"Despite the interstate name, the highway would be a piece of Gov. Rick Perry's Trans-Texas Corridor."
Zachry to team with another Spanish company on corridor plan from Valley to Texarkana.
June 27, 2008
By Ben Wear
The next leg of the Trans-Texas Corridor, this one to be in South and East Texas, now has a developer. Or at least a planner.
On Thursday, the Texas Transportation Commission unanimously approved hiring a partnership headed by ACS Infrastructure Development Inc., a Spanish company, and San Antonio-based Zachry American Infrastructure Inc. to craft a plan for Interstate 69. Despite the interstate name, the highway from the Rio Grande Valley to Texarkana would be a piece of Gov. Rick Perry's Trans-Texas Corridor.
TxDOT will pay up to $5 million for the master plan, which Zachry/ACS should deliver in a year to 18 months, officials said.
In its proposal to TxDOT, the partnership suggests upgrading U.S. 77 to interstate freeway standards (it is interrupted by stoplights in some communities) from Refugio County to the Rio Grande Valley. There would be tolls on only a couple of short sections, bypasses around towns, and most of the road would be free to drive. The partnership also proposes to build and operate five other South Texas toll roads, three in the Corpus Christi area and two in the Valley.
Under state law, none of I-69 north of the San Antonio River can be a private toll road. The master plan will address how to finance that northerly 500 miles or so.
© 2008, Austin American-Statesman: www.statesman.com
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