Thornton: Toll Opponents to Blame for 281 Toll Road

Thornton: Toll Opponents to Blame for 281 Toll Road

tells legislative committee that 'litigation' filed by anti toll groups drove up the project's costs

By Jim Forsyth, WOAI

Former Mayor Bill Thornton, who now heads the toll road planning Regional Mobility Authority, today blamed toll road opponents themselves for the fact that the 281 expansion project is being built as a toll road, 1200 WOAI news reports.

"While allegations have been made that previously planned improvements could have been fully funded without tolling, delays in the project, caused in part by litigation over environmental issues, initiated by TURF (Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom, an anti toll group) and others, corresponding cost escalations due to inflation and highway construction costs, has eliminated the possibility of paying through the improvements through the traditional gas tax," Thornton said.

Thornton made his surprising comments to the Joint Legislative Committee on Toll Projects meeting at UTSA.

Anti toll groups have long claimed that building overpasses for through traffic at the major intersections on U.S. 281 would have cost roughly $140 million, far less than the estimated $1.3 billion cost of the 281 North Tollway, which was approved in December.

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Anonymous said...

This theory of building overpasses is what I have imagined for all the PHASE II toll roads. Why the need to build a full on tollway system when they can just construct overpasses atop the traffic lights on 183E, 290E, and 71E, etc.??? Then when more gas tax money is available over the next decade, add additional lanes. What's causing all the bottlenecks and congestion right now are the traffic lights, not necessarily the amount of lanes. What the hell is wrong with the city "leaders" of Austin anyways?? Let's just toll every single road in the city from now on!

Anonymous said...

What's Thornton's take -- follow the money! Thornton's (and other San Antonio trolling conspirators') con is obviously to deflect criticism away from him(them)self and the true roots of the tolling issues and create animosity towards their adversaries who happen to be defending the common good lieu greedy special interests

Anonymous said...

Blame the victim. Common technique to screw the public. Read "Toxic Sludge is Good for You" and the section on Keep America Beautiful.