Keyword: highwayfunding

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  • Rick Scott's Toll Lanes Definitely Newsworthy ... but an Exposé?

    09/19/2014 12:41:14 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 13 replies
    Sunshine State News ^ | September 17, 2014 | Nancy Smith
    In August 2011 Gov. Rick Scott first made it plain he likes toll lanes on major highways and wants more of them. They speed up traffic, he said. In October 2011, PolitiFact Florida checked out his assessment, rated it "mostly true." So it was a little surprising to see the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting (FCIR), whose stated purpose is "to expose corruption, waste and miscarriages of justice," expose Scott's commitment to toll lanes. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great this news is well and truly in front of the public again. And shame on all of us...
  • Florida spends billions on toll lanes, but public has little input into how money is spent

    09/15/2014 5:01:03 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies
    The Florida Times-Union ^ | September 14, 2014 | Eric Barton
    In the next decade, Florida’s biggest cities will add toll lanes to the state’s busiest highways. Nobody knows exactly how much it will cost. Maybe as little as $3 billion. Maybe double that. What’s clear is that when the toll lanes across the state are complete, they will become one of the largest infrastructure projects in state history. There’s little debate that the toll lanes, also called express lanes or managed lanes, make commutes quicker for those willing to pay as much as $10 to use them. But there has been little debate about the need for the projects —...
  • Candidates for governor differ on I-95 tolls

    09/05/2014 10:05:02 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 14 replies
    turnto10.com ^ | September 4, 2014 | Bill Rappleye
    PROVIDENCE - Tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge were rejected by popular demand, but a proposed toll on Interstate 95 near the Connecticut border had less opposition. Any toll would need federal government approval, and Rhode Island Public Radio's Ian Donnis asked the Democrats running for governor what they thought of the idea during an NBC 10 live debate Wednesday. "Yes. I think people deserve a straightforward answer. This state should be looking in comprehensive ways," Pell said. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras said he does not support adding a toll on I-95. "It's a regressive tax that has an impact...
  • Coalition Urges Malloy, Foley To Consider Taxes, Tolls to Raise Transportation Money

    08/20/2014 12:08:04 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies
    The Hartford Courant ^ | August 19, 2014 | GREGORY B. HLADKY
    HARTFORD - A broad coalition of environmental, economic, regional and construction groups urged Connecticut's gubernatorial candidates Tuesday to conduct a debate focused on transportation issues, and to consider higher taxes and tolls to pay for the state's dire transportation needs. The activists put out a four-point program they said the state's next governor must consider, and expressed concern about the possibility that massive federal funding for highways and mass transit might dry up in the next few years. The coalition's key issues are: •Making certain that state revenue that is supposed to be devoted to transportation - such as gas...
  • ELECTION 2014: Texas gubernatorial candidates give insight on transportation

    08/17/2014 1:01:09 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 2 replies
    Land Line ^ | August 15, 2014 | Keith Goble
    A new governor will be seated in Texas following the Nov. 4 election. The candidates competing for outgoing Gov. Rick Perry’s position have track records and have weighed in on transportation issues. The two major party candidates vying to replace him are Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis. One issue that will confront the winner is a transportation system in need of $4 billion more per year in revenue. The Texas House is expected to propose a budget next year that uses all of the money allotted to the state highway fund for transportation. Advocates say that devoting highway...
  • Five Reasons Not to Raise the Gas Tax

    07/05/2014 8:12:09 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 34 replies
    The Huffington Post ^ | July 3, 2014 | Randal O'Toole
    The federal Highway Trust Fund is running out of money, and some senators have proposed to fix the problem by raising gas taxes. This, however, is the wrong solution because it treats the symptom, and not the underlying reason for the shortfall. Here are five reasons for not increasing gas taxes. 1. The problem is not a shortage of funds but an excess of spending. For more than 50 years after Congress created the Highway Trust Fund in 1956 it was able to avoid a shortage of funds by a simple measure: it didn't spend more than was collected in...
  • O’Toole: Why is Congress still running the transportation system?

