The Texas Department of Transportation has revealed a $1.3 billion plan to reduce congestion on Texas’ most jammed freeways. The Texas Tribune reports that TxDOT will focus on 14 hotspots in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and Fort Worth.
The largest amount of state funding — $262 million — is going toward relieving congestion on parts of I-35 and U.S. 67 in Dallas. Another $210 million is also going toward I-10 in Houston. The proposal also allocates $148.6 million toward three different projects on I-35 in Austin, a portion of which topped TxDOT’s most recent annual list of the 100 most congested roadways in the state.
While TxDOT regularly allocates funding for road projects around the state, the size of Wednesday’s announcement and the focus on the state’s five largest cities was unusual.
Bugg said the agency is focusing on cities because they are home to two-thirds of the state’s total population, which means they also possess some of the most jam-packed roads. “Kind of a corollary of being home to two-thirds of the Texas population, those five major metropolitan areas are also home to 99 percent of Texas’ top 100 congested roads,” Bugg said. Bugg said Wednesday’s proposal is only the initial phase of a larger effort by TxDOT to clear Texas roads, something that would require further funding down the line.