toll roads

From Texas Standard:

There's something about toll roads that just isn't very fun. It's probably that part where you have to pay to drive on them. Of course, we help pay for the roads we drive on through taxes and other fees – but it's more in your face when you roll through the toll plaza.

At least one Texas lawmaker is urging the state to pump the breaks.

Ryan E. Poppe

At the beginning of March, the Austin-based SH 130 Concession Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy because it was not making enough from drivers to pay its outstanding debt.  So state lawmakers on the House Transportation Committee are studying how much outstanding debt do the other 12 private toll companies have that are operating and maintaining the 51 toll systems in Texas.

TxDOT’s Executive Director James Bass laid out the current debt totals for all private tolled roads in Texas.

Ryan E. Poppe

In 2012, Cintra, a Spanish transportation company, and San Antonio-based Zachry American Infrastructure formed a partnership.  They called it the SH 130 Concession Company, and negotiated a 50-year contract with the state to maintain 41 miles of the SH 130 toll road.  In exchange the state would share a portion of the tolls collected from drivers.

AUSTIN — The Texas Department of Transportation has started mailing refund checks to some tollway drivers who were overbilled or billing was wrongly delayed for months. A legislative hearing has been scheduled Thursday on tollway tag issues. A proposal in theTexas House would require bills to be sent out within 30 days of when tolls are used. Authorities say some billing issues go back to 2012. / Alamo RMA

Adding toll lanes to a portion of Loop 1604 across the North side is being considered to help ease congestion. You can take a look at an Environmental Assessment study during an open house Wednesday evening.

The Alamo Regional Mobility Authority, in partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation, is hosting the open house to share information and request community input on potential changes to Loop 1604, including adding toll lanes between Bandera Road and I-35.