    06/28/2014 9:12:25 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies
    The Greeley Tribune ^ | June 27, 2014 | Randal O'Toole
    Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden has proposed a three-month transportation bill. Three more months, he says, will give Congress a chance to figure out a long-term solution. The only problem is that Congress had three months three months ago and did nothing. Meanwhile, Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., have proposed to increase gas taxes by 12 cents a gallon. Considering that the gas tax hasn’t been increased in more than 20 inflation-filled years, this would seem to make sense.It doesn’t, however, because a gas tax increase assumes there is a shortage of funds for transportation. Instead, the real...
  • Rethinking Federal Highway and Transit Funding

    05/20/2014 10:06:25 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies
    The Cato Institute ^ | May 6, 2014 | Chris Edwards
    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today regarding the federal role in highway and transit funding.Federal policymakers are considering ways to close the large funding gap in the Highway Trust Fund. One option would be to reduce spending and downsize the federal role in transportation. That approach would encourage state governments to pursue their own innovative solutions for highways and transit, such as new types of user charges, public-private partnerships, and privatization.Federal aid programs for highways and transit have many shortcomings. Aid redistributes transportation funds between the states in ways that are...
  • The Road Less Traveled

    10/01/2013 1:48:42 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 11 replies
    Bethesday Magazine ^ | September 2013 | Eugene L. Meyer
    Driven on the Intercounty Connector lately? No? You’re not alone. Many haven’t. The 18.8-mile highway—the first stretch of which opened two and a half years ago after great hype and amid great controversy—is the road less traveled. Traffic counts are well below early projections, and revenue from tolls—needed to pay off the bonds that were sold to build the road—is far less than originally anticipated. The initial estimated cost of $1 billion has ballooned to $2.4 billion—or as much as $4 billion if you include interest payments. Consequently, all tolls on Maryland highways, bridges and tunnels have been raised in...
  • Feds Halt New Highways In Imperial County, Citing Air Pollution

    08/11/2012 12:13:09 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 23 replies
    KPBS.org ^ | August 10, 2012 | Adrian Florido
    SAN DIEGO — In a rare move, the federal government has put a stop to new highway projects in California's Imperial County as punishment for the county’s poor air quality. Effective Aug. 9, the Federal Highway Administration is withholding federal funding for new highways in the county. The county will also not be allowed to move forward on projects still being designed. Two years ago the Environmental Protection Agency told Imperial County it had 24 months to adopt new rules to improve air quality. Dust, pesticide use, the burning of agricultural fields and off-road vehicles make the air there among...
  • Frankly, Scott has a better idea on highway funding

    09/29/2011 1:01:24 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 2 replies
    nj.com (Star-Ledger) ^ | September 29, 2011 | Paul Mulshine
    The other day our sister newspaper, the Gloucester County Times, reported on a raid at a fraternity house at Rowan University where — get ready for a shock — some college kids were drinking. About 100 of the kids were underage and will face charges. Believe it or not, that incident has its roots in the same problem that led to the controversy over the so-called "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska. That problem lies in the way the federal government distributes highway funding: poorly. It’s obvious in the case of the bridge that would have connected the city of Ketchikan,...
  • Texas lawmakers to weigh private road deals against tax increases

    01/12/2009 4:28:45 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 17 replies · 617+ views
    WFAA ^ | January 12, 2009 | Michael A. Lindenberger (Dallas Morning News)
    Two years ago, lawmakers went to war with Gov. Rick Perry over his push to privatize Texas toll roads, but their efforts to stop the idea largely failed. As they return Tuesday to launch the 2009 legislative session, lawmakers will be faced with a choice of either raising taxes – which both Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst have called a bad idea – or giving private companies a greater role in paying for, and operating, a fast-expanding network of toll roads. The two-year moratorium on private road deals that passed in 2007 slowed but didn't kill Perry's plan to...
  • Texas lawmakers to focus on transportation politics

    01/02/2009 7:00:12 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 9 replies · 639+ views
    TheTrucker.com ^ | December 31, 2008 | Kelley Shannon (Associated Press)
    AUSTIN, Texas — If anyone wondered whether Texas toll road rage had subsided or lawmakers' irritation at the Texas Department of Transportation had eased, those questions got answered a few days before Christmas: Not so much. Denouncing the massive transportation agency as dysfunctional and out of control, a group of lawmakers reviewing the department said it will be intensely debated in the legislative session that begins Jan. 13. "This is a big agency that is a mess," said Rep. Carl Isett, a Lubbock Republican and one of the leaders of the Sunset Advisory Commission that periodically examines state agencies. He...
  • The New Year May Bring Some Changes in the Capitol

