Friday, July 21, 2006

“This should be considered a treasonous act."

Area residents give thumbs down to TTC


By Justin Jones
Terrell Tribune
Copyright 2006

Kaufman County residents opposed to the Trans Texas Corridor strongly voiced their opinions Wednesday during a public hearing at the Terrell ISD Performing Arts Center for the proposed multi-use, statewide network of transportation routes in Texas that will incorporate existing new highways, railways and utility right-of-ways.

“I think we have had good turnouts and we are getting mixed comments,” said Dieter Billek, the advance project development director for the Texas Turnpike Authority Division. “This is just part of the process. The purpose of these public hearings is to get public comment.”

A majority of the comments criticized the corridor, which, if approved, would parallel Interstate 35 and extend from Oklahoma to Mexico, with possible connections to the Gulf Coast, according to the Web site

“While we are not inherently opposed to road projects or even toll projects, where toll projects are voted on by communities, there has not been any input from the regional planning organizations,” said Linda Stall of “This toll road will never be paid for. It's not like the Dallas turnpike, which was paid for and made a free road. This is a profit-making venture and I believe if we are going to build roads in Texas, we should build them ourselves.”

Another strong opinion opposing the corridor, which is proposed by the Texas Department of Transportation, is the possibility of land being taken away.

“In order to build the Trans Texas Corridor, the state will take more than a half a million acres of land from private land owners,” a Wood County resident said. “This should be considered a treasonous act. The corridor will also damage the tax base of the counties it passes through. Communities [also] will be separated and farms will be destroyed.”

Other concerns about the corridor involved air pollution increasing due to more cars being on the highway, noise, how the project will damage the environment and how rural areas should remain that way.

Some questions asked - in objection to the corridor - were, is the routing being impacted by big city politics; whose private pockets are being lined with the project and will this project just become wide-open space?

“My husband and I own 52 acres and if this goes through, we will lose all of our property we purchased back in 1995 and we thought we would leave this land to our sons and grandchildren one day,” Darlene Ray said. “I don't feel that any person who has put this dreadful plan together stands to lose anything. I want you to know that I will fight you every step of the way on this.”

According to, the purpose of TTC-35 is to improve international, interstate and intrastate movement of goods and people.

It's also designed to address the anticipated transportation needs of Texas from the Texas/Oklahoma state line to the Texas/Mexico border and or Texas Gulf Coast along the I-35 corridor for the next 20 to 50 years and sustain and enhance the economic vitality of the state of Texas.

Overall, says, as envisioned, the corridor may include separate lanes for passenger vehicles and large trucks, freight railways and high-speed commuter railways.

The corridor also would have infrastructure for utilities, including water lines, oil and gas pipelines, and transmission lines for electricity, broadband and other telecommunication services.

Plans call for TTC-35 to be built in phases over the next 50 years.
© 2006 Terrell Tribune :