TxDOT can assume oversight and administrative responsibility for certain FHWA projects. It made such an assumption over the 290/610 project in December 2014.
Title 23 of the United States Code sets forth the federal statutes for federal aid highways. Normally the FHWA oversees and has responsibility for these projects even though the Houston public only sees TxDOT. 23 U.S.C. 327 set up a Pilot Program in 2005 for 5 states to assume federal responsibilities for certain federal aid highway programs. TxDOT and FHWA entered a Memorandum of Understanding dated Dec. 16, 2014, and executed by FHWA and TxDOT for TxDOT to assume the federal responsibilities for the 290/610 highway project. TxDOT may enter into such agreements for other Houston District projects. This is generally NOT a good thing for Texas residents. The move is thought to reduce federal costs and TxDOT time in litigation. TxDOT had to waive sovereign immunity and agree to be sued in federal court.
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FHWA and TxDOT MOU dtd Dec 16 2014