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Enhancement Categories

In order for a proposal to qualify for Transportation Enhancement funds, projects must fit into one of the following Enhancement project categories.

1. Facilities For Pedestrians And Bicycles

This category includes providing facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians through a new or proposed transportation project or improving existing transportation facilities beyond what is necessary for safety. The safe accommodation of pedestrians and bicyclists should be implemented during the design, development, and construction of all Federal-Aid Transportation Projects. Because Transportation Enhancement projects under this activity must relate to transportation by function, projects that are solely recreational are not eligible for funding. The design of all facilities must be consistent with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) standards.

Project Examples: acquisition, development, and construction of separate bicycle and pedestrian facilities, on or off road right-of-ways, or in relation to transit facilities; construction of new sidewalks to ADA standards; widening curb lanes or re-striping to create wider curb lanes and/or bicycle lanes; paving shoulders for bicycle use; providing access to public transit; parking facilities for project use only; bicycle lockers; and 4 bikeways or pedestrian paths which separate these modes of travel from the motorized transportation system.

Federal Laws allows for funding participation in the preservation of abandoned rail corridors, including the conversion and use thereof for pedestrian and bicycle trails. However, this enhancement activity is restricted in Oklahoma by Executive Order, resulting in an amendment to the Transportation Commission Rules as relating to the Enhancement Program.

2. Safety and Educational Activities for Pedestrians and Bicyclist

This funding category involves education and development of resources which will magnify the public's awareness of innovative safety development in regard to pedestrians and bicyclists.

Project Examples: the development of Bicycle Manuals, Bicycle Rodeos, Helmet Programs, production of Safety Poster and Pedestrian Maps.

3. Acquisition of Scenic Easements and Scenic or Historic Sites

Projects in this category include the use of funds for purchase, donation, transfer, or trade of land that possesses significant aesthetic, natural, visual or open space values, including acquisition of lands and property listed in, or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Contact with the State Historic Preservation Officer is necessary to confirm status. Funds may be used for planning and transaction costs including appraisals, surveys, legal costs or purchase costs.

Funds may only be used where the applicant agrees to enforce appropriate mechanisms to preserve the significant scenic and historic values.

Project Examples: acquisition of a scenic easement, scenic site or historic site that enhances the transportation experience as part of the transportation system; acquisition of a historic bridge, transportation terminal, or land around a historic site adjacent to a scenic highway.

4. Scenic or Historic Highway Program Including the Provisions of Tourist and Welcome Center Facilities

This category includes funding for the protection and enhancement of state or federally designated scenic or historical highways. Funds may be used only for projects that will protect and enhance the scenic, historical, cultural, natural and archeological integrity and visitor appreciation of an existing highway and adjacent area. Funds may also be used for the planning, design and development of new state scenic byway programs, as well as the construction and rehabilitation of Tourist and Welcome Center Facilities.

Project Examples: interpretive plaques; restoration of historic lighting standards; historic aesthetic treatment on retaining walls and guardrails; aesthetically pleasing bridge rails for use on scenic highways or in areas of high visual sensitivity. Projects that are not eligible include: construction of safety rest areas; additional lanes, construction of new scenic or historic highway; or lighting that does not have historic impact.

5. Landscaping and Other Scenic Beautification

This category includes landscape planning, design and construction of projects that enhance the aesthetic or ecological resources along highways, other transportation corridors, points of access, and lands in proximity to other Transportation Enhancement projects.

Projects which enhance the attractiveness of a transportation facility include planning, design and construction of scenic vistas and overlooks, restoration of historic landscapes, and construction of landscapes which are compatible with their surroundings. Projects which enhance the ecological balance along a transportation corridor include planning, testing and planting for restoration, or reintroduction of native plant communities and appropriate adaptive species. Activities associated with interpreting sites and providing information about the programs through which resources are preserved are also eligible for enhancement funding.

Project Examples: moving trees outside of clear zones and into more attractive, safer locations; retrofitting existing noise barriers with landscaping; replacement of a utilitarian bridge with another of appropriate architectural qualities in a setting which calls for more than a utilitarian design; roadside ecological viewing areas; development of aesthetically pleasing bridge rails; entrance/exit planting to communities; under grounding overhead utilities.

Funds should not be used for: routine, incidental or maintenance activities such as mowing; tree pruning and removal; soil stabilization; construction of noise barriers; drainage improvement; and post-construction finish work, such as replanting and reseeding. Seeding and planting vegetation for erosion control would not constitute an eligible landscaping enhancement project.

For landscaping projects that fall within state right-of-way, it is necessary to contact /coordinate with the appropriate ODOT division office and eliminate difficulties arising from location and types of planting.

6. Historic Preservation

Historic Preservation projects should enhance the transportation system by improving the ability of the public to appreciate the historic significance of the project itself or the areas served by the project. Each project must relate to the transportation relationship requirement.

