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RULE §11.58Connection with Regionally Significant Highway

(a) Purpose. A public or private entity may not connect a regionally significant highway to a segment of the state highway system without the approval of the commission. This section prescribes the procedure by which the commission will consider approval.

(b) Request. An entity seeking approval to connect a regionally significant highway to a segment of the state highway system must send a written request to the executive director. The request must include a detailed schematic indicating the location of the connection, including an overpass, underpass, intersection, or interchange, and the location of the logical termini of the connection.

(c) Approval criteria. The commission will approve a request made under this section if:

  (1) the highway to be connected is identified in a conforming Transportation Improvement Program;

  (2) the requestor agrees to design and construct the connection in compliance with subsection (d) of this section; and

  (3) the requestor satisfies the applicable requirements under subsection (e) of this section concerning public involvement and a study of the social, environmental, and economic impacts of the connection.

(d) Design and construction. The requestor shall design and construct the connection in accordance with the schematics required by subsection (b) of this section and §26.33(d), (f), and (g) - (l) of this title (relating to Design and Construction), which for the purposes of this subsection apply as if the requestor were a regional mobility authority.

(e) Environmental review and public involvement.

  (1) This subsection applies only to construction activities and utility adjustments related to the proposed connection that are:

    (A) within rights of way owned by the department; and

    (B) if a terminus of the proposed connection is outside of the department's right of way, between the terminus and the department's right of way.

  (2) This subsection does not apply to a project developed by a county or other local governmental entity under Transportation Code, §228.011 or §228.0111, or that the department funds solely with money held in a project subaccount created under Transportation Code, §228.012.

  (3) The requestor, as project sponsor, shall perform and document all environmental studies, environmental compliance, and public involvement activities arising as a result of construction of the proposed access connection. The requestor will not perform its environmental compliance and public involvement activities under memoranda of agreement, programmatic agreements, or other environmental agreements between the department and a state or federal agency. The requestor shall apply for, obtain, and comply with all permits and approvals required by state and federal law, and shall establish all commitments needed to address public, state agency, and federal agency concerns.

  (4) The requestor's environmental documents, environmental studies, environmental compliance, and public involvement activities must comply with the requirements of Chapter 2, Subchapter A, of this title (relating to Environmental Review and Public Involvement for Transportation Projects).

  (5) The requestor shall submit the environmental documentation, including supporting documents, to the department, and request the department review the environmental documentation. The department shall review the environmental documentation and supporting documents and shall determine whether or not the requestor has completed agency coordination relating to the environmental impact of the proposed access connection, and has responded to public comments relating to the connection. If the department determines that the requestor has not demonstrated completion of agency coordination or response to public comment related to the connection, the requestor shall provide any additional documentation requested by the department. The commission will not grant access connection until the requestor satisfies the requirements of this paragraph.

  (6) If Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations specify that a project or connection requires FHWA approval, the requestor shall perform all environmental and public involvement activities as the project sponsor, and shall produce an environmental document that meets FHWA requirements.

Source Note: The provisions of this §11.58 adopted to be effective February 18, 2010, 35 TexReg 1297

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