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Keyword: privatefunding

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  • Private investors take public profits at Machang Bridge

    09/19/2008 8:00:07 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 4 replies · 295+ views
    The Hankyoreh ^ | September 19, 2008 | The Hankyoreh
    There is rising criticism that the Machang Bridge, which opened in July at the cost of millions of won, is only enriching speculative capitalists with tax money. They say that throughout the country, roads built through private investment are becoming white elephants where investors eat tax money via rough traffic predictions and contracts with excessive profit guarantees. The province of South Gyeongsang spent 380 billion won (US$337 million) in budget outlays and 190 million won in private capital to build the Machang Bridge linking Changwon and Masan. For the next 30 years, the earnings from the bridge tolls will be...
  • LETTER: TTC ordeal remains the same

    09/01/2008 9:29:46 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 3 replies · 234+ views
    The Lufkin Daily News ^ | August 30, 2008 | Gary L. Smith, Sr.
    In my recent letter to you concerning the TTC, I misquoted some information about the company known as Cintra. Mr. Patrick Rhodes of Cintra wrote in response to my mistake. Therefore, I stand corrected with the following: Fellow citizens, the company, Cintra, is not affiliated with ZAI-ACS. Cintra is partnered with Zachry on some TxDOT projects and ACS is partnered with Zachry on some other TxDOT projects. Therefore, I hope this clarifies the over-zealous statements in my letter. Cintra is a Spanish-owned company, and ACS is a larger Spanish-owned company. Zachry, a Texas company, is affiliated with each of them...
  • Elevated transport rail imagined for city

    08/31/2008 6:03:21 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies · 392+ views
    Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Northwest Arkansas Edition ^ | August 31, 2008 | Brandy S. Chewning (Texarkana Gazette)
    TEXARKANA — The company selected to design Interstate 69 has revealed plans to also implement the world’s first air rail freight system in the corridor, possibly starting in Texarkana, Texas. “You [Texarkana ] have railroads here, you already have an interstate, bringing I-69 is another interstate, you’ve got Oklahoma, you’ve got I-49,” said Gary Kuhn, senior project manager for Zachary American Infrastructure. “This is what the logistics world likes to see — that opportunity to go from one mode to another very efficiently.” In a presentation to the Wilbur Smith Rotary Club, Kuhn said the freight shuttle is a new...
  • 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...
  • Feds must green-light changes in I-69 route plan

    06/12/2008 6:19:43 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 14 replies · 233+ views
    The Houston Chronicle ^ | June 12, 2008 | Rad Sallee
    State highway officials said Wednesday that the first step in carrying out their decision to build a controversial toll road along the present U.S. 59, and not through farm and ranch land, is to get federal approval. Although no federal funding has been sought for the Interstate 69/Trans-Texas Corridor, the Texas Department of Transportation is bound by federal environmental law. The project has generated thick volumes about its likely impact on the natural environment and the communities in its path. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is expected to undergo public review late this year and then get sent to...
  • Editorial: Now TxDOT must act on its promises

    06/06/2008 5:09:58 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 6 replies · 168+ views
    The San Antonio Express-News ^ | June 5, 2008 | The San Antonio Express-News
    The Texas Transportation Commission sounded the right notes last month in its first meeting under new leadership. Deirdre Delisi, recently appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to chair the commission, and her fellow commissioners finally seem to have gotten the message — the Texas Department of Transportation has lost the public's trust. For those with short memories, here are a few highlights that explain how that happened: •TxDOT fought to keep details of Perry's proposed Trans-Texas Corridor secret. It denied repeated requests from the media and landowners to let the public view a plan that calls for hundreds of miles of...
  • 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...
  • Trans-Texas Corridor

