Link to article here.
The good news is, the section of I-35 where there is a 391 local government commission (TURF co-sponsored events to help spread this method to fight the Trans Texas Corridor for TTC-69), I-35 will be expanded and kept toll-free.
However, right after the election, Perry’s TxDOT announced its intention to extend the SH 130 toll road north of the 391 commission’s jurisdiction. SH 130 from Georgetown around Austin extending south to San Antonio has been referred to as the first leg of the Trans Texas Corridor TTC-35. So as we predicted, if Rick Perry were re-elected, he would continue his plans to push the TTC piece by piece all the way up to Red River. This new TTC segment from Waco to Hillsboro, filling the gaps of “free” lane I-35 expansion, is also likely to become some form of foreign-owned toll road.
Relieving traffic on Interstate 35 through Waco remains priority for state officials
By Michael W. Shapiro, Waco Tribune-Herald staff writer
Wednesday March 10, 2010
Plans to relieve traffic on Interstate 35 with the Trans-Texas Corridor were put to bed last year in the face of a chorus of public criticism that centered around the use of eminent domain to make way for the ill-fated project.
But if the population in Texas continues to grow, state officials think congestion will only get worse on I-35 if nothing is done.
The Texas Department of Transportation is studying a series of potential traffic solutions.
Drivers navigate through traffic on Interstate 35.
Jerry Larson/Waco Tribune-Herald
TxDOT held a meeting Tuesday in Waco to discuss the situation with local officials representing the Central Texas stretch of the highway.
The department will present ideas next month to four advisory committees trying to come up with plans to ease I-35 traffic.
State transportation staffers said they will present traffic data on several proposed solutions in April.
Ideas under consideration include:
* Extending State Highway 130, a toll road that runs parallel to I-35 in the Greater Austin area.
Transportation officials said they would look at the traffic relief that would result from extending the road to Temple, and possibly through the Waco area to Hillsboro.
The committee recommended that the extension run on the east side of I-35 within five miles of the highway.
* Building the so-called Texas T-Bone — a high-speed passenger rail system that would connect Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston.
The proposal envisions using the Killeen-Temple area as a central hub.
The plan has been promoted heavily by Temple Mayor Bill Jones, who sits on the local I-35 committee and delivered a presentation at the meeting.
TxDOT is trying to implement a bottom-up approach — taking recommendations at the local level, then consolidating those ideas into a plan.
It was clear at the session that officials still were working out the kinks.
A few area residents showed up at the three-hour meeting but left early without a chance to address committee members or state officials.
Officials continue to search for ways to relieve current and future traffic congestion on I-35. Ideas proposed during a Tuesday meeting called by the Texas Department of Transportation include expanding toll roads and a high-speed rail system.
Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald
Members agreed later to change the rules to ensure that the public will be able to comment at future meetings.
There’s a “need to give everybody an opportunity to speak, to the point where we have to bend over backwards to display that there’s trust and transparency,” said Russell Devorsky, who represents the Waco Metropolitan Planning Organization on the committee.
A lack of transparency led to suspicions about the Trans-Texas Corridor, he said.
Other members complained they hadn’t received detailed traffic statistics for I-35 or guidelines showing the financial limitations for traffic-relief projects.
State officials said they wanted to start with how to tackle congestion, and detailed traffic modeling of several local projects were in the works.
The local committee consists of three members representing Bell County (all attended the Tuesday meeting in Waco); two members representing McLennan County (one of whom attended); members from Hill County and the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce (both in attendance); as well as two members each from Dallas, Ellis and Tarrant counties; and one each from Falls, Hood, Johnson, Kaufman, Limestone, Navarro and Parker counties.
The Texas Farm Bureau also has a member on the local committee.