Sunday, March 16, 2008

"It is not too late to stop the Trans Texas Corridor if we all band together."


Opposing Texas' megahighway

March 16, 2008

By Gary Wheeler, Groveton
Lufkin Daily News
Copyright 2008

As a longtime resident of East Texas, I am strongly against the proposed I-69 Trans Texas Corridor (TTC). I wonder if the people of Trinity and Angelina County realize how this mega highway is going to negatively affect them and the area we live in.

This is a completely new highway, not to be confused with the widening of U.S. 59.

The highway corridor will be a minimum of 1,200 feet wide and will have six lanes south bound and six lanes north bound with several sets of railroad tracks for rail traffic. It will also have an area for utilities that include power lines, pipelines, etc.

This highway will cut Trinity and Angelina County in half. The residents in the path of this highway will be forced to sell their land at what the state deems a fair price, which I have read is very much under market value. Cemeteries will have to be relocated and farms and ranches that have been in families for generations will be taken. This highway originates at the Texas-Mexico border at Brownsville and is planned to go to the Canadian border.

The last slap in the face is planners say the highway will be built by an international company and will be a toll road with the proceeds going to Spain. This is a project initiated by Gov. Rick Perry and his appointed TxDOT officials. It is also my understanding state Rep. Jim McReynolds not only supports the project but played a major role in routing the highway through Angelina County.

This highway is part of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which will only benefit large businesses and industries. This again takes more money out of the pockets of American citizens and small businesses. This highway is designed to distribute goods from China via Mexico through the United States.

What ever happened to "Made in America?" The environmental impact of the highway will be devastating as it will destroy thousand's of acres of natural habitat for wildlife. The corridor will also greatly increase air pollution, litter, noise, and will turn the area we live into an undesirable place to live.

The things we all enjoy about country living will be gone forever.

You may have heard rumors that this proposal has been stopped, but this is only a smoke screen created by TxDOT, and is very much still in progress. By the state coming in and taking citizens' land away from them not only is this going to affect them, but by reducing the amount of land in the county this will cause everyone's taxes to greatly increase.

The people of Texas have not been given an opportunity to vote on this proposal. Gov. Perry has managed to quietly push this proposal through without the general knowledge of the public or private land owners. One soldier who had just returned from duty in Iraq stated: there is something wrong here, I have been over in Iraq fighting so that the Iraqi people could keep their land and freedom, and when I returned home I find that my family and friends are now having to fight our own government to keep their land. It is not too late to stop the Trans Texas Corridor if we all band together.

It is crucial to write or call your congressmen and state representative to let them know that you are opposed to the TTC and that you want No build — No Action to TTC-69. For more information visit the following Web site:

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