Public outcry continues about Trans-Texas Corridor plan

| Thursday, February 14, 2008

Texas residents continue to pack into meeting halls to speak out against the proposed Trans-Texas Corridor.

More than 9,000 people attended the first 10 of 12 scheduled “town hall” meetings according to Texas Department of Transportation officials.

Once the town hall meetings are complete, TxDOT turns its attention to 47 official public hearings in regions that will be affected by the proposal.

Click here to view the meeting schedule.

The TTC-69 portion of the corridor plan proposes creating a new Interstate 69 consisting of tolled lanes, railways and utility lines from the Mexican border across East Texas to the northeastern state border with Oklahoma.

Federal Highway Administration officials selected the theoretical I-69 to be part of the “Corridors of the Future” program designed to add capacity to the national system using tolls as the major method of financing.

Many Texas landowners are concerned about the state buying up or taking valuable farmland to build toll roads.

The topic of the upcoming hearings and public comments is the recent environmental impact study paid for by TxDOT that outlines the need for the project, possible alternatives, and the impact the corridor will have on the environment.

The authors of the environmental study want TxDOT officials to use as many existing rights of way as possible for the quarter-mile-wide corridor.

Public input will shape the final document submitted to FHWA for approval, TxDOT officials stated on the project Web site,

Throughout the process, TxDOT will continue to receive public input in writing and online. Click here to send a comment about the proposal.

– By David Tanner, staff writer