Thu October 3, 2013
Bexar County Taking TxDOT "Turnback" Deal
Bexar County is working on an agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation that would improve the overall network of roads and highways in the county.
The county is negotiating for a workable tradeoff after the state asked local governments to take over maintenance of the roads, many of which have surpassed their original purpose of connecting Texas communities and are now considered urban thoroughfares.
TxDOT's program has government entities around the state scrambling to figure out where they can get the funds to maintain roads that have always been the state’s responsibility.
County Judge Nelson Wolff sent a letter to TxDOT Tuesday saying the county would agree to take over maintenance of about seven miles of roads pinpointed by the state in exchange for the state funneling more money toward building out bottle-necked highways in Bexar County.
"We’re interested in building additional infrastructure along [Hwy.] 281, along [Loop] 1604, along I-35," Wolff said. "We want to try to get as much money as we can from the Texas Department of Transportation for critical infrastructure needs."
Wolff said working with the state benefits Bexar County in a couple of ways.
- Advanced Transportation District Funds and the additional $10 fee for vehicle registration are not enough to keep up with the county’s transportation needs and the state’s help is necessary
- Maintenance of the roads is not expected to be a large expense
"We built those roads," Wolff said. "We feel confident we built them right. Maintenance will be minimal because we built them."
Wolff also promises continued lobbying efforts before the legislature to adequately fund the state’s mobility needs.
Wolff said he received a text message Wednesday from Ted Houghton, chair of the Texas Transportation Commission, indicating he was looking forward to working with Bexar County on the plan.
The City of San Antonio is still analyzing the state's offer.