    12/29/2008 4:04:57 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 8 replies · 457+ views
    The Tribune ^ | December 29, 2008 | Dave McNeely
    The Texas Legislature is coming back Jan. 13, and change may be in the air. The Sunset Advisory Commission, by a narrow margin, recently voted to abolish the five-member commission that oversees the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDoOT), and replace it with a single commissioner. This is but the latest in the continuing evolution of Texas state government. When legislators think an agency isn’t working right, the urges generally are to change the agency’s personnel; to change the agency’s structure; to combine it with some other agency; to investigate it; or to abolish it. Such it is with TxDOT. In...
  • Texas bills pursue transportation money, tackle corridor plan

    12/21/2008 6:50:19 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 10 replies · 647+ views
    Land Line Magazine ^ | December 19, 2008 | Keith Goble
    Confronted with a struggling transportation fund, lawmakers in Texas soon are expected to wage battle on various methods to help generate $14 billion for roads and bridges throughout the state. Another bill is intended to sideline the planned Trans-Texas Corridor. A report released this week from the Texas Department of Transportation says that the state will need to come up with $313 billion by 2030 for road and bridge maintenance and for congestion solutions. The report’s unveiling happened a couple of weeks before the Texas Legislature is set to convene its 2009 session. Lawmakers say they already were committed to...
  • County official presents wish list for U.S. 281 upgrades

    11/02/2008 5:40:04 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 2 replies · 465+ views
    The Monitor ^ | November 1, 2008 | Jared James
    U.S. Highway 281 Presentation >> Priority 1: Spend $75 million to build five overpasses in Falfurrias.>> Priority 2: A $13 million Ben Bolt overpass at Farm-to-Market Road 2508 is proposed to create a safer school zone and eliminate another traffic barrier.>> Priority 3: Dedicate anywhere from $40 million to $104 million to build tolled relief route around Premont or upgrade the existing route with tolled freeway lanes.>> Priority 4: A $50 million project in George West to build connectors to U.S. Highway 59 and Interstate 37.McALLEN -- Whether the route is eventually called Interstate 69 or the Trans-Texas Corridor, four...
  • Editorial: Collaboration on road issues

    10/21/2008 9:06:44 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 4 replies · 370+ views
    The Dallas Morning News ^ | October 21, 2008 | The Dallas Morning News
    Savor the occasional cause for optimism that top leaders can value teamwork over turf in the contentious area of transportation financing. Take the years of squabbling over how Texas can scrape up billions of dollars to catch up with road-building needs. Suddenly, there's positive movement, first from Gov. Rick Perry last week. He told this newspaper's transportation writer, Michael Lindenberger, that he would not use his veto to obstruct a move by lawmakers to index the lagging motor-fuels tax to inflation. "If it is the will of the people, and of the Legislature, I suspect I would go along with...
  • TxDOT buys time with borrowed funds for Dallas-area projects

    10/06/2008 9:10:47 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 23 replies · 716+ views
    The Dallas Morning News ^ | October 5, 2008 | Michael A Lindenberger
    State transportation officials are poised to issue billions of dollars in debt to help speed road construction, a move that will keep Dallas-area projects on schedule for now but will do little to shore up the state's long-term road-funding crisis. The Texas Department of Transportation will likely begin issuing $1.5 billion in bonds within 60 days, pending the recovery of the nation's upended credit markets, and is taking steps to borrow another $6.4 billion over the next few years. Historic turmoil in the credit markets is already costing the department hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra interest payments each...
  • TxDOT might be in the money again

    09/30/2008 7:43:07 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 5 replies · 296+ views
    The Austin American-Statesman ^ | September 29, 2008 | Ben Wear
    The Texas Department of Transportation, which has alternated between fiscal gluttony and subsistence the past few years, may be about to belly up to a feast again. A feast paid for with money to be borrowed, mind you. Given the state of credit markets, one hesitates to reach for the salt right away. But absent the financial Armageddon that the president and others have been gabbing about, TxDOT might be sitting on an $8 billion stash this time next year. Even in the zero-laden world of government spending, $8 billion would be a significant infusion into TxDOT's budget. Without that...
  • Ogden: TTC plans may be scrapped

