The Texas Department of Transportation has formally pulled the plug on the Trans Texas Corridor, a hotly contested plan to build toll roads, rail lines and utilities across the state, officials said.
But the state’s once-lofty plan to build $184 billion worth of new statewide infrastructure promises to live on in the governor’s race, where the need to reduce gridlock is often pitted against issues such as property rights, the impact of tolls on residents’ pocketbooks and foreign control of toll projects.
State officials have scheduled a news conference for 11 a.m. today in Austin to announce that the department has selected the "no action alternative" for the proposed first leg of the Trans Texas Corridor from the border region to Dallas-Fort Worth.
During months of testimony in the project’s environmental review, a process governed by the Federal Highway Administration, simply too many Texans voiced opposition to the project, officials said.
"The reason that’s being given for the no-build option is that people don’t want it," Texas Transportation Commissioner Bill Meadows of Fort Worth said Tuesday in a phone interview. "They said, 'Hell no.’ What we basically are doing is we are terminating the process. Formally, absolutely, TTC-35 is dead. We are canceling the contract with Zachry."
Zachry Construction Co. of San Antonio and Cintra of Madrid have been under contract to create a Trans Texas Corridor master plan and to provide a more detailed development plan for the first Trans Texas Corridor leg along the I-35 corridor.