"TxDOT is doing a little better job working some legislators."

TxDOT moves forward
on Trans-Texas Corridor 69

by Will Lutz, The Lone Star Report

Both the Republican and Democratic platforms oppose it vigorously, with the former going so far as to demand an investigation into why it continues.

The Legislature revolted against it, forcing a compromise with the governor.

Candidates for Texas House and Senate either run from it as fast as possible or run against it.

Yet the Texas Department of Transportation is continuing full-speed ahead.

It’s, of course, the Trans-Texas Corridor. The Texas Transportation Commission voted June 26 to take the next step toward building an addition to the corridor (the Interstate 69 Corridor), and — believe it or not — the political fallout may be muted.

The commission awarded a Comprehensive Development Agreement to Zachry American Infrastructure and ACS Infrastructure to plan Interstate 69 from the Brownsville area to Texarkana. The commission action does not actually authorize construction of the road, only the production of a plan for the road’s segments, including the financing.

As usual, TxDOT put on a dog-and-pony show about the joys of the contract. And the long-term consequences of TxDOT’s actions remain to be determined. Here’s what we know so far:

TxDOT is doing a little better job working with some legislators. Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Carona (R-Dallas) told LSR he was briefed in advance about TxDOT’s actions. That’s a dramatic improvement for an agency whose board chairman, less than two years ago, wouldn’t even meet with Carona until he was confronted about it in public at the House Transportation Committee meeting.

The action follows the letter of the moratorium. There is an important fact about the moratorium, passed in 2007 as part of SB 792 that many do not realize. It is not a moratorium on the Trans-Texas Corridor. It is a moratorium on “permitting the private participant to operate the toll project or collect revenue from the toll project.” TxDOT can plan. It just can’t toll.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the only infrastructure the Europeans should own over here are our trains. Amtrak is downright embarrassing except in the Northeast. It's slow, stinky, costs more than planes, and is slower than taking a horse and buggy between many regions, no kidding. Passenger trains go everywhere in Europe- the beaches of the French Riviera, walking distance to the ski resorts in Switzerland and Austria (yeah, no paying $100 a day to rent a 4WD like we do in the US), every small and big party town in Spain, the oom pa pa drunk and fun city center of Munich, and also, directly to many major airports like Amsterdam Schipol. The SLOW (well, conventional) ones go 80 mph and the fast go 120-160mph. It's so easy and cheap to travel around Europe by train and I wish we had this here. No airport delays due to bad weather either. No roundtrip requirements, no advance purchase. Just decide and go. Change your mind if you want- no $100 change fee, $50 baggage fee either. The only problem- people smoke too damn much on the french NON smoking train cars! I'd be happy to have a European owned and operated passenger rail here in the US to compete with some of our inefficient airlines and give Americans more options to travel. But I don't ever see this happening- just like SH 130 in Austin, the Train portion never has to be built. This is all going to be f_ing toll roads and FREIGHT rail not passenger rail.