Monday, October 30, 2006

Perry appointee makes 'Corridor Prophecy' one week prior to election

Trans Texas Corridor Will Inject Billions Into State’s Economy, Study Says

October 30, 2006

KWTX (Waco/Temple/ Kileen)
Copyrigh t2006

The multi-billion-dollar Trans Texas Corridor will pump billions of dollars into the state’s economy and will create millions of jobs according to a new study by Waco-based economist Ray Perryman.

In “Moving Into Prosperity: The Potential Impact of the Trans-Texas Corridor on Business Activity in Texas,” Perryman says the project will make the state’s economy more competitive.

“Because the TTC enhances efficiency, improves logistics, and reduces transportation time and costs, it increases the ability of companies within the region to expand intrastate trade and operations, and, thus, increase market size and market share on a global basis,” Perryman said.

The report estimates the economic impact over 25-years of the Interstate 35 leg of the project at $1.4 trillion.

Over that period, the report says, the project would increase the gross state product by $665.9 billion, boost personal incomes in Texas by $376 billion and generate 3.7 million permanent jobs.

The report also says the project would reduce traffic congestion, improve safety, and benefit farmers and ranchers along the Interstate 35 leg through “enhanced efficiency and development.”

The Texas Department of Transportation released the study Monday, just more than a week before the Nov. 7 general election, in which the project has been a hot issue in the governor’s race.

All three of Gov. Rick Perry’s major challengers oppose the corridor project.

Democrat Chris Bell says it’s “rife with insider dealing, cronyism and conflicts of interest.

Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, who is the most outspoken opponent of the plan, calls the corridor “the largest land-grab in Texas history.”

Kinky Friedman calls the corridor “a land grab of the ugliest kind with land being taken from hard-working ranchers and farmers in little towns and villages all over Texas.”

Work on the Central Texas portion of the project could begin within four years, the Texas Department of Transportation said last month as it released a plan identifying near- mid- and long-term phases of the privately developed toll road.

The plan identifies portions of the corridor from north of Temple to near Hillsboro and from Georgetown to Temple as among the likely near-term phases of the project, on which work could begin by 2010 and could be completed by 2013.

The Temple-to-Hillsboro leg of the corridor would cost an estimated $1.1 billion to design and build. The Georgetown-to-Temple leg would cost about $1 billion to design and build.

Tolls would range from about 15 cents a mile for cars to as much as 48 cents a mile for big trucks, which means the cost of a trip along the full length of the 370-mile toll road could cost from $56 to more than $216.

The Texas Department of Transportation signed a contract in April 2005 with the Cintra-Zachry consortium for planning on the project, the most ambitious highway construction effort since the Eisenhower administration launched the effort to build an interstate highway system.

The $184 billion plan ultimately calls for a 4,000-mile network of transportation corridors that would crisscross the state with separate highway lanes for passenger vehicles and trucks, passenger rail, freight rain, commuter rail and dedicated utility zones.

© 2006 Gray Television Group, Inc. :

Lobby Watch: New Appointees Contributed To Perry's Economic Growth: CLICK HERE