The Unified Transportation Program (UTP) is TxDOT's ten-year programming document to authorize and guide transportation project development and construction on Texas' intermodal transportation network. It is updated, and adopted by the Texas Transportation Commission annually.
The UTP includes funding strategies and projects to maintain and preserve the existing transportation system and taxpayer investments. The UTP also includes funding strategies and projects to construct transportation infrastructure. The UTP document can be viewed on TxDOT's website.
It takes several years for a project to be constructed once the need for that project has been identified. The following steps are elements of the project development process from conception to construction/implementation:
- Demographic, census, traffic data has indicated the need for a project.
- The project is scoped in general terms and listed in a long range plan and may receive plan authority from TxDOT. Projects may remain in the plan authority stage for up to 10 years.
- TxDOT identifies available funding for the project. After funding has been generally identified, a project may now receive develop authority and be placed in the UTP.
- Projects may remain in the development stage for up to 7 years while the following is completed:
- PS&E (Plans, Specifications and Estimates)
- Right-of-Way (ROW) acquisition
- Local agreements (if required)
- Environmental clearance (NEPA)
- Public involvement
- The project receives construct authority and is placed in the TIP/STIP with all sources of funding to complete the project phases for projects to be let to construction/implemented within 1 to 4 years.
- The project has all funds identified/ committed, all local agreements in place, required rights-of way (ROW) are purchased, environmental clearance (including completion of public involvement), etc., and may then go to construction.
As required to maintain fiscal constraint, the STIP (and TIPs contained therein) should include projects for which full funding is reasonably anticipated to be available in order to construct, complete, implement, operate and maintain the projects.