Eligible activities under this category include; identification, evaluation, documentation, acquisition, protection, management, rehabilitation, interpretation, restoration, and stabilization of any historic register district site, structure, or landscape. Such project can include any combination of these activities or may be combined with other program eligible activities. To be eligible for this category, the project must be included, or subject to inclusion, on the National Register of Historic Places. Contact with the State Historic Preservation Officer is required to confirm eligibility status.

All projects must follow historic preservation principles. Any rehabilitation or restoration work must meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Rehabilitation.

7. Rehabilitation & Operation of Historic Transportation Building Structures, Facilities Including Historic Railroad Facilities and Canals

Projects within this category should enhance the transportation system by improving the ability of the public to appreciate the historic significance of the project itself or the area to be served by the project. Projects must relate to the Intermodal transportation system by function, proximity, or impact to be eligible for funding. Proximity alone does not automatically qualify a National Register eligible property for Transportation Enhancement funds. The property must also have a definable historic transportation relationship.

Within this category are all aspects of historic preservation, including identification, evaluation, and management of any transportation related historic districts, sites, structures, objects, or landscapes; included in, or eligible for, inclusion on the National 6 Register of Historic Places. Contact with the State Historic Preservation Officer is necessary to confirm status.

Historic transportation buildings are buildings or related structures associated with the operation, use, construction, or maintenance of any mode of transportation, and listed in, or eligible for listing in, the National Register of Historic Places. Contact with the State Historic Preservation Officer is necessary to confirm status

Project Examples: tunnels, bridges, trestles, embankments, rails or other guide way, non-operational vehicles, canal viaducts, tow paths and locks, stations, and other manmade transportation features related to the operation, use, construction, or maintenance of any mode of transportation.

Rehabilitation is defined as the process of returning the property to a state which allows a possible contemporary use while preserving the significant historic features of that property. Operation is defined as the provision of access and service in a manner related to both the continuation of a contemporary transportation or non-transportation use consistent with the historic character of the property and open to the general public on a not-for-profit basis.

8. Control and Removal of Outdoor Advertising

Expenditures made to remove existing signs, displays, and devices shall be made according to a legal process that bases payment on an equitable appraisal. Priority should be given to the removal of outdoor advertising signs, displays, and devices on designated scenic roads or in areas where local or state laws or ordinances ban new billboards, and/or in conjunction with other transportation enhancement projects.

In using funds under this category, additional resources may be used to ensure that new outdoor advertising signs, displays, and devices are permitted only in areas actually used for commercial and industrial purposes.

9. Archaeological Planning and Research

This category includes, but is not limited to: research on sites eligible for transportation enhancement funds; experimental projects in archaeological site preservation and interpretation; planning to improve identification, evaluation, and treatment of archaeological sites; problem-oriented synthesis using data derived from (though not limited to) transportation-related archaeological projects; development of national and regional research designs to guide future surveys; data recovery and synthetic research; and projects having similar purposes carried out in partnership with other federal, state, local and tribal government agencies and non- governmental organizations.

Expenditures should be used for research or interpretation of sites associated with transportation facilities, and for excavation when applicable.

10. Environmental Mitigation to Address Water Pollution Due to Highway Runoff or to Reduce Vehicle-Caused Wildlife Mortality While Maintaining Habitat Connectivity

This category is limited to facilities and programs minimizing pollution from storm water run-off from transportation facilities that are in addition to current requirements and procedures for such mitigation.

11. Establishment of Transportation Museums

Projects within this funding category should emphasize the transportation system by providing a collection of documents and artifacts chronologizing the evolution and 7 significance of transportation as it relates to the Intermodal Transportation System throughout history.

The facility must (1) be a legally organized not-for-profit institution or part of a not-forprofit institution of government entity; (2) be essentially educational in nature; (3) have a formally stated mission; (4) have at least one full-time paid professional staff member who has museum knowledge and experience and is delegated authority and allocated financial resources sufficient to operate the museum effectively; (5) present regularly scheduled programs and exhibits that use and interpret objects for the public according to accepted standards; (6) have a formal and appropriate program of documentation, care, and use of collections and / or tangible objects; and (7) have a formal and appropriate program of presentations and maintenance of exhibits.

Project Examples: the establishment of a facility, restoration and improvement of an existing facility, the acquisition of documents, artifacts and equipment necessary for interpretation. The funds are not intended to reconstruct, refurbish, or rehabilitate existing museums or portions of museums, that are not for transportation purposes. Funding does not extend to projects which are independent of the Intermodal Transportation System.

The museum must be open to the public and run by a public or non-profit organization. If entry fees are charged for access to the museum, a portion of the fees must be provided for the long-term maintenance and operation of the facility.

HOMESpecial ProgramsEnhancement ProgramCategories