Texas DOT Flattens the Trans-Texas Corridor

The $175 billion plan put forward by Governor Rick Perry in 2002 was to be part of a 1,200-foot-wide corridor running from Mexico to Oklahoma. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) offers a revised vision that puts a halt to the project.

Amadeo Saenz, executive director of the TxDOT, has offered new guidelines for development of the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) in Innovative Connectivity in Texas |Vision 2009. The document describes transformation of Perry’s original TTC vision. TxDOT explains it has altered the corridor width, transportation mode, use of existing facilities, timeline for development, and level of involvement of local officials and citizens in planning major corridor facilities in their communities.

Since its introduction in 2002, the TTC Plan has been a subject of intense public debate in Texas. As Saenz notes, "Texans have spoken, and we've been listening. Citizens across the state have had good ideas about how Texas roads can better serve Texas communities. I believe this transformed vision for the TTC and other major corridor development goes a long way toward addressing the concerns we've heard over the past several years."

No longer to be called the TTC, major corridor projects will be made up of several smaller segments about half as wide as in the original plan. TxDOT will refer to the projects by the highway numbers originally associated with each segment. These include Interstate-69, State Highway 130 and Loop 9, for example TxDOT says it will rely on advice from citizen advisory groups, called Corridor Segment Advisory Committees, comprised of citizens from affected communities along each corridor segment, to design and build facilities that meet the needs of the region, whether that includes road, freight or commuter rail.

Two of the smaller projects are in early phases of development. A key to the success or failure of the project will be the expressed hope by both TxDOT and Perry of securing new financing tools, including tolling and public-private partnerships.

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