(1) The department may advance available funds for the preparation of preliminary engineering plans with valid cost estimates, which plans and estimates shall be completed prior to the issuance of any bonds on all revenue-producing transportation projects. However, the department shall be reimbursed for the costs incurred for such preparation from the proceeds of the bond issue.
(2) The department shall not use or pledge the moneys in the State Transportation Trust Fund on any revenue-producing transportation project without legislative approval. This limitation on pledging such moneys shall in no way impair the ability of the department or the counties to enter into covenants to complete transportation projects from all other legally available funds.
(3) No state bonds shall be sold for any revenue-producing transportation project if the proceedings authorizing such bonds include a covenant to complete by the department from the moneys in the State Transportation Trust Fund until the department has made cost estimates based on the most current information available after approval of the final environmental impact statement for such project and has determined based on such estimates that the projected available funds for any such project, excluding the use of such moneys pursuant to a covenant to complete, are sufficient to pay for such project. Toll increases of 20 percent every fifth year or as determined by the Division of Bond Finance may be used in conjunction with the calculation of projected available funds. No additions shall be made to any revenue-producing project for which a covenant to complete from such moneys has been made which would expand the scope of such project unless such additions are specifically approved by the Legislature. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “project scope” means the terminal points, the number of interchanges, and grade separations as approved by the Legislature. No contingency funds in the construction trust fund for any revenue-producing project for which a covenant to complete from such moneys has been made shall be expended for any purpose other than such project until the completion of such project; however, such funds may be expended for other purposes if permitted by the proceedings authorizing such bonds and if the department certifies to the Executive Office of the Governor that such contingency funds are not required for the completion of the project and are available and sufficient for such other purposes and the Executive Office of the Governor approves such certification in writing to the department.
(4) In any lease-purchase agreement or trust indenture, which includes a covenant to complete by the department from the moneys in the State Transportation Trust Fund, the department shall provide for the expeditious repayment of any and all costs incurred by the department as a result of the covenant to complete the transportation project. Such agreements shall provide for such repayment from excess tolls or constitutional gas tax proceeds not required for payment of principal, interest, reserves, and other required deposits for the bonds and for the annual reimbursement from tolls or other local moneys or both, to the extent legally available, of all operating and maintenance costs of the facilities, as provided by the applicable provisions of the State Constitution and the bond proceedings. A lease-purchase agreement must also include a statement that changes to the operating characteristics of the project toll-collection system cannot be made without the concurrence of the department, if such changes would affect department personnel and finances.
(5) The provisions of subsections (3) and (4) do not apply to any revenue-producing project approved by the Legislature prior to July 1, 1978.