Prop 1 and Prop 7 Funding Allowed Transportation Commission to Award $8 Billion in FY18 Contracts


As predicted when Proposition 1 was passed in 2015 and Proposition 7 was approved in 2016, the pace of highway contracts being awarded jumped dramatically in FY 2018 which ended Sept. 30th.

 

An historic $3 billion worth of road project contracts were approved during June, July and August of 2018.  Awards in the September-December 2018 period total $2.33 billion, on pace for the award of approximately $7 billion in FY 2019.


Members of the Texas Transportation Commission took time at their December meeting to point to that historic level of highway construction and to point to the emphasis being placed on congestion relief.


Population growth, an expanding economy, booming freight movements and aging infrastructure continue to put pressure on the state’s highway system requiring continued investment.


Commissioners are carrying out the direction from the Legislature to promote opportunities in Texas’ future while addressing the challenges of congestion, roadway safety, connectivity and the preservation of existing roads.


Governor Greg Abbott and Texas voters made it very clear that congestion relief around the state is a key priority to meeting the demands of our rapidly growing population and booming economy,” said Texas Transportation Commission Chairman J. Bruce Bugg, Jr.


“In our efforts to execute on that Texas voter mandate, we directed more than $24 billion toward congestion in our major metropolitan areas as part of the approved $75.4 billion Unified Transportation Program (UTP) over the next 10 years.  Our ‘Construction Budget’ is the largest funding package in Texas history. Explosive growth presents opportunities the size of Texas but requires unprecedented action, and we look forward to meeting the needs and demands of our growing state,” Bugg said.


Since 2015, more than 1,300 lane miles have been added to state roads and more than 2,600 non-tolled road projects worth $11 billion have been completed.


On average, Texas is growing by about 1,100 people each day. To meet this growth, the Texas Clear Lanes initiative started in 2015 addresses congestion in the Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin areas, which are home to 65 percent of the state’s population and 92 of Texas’ Top 100 roads chokepoints. Of the approximately 30 identified Texas Clear Lanes projects, two have been completed and 16 are under construction. Some of those address traffic in the top 20 chokepoints around the state. Others are included in the 10-year plan.


A key priority for the Commission and is addressing safety and roadway improvements in areas impacted by energy sector truck traffic. Over the next decade, the Transportation Commission has directed $3.4 billion to make repairs and improve roads in the energy-rich Permian Basin.  Since 2016, nearly $1.8 billion has been invested in safety and infrastructure improvements in the Permian Basin.


Most of the projects in the UTP include significant safety elements.  TxDOT safety education and awareness efforts have been important in affecting driver behavior. Traffic deaths were down slightly in 2017 and bicycle and pedestrian fatalities decreased by 10% in 2017. TxDOT continues to make substantial investment in education, training and awareness.  Safety is a key factor in scoring and ranking projects for inclusion in TxDOT’s 10-year plan.

 

December 17, 2018