Monday, October 06, 2008

Economic woes are taking their toll on toll road projects.

Road Construction Scaled Back

Oct 6, 2008

Reported by Aaron Smith
KCEN-TV Channel 6 (Waco-Temple-Killeen)
Copyright 2008

Economic woes are taking their toll on road projects. The Texas Department of Transportation announced they will be postponing some projects while moving forward with others.

The intersection of highway six and FM 185 in McLennan County was scheduled to see a 36.5 million dollar widening project in the next four years. But, TXDOT says pump the brakes, its being postponed. Some drivers were both understanding and concerned. David Haynes says, “It’s not something you can really put off for any extended period of time."

Spokesman Ken Roberts says it comes down to money, specifically higher material costs and a decrease in gas tax dollars because drivers are cutting back. “So, all of those things added together result in less money being available for projects.” Roberts said Monday afternoon. The project is not completely cut, just put on the long term list, which could take 25 years.

TXDOT says there will be other cutbacks. TXDOT had also planned to expand I-35 to include toll lanes. That project is also now on the back burner, or really scaled back. It will now only include single toll lane additions in each direction in Waco city limits. The toll road is still in the planning stages and several public meetings will be held before all plans are finalized.

Other parts of I-35 will still be expanded to include one extra lane in each direction, but they will not be toll lanes. A 9.4 million dollar project at the intersection of Bagby Ave. and Sun Valley will go ahead as scheduled. TXDOT says areas that are seeing higher growth will be given priority.

© 2008 KCEN-TV Channel 6:

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