Local Road Projects Fully Funded, Future Projects' Funding Unclear

By: Michael Oder Email
By: Michael Oder Email

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Where will the state of Texas get the money to fund future road improvements?

That is the question being asked by transportation officials and experts.

Big road projects in the Brazos Valley, like the FM 2818 overpass being built right now in Bryan, are fully funded according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

Officials say that drivers and residents will never have to deal with unfinished roads or bridges.

Lawmakers in Austin heard from transportation officials and experts about the transportation problems facing the next legislature. Funding for road projects comes from several places, including a fuel tax that hasn't been increased since 1993.

Tx-DOT officials stress that funding is stable for the next few years... but after 2015 things get hazy.

"We would like to widen every highway if we could, but then you have to think about that takes dollars to maintain what you build. Our first priority is to maintain what we currently have then to build on," explains Bob Colwell, with the Tx-DOT Bryan District.

Transportation experts all agree that raising the fuel tax would be very unpopular.

Researchers from the College Station-based Texas Transportation Institute were among those testifying before lawmakers today in Austin.

They were asked to identify the most congested roadways in the state and come up with solutions on how to fix them.

They also spoke about the funding problems facing transportation in the state, saying that no one wants to raise the fuel tax.

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