September 18, 2019
  • 2:34 pm Committee Leadership Comes into Focus for 116th Congress
  • 2:22 pm Interstate System Report Calls for More Funding, Tolling, VMT Fees, and Cybersecurity
  • 2:15 pm In Memoriam: President George H. W. Bush, ISTEA, and Transportation
  • 1:56 pm Growth Projected for Transportation Projects, but Costs a Challenge
  • 1:35 pm FAA Reshuffles Executives, Plans Drone Identification Rulemaking in Spring 2019
  • 1:28 pm Predictive Technology Helps Reduce Crashes on I-15 Corridor in Las Vegas
  • 1:14 pm Video Report: MoDOT Produces Multi-Lingual Safety Message
  • 1:11 pm PennDOT Nears Completion of Rapid Bridge Replacement Project
  • 1:08 pm Infrastructure Grants Awarded to “Smaller” South Dakota Communities
  • 12:31 pm Coalition Letter Continues to Urge Repeal of Rescission
  • 12:25 pm Tolling, Congestion Pricing Debated at House Hearing
  • 12:22 pm Letter Argues AV Safety Must be “Paramount Concern”
  • 12:15 pm EPA, Dept. of the Army Formally Repeal 2015 WOTUS Rule
  • 12:12 pm INRIX Study Highlights Potential of Micromobility

The five-member Texas Transportation Commission approved the $77 billion 2020 Unified Transportation Program or UTP submitted by the Texas Department of Transportation on August 29; a 326-page plan that will guide the agency’s transportation strategy over the next decade.

The plan also contains more than $4 billion specifically targeted towards safety improvements, including an extra $600 million for the next two years to help accelerate even more safety measures in an effort to reduce crashes and eliminate fatalities from Texas roadways by 2050.

TxDOT noted that a wide variety of infrastructure projects are incorporated within the UTP, including: widening roads; improving median barriers and bridges; upgrading guardrails; providing intersection improvements, such as upgrading traffic signals and signage; and making safety improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians. Many of the roadway segments targeted for work are on the state’s 100 Most Congested Roadways list, the agency added.

[One such effort now reaching its final stages is the demolition and reconstruction of the Stassney Lane bridge demolition over I-35.]

More than $600 million is being committed to fund transportation improvements in the state’s Permian Basin alone, to handle energy sector activity, TxDOT noted, with a focus on safety, connectivity, congestion relief, improving mobility at high-volume intersections, plus pavement strengthening for roadways with high truck volumes and weights.

“TxDOT is committed to reducing congestion and improving mobility and safety in Texas as evidenced by the agency’s largest 10-year plan to date,” said J. Bruce Bugg, Jr., the commission’s chairman, in a statement.

J. Bruce Bugg, Jr.,

“Additionally, we keep making progress in addressing congestion in our busiest parts of the state through our Texas Clear Lanes initiative, which addresses congestion in top chokepoints in our largest metro areas,” he added. “Consistent with direction from Governor Greg Abbott and our commitment to the Texas Clear Lanes program, we are allocating some $28 billion of this $77 billion to address our most critical congestion improvement needs in the state’s five major metropolitan areas and other congested areas around Texas.”

The commission stressed that UTP’s funding levels are based on a forecast of transportation revenues anticipated over the next 10 years. Because funding levels may change in the future, the UTP does not serve as a budget or a guarantee that certain projects will be built.

Instead, the plan authorizes TxDOT and local partnering agencies to prepare projects for construction based on a reasonable expectation of future cash flow, with “authorized development activities” including preliminary design, environmental analysis, right of way acquisition, and final engineering.

editor@aashto.org

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