Skip to comments.Kolkhorst files two bills that would kill the state's controversial corridor proposal
Posted on 02/28/2007 10:36:10 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
AUSTIN - State Rep. Lois W. Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) has filed two bills which she says would kill the state's controversial Trans-Texas Corridor highway proposal.
If passed, House Bill 1881 will repeal the Trans-Texas Corridor from the transportation code, effectively killing the proposal by removing the enabling legislation which would have served as the foundation for any future corridor project.
I've been fighting against the Trans-Texas Corridor for several years, and it's not because I want to stop progress. We need to look at new ways to fund roads, but this isn't it, said Kolkhorst.
Some toll systems work, such as Harris County, but many don't. Plenty of people share my concerns about these private toll roads and how they'll threaten communities, violate our property rights and create an unregulated transportation monopoly.
My bill allows Texas to scrap the Trans-Texas Corridor plan and start over.
Kolkhorst said she has received literally hundreds of calls, comments, letters and e-mails against the Trans-Texas Corridor over the past few years She also has worked with the anti-corridor group Corridorwatch.org and received an A-rating from group.
Additionally, Kolkhorst filed House Bill 1880, which prohibits any public pension fund from investing in a private toll road project, such as the Trans-Texas Corridor.
The bill cuts off billions of dollars of funding that private toll road vendors, both foreign and domestic, would attempt to use in order to raise equity.
No public money from a public pension fund should be used for a private toll road, Kolkhorst said. It's risky to invest our retiree pension funds into an unproven investment, especially with a foreign company.
(Excerpt) Read more at brenhambanner.com ...
Fort Worth Star-Telegram print of an AP article
MCKINNEY, Texas - A Spanish transportation company contracted to build Gov. Rick Perry's Trans-Texas Corridor won a critical recommendation Tuesday to turn state Highway 121 into a toll road through Collin and Denton counties.
Officials from the Texas Department of Transportation plan to recommend Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte as the developer of the toll road during a Wednesday meeting of the Texas Transportation Commission.
If the commission approves the deal, Cintra will pay $2.8 billion to the Regional Transportation Council, a North Texas group responsible for transportation planning in the region. In exchange, Cintra will operate and collect tolls on the highway for the next 50 years.
Collin County officials hailed the deal as one solution to its traffic problems.
"At a time when budgets are stretched thin to meet every transportation need in North Texas, this project can be a valuable source of income to help us pay for other projects needed in this county," Collin County Commissioner Joe Jaynes said.
But some state lawmakers are starting to get frustrated with the state's pursuit of privately financed toll roads and wonder about the ultimate cost.
Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, chairman of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Homeland Security, said the Cintra deal includes provisions that bar the state from building its own roads in the area during the 50-year contract. That puts the state in a financial bind if it wants to build roads to help a growing population.
"The advantage is roads will be built sooner," Carona said. "What you won't hear about is toll rates will be raised unlike anything we have seen today."
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Steve Ogden, who pushed the 2003 bill that helped set up the toll road initiative, said he was "asleep or not smart enough" to recognize potential problems.
"We are giving away a public asset and don't have much say about it for 50 years," said Ogden, R-Bryan.
Cintra-Zachry, a Spanish-American consortium, plans to build the Trans-Texas Corridor, a state-owned toll road. The consortium, made up of Spain-based Cintra and San Antonio-based Zachry Construction, would get to operate the road and collect tolls.
Trans-Texas Corridor PING!
What are the odds of this bill passing?
Passing? It won't get out of committee.
I hope they kill this TTC thing.
So is it a done deal?
This on a par with the schemes by politicians to get revenue without having to raise taxes, such as selling the state lottery system. Some day people will wake up and realize what John Locke said about governments having to be watched very closely and periodically changed (and not by switching between our two political parties). Not looking for it to happen however, with the government/MSM controlling all the information that most people get.
I agree. And if it ever did become law, what are the odds of Perry signing it?
Yeah, doesn't suprise me. At least she's trying though.
Lately, I've been hearing that light rail would be a better way to go.
" what are the odds of Perry signing it?"
If he signed it, he would not get paid.
And just where would you put that right of way? The TTC corridors as proposed have space for double tracked heavy freight rail, high speed intercity rail / maglev, and light commuter rail.
Not gonna happen. We're not as flamboyant with our legislooter corruption here in Texas as they are our neighbor to the east, but it's still here.
Crony capitalism is big business in Texas.
Does this statement sound like a hotbed of resistence to the TTC? Are HUNDREDS going to be making the decision?
I'm waitin' for this gal to propose raising the gas tax to pay for the road and see how many calls and e-mails she gets in response.
How about letting the citizens of Texas having the right to vote for this.
We sure screwed up voting Perry back in for another term.
I make no excuses or allusions to the fact that I'm not a transportation engineer. But those who are do a poor job of informing the rest of us.
And "right of way" is just another silly piece of crap for attorneys to grapple over. Nothing more and nothing less. Rather like eminent domain. It's like you work for it, you pay for it, but is it EVER really YOURS?