Austin, Texas — Three months after Texas voters approved Proposition 1, adding $1.74 billion to the state highway fund, the Texas Transportation Commission approved construction of 201 road projects. Among the projects slated to begin work are more than 800 miles of rehabilitated highways; nearly 500 miles of new highway lanes; 64 bridge replacements; and 18 lane-widening enhancements that will add 159 miles of passing lanes to rural highways.
“Citizens sent a clear message in November and TxDOT is carrying out its responsibility quickly, effectively and with a great deal of local input,” said Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Ted Houghton. “Between Prop. 1’s $1.74 billion and other funding sources, we are able to allocate $2 billion to projects that will help address roadway congestion, safety and the growing demands on our infrastructure. This is great news for commuters, industry and the overall economic health of Texas.”
Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and TxDOT Districts worked together to formulate the list of projects and then gathered public comments. Many TxDOT districts plan to use money dedicated for maintenance to repair or rehabilitate highways affected by production in the energy sector. These funds, along with Proposition 1 funds specifically allocated for energy sector needs, means that projects in areas affected by energy sector development are receiving nearly 30 percent of total 2015 Proposition 1 funding.
“Safety is our top priority and the money we are putting toward enhancing safety in the energy sector is proof of this,” said Texas Transportation Commissioner Fred Underwood.
Over the past five years, there were 248 fatalities and more than 23,000 crashes on the highway segments where Proposition 1 projects are located. The work planned in these areas will help reduce the number of crashes, resulting in fewer fatalities and injuries.