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TRTC – August 6, 2014 Meeting

Aug 6, 14 • Progress, SETTP NewsNo Comments

Information Item 5- Focus Topic: Priority Projects In Development Awaiting Funding (Brian Barth, TxDOT Fort Worth District Engineer.)

 

Item Summary: Fort Worth District Engineer for TxDOT Brian Barth Presented a report on Tarrant County Projects. Four of the projects are of the vital interest for SETT. 

1)  SH360 – Camp Wisdom to US 287:  TxDot will issue final request for proposals in September 2014.  The proposals are due to TxDOT by January 2015 at which time the TxDOT Commission will award in February 2015.  with estimated completion date in 2018.

2) SH 360 / IH 30 Interchange:  Project is under design and enviromental reealuation so project can be shovel ready once construction funds are identified.

3) SH 360 – From Randol Mill to IH 20: Project will add one main lane in each direction with ramp improvemenst.  Preliminary design and environmental work is under way for estimated $82 million project.

4) East Loop 820 / US 287 Corridor:  Project will add additional lanes to IH 20 and Loop 820 as well as add 2 managed lanes and frontage roads along IH 20, US 287 and IH 820.  This $1.1 billion estimated project is currently beginning the environmental process.

White House endorses Republican highway bill

The White House on Monday backed a $10 billion bill in the House that would extend federal transportation funding through next spring.

The surprise endorsement of the bill, which is scheduled to come up for a vote in the House on Tuesday, clears the way for a deal with Democrats in the Senate.

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Collin County officials push back against U.S. 75 toll plan

Seven state lawmakers and all five of Collin County’s commissioners told the Texas Department of Transportation’s executive director in a letter that they don’t want the agency to turn the car pool lanes into tolled express lanes.

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Transportation fund almost empty

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has sent a letter to states saying their federal funding will be cut back next month because Congress has not come even close to an agreement on restoring the rapidly disappearing Highway Trust Fund.

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Plan to Refill Highway Fund Stokes Conflict in Congress

Jun 17, 14 • Progress, SETTP NewsNo Comments

With federal highway funds just weeks from depletion, the struggle to replenish the Highway Trust Fund has linked Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, the majority leader, with one of the Republicans’ brightest stars, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky — and pushed against the bipartisan leadership of the Finance Committee — with the clock ticking.

 

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Roads alone won’t drive Texas’ future, new TxDOT chief says

Jun 17, 14 • Progress, SETTP NewsNo Comments

The Texas Department of Transportation’s new executive director says it’s going to take more than new roads to keep Texans traveling smoothly if population growth estimates prove true.

The way Joe Weber sees it, the state transportation agency needs to increase financing for commuter and freight projects if it is to build the infrastructure that Texans are going to want and need in the decades ahead.

 

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Company Wants To Build A Totally Private Toll Road In North Texas

With the corridor’s population projected to grow significantly over the next 20 years, local officials are hoping to expand the transportation options before congestion worsens. Building a highway would probably be among the recommendations issued later this year, Shelton said, and the Texas Turnpike Corporation’s proposal is drawing interest. 

 

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TxDOT takes “Talk, Text, Crash” message to business leaders

Researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety say drivers who use a cell phone behind the wheel are four times more likely to get into a crash serious enough to cause injury. In addition, a study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute revealed almost half of Texas drivers have admitted using a cell phone while driving, and almost a quarter of drivers say they sometimes or regularly send or read text messages while driving. Distracted driving-related crashes in Texas are highest among young adults ages 16 to 24, followed by adults over the age of 44. Last year in Texas, 505 people were killed and 19,981 people were seriously injured in distracted driving crashes.

Bipartisan Senate plan for transportation funding would keep current spending levels

The next step in addressing a national transportation funding crisis came Monday night in a U.S. Senate proposal that would continue current spending levels for six years and give state and local governments more autonomy in how they spend federal dollars.

The long-awaited bipartisan bill, which was released without comment by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and David Vitter (R-La.), would be pegged at around the current level of $52 billion a year, with an allowance for inflation.

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TxDOT names Weber new executive director

TxDOT names Weber new
executive director

Weber will took over April 23 with a salary of $273,000, according to TxDOT documents.

He replaces former Executive Director Phil Wilson, who left in December to lead the Lower Colorado River Authority to replace outgoing General Manager Becky Motal.

The Texas Transportation Commission—the governing body for TxDOT—voted to approve Weber as the new department head during a special-called meeting April 4.

“We are thrilled to have a leader with such stature and experience join the TxDOT team and be part of this great organization,” TTC Chairman Ted Houghton said in a news release. “Gen. Weber is the right person at the right time to make a great agency even better.”

Weber will leave his post as vice president of student affairs for Texas A&M, where he is also a graduate. In addition, he has a master’s degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas.

At Texas A&M, Weber was in charge of strategic planning, direction and development of fiscal and human resources.

He also was responsible for crisis management and oversight of more than 900 student organizations.

Weber served 36 years in the military and was a lieutenant general in the United States Marine Corps where he was responsible for more than 75,000 marines and sailors. His other duties involved training, education and combat readiness of those in the military.

“As TxDOT continues its transformation in becoming a best-in-class agency, Gen. Weber is the right fit for this department,” Commissioner Jeff Moseley said in a news release. “The general’s proven track record and collaborative nature will help the department work even more closely with the legislature and other key transportation stakeholders.”