Texas plans to spend record $85 million on road construction over 10 years
By Andy Brown and Jenny LescohierSeptember 07, 2022
The state of Texas plans to tackle an $85-billion, 10-year road building plan, the 2023 Unified Transportation Program (UTP), to improve safety and address congestion and rural connectivity.
The plan, announced by Governor Greg Abbott, who described it as an “unprecedented level of projected transportation funding,” will coincide with an additional $32 billion over the life of the program for routine maintenance contracts and project development, such as planning, professional engineering and right-of-way acquisition for more than 7,000 transportation projects. This brings the total investment to $117 billion statewide.
Abbott said the plan was, “a critical step toward addressing the diverse transportation needs statewide.” He added it would, “address transportation needs statewide and dedicate $85 billion to improve roadways [which] will be a huge boon to our state’s infrastructure and booming economy.”
Texas DOT Commission Chairman J. Bruce Bugg, Jr. said, “The UTP reflects a continued focus on improving transportation safety as the top priority, maintaining our current system, addressing traffic congestion, and improving statewide connectivity over the next decade.
“Additionally, we are making significant progress in addressing congestion in our busiest parts of the state through our Texas Clear Lanes initiative, which improves top chokepoints in our largest metro areas.”
Marc Williams, TxDOT executive director, noted the wide expanse of Texas means the task of maintaining and building roads is, well, a big one.
“Texas’ rapid growth reinforces the importance of investing in transportation to efficiently move both people and freight across our diverse state,” he said. “TxDOT is working hard to not only build the new roads and transportation capacity Texas needs, but to maintain the more than 80,000 miles of roads and other transportation infrastructure under our care.“
Many projects in the UTP plan are roadway segments identified on Texas’ 100 Most Congested Roadways list and critical connectivity corridors, such as Interstate 35 in the Austin area and Interstate 610, which loops around Houston.
The projects will be funded through legislative and voter-approved initiatives that allocate portions of oil and gas taxes, sales taxes and other money to the state highway fund.
The Texas A&M Transportation Institute estimated an economic benefit of $15.5 billion to Texas annually.
A total of $14 billion is allocated for development in rural areas, and 58,500 “direct and indirect jobs” are expected to arise from the program,” The Texan reported.
For information about all projects in the UTP, visit TxDOT’s Project Tracker.