Saturday, January 17, 2009

"We’ll know they’re serious when these changes are made in writing, not by a director whose job is about to be scrapped..."

Trans-Texas Corridor Lives Undercover


The Clifton Record
Copyright 2009

AUSTIN, Texas — The Trans-Texas Corridor as Gov. Rick Perry envisioned it is no more.

But it is still alive.

The Texas Department of Transportation has cut the controversial project into a number of "smaller projects."

Originally, the Corridor consisted of 4,000 miles of toll roads, rail lines, and utility lines 1,200 feet wide slicing though the state north from Mexico to Oklahoma.

The remaining pieces of the Corridor includes a 300-plus mile stretch (TTC-35) that runs from San Antonio to Oklahoma and another project (I-69) that runs from the Rio Grande Valley to Texarkana.

TxDOT executive director Amadeo Saenz broke the news of this new plan at the Texas Transportation Forum at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Austin last week.

"Make no mistake: The Trans Texas Corridor as we have known it no longer exists," he said, before unveiling the new "Vision 2009" project. "We must recognize the inevitable: The TTC is not the choice of Texans."

But Terri Hall, co-director of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom ( told the Rrecord that Saenz’s move was a publicity stunt with no substance.

No law has been changed, no minute order rescinded, no environmental document re-done (as is required by federal law), and there are still two contracts signed giving two Spanish companies the right of first refusal on 5-6 segments of the corridor," she said.

"What today’s hype was about is a political ploy to make the public go back to sleep while they build it under a different name. We’ll know they’re serious when these changes are made in writing, not by a director whose job is about to be scrapped if the Legislature passes the Sunset Commission’s recommendations. This is a rogue agency trying to court lawmakers before the bleeding gets any worse," Hall added.

Gov. Perry, who suffered fierce opposition from his Republican allies for championing the TTC project, was out of the country when Saenz made his announcement.

© 2009 The Clifton Record

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