AUSTIN – Before approximately 1,200 attendees at the fourth annual Texas Transportation Forum Tuesday, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Executive Director Amadeo Saenz unveiled Innovative Connectivity in Texas|Vision 2009, outlining updated guidelines for development of the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC). The document describes the transformation of the original TTC vision, appropriately altered with regard to corridor width, transportation mode, use of existing facilities, timeline for development, and level of involvement of local officials and citizens in planning major corridor facilities in their communities.
“Texans have spoken, and we’ve been listening,” said Saenz. “Citizens across the state have had good ideas about how Texas roads can better serve Texas communities. I believe this transformed vision for the TTC and other major corridor development goes a long way toward addressing the concerns we’ve heard over the past several years.”
TxDOT agrees with many of the recommendations of the I-35 and I-69 Corridor Advisory Committees, citizen advisory groups created to participate in planning transportation projects along the two TTC project corridors already under way. Major corridor projects will now be comprised of several small segments closer to 600 feet wide and will no longer be called the Trans-Texas Corridor. Instead, the department will use the highway numbers originally associated with each segment, such as I-69, SH 130 and Loop 9. In addition, TxDOT will seek guidance from Corridor Segment Advisory Committees, comprised of citizens from affected communities along each corridor segment, to design and build facilities that meet the needs of the region, whether that includes road, freight rail, commuter rail and so on.
“I’m pleased with the level of public involvement called for in this document,” added Saenz. “I’m hopeful that, working together, we’ll develop a corridor that serves both the economic interests of the state and the needs of each individual community.”
The original vision for the TTC, outlined in Crossroads of the Americas: Trans-Texas Corridor Plan, called for a corridor of up to 1,200 feet in width that would allow for several modes of transportation in addition to utility transmission facilities. Since the concept was publicly introduced in 2002, communities along the TTC-35 and I-69/TTC study areas have frequently voiced concerns over the corridor width, and viewed the idea as a one-size-fits-all concept, inappropriate for a state as diverse as Texas.
The corridors are still in early phases of development. As each corridor continues to undergo federal environmental impact studies, the public will play a significant role in shaping the development and path of the roadway. These environmental impact studies and input received from public participation in Corridor Segment Advisory Committees, Corridor Advisory Committees and town hall meetings will eventually determine the final route alignment to satisfy the state’s transportation needs.
The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining nearly 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 15,000 employees strive to empower local leaders to solve local transportation problems, and to use new financial tools, including tolling and public-private partnerships, to reduce congestion and pave the way for future economic growth while enhancing safety, improving air quality and preserving the value of the state's transportation assets. Find out more at www.txdot.gov.