Even though President-elect Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package for infrastructure is so far just a proposal with few specifics, the Texas Department of Transportation has developed a wish list of projects to be financed that totals $6.2 billion and spans 29 pages.
TxDOT’s 25 districts were asked to come up with projects that could be ready for contract awards within four months after congressional approval of a stimulus bill.
Department spokesman Chris Lippincott said the new president and Congress must still determine how much discretion states will have in using the money and whether state matching funds would be required.
Most new highway projects in the state have been delayed since 2007, when TxDOT found it had double-counted $1.1 billion in revenue.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said it was time to start building roads again.
“Our transportation infrastructure is overwhelmed by an increasing number of vehicles, as a result of more than 1,000 people moving to Texas each day,” he said. “If Texas is to remain competitive in the national and global economy, we must find adequate and stable funding for new road construction and maintenance.”
Perry said the state’s population has increased by 57% in the past 25 years, but road capacity grew by only 8% as road use nearly doubled. Over the next 25 years, he said, TxDOT predicts road use will increase 214% but capacity will grow by a mere 6%.
The Texas Transportation Commission in late October approved spending $1.8 billion on road projects from the proceeds of $3.1 billion of Proposition 12 bonds approved by voters in 2003.