Skip to comments.TxDOT eyes La Entrada’s potential (Trans-Texas Corridor)
Posted on 05/11/2005 11:13:57 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
The Texas Department of Transportation will spend more than $1 million to see if the La Entrada al Pacifico trade route can be designed to include all the features of the Trans-Texas Corridor, department officials say.
La Entrada was envisioned as an overland trade route connecting the United States to Far East markets via West Texas and Northern Mexico. Its design is being revisited in light of the proposed $175 billion Trans-Texas Corridor, a megahighway paralleling Interstate 35 in Central Texas.
La Entrada runs from Lamesa to Odessa-Midland along state Highway 349, then west on Interstate Highway 20 to U.S. Highway 385, south to McCamey to U.S. 67 and south-southwesterly to Presidio, where it connects with Mexican 16.
The Trans-Texas Corridor would parallel Interstate Highway 35, in Central Texas, and include lanes for cars or trucks and a 200-foot wide utility zone to accommodate oil, natural gas or other energy pipelines, water lines, telecommunications fiber-optic cables and high-power electric lines. It would be flanked by rail lines for the movement of people and freight.
One example of what TxDOT will be considering is a proposal by the LEAP Rural Rail District to build a new rail line connecting with the TxDOT-owned South Orient Express at McCamey and continue north to Seagraves via Odessa-Midland.
TxDOT will study the feasibility of linking the new line with La Entrada, he said.
We know there ought to be a north-south trade corridor in West Texas, Larum said. As we look at the development of LEAP, we need to step back first and say, Is this a potential TTC and, if so, how do we need to accommodate that?
In 2002, Gov. Rick Perry proposed the $175 billion Trans-Texas Corridor to handle heavy traffic volumes associated with explosive population growth in Central Texas and increased international trade between the United States, Texas and Mexico.
While it may not be feasible to try to build West Texas version of the TTC through the mountains of the Trans-Pecos or the oilfields of the Permian Basin, were required to look at every possible option, Larum said.
James Beauchamp, executive director of the Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance says it really doesnt matter to him how La Entrada is developed as long as it gets developed.
MOTRAN has been a driving force in trying to bring the funds for LEAP and that includes both cities, both counties and both chambers, Beauchamp said. Weve been the ones working toward this, and what were looking for is that these funds get put into use and things start moving forward.
To date, Texas has received about $13 million in federal funds for La Entrada feasibility studies and route improvements.
The $1 million LEAP-TTC feasibility study will also address improvements to historic U.S. Highway 90 in the Trans-Pecos, TxDOT District Engineer Lauren Garduño said. Garduño said the department will pool $200,000 from the city of Alpine to consider improvements to US 90 in the Alpine-Marfa area.
Since were studying the corridor anyway, lets not study it two or three time, Garduño said. Were going to study it one time
look at some of the TTC elements and see whether its a go or a no-go.
RALLY RECAP & PICTURES TOO !
> RALLY PICTURES ONLINE TODAY
> GREAT RALLY QUOTES
> NOT SO GREAT RALLY QUOTES
> GOVERNOR'S OFFICE GRASPING AT STRAWS
> OPPOSITION PICKS UP MASSIVE NEW SUPPORT
The rally at the Capitol Tuesday was a huge success. Together we garnered lots of attention for our cause.
Media reports put our numbers between 300 and 500.
Will House Bill 3363 be reported out of Committee? Not likely.
Did we waste our time? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
On the day of the rally Rep. Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie) signed onto HB-3363 as a Co-Author along side Rep. Alma Allen (D-Houston). Rep. Pitts is the Chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
The day after the rally Representative Harvey Hilderbran (R-Kerrville) joined Rep. Coleman (D-Houston) and Rep. R. Cook (D-Eagle Lake) as authors of HB-3363. Rep. Hilderbran is the Chairman of the House Culture, Recreation, and Tourism Committee.
There's still three weeks left in the session and lot of things can happen. Rep. Coleman is working hard and reminds us all that the fat lady hasn't sung yet.
We need to continue our support for HB-3363 and expressing opposition to the TTC and free road to toll road conversion.
If your State Representative hasn't already signed on as a HB-3363 co-author, ASK them to do so TODAY.
RALLY PICTURES ONLINE TODAY
Were you there? Did you miss it?
See yourself, or what you missed.
