DALLAS - Top state legislative leaders are urging the Texas Department of Transportation to tap the bond market with $1.5 billion of debt backed by the state's gasoline tax to help reduce a growing backlog of highway projects.

In a letter signed by Lieut. Gov. David Dewhurst, House Speaker Tom Craddick, Senate Finance Committee chairman Steve Ogden, and House Appropriations Committee chairman Warren Chissum, the legislative leaders ask TxDOT to use the bonding authority approved in the 2007 legislative session that ended last May.

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