Texas Toll Road News

Posted in Privatization, Road Issues, Around The State at 2:16 pm by wcnews

Texarkana is going to get a feasibility study from TxDOT regarding a possible toll road project, Study will determine feasibility of possible toll road in region.

Local Texas Department of Transportation officials say a feasibility study would be conducted before moving forward with the potential Texarkana-area toll road project. The Texas Transportation Commission recently gave its approval to 80 possible toll roads in Texas. And a corridor around one side of Texarkana was tapped as a candidate project.


Marcus Sandifer, TxDOT’s Atlanta District spokesman, said the loop around one side of Texarkana could get drivers, especially through-traffic, around Texarkana’s high traffic areas and back to rural areas. “The whole idea is to get the traffic out of the commercialized areas and neighborhoods where there’s the heavier traffic. The north part of the route was already determined by the Texas Department of Transportation, the Arkansas Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Planning Organization, which is made up of both cities, counties and local governments,” Sandifer said.


Sandifer said part of what the feasibility study will consider is whether users would save enough time and avoid enough traffic to use this toll road section. He said what’s been approved by the Texas Transportation Commission so far is simply looking at a toll road and studying it. “If it’s not feasible, it’s not going to pay for itself,” he said.

I would recommend that all those who live near Texarkana to go read the Denver Post series on flawed T&R (Traffic and Revenue) studies and their consequences.

Also the Startlegram says TxDOT’s upcoming vote this week to ratify the RTC’s recommendation of the NTTA to build the SH 121 toll road in North Texas is a no-brainer, The choice is easy, actually.

It’s not the least bit hard to describe the choice that Texas Transportation Commission members will face Thursday at their meeting in Austin: (1) Agree with the overwhelming preference of this region’s elected officials and allow the North Texas Tollway Authority to build the Texas 121 toll road in Denton and Collin counties, or (2) award the lucrative project to the apparent favorite among state toll road devotees, the Spanish company Cintra.

From here, it’s an easy decision: Pick NTTA.

But there is reason to worry that in the boiling pot of Austin politics, the commission may see things differently. Because of its ongoing efforts to build sections of Gov. Rick Perry’s proposed Trans Texas Corridor, Cintra holds special status in state transportation circles.

This would be a no-brainer if the current corporate toll happy TxDOT commissioners weren’t the ones voting. It appears what TxDOT would be saying, if they went against the RTC and chose Cintra, is that if we don’t let corporations build our roads then corporations won’t want to build roads anymore in Texas. Worries that Cintra might not want to participate anymore in Texas road building, if that’s what they’re trying to say, would not be a bad thing. It only makes sense that not having to pay guranteed profits to corporations would make these roads cheaper, which is why the RTC chose NTTA.

*Not to worry both proposals, Cintra and the NTTA, are based on consultant studies, that more times than not, are wrong. So, no matter which one of these entities gets to build this road, when the drivers don’t show up it’s the taxpayers that will pay.

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