Visit CorridorWatch.org or link directly to: http://www.corridorwatch.org/ttc/200505rally/$144.htm
GREAT RALLY QUOTES
"The government is out of control. They're trying to take our property rights away from us," - Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, R-Kerrville
"You cannot tell Texans to give up their land and then tell them to pay to drive their tractors across it. That's not democracy. That's highway robbery." Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn
"Largest land grab in Texas history." Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn
"Sold for improving residential transportation in the metroplexes, from that point, they used free scale authority to extend it to the whole state." Senator Ken Armbrister, R-Victoria
"Texas should not be sold out to foreign interests. Texas farms and ranches should be for Texas farmers and ranchers. We should not let a Europeans consortium take our Texas birthright. Our elected leaders should not be asking us to give them our land and then insist we should have to pay to drive across it (as toll roads.)" Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn.
"Gov. Perry and his Department of Transportation want to cram toll roads down Texans' throats. He calls it Trans-Texas Corridor. We call it Trans-Texas Catastrophe." Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn.
NOT SO GREAT RALLY QUOTES
"Staged photo Op." Rep. Mike Krusee, R-Taylor
"We're not going to build it now. We're planning for it." Gaby Garcia, TxDOT Spokeswoman
"Rural opposition to the corridor was typical." Rep. Mike Krusee, R-Taylor
GOVERNOR'S OFFICE GRASPING AT STRAWS
Instead of address the toll road issue and rally attendee concerns, a Perry spokesman attacked Strayhorn. Visiting with press during the rally Robert Black said Perry understands the concerns of rural residents and landowners will receive fair market value for their land. Senator Armbrister told the rally attendees that the Governor doesn't get it, he said, "it's not about money and getting paid for the land." Later Kathy Walt, another Perry spokeswoman, dismissed rural concerns saying rural opposition to highway expansion is nothing new.
Apparently Mr. Black doesn't know we rural folk can read. Calling rally attendees "good salt-of-the-earth folks who may have, frankly, some bad information," implies that we havent read HB-3588, the TTC plan, Transportation Commission meeting minutes, or any of the other TTC documents. We agree that its bad information. Unfortunately, it's also true. We suspect Mr. Black knows full well that we are well informed rural folk. He can hang his hat on two words, "may have."
Black rhetorically asked the media, "Would they raise the gas tax by one dollar? ... Would they expand I-35 through our cities, which is some of the most expensive real estate in the state? Or would they do nothing and continue to allow congestion to increase?"
CorridorWatch.org would point out to Mr. Black and Governor Perry that it is precisely in those cities with the expensive real estate where that congestion is generated.
CorridorWatch.org would also point out that Mr. Black has grossly overstated the gas tax impact by a factor of ten. Last December Transportation Commission Chairman Ric Williamson said it would take a 10-cent per gallon increase to generate the same money as these toll roads. And at the same meeting TxDOTs Amadeo Saenz testified the average vehicle fuel efficiency in Texas is 22.1 MPG. Accordingly, a 15-cent per mile toll will be equal to a gas tax increase of $3.32 per gallon driven on a toll road.
TxDOT spokeswoman Gaby Garcia continues the TxDOT spin, a spin that borders on bald-faced lying when she said, "We're not going to build it now. We're planning for it." Who is she kidding?
House Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Krusee slapped insults on TTC opponents by telling the media that, "Leaders want their picture in the paper. They're not interested in results." In another report Krusee is quoted as dismissing the rally as a, "staged photo Op," and as saying the bill [HB3363] would not be getting a hearing and that rural opposition to the corridor was typical. "Anytime you build a road, people say not here," Krusee said.
If Rep. Krusee were interested in open and responsive government he would have responded to the hundreds of requests he received for a hearing on HB-3363.
OPPOSITION PICKS UP MASSIVE NEW SUPPORT
The Rally has generated greater public attention and sparked new opposition to the Trans-Texas Corridor.
Lets work together to keep the pressure on and turn up the heat.
You know what to do.
Write more letters. Make more phone calls. Send more faxes.
Let your Senator know what you think.
Let your Representative know what you think.
Keep spreading the word.
Let your newspaper know what is happening.
Let your radio station know what is happening.
Let your television station know what is happening.
Involve your friends, family and neighbors.
Involve your association, society, club, church, temple, etc.
Trans-Texas Corridor PING!
Having lived in Alpine I can say no upgrades on Highway 90 are needed as traffic is light as best everyday of the year and would ruin what beauty is out there. THat goes for Highway 67 as well. Both are big shouldered two-lane highway with passing lanes than run for miles and miles.
Just another waste of money to give our southern neighbor more access to our country, like they don't have enough already.
