Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Solution: "You could pay twice."

Deal brokered to save three toll road projects


Copyright 2008

GARLAND - They are known for not getting along but tonight they worked together to save three North Texas toll roads, including 161. The worldwide credit crunch threatened to delay highway construction projects.

The North Texas Tollway Authority and TxDOT agreed tolls will pay for 161 construction but if toll money runs short, TxDOT will pay the difference with tax dollars, which means you could pay twice.

"It is a critical extension of the George Bush Turnpike with southern access all the way to 20 in Grand Prairie. These folks have been waiting 20 to 30 years for this access," said Paul Wageman, NTTA board chairman.

In return, NTTA officials agreed to combine two projects into one, Southwest Parkway and Chisholm Trail.

The Tollway Authority will build several expensive ramps, saving TxDOT millions of dollars.

"If the worldwide credit crunch continues indefinitely or into next year, that's what's going to happen, not just with NTTA, but with TxDOT, with public entities, the City of Dallas, the City of Fort Worth, the counties. It will just all come into a grinding halt because credit is not available," said Wagerman.

With a deal in place, 161 should be open to move traffic to and around Cowboys stadium for the 2011 Super Bowl.

© 2008 WFAA-TV, Inc.:

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