$12B of $85B investment to better Texas roadways dedicated to Houston projects

ByAsia Armour Community Impact Newspaper logo
Tuesday, October 18, 2022
TxDOT retains funding for I-45 expansion in $85B transportation plan
Previous video: Gov. Abbott announced the adoption of the TxDOT's $85 billion, 10-year road construction plan, which includes the long-awaited realignment of I-45 east of downtown.

HOUSTON, Texas -- The Texas Department of Transportation approved on Aug. 30 the 2023 Unified Transportation Program with an $85 billion, 10-year investment to enhance Texas' roadways. Of that, $12 billion was allotted to the Houston district, where congestion relief is a major focus.

The video above is from a previous story.

In the Katy area, there are four projects totaling $510.7 million. All are planned to begin in fiscal year 2023 and end in 2026.

Gov. Greg Abbott commented on the unprecedented amount of funding dedicated to transportation safety, addressing congestion and rural connectivity and preserving roadways for Texas drivers in a news release. He said the 2023 UTP is a crucial step toward addressing rural, urban and metropolitan communities across Texas and a "huge boon to our state's infrastructure and booming economy."

"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," Abbott said.

The most expensive local project is a $292.72 million widening of I-10 in Brookshire, starting at FM 359 and ending at the Waller County-Fort Bend County line. This project received a funding adjustment for an additional $44.75 million, according to UTP documents.

The other three area projects have experienced no funding change this year, per 2023 UTP documents.

These include a two-part widening of I-10. One portion runs from west of Snake Creek to the Fort Bend County-Harris County line and will cost $128.23 million. The other portion is between the Fort Bend County line and Mason Road and will cost $11.75 million.

The funding categories for both portions of the I-10 widening projects are also, in part, from statewide connectivity corridor projects and strategic priorities.

Finally, the 2023 UTP will provide $78 million for another project widening I-10 but with this project starting from the Waller County-Fort Bend County line and ending west of Snake Creek. J. Bruce Bugg, Jr., chair of the Texas Transportation Commission, which is the governing board for TxDOT, said in 2023 UTP documents that this year's new record in funding is due to Texas' vital role as a transportation chain for global trade. However, since funding levels do change, it does not ensure that all proposed projects will be built, he wrote.

"This forward-looking program ensures that TxDOT is ready to meet future demand and optimize the hard-earned taxpayer dollars dedicated to transportation," Bugg said.

This content was provided by our partners at Community Impact Newspaper.