Department of Transportation, under a proposed rule issued Jan. 29, will
be able to create toll lanes on any portion of the state highway system
if they reduce traffic congestion, the Houston Chronicle reported.
is likely to be applied only to new construction.
in the proposed rules is a provision to allow "exclusive lanes" on
multilane highways. These lanes, which could be tolled, could be restricted
to certain vehicle classes such as lanes only for trucks.
taken by the Texas Transportation Commission at its monthly meeting in
San Antonio, continues the state's movement toward including tolls in future
highway projects. Commissioners had directed staff last month to draft
the rules, which will now go through a six-week public-comment period before
being finalized in March.
rules would also expand the department's authority to enter into agreements
with local transportation entities for the operation of toll and high-occupancy
vehicle lanes. The state already has such an agreement with the Metropolitan
Transit Authority of Harris County, which has high-occupancy vehicle lanes
on Interstates 10 and 45 and U.S. 59 and 290. Another agreement with the
Harris County Toll Road Authority will allow the county to operate four
toll lanes on I-10 when it is expanded.