AUSTIN — Last Monday, the Texas Transportation Commission heard presentations from the Texas Department of Transportation regarding the agency’s Unified Transportation Program (UTP) – the 10-year project funding plan aimed at enhancing safety, reducing congestion, improving connectivity and maintaining the state’s massive highway system.
The proposed updates to the UTP dedicate funding for 1,210 centerline miles of added capacity and improvements, including $2.5 billion in projects to relieve congestion as part of the agency’s Texas Clear Lanes initiative.
“Mobility not only benefits individual drivers but also the Texas economy as goods and services move safely and efficiently across our state,” said Texas Transportation Commissioner J. Bruce Bugg, Jr., who is leading the Commission focus on reducing congestion. “As our state’s population grows, the 12,000 men and women of TxDOT will continue to collaborate with state and local leaders to find feasible solutions for funding specific projects that TxDOT will execute upon expeditiously to keep people and freight moving throughout our state.”
Thanks to Texas voters, who in 2014 and 2015 approved additional funding in the form of existing oil and gas and sales taxes, and the commitment of Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas legislature to keep highway dollars dedicated to the state’s roadways, TxDOT is able to provide additional funding for priority transportation projects. If approved by the Commission in March, the updated UTP will dedicate an additional $2.5 billion (of Category 12 funding Texas Clear Lanes initiative) for 19 new projects (over the next four years) aimed at relieving congestion in the major metro areas above what is already in the UTP. This program is designed to help plan for the huge population growth expected to take place in Texas over the next few decades.
“We appreciate the support of Texans and we stand ready to deliver on these projects that will help ease their commutes,” said TxDOT Deputy Executive Director Marc Williams. “Most of TxDOT’s budget is dedicated to Texas roadway projects and we stand committed to putting those dollars to good use for our citizens.”
TxDOT is holding a public meeting on Feb. 23 at 4 p.m. to receive comments on the updates to the UTP. Visit www.txdot.gov and search “Unified Transportation Program” for more information. Due to the public comment period, these proposed projects are subject to change pending Commission approval in March.
To see progress on congestion-relief projects across the state, visit www.texasclearlanes.com.