    04/29/2008 5:29:55 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 16 replies · 459+ views
    Quarter Horse News ^ | April 29, 2008 | Sonny Williams
    Each day, I make the dreaded drive down Interstate 35 to go to work in Fort Worth. Each day, I slug through the snarl and sludge of ceaseless traffic, which intensifies my growing desire to commit hari-kari, or at least incites a vehement curse of the highway gods. Certainly, we in Texas need more lanes, more roads, more rails, more something to deal with the ever-expanding urban population and growing international commerce. Yet how do we solve our transportation needs without carving up the countryside like some congratulatory cake? Or should the construction of a superhighway-rail-utility corridor even concern us?...
  • 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...
  • A Transportation Alternative In Texas

    04/08/2008 5:44:33 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 21 replies · 228+ views
    The Houstonian ^ | April 8, 2008 | Sally Abdelmottlep
    Cars have been a huge part of our lives. We use them to get around anywhere. It might have been the best invention mankind came up with, but we all hate several common things about cars, such as the cost of gas prices and traffic. We think sometimes in our imagination how awesome it would be if cars had wings, so maybe one day we will fly through terrific! We also despise accidents, high insurance and drunk driving. Sometimes, I feel that we need other alternative means of transportation, such as a subway system in the state of Texas; maybe...
  • 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...
  • Spanish firm using loan from U.S. to build segments of Texas toll road

    03/14/2008 4:23:23 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 20 replies · 860+ views
    Land Line Magazine ^ | March 13, 2008 | David Tanner
    Officials with the Spanish toll road operator Cintra have announced that the company has secured $430 million in loans from the U.S. government to build and operate two segments of a toll road in central Texas. Cintra officials announced the company’s financial plan for the $1.36 billion Highway 130 segments on Monday, March 10. OOIDA Senior Government Affairs Representative Mike Joyce told Land Line that the Association does raise red flags when federal dollars are used to subsidize private investors. Officials with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association are not, however, categorically opposed to a state using future toll revenue to...
  • Trans-Texas Corridor

    03/09/2008 1:08:26 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 21 replies · 1,328+ views
    Nolan Chart ^ | March 8, 2008 | Adam Rink
    Topic: Globalism The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is planning on building a new super highway system called the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC). The Trans-Texas Corridor will not be just another interstate and will it will be used by more than just automobiles. It will include 10 lanes for traffic, two high speed rail tracks, four standard rail tracks, utility lines, oil pipelines, and gas pipelines. The Trans-Texas Corridor will consist of many corridors segments that are 1,200 feet wide, with each mile consuming 146 acres of land. This land is currently ranch and farm land that is being taken by...
  • Trans-Texas corridor stirs controversy

    02/26/2008 2:28:30 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 9 replies · 540+ views
    One News Now ^ | February 26, 2008 | Jim Brown
    The debate in Texas over a proposed 4,000-mile network of toll roads that will parallel the state's existing highway system is heating up More than 10,000 people have attended public hearings across Texas to discuss the proposed Trans-Texas Corridor, which has also been dubbed the "NAFTA superhighway." It is a project that is expected to cost an estimated $183 billion over 50 years. (hear audio report) Terry Hall with the group Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom warns the project will create widespread eminent domain abuse and involve foreign control of public infrastructure. "They're taking huge swaths of land, up...
  • Corridor: All in favor? None

    02/26/2008 1:49:40 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 12 replies · 430+ views
    Fort Bend Herald and Texas Coaster ^ | February 26, 2008 | Stephen Palkot
    A handful of Kendleton residents were among several dozen to speak out against the Trans-Texas Corridor at a public hearing Monday night in Rosenberg. “I personally think it's a slap in the face for Texas to take the land for pennies on the dollar, to put a road on it and to make you pay a toll for it,” said Jeremy West, one of the speakers from Kendleton. The Trans-Texas Corridor is a proposal for a network of highways, rail lines and utilities throughout Texas that would be financed by private interests who would seek to profit through tolls and...
  • Taxes or Tolls on the TTC

