Trans-Texas Corridor Plans Dropped

Plans for a broad statewide highway project known as the Trans-Texas Corridor have been abandoned by state officials.
January 8, 2009, 5am PST | Nate Berg
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"After six years of bold plans, big talk and fierce pushback, the Texas Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that the Trans-Texas Corridor is dead, burying with it Gov. Rick Perry's visionary but controversial idea to string the state together with some 4,000 miles of highways, toll roads and rail lines."

"'Make no mistake: The Trans-Texas Corridor as we have known it no longer exists,' TxDOT executive director Amadeo Saenz said in a speech at an annual transportation conference. In its place will be a smaller, more deliberate plan that assesses individually each of the scores of projects once lumped together as part of the TTC."

"The Trans-Texas Corridor had always seemed more of a concept than an actual road plan. But at its core, the plan called for $175 billion in spending over the next 50 years to run highways, rail lines and data lines from Oklahoma to Mexico, and from east to west in southern Texas. It was routinely billed as the biggest transportation project since President Dwight Eisenhower persuaded Congress to launch the interstate highway system in the 1950s."

"But beyond its huge scope, the most radical feature of the plan, and the part most cherished by Perry, was the proposal to let private companies foot huge portions of the bill. In return, they would earn the right to collect ever-increasing tolls from Texas drivers for decades to come."

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Published on Wednesday, January 7, 2009 in The Dallas Morning News
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