Report: $997M in highway funds don't help traffic

January 26, 2010 3:31:13 AM PST
A newspaper report says nearly $1 billion in transportation funds have been used over the past 18 years on Texas projects that had little to do with improving traffic flow. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Sunday that $997 million worth of work in Texas has fallen under a federal transportation enhancement program that started in 1991.

The spending includes $42.7 million for the first phase of a 5-acre park being built on top of a freeway in downtown Dallas and $16.1 million to restore the Battleship Texas in the southeast Texas town of La Porte.

The newspaper reported that state legislators often require the Texas Department of Transportation to fund pet projects through last-minute additions to the department's appropriations.