    02/25/2008 5:18:30 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 6 replies · 281+ views
    Gather.com ^ | February 25, 2008 | Col. George W.
    One major concern I discussed a few weeks ago regarding the Trans Texas Corridor is where the land will come from. Another concern is where the money will come from. Official government websites for the TTC assure that public-private partnerships will shield the taxpayer from bearing too much of the cost burden, but a careful reading shows the door is definitely open to public funding sources, while at the same time there is no doubt of the intention to charge tolls on the road. Taxpayers already pay for their transportation system through hefty gasoline taxes, vehicle registration fees, and other...
  • 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...
  • Proposal in Texas for a Public-Private Toll Road System Raises an Outcry

    02/10/2008 5:13:38 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 10 replies · 937+ views
    New York Times ^ | February 10, 2008 | Ralph Blumenthal
    ROBSTOWN, Tex. — Leon Little’s farm here near Corpus Christi would not be seized for Texas’s proposed $184-billion-plus superhighway project for 5 or 10 years, if ever. But Mr. Little was alarmed enough to show up Wednesday night with hundreds of his South Texas coastal neighbors to do what the Texas Department of Transportation has been urging: “Go ahead, don’t hold back.” Don’t worry. Texans have gotten the message, swamping hearings and town meetings across the state to grill and often excoriate agency officials about a colossal traffic makeover known as the Trans-Texas Corridor, a public-private partnership unrivaled in the...
  • Fear and loathing along proposed Trans-Texas Corridor

    01/30/2008 3:09:13 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 11 replies · 300+ views
    Land Line Magazine ^ | January 29, 2008 | David Tanner
    Some Texans are afraid of losing their land to the Trans-Texas Corridor while others loathe the thought of a quarter-mile-wide swath of toll roads and railway lines transforming the countryside into a superhighway. People continue to turn out in droves at public meetings concerning the controversial Trans-Texas Corridor proposal, specifically the portion known as the TTC-69 proposed from Brownsville to Texarkana. A meeting Monday, Jan. 28, at the fairgrounds in Austin County was no exception, drawing more than 1,000 people. Opposition to the proposed corridor has come from people in all walks of life, said Chris Steinbach, chief of staff...
  • Study: Toll roads alone won't pay for U.S. highway needs

    01/15/2008 3:12:07 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 22 replies · 119+ views
    Dallas Morning News ^ | January 15, 2008 | Michael A. Lindenberger
    More and higher tolls won't be enough to pay for the nation's highway needs, a bipartisan study panel chaired by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation said today in a long-awaited report. Instead, Congress will need to raise the federal gas tax by 25 to 40 cents a gallon over five years, according to the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission. The 12-member commission is a bipartisan panel formed by Congress in 2005 to rethink the way the nation builds and pays for its highways and transit systems. "There is no free lunch," Jack Schenendorf, vice chairman of the...
  • TxDOT Announces New Members of Leadership Team

    01/07/2008 7:22:38 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 2 replies · 215+ views
    Reuters ^ | January 7, 2008 | TxDOT
    Saenz expands administration to reflect changing role of agency AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Texas Department of Transportation today announced selections for the final three members of Executive Director Amadeo Saenz's leadership team. The new Assistant Executive Director for Engineering Operations is John Barton of Beaumont. The newly-formed office of Assistant Executive Director for District Operations will be lead by David Casteel of San Antonio. The newly-formed office of Assistant Executive Director for Innovative Project Development will be lead by Phil Russell of Austin. "John, David and Phil are all outstanding professionals," said Saenz. "All of them understand...
  • Ric Williamson remembered at Weatherford High School

    01/04/2008 3:05:51 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 5 replies · 187+ views
    Weatherford Democrat ^ | January 3, 2008 | Galen Scott
    At the front of a quiet, dimly-lit auditorium inside Weatherford High School Thursday, Gov. Rick Perry and other friends eulogized the late Ric Williamson. Perry borrowed a quote from author Jonathan Swift to describe Williamson, who, as chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission, was often at the center of controversy. “When a genius comes into the word, you will know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him,” Perry recited. “Jonathan Swift didn’t know Ric Williamson, but he pegged him.” Williamson, 55, was pronounced dead on Sunday after suffering an apparent heart attack while at...
  • Moderate voice needed to steer highway system

