The state Transportation Department is resurrecting an old idea for 4,000 miles of toll road, rail and pipeline corridors. Under the plan, truckers and other motorists would pay tolls to use the roads, but wouldn't be forced to use the corridors.
The state studied a concept called truckways in 1999, exploring prospects for adding truck-only lanes to I-35. The study considered 490 miles of lanes from Laredo to Dallas along the I-35 corridor. But not much happened with that work so the idea was shelved.
Then came Gov. Rick Perry's recent call for transportation corridors with high-speed freight and passenger rail, utility and water pipelines and toll roads, including extra truck lanes. Both trucks and cars would use the lanes at first, with car lanes added in the future.
The Trans Texas Corridor plan calls for two truck lanes and three traffic lanes in each direction. The corridors would begin with four priority routes totaling 2,188 miles. The proposed routes are from Denison to the Rio Grande Valley, from Texarkana to Houston to Laredo, form Dallas-Fort Worth to Houston and from El Paso to Orange. For more information on the corridor plan, visit www.dot.state.tx.us/ttc/ttc_home.htm.