    09/12/2008 4:18:04 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 6 replies · 206+ views
    The Taylor Daily Press ^ | September 12, 2008 | Philip Jankowski
    In an interview with the Taylor Daily Press, State Sen. Steve Ogden revealed a possible new course for the controversial Trans-Texas Corridor. Instead of building superhighways across the state, Ogden said, the state may opt to augment the Texas Trunk System, a web of rural highways that includes U.S. 79. The plan would expand those highways to four-lane divided highways, while expanding urban infrastructure with toll roads. “We need to limit that concept to existing highways,” Ogden said of the proposed network of superhighways and tiered rail systems. “I passed a bill last session that did that, but [Gov. Rick...
  • TxDOT seeking public input on project

    09/05/2008 6:13:44 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 12 replies · 375+ views
    The Nueces County Record Star ^ | September 4, 2008 | Staff Reports
    The Texas Department of Transportation is asking Nueces County residents to attend a public meeting in Driscoll to comment and provide input on proposed upgrades of US 77 to a controlled access facility that meets interstate standards. The purpose of the meetings is to review proposed options for upgrading US 77 and to present recommendations, TxDOT officials said. The first round public meetings were held in early March. This second round of public meetings is being held as part of TxDOT's continued effort to gain public input on issues related to proposed improvements and to provide an opportunity for public...
  • TTC plans for U.S. Hwy. 59 may not come to fruition

    08/30/2008 5:53:24 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 8 replies · 370+ views
    The Daily Sentinel ^ | August 28, 2008 | Andrew Goodridge
    The Pineywoods Sub-Regional Planning Commission met Thursday to hear a presentation by the commission's president, Hank Gilbert, who said the plans to move the Trans-Texas Corridor to the current U.S. Hwy. 59 location may not come to fruition. The Texas Department of Transportation initially planned to build a new highway system, which would have been as large as 1,200-feet wide, that would run through rural areas of East Texas, including Nacogdoches County. However, TxDOT scrapped those plans in June and announced a new proposal to build the TTC along the existing route of U.S. Hwy 59. But Gilbert, of the...
  • Editorial: Texas leaders' transportation pledge is welcome

    08/27/2008 10:54:52 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 16 replies · 231+ views
    The Dallas Morning News ^ | Tuesday, August 26, 2008 | The Dallas Morning News
    It's good to see the state's top three leaders now on the same page – literally – on at least a few ways to attack the problem of under-funded roadway needs. Breakthrough No. 1 – admitting a problem. Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Tom Craddick – never political chums – all put their signatures on a joint statement last week conceding that Texas' "ability to fund needed transportation projects in the future is limited." Breakthrough No. 2 – committing to specific fixes. The most welcome one was a pledge to quit siphoning off road money...
  • State Agrees to Stop Diverting Highway Construction Money

    08/22/2008 11:53:23 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 14 replies · 340+ views
    WOAI Radio ^ | August 22, 2008 | Jim Forsyth
    Governor Perry and other state leaders have agreed to bring a halt to the practice which some say has led to toll roads...the diversion of money from the state's highway fund to other projects, 1200 WOAI news reports. "Implement a plan that sets a definitive course to end the practice of funding the Department of Public Safety with gas taxes that are needed for road construction, and return to funding the DPS with general revenue," is the first goal in a long term transportation funding plan released by Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, and House Speaker Tom Craddick. 1200 WOAI...
  • Texas wants its public funds to invest in roads

    08/22/2008 10:57:25 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 20 replies · 221+ views
    Reuters ^ | August 21, 2008 | Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Public investment funds based in Texas could invest directly in transportation projects through a new corporation under a plan unveiled on Thursday by the state's legislative leaders and the governor. Texas has the nation's biggest road privatization plan but the legislature, reacting to criticisms that developers were enriching themselves at the expense of taxpayers, enacted a two-year moratorium. That has crimped road-building projects and led to a series of clashes between the governor and the legislature, who now have agreed on a compromise plan. Developers, including overseas companies, investment banks and private equity funds all vie...
  • Texas Lawmaker Talks Toll Roads with Utah Legislature

    08/21/2008 7:45:43 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 38 replies · 240+ views
    KCPW ^ | August 20, 2008 | KCPW News
    (KCPW News) Utah lawmakers took tips on highway funding from a Texas legislator this morning. Texas Republican Representative Mike Krusee joined them on Capitol Hill. He told the Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee that with federal money drying up, the only way to pay for new highways is to make them toll roads. "Guess how many roads pay for themselves in taxes? Zero. Not a one. Most of them are less than 50 percent," said Krusee. "Imagine if you're a grocery a store owner, and you decide, I'm gonna sell sirloin at a buck a pound, and I'm gonna sell...
  • Commission picks developer for I-69 project

