Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Ultimately, the whole nation will pay."

Trans-Texas corridor is a big issue for the state legislature to address

Nov 20, 2006

KCEN-TV Channel 6
Copyright 2006

The state legislature convenes for its 80th session in January.

With more than 80,000 people driving on I-35 from Dallas to San Antonio on any given day, state officials said something must be done.

TxDot officials said the Trans Texas Corridor is in the environmental testing stage, which will last another two years.

TxDot spokesman Ken Roberts said, "What this is is a 10 mile wide study area we're looking at from a standpoint where to best locate a 1200 foot corridor for the Trans-Texas 35."

Anything along the path, up to several hundred thousand acres, and as many as one million people could be affected.

At a cost of $8 billion just for the corridor, people want to know who will foot the bill.

Governor Rick Perry’s advisor Kris Heckman said it won't be taxpayers, “Centa-Zachary is paying for that.

They are the private sector developer, that they will either raise their own money or spend their own money to pay for the front cost of that road so it doesn't cost the taxpayers a single cent for the construction of that road."

Property owners and farmers claim they will pay the price by losing their homes and livelihoods. Others say, ultimately, the whole nation will pay.

Farmer Vince Cortese said, "If they bring the corn in from another country the other country's not going to let you have that corn as cheap as you can buy it from us."

There are also questions about the Trans Texas Corridor being a part of a planned super highway from Mexico to Canada, which raises more questions about homeland security.

Homeowner Cynthia Ross said, "This is a super highway that goes from Mexico to Canada, and will, in effect, erase the borders allowing anyone to come across. There will be no illegal aliens."

Heckman said that speculation is untrue and the corridor will only go from Dallas to San Antonio.

However, a TxDot map showed the corridor running from the Texas-Mexico border to the Texas-Oklahoma line; an inconsistency that has yet to be explained. Construction could begin as early as 2010 and be completed by 2015.

© 2006 KCEN-TV Channel 6, Inc.: www.kcentv.com