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Trans Texas Corridor Special Series Part 2
KCEN-TV ^ | February 10, 2007 | KCEN-TV

Posted on 02/11/2007 9:29:17 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

With a major interstate running right through our area traffic is a common topic for Central Texans.

How do we solve the problem of more traffic on i-35? Is the Trans Texas Corridor a realistic solution and do we even need it?

In part two of our Trans Texas Corridor series we look at the project from a needs angle.

There are basically two sides to the Trans Texas Corridor project, those for it and those against.

One thing both sides gree on is that something needs to be done.

There are twenty one million Texas residents. 45 percent of those live within 50 miles of I-35.

That means on any given day you'll hit a traffic jam on I-35 in the greater Waco area.

TexDot Executive Director Michael Behrens knows the stats all too well.

Behrens said, "When you look at traffic in the Waco area its probably at 80 thousand vehicles a day."

Those rates are expected to double in the next 25 years. At most I-35 only extends to three lanes in some areas of Central Texas.

An accident can cause delays for hours. TexDot says the proposed TTC-35 project would help take away traffic on I-35 by providing another parrallel interstate.It would have six lanes each way.

But, those who oppose TTC-35 supporters are not impressed with the proposal and point to how long it would take to complete.

Linda Stall from Corridor Watch said, "This is a huge project. 184 billion dollars, it's a 50 year agreement, 50 years. That is a long time."

The 10,000 Corridor Watch members like Stall admit we need more pavement, but they don't like this project that they call uncreative. they don't like the way it was presented either.

One of the chief complaints from critiques is that lawmakers and taxpayers weren't really consulted on the project. They feel like a vote should be taken.

But, like it or not, TexDot says the ball is already rolling. In fact the director of the agency says some existing toll roads in Austin like 130 may become part of TTC-35.

Behren said construction will continue on the existing I-35 for improvement but, they can only expand so far.

"We've run outtta room, we can't expand anymore because we have had a lot of things build up adjacent, said Behren."

So what will be the real impact of TTC-35 as far as economic boost and how do land owners feel? We'll talk about it next Saturday in part 3.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: baytown; centraltexas; containerports; corpuschristi; corridorwatch; cuespookymusic; economy; freetrade; highways; houston; i35; i69ttc; ih35; infrastructure; interstate35; kookmagnetthread; laquinta; lindastall; opposition; p3; panamacanal; ports; ppp; privateinvestment; privatesector; privatization; rickperry; roads; seaports; sh130; shippers; texas; texas130; tollroads; tollways; trade; traffic; transportation; transtexascorridor; transtinfoilcorridor; ttc; ttc35; ttc69; tx; txdot
Well, there is a part one to this confused report, and the link even showed up in Google, but when I clicked on it, all I got was a blank page. I emailed KCEN-TV's news division to try to get Part One. In the meantime, an oldie but a goodie from TxDOT (it's never too late):

New study looks at Panama Canal expansion’s effect on Texas transportation

News Release

Contact: Mike Cox
Telephone: (512) 463-8588

November 28, 2006

AUSTIN – A planned $5.25 billion expansion of the Panama Canal will have a major impact not only on the Port of Houston but all aspects of transportation in Texas, according to a study released by the Texas Department of Transportation this month.

In a national referendum October 22, Panamanians voted more than three to one in support of the expansion, which would enable the nearly century old waterway to handle larger ships.

Conducted by Cambridge Systematics, the study found that the Panama Canal expansion will have a significant effect on the state’s intermodal transportation system. The canal improvements also will accelerate growth at all of the state’s seaports. In the short term, these impacts will be felt most heavily in and around Houston, the state’s largest container port and a key trading partner for goods shipped via the Panama Canal.

But overall, the study found, Texas ports are actively preparing for the increased opportunities that will arise from the Panama Canal’s expansion. The Texas coast, the report continued, stands to become the preferred shipping point for moving goods throughout the United States.

The study also found that the planned Trans-Texas Corridor will help the state absorb the anticipated growth in freight traffic resulting from the canal expansion, as well as enabling Texas to meet the chal¬lenge of evolving passenger mobility needs.

The Trans-Texas Corridor will enhance the competitiveness and connectivity of the state’s port facilities, allowing them to more effectively serve growing regional and national markets, create and retain jobs, and improve the state’s overall economic vitality, the study said.

Growth at the ports also will have an impact on freight rail lines. Capitalizing the Texas Rail Relocation and Improvement Fund (RRIF) will allow railroads in the state to more effectively improve their infrastructure and operations, positioning them to better serve growing volumes of international trade.

"The Panama Canal expansion will have profound impacts on job opportunities and economic development for Texas, as well as solidify Texas as the trade corridor of this hemisphere for decades to come,” said Transportation Commissioner Ted Houghton. “The commission is committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure Texas is ready to respond to this significant shift in trade.”

The Port of Houston is addressing increased growth by constructing the Bayport Container Terminal, which will triple the available capacity for containerized traffic. Overall, 90 percent of the Bayport Container Terminal has been completed.

