Texas Announces $85 Billion in Road and Highway Construction Projects

Texas recently announced a historic commitment to automobile infrastructure.

Read Time: 2 minutes

September 6, 2022, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A view of Houston's freeways, with downtown in the background.

The North Houston Highway Improvement Project, which would widen Interstate 45, pictured here, symbolizes the preference of many state departments of transportation to continue unabated highway and automobile infrastructure construction. | Trong Nguyen / Shutterstock

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is planning $85 billion in roadway construction projects, as laid out in the 2023 Unified Transportation Program (UTP).

 “TxDOT's 2023 Unified Transportation Program is a critical step toward addressing the diverse needs of Texans in rural, urban, and metropolitan communities,” according to a statement by Texas Governor Greg Abbot announcing the $85 billion UTP.

TxDOT Commission Chairman J. Bruce Bugg, Jr. is also quoted in the statement, making big promises about how the spending will relieve congestion in the state. “Additionally, we are making significant progress in addressing congestion in our busiest parts of the state through our Texas Clear Lanes  initiative, which improves top chokepoints in our largest metro areas.”

The press release also claims that the $8.5 billion I average annual expenditures will yield $15.5 billion in annual benefits, as estimated by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. “These benefits are a result of increased labor income and business output, as well as the addition of 58,500 direct and indirect jobs,” according to the statement.

The TxDOT has a project tracker to monitor progress on 11,000 TxDOT projects.

Dug Begley broke the news about the forthcoming UTP spending plan for the Houston Chronicle in July. Since the governor’s announcement at the end oof August, multiple news outlets have picked up the story, including the Texan and the Center Square. No mention of greenhouse gas emissions nor air pollution are mentioned in any of the links shared here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022 in Texas Department of Transportation

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Aerial view of dense single-family homes in neighborhood still under construction

How Virginia Counties Use Zoning to Stifle Development

Some state legislators are proposing action at the state level as counties block development using zoning and development requirements even as housing prices rise sharply in the region.

January 23, 2023 - The Virginia Mercury

New York City Coronavirus

The Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity to Remake Downtown

Urban cores around the country were transforming into live, work, and play destinations before the pandemic. The pandemic was a setback for this transformation, but it could also be a rare opportunity. It’s up to city leadership to seize it.

January 23, 2023 - The Washington Post

Rendering of red seven-story student housing building with students walking in open grassy plaza in front of building

L.A. Times Editorial Board Calls for CEQA Reform

The Board argues that the environmental law, while important, has too often been ‘weaponized’ by NIMBY groups to delay or halt housing development.

35 minutes ago - Los Angeles Times

Seattle buses in line at a depot with Seattle skyline in background

Seattle Brings Free Transit to Public Housing

Linking transit programs to housing can lower administrative costs and streamline the process for riders.

1 hour ago - Route Fifty

Broad street in downtown Columbus, Ohio with two pedestrians in crosswalk

Columbus Could Lower Downtown Speed Limits

The city council will vote on a proposal to lower speed limits to 25 miles per hour to improve safety and make downtown more walkable and welcoming to pedestrians.

2 hours ago - The Columbus Dispatch