Clock Ticking For Options In South Texas Gravel Road Conversion Plan

Sep 6, 2013

Stakeholders met with oil company officials to discuss a solution to the South Texas gravel road conversion proposed by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Both sides aired out their frustrations against TxDOT’s plan to quickly convert the crumbling roads in South Texas to gravel or have counties take over the maintenance for these state roads.

Marathon Oil’s Hugo Gutierrez said his company is willing to shoulder some of the transportation cost, but that becomes complicated:

"You have to have every company that's in, that’s operating in these counties to voluntarily do it or else you simply don’t have enough money to make it worth your while," Gutierrez said.

State Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, facilitated this week’s meeting and said he feels blindsided by TxDOT’s plan, which includes news this week that even more roads are possibly going to be added to the gravel conversion.

"We were told this is not the end of it," Uresti said. "To me that means there’s going to be more than 83 miles of highway converted into gravel. Two, is what we’ve heard from the industry is that they’ve heard, 150, 250, up to 400 miles of conversion."

Uresti said TxDOT also hasn’t announced a plan for converting the roads back to asphalt. Counties have the next 60 days to come up with a plan.