    06/27/2008 6:42:45 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies · 253+ views
    The Houston Chronicle ^ | June 26, 2008 | Janet Elliott
    AUSTIN — The Texas Transportation Commission on Thursday selected San Antonio's Zachry Construction Corp. and a Spanish toll road developer to plan a superhighway from Texarkana to Brownsville. The $5 million contract calls for Zachry American Infrastructure and ACS Infrastructure to create a financial plan for the Interstate 69 segment of the Trans-Texas Corridor. "This team represents the best in the balance of local and global expertise necessary to complete a project of this scope," said David Zachry, chief operating officer of Zachry Construction Corp. The private developers' plan calls for seven new loops around Corpus Christi and other cities...
  • TxDOT will recommend no new roads for I-69/TTC

    06/20/2008 5:54:37 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 12 replies · 239+ views
    The Nueces County Record Star ^ | June 19, 2008 | Tim Olmeda
    The controversial project known as Interstate 69/TransTexas Corridor became a little less so last week after the Texas Department of Transportation announced it would recommend utilizing existing highway routes rather than building new ones. The announcement comes after months of public meetings during which residents along the path of the proposed path of Interstate 69/TTC voiced varying concerns. TxDOT has designated four priority corridors to address the state's transportation needs in the next decade. "The preliminary basis for this decision centers on the review of nearly 28,000 public comments made on the Tier One Draft Environmental Impact Statement," TxDOT Executive...
  • Panel proposes changes for TxDOT

    06/03/2008 6:22:44 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 10 replies · 737+ views
    The Houston Chronicle ^ | June 2, 2008 | Peggy Fikac
    AUSTIN — Saying big changes are needed to restore trust in the Texas Department of Transportation, the Sunset Advisory Commission staff is recommending a revamp of its governing board, project planning, and dealings with lawmakers and the public. The commission's report, to be released today, comes in the wake of controversy over planned public-private partnerships on toll roads, the route of the proposed Trans-Texas Corridor transportation network and questions concerning agency funding figures. The Houston Chronicle obtained a copy of the report. "The Sunset review of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) occurred against a backdrop of distrust and frustration...
  • TxDOT tries to bridge rifts with Texans in Congress

    05/25/2008 2:55:12 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 8 replies · 209+ views
    The Houston Chronicle ^ | May 25, 2008 | Bennett Roth and Stewart Powell
    WASHINGTON — The Texas Department of Transportation, long viewed as hyperpartisan and arrogant by some members of the state's congressional delegation, has been trying to soften its image by reaching out to lawmakers of both parties in the nation's capital. But while state transportation officials are having some success in easing the personal animus, they still face a stiff challenge in selling their policy agenda to the state's elected officials in Washington. Many Texans on the Potomac cringe at the agency's embrace of toll roads, the controversies surrounding the Trans-Texas Corridor and TxDOT's resistance to many of the highway earmarks...
  • TxDOT told to ‘prioritize’ in road funding crisis

    05/21/2008 7:38:59 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 5 replies · 181+ views
    The Monitor ^ | May 20, 2008 | James Osborne
    McALLEN -- State senators on Tuesday ordered transportation officials to assess Texas' highway system and prioritize which regions are most in need of new roads. "We're expecting a full report, not some two-page letter," said state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, chairman of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Homeland Security. "You can't begin addressing the funding problems until you know when the roads are expected to come on line." The transportation committee, which met Tuesday morning at McAllen City Hall, has been at odds with the Texas Department of Transportation since earlier this year, when the agency announced the halt...
  • Column - John Kanelis: State faces many rural roadblocks

    05/11/2008 2:38:48 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies · 387+ views
    Amarillo Globe-News ^ | May 11, 2008 | John Kanelis
    Texas Gov. Rick Perry wants to build a big highway through the Lone Star State. No, make that a really big highway, as in a monstrously big highway. The exact route hasn't been determined. The mega-highway would run roughly from Laredo on the Rio Grande River through the Hill Country and the Piney Woods and then through Texarkana in that tiny portion of the state that borders Arkansas. Imagine for a moment if that thoroughfare would be pointed in the other direction - from the Valley, through the South Plains and then through the heart of the Panhandle, right past...
  • Nacogdoches County will fight TTC as new member of regional planning commission

