The Texas Department of Transportation project near the Medical Center that was put on hold for over a year will begin turning dirt this month. The grade separation project for Fredericksburg Road is moving forward without its previous bankrupt contractor.
The $14 million project to turn Medical drive into an underpass below Frederickburg road was supposed to start in late 2011, but needed some utility readjustment.
TxDOT spokesman Josh Donat said the all clear wasn’t given until August 2012, but by then, Ballenger, the contractor, was running into problems.
The war on terror was launched 12 years ago and since has transformed many bodies of government, creating whole new agencies and expecting the cooperation of bureaucracies, foreign governments and non-state entities.
"As I told the American people we will direct every resource at our command to win the war against terrorists: every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence..." - President George W. Bush - September 24th, 2001
VIA staff members and consultants have chosen alternative 6 as the recommended route to move forward with in the modern streetcar project.
The plan would route the streetcar along Broadway to Martin and Pecan Streets to service the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, UTSA's downtown campus, the Westside Multimodal Center, El Mercado, South Town, and many other highly desired areas in the downtown area.
The Texas Transportation Commission got an update and harsh words from lawmakers regarding the 83 miles of roadway in South Texas that they are considering converting into gravel.
Texas Department of Transportation Chief Engineer John Barton told the commission that the roads in South Texas where hydraulic fracking is taking place are breaking down faster than anything they’ve ever seen.
Roads are being worn down with the high volume of heavy-load trucks passing in and out of the Eagle Ford Shale area, causing TxDOT to balance the need for frequent repairs with cost saving measures in their budget.
A paved road costs the agency about $500,000 per mile to maintain, but gravel roads cost about $10,000, so TxDOT wants to convert 83 miles of roadway into gravel, a decision that is being met with opposition from county officials.
The final transportation bill will provide the Texas Department of Transportation with $1.2 billion per year in road funding from the Rainy Day Fund.
The speaker of the House and the lieutenant governor will appoint a ten-person committee each legislative session -- five members each of the House and Senate -- which will determine a sufficient balance in the Rainy Day Fund before money can be transferred into the State Highway Fund.
The Rainy Day Fund minimum will then have to be approved by the full House and Senate on a simple majority vote.
Pro-business groups are hoping to persuade House lawmakers to approve a transportation bill that has now been up for debate four times.
The transportation bill working its way through the House this special session involves using money from the Rainy Day Fund and has seen a little bit of controversy in the 83rd Legislature, but was still projected to pass during the first special session.
It failed because of the filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, which effectively ran the clock out on the session.
A transportation panel of seven state representatives heard from the head of the Texas Department of Transportation about the transportation bill that passed the Senate and how it will benefit the State Highway Fund beyond the next two years.
"If we don’t increase our resources now, our production in dollar terms will fall to levels not seen since the early 2000s," said TxDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson. "Meanwhile, more and more people move to Texas [and] congestion worsens."