Sen. Watson's Cronies Get Fat Freeway Toll Contract

Jacob Engineering Group just received a fat contract (paid for with tax dollars intended for freeways), to build another double tax tollway in Austin. And, as you'd expect, there are crooked connections with Sen. Kirk Watson, the biggest snake in Texas (next to Gov. Perry).

Jacob Engineering Group Inc. acquired Carter & Burgess Inc. last year. Carter & Burgess supported Sen. Kirk Watson's campaign. Carter & Burgess, Watson (as an individual), and Watson's law firm, Hughes and Luce, contributed finances and political power to the Take on Traffic campaign to toll Austin's freeways.

The Business Journal reports the news:

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) has chosen Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. to design the Manor Expressway interchange at U.S. Highway 183.

The $80 million construction project represents the last portion of the 6.2-mile Manor Expressway to be awarded. The future expressway will be a toll road running between U.S. 183 and State Highway 130 along U.S. 290.

The road would be built in the median of the existing highway.
Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2009, with the road opening in 2013.


Anonymous said...

If you have an opinion on rail transit, here's a public meeting. http://www.news8austin.com/content/top_stories/default.asp?ArID=218870

my personal choice- elevated monorail. Some say it's the cheapest most reliable form of "rail" transit to operate. Bottom line- if we have efficent rail that doesn't compete with automobile traffic, we pay fewer tolls. However, if there's rail that's not financially efficient, we pay higher tolls to subsidize the rail. And if that rail is a streetcar it removes room for automobile traffic. I'm from St. Louis and I'm a big fan of Metrolink- goes from airport to Washington University and all of the sports stadiums and doesn't interfere with automobile traffic. I don't know its financial record but I did take it frequently as a working professional years ago from the office to the airport and it was awesome. 30 minutes guaranteed arrival time to the check-in counter. $1. No parking shuttle to take and no worries about traffic. Would love that here.

Anonymous said...

Monorail is great, for Disneyland.

It is unaffordable. That's not even counting the crooked representatives (like Watson) skimming off the top.

Anonymous said...

Toll roads aren't affordable either. They skim the money from that. At least if they overspend on rail we have a new way of getting around town. And once it's built it runs forever. Gov't agencies have an incentive to spend all they're given even if it's spent inefficiently. At least if they spend on rail we have something. Right now they spend our gas tax on building and advertising toll roads. We get nothing in return but hassle.

Anonymous said...

I know Watson, he is scum. His own boys even hate him.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to public transportation we have to look at Europe. They have refined public transportation. People are physically in better shape because of it. It is a win, win oportunity to have it in every city. I visited Washigton D.C. last month. I got off the plane, took the metro to my hotel and I had no use for a car for the week I was there. I loved it.