Over the past several years, the Texas Legislature has passed multiple measures to address the issue of heavy energy sector traffic on roads and bridges.

County Transportation Infrastructure Fund

Senate Bill 1747 (83rd Legislature, Regular Session, 2013) established TxDOT’s County Transportation Infrastructure Fund grant program and authorized TxDOT to distribute $224.5 million among eligible counties that applied for funding. The bill included an allocation formula based on energy-related activities in individual counties. TxDOT began the implementation process shortly after the bill was enacted by creating both internal and external stakeholder groups to ensure an all-inclusive, big-picture approach.

The bill outlined the grant distribution formula and required grants to be distributed among the counties using the following formula:

  • 20 percent according to weight tolerance permits, as determined by the Department of Motor Vehicles
  • 20 percent according to oil and gas production taxes, as determined by the comptroller
  • 50 percent according to well completions, as determined by the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC)
  • 10 percent according to the volume of oil and gas waste injected, as determined by the RRC

Of the 254 counties in Texas, all of which were eligible to receive funds, TxDOT received applications from 191. The Commission awarded grants to those counties in April 2014. Legislation required counties to establish a County Energy Transportation Reinvestment Zone and identify matching funds.

Proposition 1

On Nov. 4, 2014, Texas voters approved the ballot measure known as Proposition 1 (Prop 1), authorizing a constitutional amendment for transportation funding. Under the amendment, a portion of oil and gas tax revenues that typically went into the Economic Stabilization Fund (also known as the Rainy Day Fund) are now deposited to the State Highway Fund. A portion of this new road funding has been allocated to energy sector needs.

For fiscal year 2015, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts certified that $1.74 billion would be available for transfer to the State Highway Fund. TxDOT began awarding contracts for Prop 1–funded projects in March 2015 and let all the first round Prop 1 projects by the end of 2015.

For fiscal years 2016 – 2017, the General Appropriations Act (84th Legislature, Regular Session, 2015) authorized Prop 1 funds to be allocated by the following percentages:

  • 45 percent distributed to metropolitan planning organizations to address mobility and added capacity in urban areas
  • 25 percent distributed to TxDOT districts to address regional connectivity in rural areas
  • 20 percent distributed to TxDOT districts to address maintenance needs
  • 10 percent distributed to TxDOT districts for roadway safety and maintenance in areas of the state impacted by the energy sector