    01/03/2008 5:10:53 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 6 replies · 181+ views
    Austin American-Statesman ^ | January 3, 2008 | Editorial Board
    2007 ended on a sad note for the family and friends of Ric Williamson, the chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission who died Sunday after a heart attack. Given his aggressive and often controversial role in reshaping Texas highway construction, his death leaves the state and Gov. Rick Perry with an important question about how to move forward after Williamson’s memorial service today. Williamson, 55, a successful business owner and former state representative from Weatherford, was appointed to the transportation commission in 2001 by his good friend Perry and was named chairman in 2004. He became a passionate advocate of...
  • Shift may loom in toll road debate

    01/01/2008 6:08:01 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 17 replies · 225+ views
    Dallas Morning News ^ | January 1, 2008 | Michael A. Lindenberger
    Push for higher gas tax could follow chief's death The death of Ric Williamson, the fiery, whip-smart chairman of the state transportation commission, could upend the still-roiling debate over toll roads in Texas in the new year. Mr. Williamson died Saturday of a heart attack at age 55, sending shock waves through the nearly 15,000-employee department he led as well as the political and policy circles where his combative style and pro-toll-road agenda had engendered enormous change – and criticism. Always careful to credit Gov. Rick Perry, a close friend and former roommate, Mr. Williamson emerged as a lightning rod...
  • Ric Williamson, transportation chief who championed toll roads, dies

    12/31/2007 1:02:31 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 13 replies · 266+ views
    Dallas Morning News ^ | December 31, 2007 | Holly K. Hacker
    As chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission, Ric Williamson made major and often controversial decisions about the future of state roads. He died Sunday of a heart attack, at age 55, in his hometown of Weatherford, leaving a legacy as the hard-charging official that steered Gov. Rick Perry's divisive vision of toll roads across Texas into state policy. It was stressful work, and Mr. Williamson suffered two heart attacks while serving. He had known his health was fragile. "I'm trying to avoid the third one, which the doctors tell me will be fatal," he told Texas Monthly in a June...
  • Transportation Chairman Williamson dead at 55

    12/30/2007 12:30:28 PM PST · by PAR35 · 36 replies · 568+ views
    Houston Chronicle ^ | Dec. 30, 2007 | By macjs
    DALLAS — Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Ric Williamson has died of an apparent heart attack, officials said Sunday. He was 55. Williamson, a former Texas House member, died at his home in Weatherford on Saturday, Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Chris Lippincott said.
  • Honolulu's Future Is Too Serious A Matter To Be Left To Transportation 'Experts'

    12/17/2007 11:09:16 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 18 replies · 228+ views
    Hawaii Reporter ^ | December 16, 2007 | Daniel P. de Gracia II
    French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau is credited with the famous remark, "La guerre! C'est une chose trop grave pour la confier ŕ des militaries" -- war is too serious a matter to be entrusted to the military. The idea that Clemenceau was trying to project through these words is that experts are often incapable of seeing beyond their profession and understanding the greater domains of necessity. Here in Hawaii, we are facing a transportation infrastructure crisis of the highest degree of peril. I assert to every single man, woman, and child of these Hawaiian Islands that our future is too...
  • TxDOT reviews initial Trans-Texas Corridor study

    11/16/2007 2:09:45 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 5 replies · 308+ views
    Huntsville Item ^ | November 16, 2007 | Robbie Byrd
    The much touted — and disputed — Trans-Texas Corridor may be one step away from a pipe dream and one step closer to a reality. The group this week released its Tier 1 Environmental Impact study, a look at how building the highway, dubbed I-69, running from Texarkana to Laredo, would affect the 50 or so counties it would run through. Bryan Wood, district engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation in Bryan, said the first study only looks at how the many initially proposed component of the highway would impact the surrounding areas. “We’re still a long ways away...
  • Carlos Guerra: Noncompete clauses ensure toll operators will be richly rewarded

