Trans-Texas Corridor hearings nearly wrapped up

| 8/11/2006

The public hearings on the proposed Trans-Texas Corridor are nearly wrapped up, with one meeting remaining in Rockwall County on Aug. 17.

The proposed 4,000 miles of corridors would be toll roads operated by private companies and would eventually feature separate truck lanes.

According to WOAI-TV , opponents protested at a hearing Thursday night in Bexar County that they don't want to lose their land to the project and don't want the corridor in their rural area.

But David Stall, the head of Corridor Watch, which is the main opposition group in the state, claims the governor and the Texas transportation department aren't really listening to opponents, and that the department views the 55 public hearings on the issue as a necessary evil.

“It's a Federal Highway Administration requirement that they hold these hearings and conduct this, but they've been quite blunt in saying that the needs of the state trump the opinion of the people,” Stall told Land Line Now . “They'll concede that it might alter a path a little to the left or a little to the right, but it's not going to interfere with the project.”

However, Stall said state environmental officials take their duty very seriously and that environmental concerns could slow down the process.

He also noted that at least one of the candidates for governor in the upcoming November election is a staunch opponent of the corridor system as it's presently envisioned.

– By Reed Black, staff writer