Huntsville Hosts Trans Texas Corridor Talks

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State transportation leaders held the latest in a string of town hall meetings Wednesday night, as residents came to Huntsville to voice their opinions on the Trans Texas Corridor.

Hundreds of residents from the surrounding area were mostly against the major roadway, each wearing TTC stickers with a circle around it and a line through it.

"We need to fix the existing problems in our country between the countries and peoples, and fix our existing roadways before take on this huge project," said resident Colleen Harris.

The state's transportation leaders pushed forward their years-old agenda: that existing infrastructure won't handle the growth of the state's population, and the cars they drive in on.

But years old are the concerns of citizens, the possibility of tolls on the roads, those trade routes becoming drug routes, and the land grabs that could take prime property.

"I am for the no build options of this plan," said Trinity County resident Gary Smith. "I don't like what it's going to do for our land. It's the destruction of rural Texas."

Brazos County leaders, on the other hand, have made a major push for the road. The mayors of both Bryan and College Station made the trek to Huntsville to speak in favor of bringing the TTC to B/CS on the region's existing major roads.

"The Brazos Valley regional proposal is a combination of many voices, all saying the same thing: if it's going to be built, then build it where the people want it so it will do the most good for the people," College Station Mayor Ben White told the gathering.

If approved, TTC would be built in stages over the course of five decades and run from the Texas-Arkansas-Louisiana border to Laredo. Rail service as part of the interstate is also being considered.

While TxDOT would oversee the project and dictate the terms for which the road could be built and used, it is possible that the contracted builders of the road could enforce tolls.

Because of an overflow crowd, many who showed up to the meeting in Huntsville weren't able to get into the auditorium to listen to the discussion. TxDOT officials said they would return to Huntsville in order to make sure all who wanted to discuss the road could.

The department says they need input from citizens before proceeding with the project.

One recommended route would take the TTC towards Houston, though the other shown by TxDOT takes the highway through Walker and Grimes Counties, then south.