    11/06/2007 1:10:00 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 11 replies · 139+ views
    San Antonio Express-News ^ | November 6, 2007 | Carlos Guerra
    Ever wish you weren't right? In 1997, the notion of selling off publicly owned infrastructure to private sector operators was coming into its own. After the city hired a consultant to determine the value of the publicly owned CPS Energy, it raised red flags. CPS consistently charges some of Texas' lowest utility rates while providing a significant chunk of the city's revenue, I argued. Profit motives can produce wondrous results. But uncontrolled, they can also produce costly disasters. Some things — especially those that efficiently deliver services that are essential — are best kept in the public sector to assure...
  • Toll roads can relieve congestion, reduce drive-times, professors say

    11/01/2007 5:54:49 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 44 replies · 245+ views
    The Ranger ^ | November 1, 2007 | Regis L. Roberts
    Coin trays in Texas cars may actually get to see the faces of dead presidents. The much-discussed and controversial Trans-Texas Corridor, or TTC, has breathed life into the debate of toll roads in Texas. Plans for the Trans-Texas Corridor include TTC-Instate 35, which starts in Laredo and extends north to Gainesville, running along the eastern part of Texas; and Interstate 69/TCC, which has three openings in Laredo, McAllen and Brownsville and follows the coast to Texarkana. Much of the TTC will be privately operated toll roads, run by the Spanish firm Cintra. The TTC will not run through San Antonio,...
  • Anyone got a map?

    10/28/2007 3:20:06 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 39 replies · 135+ views
    Fort Worth Star-Telegram ^ | October 28, 2007 | Fort Worth Star-Telegram
    During this year's legislative session, Texas had an "oh, wait, hold on, don't do that" moment on privately funded tollways. Fair enough, but now it's time to figure out what the state should do, including how to pay for what the state's highway czar calls a $100 billion shortfall in money needed for essential highway projects. Ric Williamson, the Weatherford businessman who is chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission, says "the entire future of the state transportation system" depends on potential revenue from private toll road investors. Without it, staffers with the Texas Department of Transportation told commission members at...
  • Three to bid on U.S. 281 toll road project

    10/25/2007 2:47:09 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 13 replies · 347+ views
    San Antonio Express-News ^ | October 24, 2007 | Patrick Driscoll
    Three private groups are now in the hunt to build U.S. 281 toll lanes, but two big foreign companies competing just a short while ago to build and lease a larger toll network here have dropped out. The Alamo Regional Mobility Authority board voted Wednesday to let all three teams submit plans to rebuild U.S. 281 north of Loop 1604 into a tollway with free access roads by 2012. It's the fledging agency's first project. "Goodness knows we have been two and a half years getting here," board member Bob Thompson said. "Maybe it's even more important to see the...
  • Revisiting the Trans-Texas Corridor

    10/21/2007 12:13:04 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies · 181+ views
    Waxahachie Daily Light ^ | October 20, 2007 | Paul D. Perry
    Some readers have asked me to re-visit a few of my concerns regarding the Trans-Texas Corridor or TTC, because I have mentioned the project in my last two columns. Recently, I introduced what I like to call Nosygate. I think that is an appropriate name for the advertising campaign and subsequent information gathering effort, by a private company, on behalf of the Texas Department of Transportation or TxDOT. A brief re-cap is probably in order. Unsuspecting motorists had their license tag numbers photographed while traveling and minding their own business. Their tag numbers were then traced to their home address.Their...
  • Texas: Speed Limit May be Lowered to Boost Toll Revenue

