I-69 Meeting Tour Gets Underway

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TEXARKANA, Texas -- Texas Department of Transportation officials begin a month-long series of townhall meetings Tuesday with a hearing in Texarkana.

The forum addresses a proposed 4,000-mile network of superhighway toll roads that could be the biggest construction project the state's ever seen.

The Texarkana session is the first of a scheduled series of 11 townhall sessions over the next four weeks concerning the Trans-Texas Corridor.

Wednesday, the forum moves to Carthage before moving on to Lufkin on Thursday. All are communities that would be directly affected by a major leg of the superhighway along the Interstate 69 route long sought by East Texas officials.

Governor Rick Perry first proposed the TTC six years ago. While embraced by many, it's being fought by some who describe it as unneeded and improper.

If completed as much as 50 years from now, the TTC could crisscross the state with up to a quarter-mile-wide stretch of toll roads, rail line and pipeline and utility lines. Cost of the project has been estimated at approaching $200 billion.

It also could require the state acquire nearly 600,000 acres of private land, much of from farmers and ranchers.