Trans Texas Corridor renamed, not dead
TURF reaction to TxDOT announcement:
The announcement by TxDOT Executive Director Amadeo Saenz at the Texas Transportation Forum that the “Trans Texas Corridor, as it was originally envisioned, is no more,” is just another in a series of comments to lead opponents into believing the Trans Texas Corridor is indeed dead. TURF believes this is a deliberate move to dupe opponents into complacency, and we expect iron-clad action before we begin celebrating victory.
It’s clear from the TxDOT Director’s speech, that it’s only a name change and the Trans Texas Corridor is, in reality, going underground.
This fact is evident in just about every news source across the state:
“‘Amadeo told folks at the forum that the Trans-Texas Corridor, as it was originally envisioned, is no more,’ Amacker (Saenz spokesperson) said. ‘Instead, what we’ve got is a series of smaller projects.’
Those ‘smaller projects’ will apparently include the 300-plus miles of what has been called TTC-35 from San Antonio to the Oklahoma border and the I-69 project from the Rio Grande Valley to Texarkana. But they will not be called the Trans-Texas Corridor.” — Austin American Statesman
“Other than backpedaling from the Trans-Texas Corridor brand, and the goals and priorities set over the years, the Trans-Texas Corridor remains intact.
TxDOT still plans to partner with private corporations to build and lease projects. Toll roads, truck-only lanes and rail lanes are also still on the table.
Environmental studies for the I-35 and East Texas corridor segments still chug through the pipeline. And a development contract with Cintra of Spain and Zachry Construction Co. of San Antonio, for projects paralleling I-35, is still valid.” — San Antonio Express-News
“The renewed effort now will operate under the name ‘Innovative Connectivity Plan.'” — Houston Chronicle
No law has been changed, no minute order rescinded, no environmental document re-done (as is required by federal law), and there are still two contracts signed giving two Spanish companies the right of first refusal on segments of the corridor previously known as TTC-35 & TTC-69. So by every real measure, the Trans Texas Corridor goes on full steam ahead. What today’s hype was about is a political ploy to make the public go back to sleep while it gets built under a different name. While we welcome genuine responsiveness from TxDOT and a true repeal of the Trans Texas Corridor, this hardly qualifies.
Lets just say, we agree with Senator Robert Nichols’ statement in the Dallas Morning News:
“If it is just a name change, and nothing more, I don’t think that is going to do much to appease lawmakers,” said Nichols, R-Jacksonville.