Skip to comments.Flush with highway cash, Texas still looking for toll options
Posted on 04/26/2017 5:16:58 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Texas is spending record amounts on transportation, but lawmakers worried it is not enough are considering extending a controversial program thats helped spread tollways through some of the states largest areas.
A bill approved this week by a House committee would give the Texas Department of Transportation a chance to add six additional projects, including the widening of Interstate 45 north of I-10 and a long-planned Hempstead Tollway, meant to relieve traffic on U.S. 290 with the potential for a commuter rail corridor.
The bill, by state Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, would also allow TxDOT or regional officials the chance to build a dozen other projects.
Without an extension, the states authority to ink the special agreements - which typically cede control of a tollway to a private entity that then recoup its costs through revenues - runs out in August.
Phillips said earlier this month highway officials need every tool to complete some of the long-sought projects in Texas cities. The agreements offer a rare chance for state and local money to tap private investment, something the Trump Administration has touted.
What Im hearing from Washington is that is the way things are going, Phillips said of the public-private investment strategy. It provides opportunities for us at the state and local level... If we dont, were going to sit behind the eight ball and wonder why we didnt get our share of the money.
Others were less enthusiastic.
I am not against all tolls, just bad ones, said Rep. Joe Pickett, D- El Paso, the only member of the transportation committee to oppose Phillips bill.
(Excerpt) Read more at chron.com ...
Of possible interest.
I avoid toll roads. Big deal, I drive 10 extra minutes. It’s the principle.
If Texas would deport all the illegals, we wouldn’t need new roads built.
This wouldn’t be a bad thing if the legislature were looking toward future maintenance of exiting highways. In fact, it would show excellent foresight.
But noooooo, that money has to be spent RIGHT AWAY!
Charge tolls for everyone going in and out of Austin, San Antonio, and Houston.
I don’t know the last road built in Texas that wasn’t a toll road. The tolls are too expensive and never go away. The bridge over the ship channel has been a toll bridge for close to 30 years with no end in sight even though it was supposed to become free once it was paid for.
“I avoid toll roads. Big deal, I drive 10 extra minutes. Its the principle.”
But otherwise, yeah, I avoid toll roads like the plague. I paid enough tolls in the NY/NJ area to last a couple of lifetimes, and a good part of that money goes to corrupt politicians, unions and the mob (but I repeat myself).
The I-30 toll road between Dallas and Ft. Worth went away. Now it’s named Tom Landry Freeway.
Toll road pricing is ridiculous. I have the North Texas Express lanes. With the bottle neck that has existed forever at the 121/820 interchange, you would have thought it would help; however, no one wants to pay that kind of rate. If I took it RT, I would be paying $14+ per day and it still dumps me out in bottle neck traffic. I save myself the pocketbook pillaging and take the “free” highway.
They ought to be flush with cash. I keep getting other people’s toll road bills. So I have to waste my time and money going to the DMV getting documents to prove the bills they keep sending me are fraudulent. When do I get paid for my time and effort?
They just figure most people won’t fight their fraud and pay up. Thieves all.
If they have enough money for roads & still want more toll roads,maybe they are trying to enlarge some other slush funds. This could go on forever.
D/FW adds about 150,000 new residents every year. Toll roads are a reality, particularly the one that bypasses Austin. What irks me are toll roads that are parking lots during rush hour.
Tollroads ... 15 minutes of highway spped, interrupted by 30 minutes in line to toss coins in a bucket, or longer if you did not have the correct change, day or night, good weather or crap.
There goes your gas mileage.
There goes your calculated time of travel to grannys house
First time a snowflake has to open their window in a summers not-quite-tropical-storm battering the area, they will freak out like a Southern Californian when the rain comes after washing and waxing the car.
Now, in this day of idiocy on the roads, you get somebody who doesnt understand the language, holding up the line.
Or .... the automatic toll machine malfunctions, and the gate does not raise?
Toll roads need to be abolish thru out the country!!
They will want to charge by the mile and the technology is here to do it. Stop that camel’s nose from getting in the tent.
We pay enough taxes as is.
No buckets - or change makers - on the toll roads around here. And if you slow down to 70 in non-rush hour traffic, you'll likely experience some road rage.
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