    05/01/2008 5:34:51 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 3 replies · 372+ views
    The Daily Sentinel ^ | April 29, 2008 | Michael Rodden
    County commissioners reaffirmed their stance against the Trans-Texas Corridor, and they took another step toward keeping county government transparent when they met Tuesday. First up on the court's agenda, commissioners heard a presentation by Connie Fogle on behalf of the newly formed Pineywoods Sub-Regional Planning Commission. According to Fogle, the Texas Local Government Code, Chapter 391, requires state agencies to coordinate with local commissions to "ensure effective and orderly implementation of state programs at the regional level." "Critical in the code is the word 'coordinate,'" she said. "This does not mean the commission has to cooperate. The intent is to...
  • Editorial: Not serious on roads

    04/30/2008 4:28:40 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies · 218+ views
    The Waco Tribune-Herald ^ | April 30, 2008 | The Waco Tribune-Herald
    He says he is — seriously devoted to building and maintaining highways. But he is just as devoted to fencing state government into fiscal straits that make these goals impossible without privatizing highways through tolls. Perry last week said that going full-bore with toll roads is the only way for Texas to build new highways. That’s not so. The history of Texas tells us it’s not. Toll roads have their function without question. But so do bonds. So does a gasoline tax that has not kept pace with inflation. So does a reexamination of how Texas funds highways in general...
  • Rural residents feel the push from Trans-Texas Corridor

    04/28/2008 5:31:20 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 8 replies · 577+ views
    The Houston Chronicle ^ | April 27, 2008 | Rad Sallee
    Minutes south of Interstate 10 and Sealy, the pastures along FM 1458 are their own silent world in the morning. Mists lift to reveal black cattle, brown and spotted horses, snow-white egrets underfoot in lush green grass. Then a concrete mixer comes churning down the blacktop. Just up the road is a small subdivision. More are sure to come as city dwellers, including weekenders and retirees, move out in search of a quieter, simpler life — and relief from city traffic. Although the gradual influx may bring greater changes in the long run, what disturbs residents most is the planned...
  • Texas Farm Bureau supports transportation alternatives

    04/26/2008 5:32:39 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 11 replies · 224+ views
    Southwest Farm Press ^ | April 25, 2008 | Southwest Farm Press
    Texas Farm Bureau offered several viable transportation and funding alternatives to the proposed Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) in meeting Texas’ future transportation needs during testimony before the Senate Transportation Committee. “Let me assure you, as an industry we absolutely support and recognize the need for building and maintaining roads in Texas,” said Texas Farm Bureau State Director Tom Paben. “We feel this can be accomplished within the current framework of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).” “However, there is a need for redirection, as well as a review of the current priorities of the agency,” Paben added, noting several concerns about...
  • Transportation leaders: Texas needs more money for its roads

    04/25/2008 5:13:48 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 13 replies · 342+ views
    The Dallas Morning News ^ | April 23, 2008 | Michael A. Lindenberger
    AUSTIN — Maybe Texas’ transportation problems are a lot simpler to understand than recent fights over toll roads make it seem, North Texas leaders told state senators Wednesday. “My first recommendation: You need to provide a lot more revenue for transportation,” Michael Morris, transportation director for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, told the Texas Senate transportation committee. That was hardly the only suggestion from Mr. Morris or the many others who spoke to the committee, which is seeking input as it readies an approach on toll roads, TxDOT and more for the next legislative session. But it might...
  • Governor Perry sticks to privatization for toll roads

    04/24/2008 11:20:21 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 16 replies · 223+ views
    The Dallas Morning News ^ | April 23, 2008 | Michael A. Lindenberger
    AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry promised to keep fighting for private toll roads and his other transportation priorities Tuesday during his first major speech on the subject since the death in December of transportation commission chairman Ric Williamson. "This is a place for big challenges, not big excuses," he told state Transportation Department employees and highway experts from around the country at the annual Transportation Forum. Next year's legislative session, he said, can't be anything like last year's. "The Legislature must understand that 'no' is not a solution," Mr. Perry said. "It is an abdication of responsibility." Before last year's...
  • County tables resolution to organize panel (concerning Trans-Texas Corridor)

