• Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

News Eyeo

All Important News

Opinion: Ensuring Texas’ Economic Progress Amidst Population Growth


Sep 8, 2023

The Texas Department of Transportation’s 10-year Unified Transportation Program (UTP) has reached a historic milestone, surpassing $100 billion for the first time ever. This significant amount is a reflection of the thriving Texas economy and the rapid growth of its population. More people are choosing to live and do business in Texas, leading to the approval of this record-breaking funding by the Texas Transportation Commission, under the guidance of Governor Greg Abbott. This unprecedented funding will be used to improve transportation safety, address congestion and rural connectivity issues, and maintain roadways for the benefit of Texas drivers.

As a resident of Mission, I am grateful to Governor Abbott for his investment in the border region and for appointing me to represent this area on the Texas Transportation Commission. This appointment is a responsibility that I take seriously. In my first year on the commission, I have challenged myself to visit all 25 TxDOT districts, meet with employees, and understand the challenges they face. I am also engaging with community leaders at all levels to listen to their priorities. I firmly believe that transportation is crucial for economic development, and the commission is dedicated to attracting and supporting businesses through infrastructure investments across Texas.

Over the past decade, the value of the UTP has seen significant growth. Just one year ago, TxDOT set a previous record with an $85 billion UTP approval. In the Pharr District alone, $3.6 billion in projects are planned for the next decade, representing a substantial increase from the $2.5 billion in the 2023 UTP. This region’s booming population necessitates regional projects that provide alternatives to alleviate congestion on Interstate 2 (U.S. Highway 83).

In June, Governor Abbott called upon the Texas Transportation Commission to allocate $150 million from the Unified Transportation Program to support the construction of the International Bridge Trade Corridor project in the Rio Grande Valley. This project aims to create a non-tolled, four-lane divided roadway that will provide direct interstate access for international ports of entry, facilitating the movement of goods and freight.

Additional priority projects for the TxDOT Pharr District include the proposed State Hwy. 32 East Loop in Cameron County, interstate upgrades to I-69E (U.S. 77) in Kenedy County, interstate upgrades to I-69C (U.S. 281) in Hidalgo County, and the construction of State Hwy. 68 in Hidalgo County and State Loop 195 in Starr County. These projects aim to enhance mobility, improve safety, and provide alternate hurricane evacuation routes.

The time to act and plan for the future is now. The Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas Transportation Commission are fully dedicated to their mission of “Connecting You With Texas.”

By Editor

Leave a Reply