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Entries in TxDOT (29)


More money for Loop 335 project

News Channel 10

March 7, 2017


Mayor Paul HarpoleWhen it comes to the Loop project, Mayor Paul Harpole isn't hiding the fact there's a lot to be done. 

"We're talking about a 43 mile Loop that we must have to move traffic through this region, not just Amarillo," said Mayor Harpole. "So, it is critical to the growth of our city." 

It's going to take awhile but TxDOT just made it a bit easier. 

"We hoped, we begged, we pleaded, we prodded, we got it," said Harpole. 

The City of Amarillo recently received $65 Million in TxDOT money to extend the Loop. Mayor Harpole says without this money it would have taken another 30 years to expand Loop 335.

Read on...


Mayor, TxDot Discuss Freight Mobility and Transportation

Everything Lubbock

February 27, 2017

Mayor, Dan PopeLUBBOCK TX - The Texas Department of Transportation is looking for ways to expand freight and transportation opportunities. TxDot met with Mayor Dan Pope and key stakeholders Thursday.

"Business and investment often follows interstates, businesses need to be able to move their product and we need to connect I-27 to I-20," Pope said.

According to Pope, today was a step in the right direction.

"TxDot's here to get our input on freight planning, and that's important to our community."

TxDot Director of Freight and International Trade Caroline Mays believes the Fast Act will provide funding needed to expand economic opportunity in Texas.

Read on...


Texas transportation funds will be protected, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says


February 15, 2017

Texas’ new pot of transportation funds will be protected, even though the state faces a funding shortage in many other areas, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick recently told a large gathering.

“Last session we put billions into transportation and locked it away,” Patrick told about 1,000 people during a gathering known as the Texas Transportation Forum last week in Austin.

The comments are especially interesting today, after a Texas Tribune story reports that lawmakers are now looking at dipping into the transportation funding to help with other needs.

Patrick acknowledged to the crowd that there are provisions to use some of the transportation funds — estimated to be an extra $38 billion over 10 years — for other needs, if absolutely necessary. But he also said he didn’t expect to take such steps.

With money tight, Texas budget writers eyeing billions approved by voters for roads

The Texas Tribune

February 15, 2017

More than a year after Texas voters approved routing billions in state sales taxes to roads and bridges, some lawmakers are questioning whether the first payment of $5 billion should move forward as planned.

Texans voted in 2015 to boost funding for state’s public roadways and bridges, which have strained under the state’s growing population. Proposition 7 — loudly cheered by top Texas leaders and supported by 83 percent of voters — changed the constitution to route some taxes collected on car sales to the State Highway Fund.

But in an unusually tightfisted legislative session, some Texas lawmakers are raising the prospect of reducing that initial cash infusion to the State Highway Fund scheduled for this year to free up money for other state programs.

Read on...


Rep. Burrows files bill for I-27 extension study

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

January 10, 2017

State Rep. Dustin Burrows wants Texas to study the proposed extension of Interstate 27.

The day before the state’s 85th Legislature convenes, Burrows filed a bill that would direct the Texas Department of Transportation to conduct a feasibility study on extending Interstate 27 from Lubbock to Laredo along the Ports- to-Plains map.

The bill calls for a study analyzing the cost and the impact to be complete by 2019.

“The bill would direct TxDOT to examine a critically needed expansion of I-27, which currently ends in Lubbock,” Burrows said of the Amarillo to Lubbock highway. “Given the economic and population growth West Texas has experienced during the last 20 years, the continuation of the interstate to Laredo would allow for further industry and business expansion along the route.”

Read on...


Pickett says more money needed for Texas roads

USA Today

December 7, 2016

AUSTIN — Even though Texas voters have dedicated billions to transportation in recent years, the chairman of the House Transportation Committee on Wednesday said new money needs to be found if the state is to ease chronic congestion in its cities. 

The statement might come as a disappointment to voters who last year overwhelmingly supported Proposition 7, which dedicates more than $2.5 billion a year in sales tax revenue to transportation. In 2014, voters also passed a measure that is now adding about $1 billion a year in oil-and-gas severance tax revenue to transportation.

Combined, the two measures go most of the way to finding the $5 billion a year that transportation analysts in 2013 said needed to be added to Texas’ $10 billion annual transportation budget to keep up with growth and ease congestion.

 However, House Transportation Chairman Joe Pickett on Wednesday poured cold water on the notion that the new revenue is sufficient. 

“We’re at a stalemate,” the El Paso Democrat, who played a leading role in passing the road-funding measures, said during a hearing of the House Select Committee on Transportation Finance.

The comments came in response to state Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton, who said he understood the state’s new emphasis on building and maintaining roads without relying on tolls or debt.

Simmons cited an obvious limitation. Without issuing bonds, the Texas Department of Transportation doesn’t have enough money to tackle projects such as a $5 billion expansion of Interstate 35 through Austin — Texas’ most congested road.

 “The biggest projects have virtually no chance of getting done,” he said, adding that as a consequence, road money is allocated to smaller projects and the biggest problems go unsolved.

Pickett answered that it’s not merely a matter of going into debt for a single project in Austin. There are dozens of others in the state about which a similar argument could be made, he said.

As Texas has grown over the past 25 years, leaders in both parties tried to avoid being accused of raising taxes by issuing debt and building toll roads, Pickett said. But both methods of finance come with a cost in terms of fees to administer tolls and interest on debt, Pickett said.

Read on…


Sen. Perry appointed to Select Committee on Transportation Planning

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

June 30, 2015

AP PhotoState Senator Charles Perry has been appointed to the Select Committee on Transportation Planning.

The committee was created by House Bill 20 this past session to examine issues related to transportation planning, financing and performance, along with the Texas Department of Transportation’s collaboration with local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and elected officials, according to a news release.   Read on…


Texans to Vote on Plan to Boost Road Funding

Under the transportation funding deal reached by Pickett and Senate Transportation Chairman Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, Texans will be asked to amend the state constitution to dedicate $2.5 billion of the general sales tax to the highway fund beginning in 2017 — as well as a portion of future motor vehicle sales taxes beginning in 2019.

photo by: Marjorie Kamys CoteraTexas Tribune

June 1, 2015

The Texas Legislature voted Saturday to ask the state's voters in November to approve a plan to boost annual transportation funding by billions of dollars.

The House passed Senate Joint Resolution 5 by a vote of 142-1. State Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, was the only "no" vote. The Senate approved the resolution earlier in the day. The measure will now be added to the Nov. 3 ballot.

“Not everybody gets everything that they wanted," House Transportation Chairman Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, told the House before the vote. "But I think we have a really good mixture of what we can proudly vote for and ask the public for their support.”     Read on…

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.