Proposal to fast-track Texas road construction stalls

| 6/11/2003

Legislation that would allow the Texas Transportation Department to fast-track improvements to highways deemed dangerous has died.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Steve Ogden, R-College Station, was still in a Senate panel when the Legislature adjourned earlier this month.

The Texas Transportation Commission now has authority to speed construction in emergency cases. SB661 would have broadened the scope of an emergency to specifically include unsafe roads.

The proposal permitted the commission to declare “a safety emergency based on criteria established by rules adopted by the commission that take into consideration accident data, traffic volume, pavement geometry or other conditions that create or exacerbate a hazard to the safety of the traveling public,” Ogden wrote.