The Texas governor gave his stamp of approval for this new transportation plan on August 30. This 10-year plan aims to “alleviate roadway congestion, enhance transportation safety and improve highways.” The roads in Texas have been met with community complaints before but this is the first time we are hearing of such an extensive plan from the government. “The state of Texas is working to ensure the transportation needs of our fast-growing state are met and that the safety of Texans on the roadways is protected,” Gov. Greg Abbott declared, calling the plan “a critical step toward addressing the diverse needs of Texans in rural, urban and metropolitan communities.” With the different major cities in Texas quickly growing, it is important for the government to maintain the existing roads and create any more that might be necessary to improve living conditions in Texas.
TxDOT’s 2023 Unified Transportation Program (UTP), a 188-page construction planning and development document that guides work on 562 listed transportation projects across Texas, was unanimously adopted. UTP authorizes the 10-year distribution of construction funding across 12 work categories, which include projects for highways, international trade, maritime, aviation and public transportation amongst others. We need to recognize that this is not an actual guarantee for funding but more of a guide of a document.
“This 10-year plan to address transportation needs statewide and dedicate $85 billion to improve roadways will be a huge boon to our state’s infrastructure and booming economy,”
Governor Abbott said. “As more people move to Texas and businesses grow across the state, we are working together to make sure Texans’ transportation safety and mobility are secured and businesses can flourish for generations to come.”
Once approved, there will be a prioritization of projects put in place to ensure the highest transportation needs are met at the beginning of this 10-year plan. Transportation needs to grow as fast as their respective cities are growing. Transport Topics reported that TxDOT has committed $30 million in the 2023 UTP to expand and repurpose safety rest areas with additional space for truck parking due to challenges freight carriers in Texas face over a lack of available parking spaces statewide. The document also calls for $16.6 billion in preventative maintenance/rehabilitation of the existing state highway system, including pavement, sign, and signal repairs.
- Along with targeting $4.1 billion for bridge repairs (with at least 15% for off-system bridges) and $3.7 billion for safety projects, TxDOT’s proposed projects include
- $10.7 billion for metro and urban corridor projects to mitigate state highway traffic congestion that commonly consists of road widening and interchange improvement
- $12.2 billion toward statewide connectivity corridor improvements for high-traffic route mobility, two-lane roads needing expansion to four-lane divided lanes, and strategic statewide routes as the Ports-to-Plains freight corridor.
Overall, Texas aims to boost its statewide transportation connectivity at key locations such as ports of entry, border crossings, agriculture and forestry sites, and energy production.