Trouble in TxDOT/RMA Paradise.

This report is from a SA citizen I've known for a year. He attended the Alamo RMA meeting Wednesday.

VERY INTERESTING INSIGHT on how RMA's (toll authorities) and TxDOT are NOT getting along. And, how TxDOT continues to give RMA's misleading information and the small matter of the $85 Million shortfall:

Sal, "We are under the impression that we might be the first citizens to show up and speak at one of the RMA meetings!

Pat Driscoll with the Express News was there, and a Channel 4 WOAI TV camera was there briefly.

One of the RMA board members Bob Thompson said that TxDOT’s public meetings aren’t addressing the issues that the public wants to hear about.

Another board member Christina Rodriguez who has a nurse’s degree said she related to the benzene problem and that TxDOT has addressed aquifer protection. We plan to follow up on this with her.

Things did not go well for the RMA today. With the increase in costs, they learned today that they are not projected to have enough money to build the starter roads, and certainly don’t have enough to do the expanded network. There is a shortfall of $85M.

Hope Andrade, the new Transportation Commission member was there. The RMA complained to TxDOT about not being part of the CDA negotiations and for just now – at a public meeting – learning about the shortfall. Tom Griebel (RMA Executive Director) suggested that some erroneous information came from TxDOT, and David Casteel said he didn’t know where the information came from. The RMA also complained about the design work not be accomplished fast enough. The Bexar County Commissioners are not happy with what is going on.

RMA Chairman Bill Thornton, after looking at the financial projections, said that the toll road was “either going to fold or kick tolls up beyond belief."

TxDOT expects to let a contract for the first segment on 281 between 1604 and Stone Oak this September, although it is not clear at this point what the role of the RMA is. Expect more public meetings being held by TxDOT late August or September on the other toll projects." - BB

Last week's SA Express article on how TxDOT is keeping the ARMA in the dark.

WED. UPDATE: Costs spiral to push RMA to accept secret 50 year privatization and tolling of publicly owned freeway's right of way.

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