    10/20/2007 3:23:51 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 32 replies · 481+ views
    theNewspaper.com ^ | October 19, 2007 | theNewspaper.com
    Toll road contract in Texas allows state to lower speed limits on nearby interstate freeway to avoid paying penalties to a private company. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has agreed to consider lowering the maximum speed limit on a stretch of interstate highway that competes with a planned toll road. Cintra-Zachary, a joint Spanish-US venture, paid TxDOT $1.3 billion for the right to collect tolls on 40-miles of State Highway 130 set for construction beginning in 2009. Although TxDOT suggested that free market competition was part of the goal of using a public-private partnerships to construct and operate roads,...
  • In search of the NAFTA highway to hell

    10/08/2007 1:48:03 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 43 replies · 1,205+ views
    Macleans ^ | October 8, 2007 | Luiza Ch. Savage
    Road plans in Texas have conspiracy theorists in an uproar I am driving along a mostly empty road in rural Fayette County, Texas, about an hour east of Austin, looking for the NAFTA superhighway -- the one that Stephen Harper, George W. Bush and Felipe Calderón mocked as a conspiracy theory when they were asked about it at their trilateral meeting in Montebello, Que., in August. Critics, who say that behind the leaders' denials lurks a larger, nefarious plan to unite North America, fear that such a roadway will eventually be a four-football-stadium-wide artery connecting Mexico, the U.S. and Canada,...
  • Texas: Toll Road Uses Traffic Signals to Generate Congestion

    09/28/2007 5:05:19 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 35 replies · 503+ views
    The Newspaper (the Newspaper.com) ^ | September 27, 2007 | The Newspaper
    The Texas Department of Transportation is installing traffic signals designed to increase congestion and drive toll road traffic. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is using traffic signals to create the level of frustration to a point where the public is forced to accept toll roads. Earlier this month in Austin, TxDOT added an extra traffic signal on State Highway 71 to coincide with the opening of the third segment of the State Highway 130 toll road. Residents interviewed by News 8 Austin complained that the change made already bad traffic much worse on nearby free roads. "At its worst...
  • Castillo: Choosing sides in the toll road debate could leave an aftertaste

    09/27/2007 11:25:59 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 12 replies · 184+ views
    San Antonio Express-News ^ | September 26, 2007 | Jaime Castillo
    Monitoring the court fight between activist Terri Hall and the Texas Department of Transportation is a lot like staring at a buffet line full of warmed over hospital cafeteria food. On the one hand, you're hungry and interested in eating. But on the other, you really can't get excited about the choices before you. It's tempting but unpalatable to root for Hall, who has adopted the noble cause of trying to stop TxDOT from spending millions of dollars on a PR blitz to build support for toll roads. Despite Hall's impressive gifts of organizing, public speaking and rabble-rousing, she is...
  • Going Protectionist Over a Fantasy Highway [Reason libertarians on TranTexas Corridor]

    09/24/2007 7:30:30 AM PDT · by lonewacko_dot_com · 42 replies · 717+ views
    Reason Magazine ("libertarians") ^ | September 24, 2007 | Shikha Dalmia and Leonard Gilroy/Reason Foundation
    ...[The building of the Trans-Texas Corridor] is all too sinister for Jerome Corsi, the Vietnam War veteran who helped lead the Swift Boat charge against John Kerry. Corsi has knitted disparate strands of each of these separate road projects to help convince fellow xenophobes such as Pat Buchanan, Phyllis Schlafly, Lou Dobbs and the John Birch Society that the corridor is the first leg of a secret federal project called the NAFTA Superhighway, a four-football-field wide monstrosity that would run from Mexico's Yucatan to Canada's Yukon... Yet even Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a libertarian Republican candidate for president, has fallen...
  • Editorial: Campaign for tolls a start, not the end

    09/14/2007 6:13:28 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies · 422+ views
    San Antonio Express News ^ | September 14, 2007 | San Antonio Express-News
    After conducting business as though it were a private entity rather than a public trust, the Texas Department of Transportation is now trying to turn the tide of public opinion in its favor. The Keep Texas Moving campaign is a $7 million to $9 million effort designed to promote various transportation projects in the state. According to the campaign site, www.keeptexasmoving.com, Texans can learn more about such projects as the vast Trans-Texas Corridor and "its promise for Texas." Unfortunately, TxDOT has a history of not being entirely forthcoming about transportation plans. Last year, agency officials and the road-building consortium Cintra-Zachry...
  • For whom the toll bills

