which the obligation or expense was incurred. The commission or department shall require money contributed by the commission or department under this section to be repaid. The commission or department may require the money to be repaid from tolls or other revenue of the turnpike project on which the money was spent. Money repaid as required by the commission or department shall be deposited to the credit of the fund from which the contribution was made. Money deposited as required by this section is exempt from the application of Section 403.095, Government Code.
(d) The commission or department may use federal money for any purpose described by this chapter. An action of an authority taken under this chapter must comply with the requirements of applicable federal law, including provisions relating to the role of metropolitan planning organizations under federal law and the approval of projects for conformity with the state implementation plan relating to air quality, the use of toll revenue, and the use of the right-of-way of and access to federal-aid highways. Notwithstanding an action of an authority taken under this chapter, the commission or the department may take any action that in its reasonable judgment is necessary to comply with any federal requirement to enable this state to receive federal-aid highway funds.
(e) A turnpike project developed by an authority may not be part of the state highway system unless otherwise agreed to by the authority and the department.
(f) The commission may loan department money to an authority for the acquisition of land for or the construction, maintenance, or operation of a turnpike project. The commission shall require the authority to repay money loaned under this section. The commission may require the money to be repaid from toll revenue or other sources on terms established by the commission.
(g) Money repaid as required by the commission shall be deposited to the credit of the fund from which the money was provided. Money deposited as required by this section is exempt from the application of Section 403.095, Government Code.