Heritage, Volume 12, Number 4, Fall 1994 Page: 24
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Transportation Enhancement Program Offers
Historical Preservation Opportunities
An innovative federal transportation
administered statewide by
the Texas Department of
Transportation and finalized last
June, has provided much-needed
funds for numerous state historical
And the good news is that there TEXA
is still more money to be C U
allocated to other worthwhile
preservation projects, are
funded through the Surface
Transportation Program, administered
for the U.S. Department
of Transportation by the
Federal Highway Administration.
The Intermodal Surface
Transportation Efficiency Act
of 1991 (ISTEA) acknowledges
the link between transportation decisions
and preserving and enhancing significant
natural and cultural resources.
Texas Department of Transportation
officials say that overall $180 million will
be allocated for enhancement projects. The
first round of projects were selected in early
spring of this year, with nearly half of the
available money being allocated at that
time. More than 50 historical preservation
or restoration projects, targeting both rural
and metropolitan areas from across the
state, were included in the 110 projects
that received ISTEA money in the spring.
The restoration projects have a wide scope
and include several courthouse and historic
bridge restorations, railroad projects,
and building acquisitions.
Texas Department of Transportation
officials anticipate that three more program
calls will be issued in the future and
that up to $30 million could be awarded
Projects undertaken with ISTEA enhancement
funds are eligible for reimbursements
of up to 80 percent of allowable
costs, which generally consists of project
development and implementation costs.
The rest must be furnished locally through
a public authority.
Eligible projects must have a direct rela
tionship to the intermodal transportation
system but not necessarily to a currently
planned highway project.
Several of the enhancement categories
focus on historical preservation. The scenic
or historic highway programs includes
projects for the protection and enhancement
of the scenic, historic, cultural, natural,
and archaeological aspects of scenic or
The historic preservation category includes
all aspects of preservation, such as
identification, evaluation, documentation,
curation, acquisition, protection, management,
rehabilitation, interpretation, restoration,
stabilization, and maintenance of
historic properties. Historic properties are
classified as sites, structures, objects, landscapes,
or districts included in or eligible
for inclusion in the National Register of
Another category, rehabilitation and
operation of historic transportation buildings,
structures, or facilities, including historic
railroad facilities and canals, encompasses
all historic transportation buildings,
other structures, and facilities related
to the operation, use, construction, or
maintenance of any mode of transportation.
The historic properties must be listed
in or eligible for listing in the National
Register of Historic
planning and research
category includes archaeological
and research on sites
eligible for enhance/s
ment funding. It also
cies, includes experimental
projects in archaeologiNatua
Re cal site preservation and
sion. Interpretation, and improvement
Nomi evaluation, and treatment
W W W~ The evaluation and
scoring for eligible
projects is performed by
visi oa six-member committee
composed of representatives
from several Texas state agencies,
including the Department of Transportation,
General Land Office, Department
of Commerce, Historical Commission,
Parks and Wildlife Department, and
Natural Resource Conservation Commission.
The projects are evaluated in terms of
quality and scope in each of three benefit
areas: economic, environmental, and social.
Nomination forms and information regarding
deadlines and schedules should be
directed to the Texas Department of
Transportation Environmental Affairs Division
or local district offices. For general
information on the Surface Transportation
Program and future program calls,
contact the Texas Department of Transportation,
ISTEA Enhancements, 125 East
11 th Street, Austin, Texas 78701-2483 or
call (512) 416-2606.
Collage above created by Pat St. George, with
adaptions of drawings by: EdAiken, Caddoan
Indian, Texas Archaeology Awareness
Week Brochure, Austin: Texas Historical
Commission, 1993; E.M. Schiwetz, SanJuan
Capistrano, San Antonio, Atlas of Texas,
Austin: University of Texas, 1976.Texas
Department of Transportation.
24 HERITAGE * FALL 1994
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 12, Number 4, Fall 1994, periodical, Autumn 1994; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45414/m1/24/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.