The Texas Department of Transportation is opening the door to public comments in an upcoming series of meetings and hearings about one phase of the controversial Trans-Texas Corridor proposal.
TXDOT has scheduled a total of 57 public meetings – 11 “town hall” meetings and 46 official public hearings – along the proposed route for a phase of the corridor known as TTC-69.
Officials have scheduled all of the meetings between Jan. 15 and March 3.
Citing an environmental impact statement released in November 2007, TXDOT officials narrowed the scope of the proposed TTC-69 to incorporate existing highways into the project wherever possible.
Gov. Rick Perry first proposed the Trans-Texas Corridor in 2003. Since then, many Texas landowners have worried about losing their property to the massive proposal, which is to include multiple but separate lanes for passenger vehicles and trucks, high-speed rail and utility lines from south Texas near the Mexican border to the state’s northern border with Oklahoma.
Truckers have also been part of the protest because the contracts to build and operate the Trans Texas Corridor will come from the for-profit private sector, which will be allowed to collect tolls.
The strategy for a wide TTC-69 swath could pave the way for states down the line to tie in to the corridor and further notions of an Interstate 69 corridor from Mexico through the Midwest to Michigan and the U.S.-Canadian border.
But a lot has to happen before any contracts are awarded for work to begin on the TTC-69.
TXDOT officials will host 11 town hall meetings from Jan. 15 through Feb. 3. Officials want to collect information and concerns from the public leading up to 46 public hearings scheduled from Feb. 4 through March 3. Click here for the complete schedule.
The schedule for town hall meetings is as follows. Each meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.
- Jan. 15, Pleasant Grove High School Cafetorium, 5406 McKnight Road, Texarkana.
- Jan. 16, Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, 300 W. Panola St., Carthage.
- Jan. 17, Lufkin Civic Center, 601 N. 2nd St., Lufkin.
- Jan. 22, Knights of Columbus Hall, 22892 Mack Washington, Hempstead.
- Jan. 23, Katy & E. Don Walker Sr. Education Center, 1400 19th St., Huntsville.
- Jan. 24, Rosenberg Civic Center, 3825 Highway 36, Rosenberg.
- Jan. 28, Austin County Fairgrounds Building, State Route 159 East, Bellville.
- Jan. 29, Victoria Community Center Annex, 2905 E. North St., Victoria.
- Jan. 31, Lecture Hall, South Texas College, Mid-Valley Campus, 400 N. Border, Weslaco.
- Feb. 5, Student Center, Room 236, Texas A&M International University, 5201 University Blvd., Laredo.
- Feb. 6, Nueces County Regional Fairgrounds Conference Center, 1213 Terry Shamsie Blvd., Robstown.
– By David Tanner, staff writer