"We ask you please take charge of transportation in Texas and the people of this good state will be behind you."
Mar 1, 2007
KCEN-TV Channel 6 (Waco, Temple, Kileen)
The controversial Trans Texas Corridor project drew supporters and opponents from across the state to Austin Thursday to voice their opinions to lawmakers.
State Senators got an ear full on the proposed super highway.
The crowd didn't hold back when TXDOT officials spoke at a public hearing held by the state transportation and Homeland Security committees.
Hundreds of people tried to convince committee members to overturn the Trans Texas Corridor Bill which passed in June 2003.
Hill County resident Will Lowrance said, "We ask you please take charge of transportation in Texas and the people of this good state will be behind you."
If the Senate overturns the bill, it would then go to the house for a vote.
However, even if both the House and the Senate vote against it, Governor Rick Perry can still veto it, and the project would continue.
That’s exactly what many opponents expect to happen, but they said the issue is too important to remain quiet.
Holland resident Ralph Snyder said, "The state of Texas is taking these people's property and giving it to a foreign company to set them up with a business for profit. Can you think of anything worse?"
TXDOT officials said the project is still pending Federal Highway Administration approval of an environmental impact statement before it can move forward.
Additional public hearings will be held this summer. State Senators also grilled Transportation Commission Chairman Ric Williamson on why Interstate-35 couldn't be widened instead of building the huge toll road.
Williamson said the dense population along the interstate and lack of public money were reasons to opt for the Trans Texas Corridor. Thousands of opponents are expected to march in Austin Friday against the project.
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