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i-35-traffic

Commuter traffic on I-35. Photo courtesy of WatchDog.org.

The Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) recently approved a $70.2 billion spending plan to fund various projects over the next ten years. Though the funds have yet to be designated in their totality, the Commission has set a goal of allocating $38.3 billion, or about half the funds, to specific projects within the next few months. The funds have been assembled from various tax sources. Proposition 7, an amendment to the Texas Constitution approved last November, is responsible for about $21.8 billion, and works by redirecting at least $2.5 billion a year in sales taxes from vehicle sales to TxDOT. Proposition 1, another constitutional change, is expected to account for $6.3 billion over the course of the next decade, and has already provided over $2 billion since taking effect. Finally, $10.2 billion in revenue is expected to come from increases in federal payments, and the elimination of diversions, which re-allocate budgeted funds to other agencies.

Austin District officials suggest that disbursements affecting the District may take the following forms:

  • $4.3 billion to overhaul I-35;
  • $2.6 billion for congestion relief on I-35, U.S. 183, and Loop 360 or RM 620;
  • A portion of $6.4 billion allocated for bridge and safety projects;
  • $1 billion to improve metropolitan mobility; and
  • A portion of $10 billion allocated for strategic property development.