April 26, 2012
AUSTIN - Communities will begin to see repair and rehabilitation take place on roadways used frequently by the energy industry after the Texas Transportation Commission gave approval Thursday for $40 million for maintenance and safety improvement projects related to the industry's activities.
The energy industry has helped Texas remain an economic leader among states, but subsequent impacts on roadways and bridges, traffic, safety, and the environment have brought about a need for collaboration to lessen the impacts.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will begin the work this summer, as contracts are signed and executed to repair and widen some roads, and make intersection improvements to others. The funding will support projects located in north and south Texas.
TxDOT also recently formed an executive-level task force to study the issue and is partnering with representatives of the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Railroad Commission, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, counties, and the energy and trucking sectors to find ways to address the situation.
"This funding is a down payment to try and address part of the issue now," said Phil Wilson, TxDOT executive director. "Even as we begin this first phase of work, we will continue partnering with industry and government leaders to build a longer term sustainable strategy."
TxDOT, working to fulfill its mission to work with others to provide safe and reliable transportation solutions for Texas, thinks this collaborative effort will allow the agency to meet its goals of maintaining a safe system, addressing congestion, connecting Texas communities, and becoming a best-in-class state agency.
The agency will focus on meeting the most critical need: safety. Ultimately, both the traveling public and the industry benefit from a safe and healthy transportation infrastructure system.