Thursday, May 31, 2007

Behrens' letter does not include his reason for leaving

TxDOT executive director to resign in August

May 31, 2007

The Associated Press
Copyright 2007

AUSTIN — Texas Department of Transportation Executive Director Michael Behrens, who has led the agency since 2001 through a period of radical change, will retire at the end of August.

Behrens announced he will leave the agency after nearly 37 years in a letter Tuesday to Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Ric Williamson.

The letter does not include a reason for leaving. State lawmakers heavily criticized state transportation policy on toll roads and private contracts during the legislative session that ended Monday.

The agency has traditionally been a pay-as-you-go organization, building roads with money collected from gas taxes and fees.

But under Gov. Rick Perry and his appointees to the commission, notably Williamson, the agency has increasingly shifted to relying on toll roads and borrowed money to speed construction. The change has prompted intense criticism from the public and lawmakers.

"I will always be an advocate for the Department and the need for providing adequate transportation infrastructure for this state," Behrens said in his letter. "I will continue to inform and educate."

© 2007 The Associated Press:

To search TTC News Archives click HERE

To view the Trans-Texas Corridor Blog click HERE