Trans-Texas Corridor laid to rest

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Major changes are under way for the Trans-Texas Corridor, including the project’s name, vision and scope, the Texas Department of Transportation announced Tuesday, Jan. 6.

Whether in far south Texas, the northeast region of the state or somewhere in between, major corridor projects will be comprised of several small segments no wider than 600 feet, and no longer will be called the Trans-Texas Corridor. Each segment will be referred to by its original name, such as State Highway 130, Interstate 69 and Loop 9.

The changes are detailed in Innovative Connectivity in Texas/Vision 2009, the revised version of Crossroads of the Americas, the TTC’s original concept document. TxDOT Executive Director Amadeo Saenz unveiled the revisions Tuesday, Jan. 6, during his opening remarks at the fourth annual Texas Transportation Forum in Austin.

“That does not mean that we will abdicate our mission,” Saenz says. “We will still develop transportation projects that move Texas forward. We will still partner with local governments and entities, and where appropriate, the private sector, to get needed projects on the ground.”

The Corridor Advisory Committees and Corridor Segment Advisory Committees, comprised of citizens from affected communities, will guide project development, weighing in on issues from transportation need to mode to route location. “To be clear, the Trans-Texas Corridor as it was known will no longer exist,” Saenz says. “It will, however, take some time before we can completely transition away from the name. There are lots of legal documents, studies and sections of state law that currently refer to the Trans-Texas Corridor.”

TxDOT officials stressed that the agency will focus on improving existing and planned transportation facilities, rather than breaking new ground for the project. “If lanes must be tolled, only those new lanes that must be added to an existing highway will be tolled,” Saenz says.

There are currently two TTC projects under development: I-69/TTC, which extends from Texarkana/Shreveport to Mexico (possibly the Rio Grande Valley or Laredo); and TTC-35, which generally parallels I-35 from north of Dallas/Fort Worth to Mexico.