Skip to comments.Lawmakers advance bill to remove Trans-Texas Corridor wording from state statutes
Posted on 05/25/2011 10:07:49 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Will the governor sign the death certificate for his brainchild?
The House unanimously voted late Monday to accept Senate changes to House Bill 1201, Rep. Lois Kolkhorst's legislation that would remove all references to the Trans-Texas Corridor from state statutes. And, oh yes, allow an 85 mph speed limit on certain roads completed after June.
The bill now goes to Gov. Rick Perry for his signature, or his veto.
For now, the only road likely to qualify for the 85 mph limit will be the southern 40 miles of the Texas 130 tollway, now under construction between the southeast outskirts of Austin and Seguin. The road will likely open in late 2012 . That provision, widely misinterpreted earlier in the legislative session as allowing an 85 mph speed limit willy-nilly across the state, had briefly garnered HB 1201 some national attention.
But Kolkhorst's real purpose was to drive a harpoon through the heart of what for her has been something of a transportation great white whale: Perry's plan (first announced during his 2002 campaign) for 4,000 miles of tollways, railways and utility lines across the state.
Kolkhorst, a Republican from Brenham whose House district was a hotbed of opposition to the Perry plan, was one of the leaders of a 2007 legislative uprising against the corridor plan and, in general, toll road lease agreements between the state and private sector.
The 85 mph speed limit provision grew from that. The Trans-Texas Corridor statutes allow that speed for the tollways, provided they were designed with gentle curves, flat terrain and strategic banking necessary for safer travel at high speeds.
The general assumption among policymakers had been that Texas 130, both the existing Texas Department of Transportation-run section and the new privately operated portion, would eventually become part of the Trans-Texas Corridor. And the 50-year lease agreement between TxDOT and a private consortium to build the southern 40 miles stipulated that TxDOT would receive as much as $100 million more in upfront payments if the Texas Transportation Commission approves an 85 mph speed limit.
House Bill 1201 preserves that possibility, a strong incentive for Perry to sign it. The governor and TxDOT officials, after work on a corridor project paralleling Interstate 35 was canceled in October 2009 , had said that the corridor project was dead.
But Kolkhorst and other opponents have argued since that the corridor plan will never be truly dead until the statutory language allowing it to exist is gone. On Tuesday, the governor's office, asked for comment, shed no light on Perry's opinion of HB 1201.
Trans-Texas Corridor PING!
(I can’t drive SEVENTY-FIVE!!!)
The general assumption among policymakers had been that Texas 130, both the existing Texas Department of Transportation-run section and the new privately operated portion, would eventually become part of the Trans-Texas Corridor. And the 50-year lease agreement between TxDOT and a private consortium to build the southern 40 miles stipulated that TxDOT would receive as much as $100 million more in upfront payments if the Texas Transportation Commission approves an 85 mph speed limit.”
So where does it say the Texas Transportation thingy is dead?
Hey TSR, remember wayyyyyyyy back when, when TxDOT changed the Texas Transportation code to reflect the needed administrative and other operating terms, conditions for the TTC???
That needs to be stricken as well...
And to think they worked sooooo hard on getting that implanted into the system.../sarc
We need to rattle the rafters to get those sections stricken as well...I don’t think anyone remembers much about that...
Do you have Ms. Hall’s number??? I got it back at the house...
This is the highway I was talking about.
I’m very happy that this whole thing is apparently dead——I hated it from the beginning.
Thanks for the ping!
I can. :o)
Rick Perry Ping
The pro-Mexican Trans-Texas Corridor was Rick Perry’s brainchild.