    04/22/2008 5:57:48 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 3 replies · 315+ views
    The Huntsville Item ^ | April 22, 2008 (environut day) | Holly Green
    It has been roughly three months since residents of Huntsville and Walker County attended town hall meetings to voice their opinion on the Trans-Texas Corridor/I-69 project to the Texas Department of Transportation. There was no question then that there was strong opposition to the proposed 1,600-mile national highway, and it seems as though residents’ efforts to stop it has not lost any of its momentum. Several residents attended the Walker County Commissioners Court on Monday morning, expressing concerns about the project and encouraged the court to take another step of action. The five-member court agrees with the majority of the...
  • Texas: Gas Tax Dollars Spent to Build Park

    04/16/2008 5:26:27 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 24 replies · 1,239+ views
    theNewspaper.com ^ | April 15, 2008 | theNewspaper.com
    Texas Department of Transportation that claims it has no money for roads uses $20 million in gas tax funds to build a park. Woodall Rodgers ParkThe Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation announced yesterday that the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) would hand over $20 million in gas tax funds to help build a 5.2 acre park near downtown Dallas. The $67 million park is intended to serve as a model public-private partnership with a restaurant, a children's playground and a dog park. It will have no roads. "The park... will connect Uptown, Downtown and the Arts District, and is expected to...
  • Gorden named to I-69/TTC advisory committee

    04/01/2008 5:50:42 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 2 replies · 239+ views
    The Lufkin Daily News ^ | April 1, 2008 | Gary Willmon
    Lufkin Mayor Jack Gorden has been selected by the Texas Transportation Committee to serve on a citizens' advisory committee for putting together information regarding the proposed Interstate 69/Trans-Texas Corridor. According to Texas Department of Transportation officials, advisory committee members represent a cross-section of community and business leaders, landowners, local transportation experts and others. "Our goal is to enhance the public dialogue and meaningfully involve more Texans in transportation decisions," said Texas Transportation Commission Chair Hope Andrade. "These committees will have an important seat at the table as we work together to shape the future of transportation for our state." Gorden...
  • Rendell seeks loan for highway, bridge work

    03/28/2008 8:59:28 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 6 replies · 421+ views
    The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ^ | March 27, 2008 | Tom Barnes
    HARRISBURG -- With a section of a Pittsburgh bridge dropping 8 inches and an Interstate 95 support pillar cracking in Philadelphia, Gov. Ed Rendell is turning up the heat under the Legislature to provide infrastructure repair funds more quickly. Mr. Rendell sent a letter to all 253 legislators yesterday urging quick passage of a $240 million "supplemental debt authorization." His program of borrowing would enable state officials to fast-track repairs on some of the state's 6,000 bridges classified as structurally deficient, along with fixing ailing highways, repairing "state-owned, high-hazard dams" and beginning flood mitigation projects. Also yesterday, Mr. Rendell called...
  • Officials: 'Trans-Texas Corridor' a taboo, but need real

    03/28/2008 5:55:47 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 18 replies · 758+ views
    The Fort Worth Star-Telegram ^ | March 28, 2008 | Gordon Dickson
    FORT WORTH -- The Trans-Texas Corridor is now so controversial, merely uttering the words in most political circles is taboo. "We're calling it a 'regional loop' because you can't say 'Trans-Texas Corridor' in the state of Texas anymore," said Michael Morris, transportation director for the North Central Texas Council of Governments. "The Trans-Texas Corridor is a lightning rod," he told visiting state representatives this week while explaining how the corridor would connect to regional highways by 2030. Opposition to the proposed construction of a $184 billion network of toll roads during the next 50 years is so strong statewide that...
  • McReynolds to TxDOT: 'Drop I-69/TTC absurdity'

    03/26/2008 5:37:17 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 29 replies · 671+ views
    The Lufkin Daily News ^ | March 25, 2008 | Gary Willmon
    State Rep. Jim McReynolds has sent a letter to the Texas Department of Transportation saying he thinks TxDOT should drop the idea of tying the Trans-Texas Corridor in with plans for routing Interstate 69 through East Texas. McReynolds says tremendous negative outcry from his constituents and other East Texas residents has made it clear to him no one wants infrastructure that massive and disruptive to the quality of life to be built, taking big swaths out of the Pineywoods countryside. "Within the past several weeks, I have personally attended every TxDOT hearing held in my district regarding this proposed corridor,"...
  • Three South Texas highways to be interstates

