DALLAS - The embattled Texas Department of Transportation is preparing to defend its existence in the state's Sunset Review process as it seeks to mend fences with legislative leaders offended by recent explanations of financial distress.

Two months after the death of its outspoken boss, Texas Transportation Commission chairman Ric Williamson, TxDOT is operating under the less combative Esperanza "Hope" Andrade of San Antonio, who was named interim chair on Jan. 28.

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