The Illegals Highway. Nothing more.
They didn't think we needed the TTC and SH130 both in Guadalupe County.
They also didn't like the fact that the Gov. already had an out of country contractor lined up to do the work.
Commissioners approve resolution opposing massive transport\highway project (Seguin) -- The Guadalupe County Commissioners Court wants the state to put the brakes on its Trans Texas Corridor project. The project is a combination of highways and railways. It's expected to take the state's transportation system to the next level. But County Judge Donald Schraub says there are still too many questions remaining and they would like for the state to consider a moratorium on the project until there are more answers. Schraub says they are worried that the project will take up more valuable farmland in Guadalupe County and in other parts of the state.
"The general feeling is that it's too much too fast. We've already got a contractor out of Spain to do this activity and we're not really sure where we're going to put it yet," said Judge Schraub. "It's moving too quickly and I don't think the full impact that this larger right-of-way through part of this county has been thoroughly considered. So what we are asking for is -- let's study this a little bit more. Let's make sure that this thing is not going to injure more than it's going to help."
State officials have suggested that TTC-35 could be tied in with the construction of State Highway 130, which is scheduled to run from Seguin to Georgetown and will serve as a reliever route for Interstate-35. Judge Schraub says he supports SH 130, but he says the jury is still out on the alignment of the TTC.
"I could support a 35-corridor if its footprint was on SH 130 -- that if they were one and the same segment, that would be acceptable. But to have a large toll road in part of this county and then another one just a few miles away coming through the county is just too much. If they can figure out how to make just one corridor and let it substitute for both, I could tolerate that. I would be in favor of that, but not two (highways)," said Schraub.
Gov. Rick Perry is a big supporter of the Trans-Texas corridor project. He says its will have a big economic impact on the state. He also says the financing of the project is a unique win-win situation for the state.
Actually this study is purely a result of pork politics, with crooks like Craddick screaming "What's in it for me?" while the state tries to meet the extremely rapid growth in the eastern half of the state. He's just trying to steal some of the highway and TTC pie.
This study will simply end up stating the obvious, that it isn't currently economically viable and won't be needed for decades(if ever). The only part that might be justified is the rail line, if some of the Mexican ports are upgraded to compete with LA/Long Beach, but upgrading the existing line the state already owns would be far cheaper. That traffic isn't destined to Midland or Lubbock, but rather the large urban centers. Nor are those two cities positioned to ever be a major distribution and sort centers, when Dallas, Memphis, and soon Houston are already. If we are lucky, TXDOT will use this study to torpedo all those West Texas pork pipe dreams.
We can only hope.
La Entrada al Pacifico in Mexico
The Mexican highway project is divided into three sections. The western most section begins at the Pacific port of Topolobampo and runs northeast through the Mexican state of Sinaloa up to Copper Canyon--a mountainous area three times the size of the Grand Canyon located in parts of the states of Sinaloa and Chihuahua.
The next section of the route begins near the southern edge of Copper Canyon. The Mexican government is still trying to determine the best route through or around Copper Canyon, which has more than 120 miles of rough terrain.
The final section runs from the northern side of Copper Canyon northeast through Chihuahua City, the state capital and home to more than 600,000 people, to the Texas-Mexico border at Ojinaga and Presidio, Texas. This section should be completed in 2003.
According to Bob Barnes of the Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance (MOTRAN), about a fifth of the Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. have manufacturing facilities in Chihuahua City. MOTRAN is a nonprofit organization promoting La Entrada and the trade and economic development benefits that it will bring to the region.
Most U.S. overland trade with Chihuahua has been directed through the Texas-Mexico border at El Paso-Ciudad Juarez. With the opening of the new route, some of that trade likely will be diverted through Presidio-Ojinaga, the northernmost tip of the new Mexican route and a more central link to Texas from the Mexican state.
La Entrada al Pacifico in Texas
In June 1997, then-Gov. George W. Bush signed House Bill 2115, which designated a 260-mile stretch of land between Lamesa and Presidio as the future route of La Entrada al Pacifico Corridor through Texas. There was no commitment for funding for the corridor in the legislation.
that beauchamp says it doesn't matter how it's developed, but it does matter. there's a lot of corruption in the toll road system of gov. perry.
freeways not toll roads.
Thanks for the ping!
In addition, they, along with his eminence, Mexican President Vicente Fox, believe they should be allowed to vote in our elections as well as Mexico's, even if they know less English than I know Greek
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