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I-69 in TX

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How does TX get all this money to build roads and expand them?  It seems they are always building new stacks, expanding highways or building new ones.  How do they do it?

Texas is a big state with a lot of taxpayers. Tolls build most of the urban stuff, so I guess most of the general tax money goes towards maintenance and building of rural roads. That doesn't explain how they are able to keep all the FMs up, though...


--- Quote from: The Premier on October 10, 2010, 12:04:09 PM ---
--- Quote from: Grzrd on October 09, 2010, 01:18:12 PM ---$4 billion seems like a decent amount of money to get things going ...

--- End quote ---

Or more alarmingly expensive. They may as well make I-69 a toll road for that price.

--- End quote ---

That's because you're talking about a thousand miles of highway in Texas alone:  

-- 229 miles of US 77 from Victoria to Brownsville
-- 166 miles of US 281 from Three Rivers to McAllen
-- 612 miles of US 59 from Texarkana to Laredo

All three of those are going to be upgraded to interstates.  A few portions of those stretches are already fully completed freeways.


--- Quote from: Anthony_JK on October 10, 2010, 11:38:50 PM ---And....if I had to choose which corridor to South Texas out of 77 and 281 I'd upgrade first, I'd prefer 77.

--- End quote ---

--- Quote from: bogdown on October 11, 2010, 04:56:40 PM ---id give 77 the nod, after they upgrade 59, of course

--- End quote ---

One small step for 77 ... :

--- Quote ---ROBSTOWN – An overpass under construction will move U.S. Highway 77 between Corpus Christi and Brownsville one step closer to interstate highway standards.
The $11.7 million project will raise the four lanes of U.S. 77 to allow traffic on Farm-to-Market Road 892 to travel underneath. The overpass is expected to open within the next three months, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
The project will help improve traffic through an increasingly congested area, said Transportation Planning and Development Director Paula Sales Evans. It also brings the freeway closer to interstate standards by removing cross traffic from the intersection.
At a ribbon cutting Thursday, officials stood near a sign noting that U.S. 77 is the future Interstate 69 corridor...

--- End quote ---
(; Corpus Christi, 10/14/10)

J N Winkler:

--- Quote from: Scott5114 on October 12, 2010, 09:14:15 PM ---Texas is a big state with a lot of taxpayers. Tolls build most of the urban stuff, so I guess most of the general tax money goes towards maintenance and building of rural roads. That doesn't explain how they are able to keep all the FMs up, though...
--- End quote ---

Agencies responsible for state highways in Texas (which include not just TxDOT but also cities, counties, RMAs, and regional toll road agencies) issue an awful lot of debt and do a lot of work through Comprehensive Development Agreements which in effect sign away a cashflow in order to avoid paying the entire costs of construction up-front.  It is getting increasingly hard to find large projects through TxDOT lettings, not just because a lot of the high-dollar stuff has been farmed out to RMAs and regional toll agencies, but also because the gas tax has not been increased in Texas since the early 1990's and TxDOT is running out of money.  Quite a lot of the stuff TxDOT does let is minor construction and major maintenance on FM and RM roads, generally in the sub-$10 million range.

I have been following TxDOT lettings for over eight years.  The very first contract I downloaded from TxDOT and archived was a sign replacement contract for I-20 west of Fort Worth, in February 2002.  Most of the Katy Freeway contracts (well over $2 billion of work) passed through the TxDOT lettings and I got all of those contracts, over a three-year period beginning in 2003 and ending in 2006.  TxDOT has also been running construction for the Marsha Sharp Freeway in Lubbock through its lettings.  But that has been pretty much it for the big projects since 2006, with isolated exceptions like the southwestern end of the Crosby Freeway in Houston (modifying the I-10/I-610 east stack to incorporate new ramps for the US 90 connection).  At the moment I have 9,437 pattern-accurate sign design sheets from TxDOT, but the growth rate has slowed to 700 sheets annually, and the proportion of sheets I have which are from toll road agency/RMA contracts with TxDOT-assigned CCSJs has gone way up in the last three years.  At the present rate I won't break 10,000 sheets until September 2011 at earliest.  There are two stacks under construction right now in Texas that I am aware of, and I have the construction plans for both of them, but they are both administered by NTTA, not TxDOT.

I am missing construction plans for the US 271 Mount Pleasant Bypass and SL 79 down near Del Rio because those are both being administered by counties through a new TxDOT financing mechanism--Pass-Through Funding.  I would like to obtain the construction plans for them, but to my knowledge they were never put online, and I do not look forward to dealing with the counties.


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