Texas Department of Transportation

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT, pronounced "tex-dot") is a government agency in the American state of Texas. Though the public face of the agency is generally associated with the construction and maintenance of the state's immense state highway system, the agency is also responsible for overseeing aviation,[1] rail,[2] and public transportation[3] systems in the state.

Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)
Agency overview
Preceding agencies
  • Texas Highway Department
  • Texas Department of Highways and Public Transportation
Headquarters125 East 11th Street, Austin, Texas
Agency executive
  • James Bass, Executive Director
Parent agencyState of Texas

At one time, TxDOT also administered vehicle registration;[4] but this function transferred to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, a state agency which began operations in November 2009.[5][6]

The agency has been headquartered in the Dewitt C. Greer Building at 125 East 11th Street in Downtown Austin, Texas, since 1933.[7]


The Texas Legislature created the Texas Highway Department in 1916 to administer federal highway construction and maintenance. In 1975, its responsibilities increased when the agency merged with the Texas Mass Transportation Commission, to form the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation.[8][9]

In 1986, the department started using "Don't Mess with Texas" as its slogan to reduce littering on Texas roadways, as part of a statewide advertising campaign. The phrase was prominently shown on road signs on major highways, as well as in television, radio, and print advertisements. The slogan is still in use and remains very popular.[10]

In 1991, the Legislature combined the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation, the Department of Aviation, and the Texas Motor Vehicle Commission to create the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).[11]

In 1997, the pre-existing Texas Turnpike Authority (TTA) was divided into two successor agencies: the North Texas Tollway Authority took responsibility for TTA assets in four North Texas counties, while the Turnpike Authority Division of Texas DOT was given jurisdiction over toll facilities in the rest of the state.[12]

In 2009, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles was created by the state legislature,[13] taking over some functions from TxDOT.


With approximately 12,000 employees, The executive director is currently James Bass.[14] Previously Bass served as chief financial officer since 2005. He is assisted by one deputy director and four assistant executive directors. The current interim Deputy Executive Director is Marc Williams.[15] The department is organized into 25 geographical districts and 34 divisions.


TxDOT is one of the state's largest departments in terms of the number of subordinate offices ā€“ it maintains 25 geographical districts throughout the state. The large number of departments is needed due to the large size of the state, the widely varying climate and soil conditions affecting public roads, and the differing needs of the local populace (urban vs. suburban vs. rural). In 2010, TxDOT was reorganized into four regions, North, South, East, and West. The regions are designated as Regional Support Centers. The number of districts remained the same. Each district, managed by a district engineer, is responsible for the design, location, construction, and maintenance of its area transportation systems. Local field offices within districts are known as area offices, and many districts also have separate maintenance offices, usually on a county-by-county basis. Functional divisions and offices headquartered in Austin provide administrative and technical support to the districts.



  • Aviation[16]
  • Bridge
  • Civil Rights
  • Communications
  • Compliance
  • Construction
  • Contracts and Purchasing
  • Design
  • Environmental Affairs
  • Financial Management
  • Fleet Operations
  • General Counsel
  • General Services
  • Government Affairs
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Internal Audit
  • Maintenance
  • Maritime
  • Occupational Safety
  • Professional Engineering Procurement Services
  • Project Finance and Debt Management
  • Public Transportation
  • Rail
  • Real Estate Management and Development
  • Research and Technology Implementation
  • Right of Way
  • Strategic Contract Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Support Services
  • Toll Operations
  • Traffic Operations
  • Transportation Planning and Programming
  • Travel Information


Every month, TxDOT publishes Texas Highways, a magazine aimed at showcasing various aspects of the state, often by providing interesting travel information on a specific stretch of highway (or highways) in the state. TxDOT also publishes the annual Texas Travel Guide, which offers points of interests for all regions of Texas.

Horizon is a quarterly journal focusing on transportation policy issues and financing in particular.

See also

  • Texas portal
  • Transportation portal


  1. "Aviation Division". Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 22, 2009.
  2. "Rail Safety Inspection Program". Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 28, 2007.
  3. "Public Transportation Division". Texas Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on May 22, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2007.
  4. "Vehicle Registration". Texas Department of Transportation.
  5. "Texas Legislature Creates a New State Agency". Drivers & Vehicles. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 26, 2012. Divisions and functions moving from TxDOT to the TxDMV: Automobile Burglary & Theft Prevention Authority... Motor Vehicle... Motor Carriers... Vehicle Titles & Registration
  6. "About the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles". Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Retrieved December 26, 2009.
  7. "Contact Us". Texas Department of Transportation.
  8. Texas Highway Department: An Inventory of Highway Department Records at the Texas State Archives, 1920sā€“1930s, 1962ā€“1975. http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/20021/tsl-20021.html
  9. Departmental Information Exchange (1987). "History of the Texas Highway Department in Hidalgo County" (PDF). State Department of Highway and Public Transportation.
  10. "Don't Mess with Texas: The Campaign".
  11. Huddelston, John D. (June 15, 2010). "Texas Department of Transportation". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  12. Spock, Linda M. & Liff, Sally Diane (1998). Tolling Practices for Highway Facilities. Transportation Research Board. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-309-06816-1 ā€“ via Google Books.
  13. "About Us". Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  14. "Texas Transportation Commission Names James Bass as New TxDOT Executive Director". Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  15. "Deputy Executive Director". Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  16. "Divisions". Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
  17. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
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