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Toll-road issue growing heated (Trans-Texas Corridor)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram ^ | June 1, 2006 | John Moritz

Posted on 06/02/2006 6:54:42 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

AUSTIN - Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, running for governor as an independent, was teed off Wednesday over Republican Gov. Rick Perry's state transportation commission chairman's remarks that a foreign-owned company could supersede local officials in deciding where new toll roads are built.

Commission Chairman Ric Williamson, a Perry appointee and longtime friend, rejected pleas by North Texas leaders last week that a road-building consortium partly owned by a Spanish firm be forced to locate a new tollway system closer to the population centers in Fort Worth and Dallas. When courting private companies to construct highway projects, Williamson told about 100 officials, "you can't tell them where to build the road."

Strayhorn emphatically disagreed.

"To me, that is absolutely shocking," Strayhorn said during a news conference at her campaign headquarters. "Texas property belongs to Texans, not foreign companies. Texas freeways belong to Texas companies.

"Apparently, the governor and his transportation chairman believe that what a foreign company wants, a foreign company gets," she added. "And Texans have no say over our freeways and critical infrastructure."

Williamson said Wednesday that his remarks, which were first reported Friday in the Star-Telegram, were intended to make clear that private companies in the toll-road business must have the latitude to ensure that their ventures with the state are profitable.

Perry's campaign spokesman Robert Black said that a private contractor working with federal environmental regulators would narrow down proposed routes for any new tollways, but that state officials will determine where the roads are built.

"Ultimately, the state of Texas will have the final call," Black said.

The North Texas officials, including Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief and state Sen. Kim Brimer, want Cintra Zachry to rethink its plans to route new toll roads well east of Dallas. Such a move would encourage so-called leapfrog development away from the urban centers and into rural prairie, officials told the commission.

Cintra is a Spanish-owned company; Zachry is based in San Antonio.

Strayhorn used her news conference not only to chide Williamson's response, but also to demand that Perry instruct the transportation commission to release all portions of its contract to build toll roads connecting San Antonio to North Texas over the next decade. The projects would be built with private funds and would be worth an estimated $6 billion to the consortium, which would pay the state $1.2 billion to collect tolls for 50 years.

A year ago, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott ruled that the contract must be made public. But the consortium and the transportation commission have filed suit to overturn that ruling on grounds that it contains sensitive proprietary information.

Black said that the bulk of the contract is accessible on a state-operated Web site. But like any state deal with a private concern, information that could compromise a company's profitability is protected, he said.

"Carole Strayhorn is angry and wants attention so she launches a shrill, trumped-up attack," Black said.

Black also resurrected Strayhorn's archived news releases from the late 1990s and early 2000s that show Strayhorn -- then a Republican -- had been an early champion of toll roads to ease urban congestion and an advocate of increased foreign investment to boost the Texas economy.

In January 2001, her office urged the transportation commission to "adopt innovative financing tools, such as Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle (or GARVEE bonds), build more toll roads and tap into a new line of credit through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act," according to one document distributed by Black.

Strayhorn said that Perry's toll-road plan, the Trans-Texas Corridor, is far more aggressive than anything she has proposed.

"Perry's ... Trans-Texas Corridor, which I call a trans-Texas catastrophe, is going to be 4,000 miles long," she said. "More mileage than Texas' 3,200-mile share of the interstate system."

Perry has touted the proposal as a visionary strategy involving highway and rail construction projects designed to ease Texas' burgeoning traffic congestion.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Canada; Government; Mexico; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: cda; corridorwatch; naftacorridor; nasco; rickperry; ricwilliamson; strayhorn; supercorridor; texas; transportation; transtexascorridor; ttc; ttc35; tx; txdot
Strayhorn scolds Perry for toll pact's secrecy

Southern border blurs for global trade

No Support For Hill County By Texas Transportation Commission

CorridorWatch.org BULLETIN (05.31.06)

1 posted on 06/02/2006 6:54:47 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: TxDOT; 1066AD; 185JHP; Abcdefg; Adrastus; Alamo-Girl; antivenom; anymouse; AprilfromTexas; ...

Trans-Texas Corridor PING!


2 posted on 06/02/2006 6:55:47 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (One flag--American. One language--English. One allegiance--to America!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Thanks for the ping!


3 posted on 06/02/2006 7:01:27 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

BTTT


4 posted on 06/02/2006 7:04:47 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Thanks for the ping. hmm getting interesting isn't it?


5 posted on 06/02/2006 7:17:44 AM PDT by stopem (God Bless the U.S.A the Troops who protect her, and their Commander In Chief !)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Globalism and Mexico rears its ugly head yet again.


6 posted on 06/02/2006 7:31:31 AM PDT by stopem (God Bless the U.S.A the Troops who protect her, and their Commander In Chief !)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
So, let me get this right. It's OK to allow Mexicans access to ther country via the TTC, but it's not OK if they trek across the border.

ref: Eyes of Texas to be on border

"http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1642232/posts"

These two "projects" (border security and the TTC)seem to be at odds.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is actively working on a Free and Secure Trade program that would create special lanes to allow trucks from Mexico to cross the U.S. border with minimal electronic inspection, reducing the U.S. border with Mexico to no more than a speed-bump for authorized Mexican trucks entering the country.

Why secure the borders if the border can be crossed so easily? And, just who "authorizes" Mexican Trucks to use the TTC?

Perry is such a fool.

7 posted on 06/02/2006 7:50:28 AM PDT by Sarajevo
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To: stopem

"Globalism and Mexico rears its ugly head yet again."

