As of October 1, 2016, the SWUTC concluded its 28 years of operation and is no longer an active center of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The archived SWUTC website remains available here.


SWUTC Research Project Description

Maintaining Project Consistency with Transportation Plans Throughout the Project Life-cycle with an Emphasis on Maintaining Air Quality Conformity

University: Texas A&M University

Principal Investigator:
Reza Farzaneh
Texas Transportation Institute
(512) 467-0946

Funding Source: SPR Program

Total Project Cost: $99,446

Project Number: 0-6758

Date Started: 9/1/12

Estimated Completion Date: 8/31/13

Project Summary

Project Abstract:
Streamlined project delivery is one of the goals outlined by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) leadership to achieve an efficient and effective transportation system in Texas.  Any unnecessary delay in the project delivery process may exacerbate the cost of the project.  This issue is especially critical for projects in nonattainment and maintenance areas since individual projects conformity is directly linked to consistency of those projects with appropriate transportation plans and improvement programs; i.e., a project is no longer conforming to the State Implementation Plan if it becomes inconsistent with the Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Transportation Improvement Plan or State Implementation Plan/Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan.  This results in withholding of federal funding from the Federal Highway Administration/Federal Transit Administration which in turn causes significant delays in project delivery.  This study will provide TxDOT with a Project Consistency Guidebook including procedures and tools required for conducting a project consistency analysis and communications by different TxDOT units as part of the TxDOT Project Development Process.  This will help TxDOT to avoid the risk of conformity re-evaluation or failure caused by project re-design during the project development process as well as to implement improved work processes as one of the stated goals of TxDOT’s modernization effort.

Project Objectives:
The project will provide TxDOT with an understanding of:

  • Information describing how project consistency and regional and project level conformity relate to each other and to project implementation;
  • Key elements of TxDOT project development process (PDP) with regards to project level conformity;
  • Current practices for communicating project planning, development, and conformity among district and division personnel involved in projects;
  • Current shortfalls in understanding about these processes and how they interact and affect project progress toward implementation; as well as
  • A procedure to address and improve communications and understanding within the TxDOT PDP process.

Task Descriptions:

Task 1: State-of-the-Practice Assessment

Task 2: Current Practices in Ensuring Projects’ Consistency with Transportation Plans and Air Quality Conformity

Task 3: Assess TxDOT’s Project Development and Delivery Process Purpose

Task 4:  Develop a Project Consistency Guidebook for TxDOT and Partner Agencies Purpose

Task 5: Develop Training Material and Conduct a Pilot Workshop

Task 6: Prepare Project Documentation

Implementation of Research Outcomes:
The research team organized and conducted four training workshops in Houston, El Paso, and Dallas District offices; and at the 2014 TxDOT Environmental Conference in Galveston. In addition to the training slides, the participants received the Project Consistency Guidebook, which documents procedures, tools, and recommendations to prevent and address project inconsistencies throughout the project development process. The research team collected and documented feedback from the participants. Researchers then finalized the training materials based on workshop feedback. The research team submitted the final training materials to TxDOT’s Human Resources Training Program for inclusion in the TxDOT employee training catalog and the TxDOT iWay training system.

Impacts/Benefits of Implementation:
This implementation project supports streamlined project delivery, one of the goals outlined by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) leadership to achieve an efficient and effective transportation system in Texas. The project benefits TxDOT divisions, districts, and metropolitan planning organizations during the project development process.

Web Links:

Final Technical Report