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.
Newly designated Interstate 14 will stretch from the South Carolina/Georgia border all the way to I-10 in West Texas. The super highway will largely follow the route of U.S. 190 through Texas. Texas cities to be linked by the new Interstate will include Menard, Brady, San Saba, Lampasas, Temple/Belton/Killeen, Hearne, College Station/Bryan, North Zulch, Madisonville, Livingston, Woodville and Jasper.
Texas is becoming well-known for its burgeoning and expensive toll-road system championed by Ex. Gov. Rick Perry and others. Thanks to Perry, et al driving on uncongested (or even congested) roads in Texas is getting more and more expensive. Or is it? The Austin American Statesman reports that there are serious problems with toll road collections. Some collections are not being made and other drivers are being billed for trips they did not make. Red can tell you from personal experience – always check your toll tag bill because there’s a good chance it’s wrong.
The state’s troubled toll collection system had more than 3.5 million toll charges that outside contractors failed to process in a timely fashion — some were more than two years behind — and a variety of other problems that have overwhelmed the system, Texas Department of Transportation officials said Wednesday at a legislative hearing that amounted to a trip to the woodshed.
Aside from that backlog of toll transactions, which hit the system and Texas mailboxes late last year, an additional 30,000 motorists who have TxTag electronic toll tags on their windshields were wrongly billed in the mail. About 30,000 TxTag account holders mistakenly received a bill by mail, a vendor told lawmakers Wednesday.
See the TXDOT for a complete map of where you must pay to drive in Texas.