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  • Friday, August 26, 2016
    $4.2 million allocated for road work in county
    The Texas Department of Transportation will spend more than $4.2 million in Washington County over the next four years for maintenance and safety improvements.
     
    The work is included in the 2017 Unified Transportation Program (UTP) approved Thursday by the Texas Transportation Commission.

    The plan funds $70 billion in projects and is the largest of its kind in the agency’s history.
    That addresses capacity, maintenance and safety needs around state.
     
    The 10-year plan, developed with extensive public input, targets congestion in the state’s most-populated areas and includes projects to better connect the major interstates in rural areas with local roads and highways.
     
    Also outside urban areas, the program calls for enhancing and completing interstate highways, and addressing the continuing needs within the energy sector and along hurricane evacuation routes.
     
    Fourteen projects in Washington County are listed for contract letting through 2020. They total $4,214,084 in estimated costs.
     
    Most are for safety improvement and maintenance. Three bridge replacements are also included: Coe Branch on FM 389, Wood Branch on FM 332 and Indian Creek at Texas Street.
     
    “The actions today by the Texas Transportation Commission represent a historic investment in our state’s infrastructure,” said Gov. Greg Abbott.
     
    “Texans have sent a loud and clear message that they are tired of sitting in traffic, and this funding plan will significantly address safety, maintenance, connectivity and congestion on our crowded highways.
     
    “The plan presented by the commission will allow Texas roads to keep pace with our population growth, provide much-needed congestion relief for working Texans and put the Lone Star State well on its way towards having a first-in-class highway system for decades to come.”
     
    With more than $70 billion in total funding, the 2017 UTP represents a significant increase from last year’s 10-year plan, which included more than $33 billion worth of projects.
     
    The bulk of the additional funding will come from legislative- and voter-approved initiatives to allocate portions of oil and gas taxes, sales taxes and other taxes to the state highway fund.
     
    Ending the practice of appropriating state highway funds to agencies other than TxDOT and the passage of long-term federal transportation legislation also contributed to the additional funding.
     
    The new funding in the 2017 UTP is largely allocated into program areas that address safety, maintenance, congestion and rural connectivity needs.
     
    It includes funding for all 25 TxDOT districts and 25 metropolitan planning areas throughout the state.

    Source: Brenham Banner-Press