Thursday, October 04, 2007

"I can't wait to read the fine print.”

TxDOT commissioner talks up TTC, I-69


By Chris Sansone
Fort Bend Herald
Copyright 2007

With more than 1,000 people moving to Texas on a daily basis, a top state transportation official told an audience in Rosenberg Wednesday the I-69 portion of the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) will bring not only economic development, it will bring much-needed funds to Fort Bend County.

Texas Transportation Commissioner Ted Houghton told business leaders attending the Fort Bend Regional Infrastructure Conference the TTC will act as a funding mechanism to allow construction and maintenance along the U.S. 59 corridor, as I-69 will incorporate the existing highway's “footprint”, drawing new highways, railways and utility rights of way along the route.

“The low tax system and less regulatory system is attractive for people to move to Texas to create opportunity and wealth,” Houghton said, “and we need to find ways to get it done.”

Houghton said the TTC-69 project would be broken up into six local sections, with the groups including county judges and city mayors of the jurisdictions the TTC route runs through, all of whom will help shape the corridor throughout the region.

“The entire corridor will not be 1,200-feet wide, which has been widely reported,” Houghton said. “It will all depend on what you want,” adding each group would decide what their portion of the corridor will look like.

Each route could include separate lanes for passenger vehicles and large trucks; freight railways; high-speed commuter railways; and infrastructure for utilities including water lines, oil and gas pipelines, and transmission lines for electricity, broadband and other telecommunications services.

Houghton said he met briefly with County Judge Bob Hebert and will be back in Fort Bend County Oct. 26 to “roll out the information” and get the region's group together.

“What I've heard today I like,” Hebert said following Houghton's remarks, “and I can't wait to read the fine print.”

The conference, sponsored by the Rosenberg-Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce, was held at the Rosenberg Civic Center.

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