Actually, it's Spain, not Mexico who's building this lovely road. In any case, this sellout by the governor, along with his huge new taxes, along with Dan Patrick buying a radio station in Dallas, likely means the end of Republican domination in Texas. Maybe our party just wasn't up to it.

Anyway, expect the Perry apologists (i.e., his staff) to show up on this thread soon attacking me and Perry's opponents, like cornered dogs.

So long...


8 posted on 06/02/2006 7:54:28 AM PDT by BobL
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

9 posted on 06/02/2006 8:24:12 AM PDT by TXnMA (Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad! Repeat San Jacinto!!! AND START IN AUSTIN!!!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Every toll road in Texas needs to be taken using eminent domain and made into a public road.
10 posted on 06/02/2006 9:06:35 AM PDT by conservative physics
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To: hedgetrimmer; A. Pole

Texas Corridor Ping


11 posted on 06/02/2006 9:15:19 AM PDT by Nowhere Man (Greystone, I'll miss you (5-12-2001 - 4-15-2006) RIP little buddy.)
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To: calcowgirl; texastoo; nicmarlo; Nowhere Man
"Apparently, the governor and his transportation chairman believe that what a foreign company wants, a foreign company gets," she added. "And Texans have no say over our freeways and critical infrastructure."

Apparently so, in the new world of the North American Union. The EO that the first Bush signed for 'privatization' of infrastructure combined with "free trade" agreements on 'goods movement' clearly has deeply affected the rights of sovereign US citizens.
12 posted on 06/02/2006 10:12:45 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer ("I'm a millionaire thanks to the WTO and "free trade" system--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: stopem
Southern border blurs for global trade
13 posted on 06/02/2006 10:16:07 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer ("I'm a millionaire thanks to the WTO and "free trade" system--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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To: Sarajevo

By the time this corridor is completed, there will be no United States.

Check out this bill that was introduced by K. Harris of Fla. in the House and it was also introduced by the RINO Richard Lugar in the Senate.

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:HR02672:

Click on text of legistlation and then go to #5. It is disgusting to see our senators and representatives do this. I'll bet Katherine Harris doesn't mention this piece of globalization to her conservative audiences.


14 posted on 06/02/2006 10:48:43 AM PDT by texastoo ("trash the treaties")
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To: TXnMA

Where can I get a sticker like that?


15 posted on 06/02/2006 2:50:53 PM PDT by Sarajevo
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To: Sarajevo

It's my creation. I'll check into having some printed up -- and I'll let folks on these threads know where they can be obtained.


16 posted on 06/02/2006 2:55:05 PM PDT by TXnMA (Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad! Repeat San Jacinto!!! AND START IN AUSTIN!!!)
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To: Sarajevo

Mexican trucks should have to go through a thorough inspection of the trucks themselves, or have the goods turned over to an American (or Canadian for Mexico->Canada imports) truck at the border.

The project seems like an enormous boondoggle. What is wrong with widening existing Interstates from 4 to 6 lanes, for instance?


17 posted on 06/02/2006 3:10:06 PM PDT by Heartofsong83
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To: Heartofsong83

Mexican trucks should have to go through a thorough inspection of the trucks themselves, or have the goods turned over to an American (or Canadian for Mexico->Canada imports) truck at the border.

I haven't seen it myself, but I have been told that cargo is transfered to US licensed trucks at the border because Mexican trucks do not meet US safety standards.

The project seems like an enormous boondoggle.

It is, not to mention a cash-cow for Cintras-Zachary.

What is wrong with widening existing Interstates from 4 to 6 lanes, for instance?

If we count the access roads, I-35 in San Antonio through Austin averages 8 lanes, 10 in some areas. IMO- the real cause of the congestion is from all the development surrounding the highway, and poorly designed interchanges.

18 posted on 06/02/2006 3:41:14 PM PDT by Sarajevo
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To: stopem

We must petition our government to construct roads leading from nowhere to nowhere. For the jobs.


19 posted on 06/02/2006 3:42:14 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Sarajevo

In the urban areas, a balanced approach is needed. Some widening, improved interchanges and improved public transit are all needed.

In the rural areas, adding lanes and upgrading existing corridors (i.e. turning a 2-lane highway into an Interstate) is the best solution.


20 posted on 06/02/2006 3:44:09 PM PDT by Heartofsong83
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To: Heartofsong83; Sarajevo

Mexican trucks (at the moment but soon to change) are allowed to operate within 20 miles of the border. When the new rules kick in, they'll be allowed anywhere in the U.S. as long as they pass the safety checks and have proof of insurance.


21 posted on 06/02/2006 3:44:46 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Heartofsong83
In the rural areas, adding lanes and upgrading existing corridors (i.e. turning a 2-lane highway into an Interstate) is the best solution.

I can recall only 15-20 miles between San Antonio and Austin which can still be classified as rural. Most of the area was speculatively developed as a part of the San Antonio-Austin Metro-mess plan.

22 posted on 06/02/2006 4:04:30 PM PDT by Sarajevo
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To: Sarajevo

I was taking a look at it on Google Earth, and you are right (thanks to several mid-sized cities in between). Much of it is currently 6 lanes - but I see that it could easily be widened to 8 by paving over the median (separated by a concrete barrier), and to 10 in most parts on the shoulder side (there is enough separation from the service roads).

Commuter rail between them on the existing railroad tracks could also work as part (but not all) of the solution.


23 posted on 06/02/2006 7:35:10 PM PDT by Heartofsong83
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