    03/23/2008 4:49:55 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 35 replies · 1,240+ views
    The Monitor ^ | March 22, 2008 | Jackie Leatherman
    South Texas is not only going to get its first interstate - it is also going to get a second and a third. State transportation officials knew one of three southern highways - U.S. Highway 281 in Hidalgo County, U.S. Highway 77 in Cameron County or U.S. Highway 59 in Webb County - would eventually become part of an interstate stretching from the Texas-Mexico border to Texarkana, in the northeast part of the state. Only Webb County is currently served by an interstate. The state's Trans-Texas Corridor plan calls for an Interstate 69 extension linking South Texas to points north,...
  • Cintra/Zachry complete legal work on $1,360m financial close with TxDOT on SH130 5&6

    03/19/2008 6:20:26 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 13 replies · 949+ views
    TOLLROADSnews ^ | March 10, 2008 | TOLLROADSnews
    SH 130 Concession Company LLC finalized the legal details of a financial close with Texas DOT on a $1,360m toll concession to build SH130 segments 5&6 Thursday and Friday last week in bankers' offices in New York City - at Orrick, 666 Fifth Avenue. The actual money flows should occur on Thursday or Friday (Mar 13 or 14) this week, Jose Maria Lopez de Fuentes, president of Cintra North America, told us this morning. Hundreds of documents and over 20 lawyers were involved last week representing TxDOT, private equity people, banks, mostly European, the TIFIA loan group from FHWA, and...
  • Anti-corridor groups plan Monday workshop at civic center

    03/16/2008 3:04:05 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 10 replies · 1,437+ views
    The Lufkin Daily News ^ | March 16, 2008 | Steven Alford
    There's been a lot of talk about the new Trans-Texas Corridor — the next-generation "super-highway" — and opinions are varying. Now the debate is coming to Lufkin's doorstep. On Monday, the American Land Foundation, Stewards of the Range and TURF will hold a workshop at Lufkin's Pitser Garrison Civic Center on how to stop the Trans-Texas Corridor 69. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A portion of Texas citizens have voiced their opposition to the TTC-69 in public meetings held by the Texas Department of Transportation, but believing they are not being heard, four cities and their...
  • TxDOT makes $1 billion error

    03/12/2008 2:15:26 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 16 replies · 852+ views
    The Cherokeean Herald ^ | March 12, 2008 | Leland Acker
    In the midst of inflation, funding difficulties and halted expansion projects, a budget error on the part of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) may have exacerbated their challenges. "TxDOT does some mysterious accounting," said Rep. Chuck Hopson (D-Jacksonville). "They had close to $1 billion counted in their budget twice." "That was a serious error on our part and we have made changes to try to prevent that type of error from occurring again," said TxDOT Spokesman Chris Lippincott, adding that the amount added twice in their financial statement was unrelated to the $1.2 billion in federal rescissions, which are...
  • TxDOT accused of breaking federal law

    03/06/2008 1:18:28 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 9 replies · 342+ views
    The Navasota Examiner & Grimes County Review ^ | March 6, 2008 | Rosemary Smith
    Texas spirit was alive and well at the Navasota DEIS public hearing on Feb. 28. Opposition groups, such as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, came from as far as Washington, D.C. to give recorded testimony, and get a first hand look at TxDOT process procedures. Assistant Director of Communications, Leigh Strope, who attended the meeting on behalf of the 34,000 Texas Teamsters Union members, says, “Teamsters want to stop the dangerous trend of selling our roads and bridges to foreign investors so they can slap tolls on the driving public. We are also concerned because the Trans-Texas Corridor would form...
  • TxDOT traveling bumpy road

    02/18/2008 1:33:51 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 14 replies · 421+ views
    Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock Online) ^ | February 18, 2008 | Enrique Rangel
    AUSTIN - When it comes to road improvement and maintenance, by most accounts, the South Plains and Panhandle are fortunate. Despite a $1.1 billion accounting error, the Texas Department of Transportation recently reported no projects in the region have been canceled or delayed while cities like Dallas, Houston and Laredo had at least a half dozen highway projects delayed. But the $1.1 billion-error, which occurred because TxDOT inadvertently counted some bond money twice and consequently allocated more funding than it had, is just the latest problem plaguing the beleaguered agency. For months, TxDOT executive director Amadeo Saenz and other transportation...