The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced a list of potential projects last week that would utilize funds from the Texas Transportation Funding Amendment (also known as “Proposition 1”), which passed with 80% of the votes during the November elections.
Proposition 1 is projected to funnel about $1.74 billion to TxDOT projects from oil and gas tax revenues, money that previously went solely to the state’s “Rainy Day Fund.” Half of these revenues will continue going toward the Rainy Day Fund, but the other half will now help finance road projects.
TxDOT has allocated about $150 million of Proposition 1 funds to Austin, most of which will likely go toward expanding I-35, one of the nation’s most congested highways, by two lanes. TxDOT also earmarked $278 million for projects in Houston, and part of those funds could potentially help expand US-59 to a 6-lane highway.
Texas, especially areas in Houston and Austin, has seen some of the highest rates of population growth in the nation in recent years, and this growth comes hand-and-hand with expansion.
While Texan drivers may find some relief from rush-hour congestion in the near future, many of these projects may require the use of eminent domain to acquire property needed for expansion.
TxDOT has not yet finalized its list of projects and will continue to accept comments from the public on the projects proposed last week.
If you would like more information regarding these proposed projects, please feel free to contact Justin Hodge (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Coauthored by Justin Hodge and Ayla Syed.