    09/12/2007 7:09:24 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 13 replies · 537+ views
    Houston Chronicle ^ | September 11, 2007 | Rick Casey
    With all the madness in the world, I meditated Tuesday on two matters of great gratitude. One is that through vigilance and good fortune we have, so far, gone six years without another major attack on U.S. soil. The other is that I wasn't one of the Texas officials who was forced to attend a workshop in Austin in which PR flacks would try (under a $20,000 contract) to teach me techniques for selling Gov. Perry's massive toll road boondoggle. It was a small part of a $7 million to $9 million campaign that will include feel-good ads pushing Perry's...
  • TxDOT report calls for tolling interstates

    09/04/2007 6:16:35 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 25 replies · 649+ views
    Land Line Magazine ^ | September 4, 2007 | David Tanner
    A report left out of the public spotlight for more than six months reveals that officials at the Texas Department of Transportation want to toll interstate highways and shelter private investors from paying income taxes on toll revenue. On Feb. 28, Texas transportation officials submitted the report to the 110th Congress entitled “Forward Momentum.” The report did not attract much attention at the time. State lawmakers have only recently begun to speak out about it. Texas state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, called the recommendations a form of double taxation, according to The Associated Press. In the report, TxDOT urges federal...
  • Interstate Toll Roads Eyed

    08/31/2007 9:03:48 AM PDT · by Froufrou · 71 replies · 1,089+ views
    mysa.com ^ | 08/31/07 | Polly Ross Hughes
    The Texas Department of Transportation is pushing Congress to pass a federal law allowing the state to "buy back" parts of existing interstate highways and turn them into toll roads. The 24-page plan, outlined in a "Forward Momentum" report that escaped widespread attention when published in February, drew prompt objections Thursday from state lawmakers and activists fighting the spread of privately run toll roads. "I think it's a dreadful recommendation on the part of the transportation commissioners here in Texas," said Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee Chairman John Carona, R-Dallas. "I feel confident that legislators in Austin would overwhelmingly...
  • Help wanted: Sound transportation policy

    08/29/2007 7:17:39 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 25 replies · 327+ views
    East Texas Review ^ | August 29, 2007 | William Lutz
    The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) says it needs to spend $9 million in taxpayer money to sell its vision of transportation policy to the public. Maybe if TxDOT pursued rational transportation policies, the public support would follow, and it could spend that $9 million building and maintaining roads. Here’s why Texans ought to be concerned. Borrowing carries a price tag. The Texas Constitution has traditionally eschewed deficit spending and required existing revenue to pay for existing spending. Now, the state wants to build most of its roads by borrowing, either publicly or by getting a private firm to agree...
  • Some Needed Attention: If ad fight keeps roads in the news, we're for it

    08/29/2007 5:20:44 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies · 535+ views
    Dallas Morning News ^ | August 29, 2007 | Dallas Morning News
    Let the fracas continue over Texas transportation policy. It's important to keep people alert to the Legislature's failure to address the state's glaring highway needs, and a new dustup is one way to accomplish that. The latest is over the Department of Transportation's developing "outreach" campaign to advocate for the controversial Trans-Texas Corridor and other proposed toll projects. The price tag could reach $9 million, and some lawmakers have badmouthed the idea. Good. Along with their complaints, maybe we'll see a rare thing come out of the Capitol – realistic solutions for meeting demand for new roadways in the face...
  • Highway Robbery of Texas Roads (SPP & Trans-Texas Corridor)