The Port of Corpus Christi also is developing a new container terminal – the La Quinta Trade Gateway – to offer congestion relief from other existing container terminals along the Gulf. The port also is planning improvements to the ship channel but is waiting on funding from the Water Resources Development Act (passed by Congress and currently being reconciled in a conference committee).

In the longer term, the study found, the Panama Canal expansion will have an even more profound effect on the state’s transportation system. As traffic through the canal increases, other Texas ports are likely to make improvements to capture market share while shippers will evaluate their supply chain with an eye toward development of new distribution centers and warehouses. Increasing volumes of intermodal freight will also result in transportation, environmental, and land use issues at or around Texas’ port facilities.

These and other impacts raise key policy questions to consider as the Texas Department of Transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, economic development agencies, and other public and private freight stakeholders work to improve the safety, security, and efficiency of people and goods movement statewide, the report concluded.

Read a copy of the study, “Effects of the Panama Canal Expansion on Texas Ports and Highway Corridors.”

1 posted on 02/11/2007 9:29:18 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: TxDOT; 1066AD; 185JHP; Abcdefg; Adrastus; Alamo-Girl; antivenom; AprilfromTexas; B4Ranch; B-Chan; ..

Trans-Texas Corridor PING!


2 posted on 02/11/2007 9:30:07 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Duncan Hunter: Hope of America)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

BTTT


3 posted on 02/11/2007 9:38:40 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: E.G.C.

bump.


4 posted on 02/11/2007 9:42:55 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Duncan Hunter: Hope of America)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Linda Stall from Corridor Watch said, "This is a huge project. 184 billion dollars, it's a 50 year agreement, 50 years. That is a long time."

Yet, nobody seems to think the Interstate Highway system started by Dwight Eisenhower 50 years ago was a bad thing.

5 posted on 02/11/2007 9:46:16 AM PST by Dog Gone
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
You can always depend on the Stalls and Corridor Watch to be dishonest.

In a discussion of building a scaled down portion of TTC 35, she jumps to the timetable and costs of building out the entire, statewide TTC System.

6 posted on 02/11/2007 9:48:47 AM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: Ben Ficklin
"You can always depend on the Stalls and Corridor Watch to be dishonest."

Also wonder if they plant shills on conservative websites to spread their non-truths?

7 posted on 02/11/2007 9:55:30 AM PST by 100-Fold_Return (Thinketh Like A BILLIONAIRE)
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To: 100-Fold_Return
I think the word you are looking for is "ringer"

As you may, or may not, know, I have been at FR much longer than Corridor Watch has existed and long before the TTC was announced, so it is essentially impossible for me to be a ringer.

You, otoh, are highly suspected of being what you accuse me of. In fact, you might be Linda Stalled.

8 posted on 02/11/2007 10:21:07 AM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Thanks for the ping!


9 posted on 02/11/2007 10:45:46 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

"The Texas coast, the report continued, stands to become the preferred shipping point for moving goods throughout the United States. . . "

So are they planning to send it all up I-35?

This is just absurd. There is no reason whatsoever that all northbound freeway (or tollway) traffic should be routed through Dallas-Fort Worth, except for the yammering from metroplex leaders who are less concerned about air quality and congestion than they are about monopolizing commerce.

The answer to the problem is DISPERSION of traffic, not continued concentration of it into DFW: alternate routes, well to the west (from San Antonio/Austin northward instead of I-35) and to the east (from Houston northward, instead of I-45).

Such an approach would bring new business to dying communities in West Texas and underserved portions of East Texas, ease the traffic jams on both existing I-35 and I-45. It just makes sense, but try talking sense to TXDOT.


10 posted on 02/11/2007 11:01:03 AM PST by Jedidah
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To: 100-Fold_Return
I've been here since 1998. You've been here since 2006. If one of us is a planted shill, whom would you think it might be? My biggest problem with the TT Corridor is that Perry managed to work it so he's bypassing the legislature.

I also find those billboards with the Richard Farnsworth lookalike sitting in his pickup irritating, as every old farmer I know hates the idea of the Corridor. Perry dropped to 40% in a state with NO statewide elected Democrats specifically because of the corridor, and many of us who did vote for him held our nose.

11 posted on 02/11/2007 11:16:16 AM PST by Richard Kimball
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To: Jedidah

They've also worked it so firms who lose on bidding for part of the project get a payoff. They're spreading enough government money around to grease this project as thoroughly as possible.


12 posted on 02/11/2007 11:17:40 AM PST by Richard Kimball
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To: Alamo-Girl

You're welcome. :-)


13 posted on 02/11/2007 11:18:46 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Duncan Hunter: Hope of America)
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To: Jedidah

The answer to the problem is DISPERSION of traffic, not continued concentration of it into DFW:




In case you have missed it the I-69 corridor is making some headway...

