Monday, January 21, 2008

Sen. Hegar and Rep. Kolkhorst Oppose TTC-69 Route

Hegar opposes TTC route in district

January 21, 2008

Brenham Banner-Press
Copyright 2008

State Sen. Glen Hegar says he opposes a route that would bring the mammoth Trans Texas Corridor through his district.

The Texas Department of Transportation has kicked off a series of public meetings to discuss the project. Meetings are scheduled for Tuesday in Hempstead (6:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 22892 Mack Washington St.) and Jan. 29 in Bellville (at the Austin County fairgrounds, also beginning at 6:30 p.m.).

No meetings are scheduled in Washington County, which likely wouldn’t be impacted much by the highway project.

Much of the discussion in public meetings already held centers on Interstate 69, a north-south superhighway through East Texas and into South Texas that would follow the route of U.S. 59.

Gov. Rick Perry first proposed the TTC six years ago. It would roughly parallel interstate highways with up to a quarter-mile-wide stretch of toll roads, rail lines, pipelines and utility lines. Cost of the project has been estimated at approaching $200 billion, the biggest construction project ever in Texas.

If eventually approved, it wouldn’t be completed for decades.

Hegar says he isn’t convinced that the project is a good thing.

“As Texas grows from 23 million to 40 million residents over the next several decades, careful study of the expansion of our highway system will be needed to ensure a healthy business climate and the continued flow of jobs to Texas,” he said.

“With this tremendous growth we must take great care in planning to protect our natural resources and quality of life. I do not believe a 1,200-foot wide corridor is necessary in Senate District 18, and I know that many of my constituents agree. That is why I strongly encourage attendance at these extremely important meetings.”

State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) has also weighed in against the project.

Hegar also said that TxDOT is gathering applications for advisory committees that will study the project’s development and include affected property and business owners, representatives of local government and chambers of commerce, as well as environmental, technical, and engineering experts, among others.

Applications are available at and are due by Feb. 8.

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