    08/21/2007 9:42:11 PM PDT · by anymouse · 29 replies · 888+ views
    Texas Eagle Forum ^ | 08-20-07 | Cathie Adams
    Texas drivers are tired of traffic gridlock. We want new roads built sooner rather than later, but we do not want a Trans-Texas Corridor that would surely invite more illegal drugs and more illegal aliens. Legislators have gotten our message but since both highway funds, the State Highway Fund (a gasoline tax) and the Texas Mobility Fund (bond money), have been pilfered for other uses, there is no money for road building. Members of the Texas Senate Transportation & Homeland Security Committee met on August 7 to discuss this funding dilemma. Committee Chairman John Carona suggested a new constitutional amendment...
  • State spending millions to push Trans-Texas plan

    08/21/2007 5:27:40 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 20 replies · 798+ views
    Houston Chronicle ^ | August 20, 2007 | Peggy Fikac
    AUSTIN — The Texas Department of Transportation, which complains about chronic underfunding, has launched a multimillion-dollar campaign that promotes the divisive Trans-Texas Corridor plan and toll roads. The campaign is anticipated to cost $7 million to $9 million, according to a memo titled "Keep Texas Moving: Tolling and Trans-Texas Corridor Outreach" sent to transportation officials by Coby Chase, director of the agency's government and public affairs division. Such use of state highway-fund dollars is drawing questions, but the department says it's an important effort to educate and engage Texans. "It's a waste of money," said Rep. Warren Chisum, chairman of...
  • Eltife Speaks At Chamber Board Meeting

    08/15/2007 3:20:35 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 10 replies · 319+ views
    Tyler Morning Telegraph ^ | August 15, 2007 | Greg Junek
    Toll roads will not solve Texas' roadway woes, state Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, told the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors on Tuesday. The state must take care of its infrastructure needs, and Eltife said he has always supported indexing the gasoline tax to inflation to ensure funding to handle those needs. "I think we need to get back to the basics in this state and pay for road and bridge improvements," he said. "We ought to index the gas tax to inflation, we should build our own roads," Eltife said. "The toll roads are a piece of...
  • How to Keep Our Bridges Safe

    08/04/2007 8:28:38 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 33 replies · 998+ views
    Wall Street Journal ^ | August 4, 2007 | STEVEN MALANGA
    Nearly a fifth of America's roads are now considered in poor shape and about one-in-four bridges is rated "structurally deficient." The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that the cost to fix these problems is a staggering $460 billion. The tab grows far larger when you add in the hundreds of billions to build the new transportation infrastructure that's needed to handle the country's growth. Part of the problem is that big increases in state and local spending for politically popular programs, especially Medicaid and education, as well costly public employee pensions and benefits, have crowded out infrastructure -- even as...
  • Toll road pick much more than coin toss

    06/28/2007 5:59:48 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies · 849+ views
    WFAA.com ^ | June 28, 2007 | Michael A. Lindenberger (Dallas Morning News)
    Ric Williamson and his fellow transportation commissioners will find themselves in a tight corner today as they meet in Austin to decide who will build the State Highway 121 toll road. On one level, the commission is simply fulfilling its duty as the Texas Department of Transportation's governing board by deciding whether to award a multibillion-dollar contract to Spanish construction firm Cintra or give it to the North Texas Tollway Authority. But a whole lot more is going on at another level. The Highway 121 decision also pits Mr. Williamson's desire to support Gov. Rick Perry's ambitious highway-building agenda against...
  • The choice is easy, actually

    06/24/2007 3:01:57 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 9 replies · 622+ views
    Fort Worth Star-Telegram ^ | June 24, 2007 | Fort Worth Star-Telegram
    It's not the least bit hard to describe the choice that Texas Transportation Commission members will face Thursday at their meeting in Austin: (1) Agree with the overwhelming preference of this region's elected officials and allow the North Texas Tollway Authority to build the Texas 121 toll road in Denton and Collin counties, or (2) award the lucrative project to the apparent favorite among state toll road devotees, the Spanish company Cintra.From here, it's an easy decision: Pick NTTA.But there is reason to worry that in the boiling pot of Austin politics, the commission may see things differently. Because of...