DALLAS -- The Texas Transportation Commission has awarded a $150 million contract to Austin-Angel JV to repair roads that have been damaged by heavy trucks and increased traffic in the oil and gas producing regions of the state. The money is part of the $225 million approved by the 2013 state Legislature under House Bill 1025.

"The energy sector provides a tremendous economic boost to the state of Texas, but it must be supported in a manner that is safe to everyone on our roadways," said Texas Transportation Commissioner Fred Underwood.

The project is set to begin next spring and will focus on the Corpus Christi, Laredo, San Antonio and Yoakum districts, with 27 roadways and bridges to be rebuilt or resurfaced.

In September, $75 million was allocated toward repairs to begin in the Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, Odessa and San Angelo districts.

Austin-Angel JV is a joint venture created by Austin Bridge & Road Co. and Angel Brothers.

In 2012, vehicle crashes in Texas' five energy sectors (Eagle Ford Shale, Permian Basin, Barnett Shale, Granite Wash and Haynesville/Bossier), rose by 6% over the previous year, while fatalities rose 13%, according to state officials. Karnes County, Texas experienced an increase of over 1,000% in commercial motor vehicle accidents from 2008 to 2011.

The state has identified more than $400 million in immediate roadway safety needs such as repairs to severe edge damage on narrow roadways, deep rutting and pavement damage caused by the increased traffic associated with these activities. Estimates show an additional $1 billion per year is needed to restore roadways heavily impacted by energy development to "good" or "better" conditions, officials said.

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