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1782756/posts ..
I-69 is Semi-Finalist in Corridors of the Future Program


14 posted on 02/11/2007 11:22:36 AM PST by deport
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To: Jedidah
"So are they planning to send it all up I-35?"

No, that is what I-69/TTC 69 is for.

15 posted on 02/11/2007 12:58:16 PM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Seems like China is behind a lot of this. Panama canal, new, larger ports in western Mexico, railroads, toll roads.....campaign contributions? Anyone who trust China, is a FOOL! Taking money from them is worse.
16 posted on 02/11/2007 1:50:26 PM PST by wolfcreek (Please Lord, May I be, one who sees what's in front of me.)
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To: wolfcreek
China? I thought is was NAU?

The last time I floated the lower canyons, I got some photos of the Red Chinese Troops hiding in the riverside cane. But somebody from the govt came and took them away from me.

17 posted on 02/11/2007 3:02:02 PM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: wolfcreek

These transportation corridors are being accomplished from what I have found in our state by Governors' Executive Orders, and task forces they set up. Obviously, our governors have to working in concert with other state governors, too. I wonder if they spring from Presidential Executive Orders? The people have been left out of the process.

In our area, China is going to be the biggest winner as the highway and rail are going to carry millions and millions of Asian containers from Punta Colonet in Baja. China already controls the Panama Canal. China is a communist country that has been operating under "a hide your claws" policy.

Our state has lots of new highway planned. An article stated they have to figure out ways to fund it...toll...creative financing.....Or will it be like the rail backed by foreign (Chinese) money? We also have power lines and pipe lines coming from Mexico. These things are not addressing our local needs but someone else's "big picture". Personally, I think they are detrimental to our sovereignty, our trade deficit, and our security.



18 posted on 02/11/2007 3:47:59 PM PST by kactus
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To: Ben Ficklin

"China? I thought is was NAU?"


The picture is becoming clearer and it's all about Globalism. Trouble is, China is looking to have it both ways....controlling commerce and transportation on our end and manipulating trade on theirs. Basically, We've sold our soul for cheap goods in exchange for not very well thought out, world economy. Do you totally disagree?


19 posted on 02/12/2007 4:22:22 AM PST by wolfcreek (Please Lord, May I be, one who sees what's in front of me.)
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To: kactus

"The people have been left out of the process."


Exactly! If the population had any idea what was actually happening, there would be riots in the streets. Unfortunately, only a few are even curious.


The Elites assume small, incremental steps, will be overlooked by the populous until, one day, We wake up and everything has changed.


20 posted on 02/12/2007 4:50:09 AM PST by wolfcreek (Please Lord, May I be, one who sees what's in front of me.)
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To: wolfcreek
"....its all about Globalism"

I don't dis-agree with you, but since we have very, very different views of what globalism is, we are in dis-agreement.

We all understand the wisdom of the statement "he who controls the language, controls the argument". But when the anti crowd tries to control the language, they always run into problems.

One example of this is what I have already pointed out on the thread, Linda Stall's obvious mis-info/dishonesty. This method may work with the poorly informed, but thru time most people eventually become informed and mis-info works against those using it. Linda, if you are lying to me about this, what else are you lying to me about?

A second example is how the anti crowd drifts into bizarro world. Do a google search of "cue spooky music" or "more thorazine please" and see where it takes you. Watch out, you're drooling on your keyboard.

21 posted on 02/12/2007 6:55:34 AM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: kactus
While most of the discussion revolves around the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas and Texas' transportation corridors, we need to recognize that other Mexican ports, such as Guaymas and Punta Colomet, intend to compete and other states, such as AZ and CA, intend to compete.

Additionally, as the second article above points out, if the canal gets enlarged, the Gulf and Atlantic ports will compete with the Pacific ports.

Considering all the various potential infrastructure improvements that can be put in place over time to accomodate international thread, it is obvious that there is a lot of exaggeration in regards how many new roads Texas will need accomodate trade. Most of the new roads that Texas will need will be related to population growth.

22 posted on 02/12/2007 7:25:06 AM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Linda Stall from Corridor Watch said, "This is a huge project. 184 billion dollars, it's a 50 year agreement, 50 years. That is a long time."

More deception and dishonesty from Corridor Watch's aptly named Stall family. TTC-35 is a $7 to $8 billion project, the $184 billion figure is for the total statewide buildout plan of many more roads, which is only a concept right now and most of those roads won't be built for decades, if ever. And only a few million dollars of the TTC-35 will be from tax money, all the rest being private investment recouped by tolls.

She is purposefully confusing the issue to mislead those who don't know much about the project. Read her sentence and many will come away thinking that just the I-35 corridor will cost $184 billion of tax money.

If Corridor Watch is correct on the issue, why do they always have to resort to dishonesty and misleading the public? Wouldn't the simple truth be good enough? But of course the truth doesn't support their claims and accusations.

23 posted on 02/12/2007 7:37:41 AM PST by Diddle E. Squat (Rudy Giuliani-Joe Dyton in '08; and free the Texas 3.)
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