|New funds approved for road repairs|
|Written by Clayton Neville|
|Friday, 20 December 2013 09:56|
Released by TxDOT
AUSTIN - Recognizing a growing traffic safety concern in the state's energy-production areas, the Texas Transportation Commission today awarded a $150 million contract to Austin-Angel, JV (Austin Bridge & Road and Angel Brothers) for much-needed road work resulting from the state's oil and gas boom. The funding, part of the $225 million provided by the Legislature through House Bill 1025 for energy sector road improvements, will allow the Texas Department of Transportationto begin repairing and rehabilitating roadways damaged by heavy trucks and increased traffic in these regions.
"The energy sector provides a tremendous economic boost to the state of Texas, but it must be supported in a manner that is safe to everyone on our roadways," said Texas Transportation Commissioner Fred Underwood. "Our decision today will get much-needed work started so that we can improve travel for drivers on these roads."
In 2012, crashes in Texas' five energy sectors (Eagle Ford Shale, Permian Basin, Barnett Shale, Granite Wash and Haynesville/Bossier), rose by 6 percent over the previous year, while fatalities rose 13 percent.
"While increased energy exploration and production activities are yielding tremendous economic benefits for Texas, the unprecedented volumes of heavy traffic are contributing to crashes and fatalities," said Phil Wilson, TxDOT executive director. "We are pleased that our commission agreed to fund some of these safety-focused rehabilitation and repair projects."
Overall, the $150 million project, set to begin in spring of 2014, will improve mobility and address safety concerns by widening damaged roadways to better accommodate the increased volume of heavy vehicles. Focused on the Corpus Christi, Laredo, San Antonio and Yoakum districts, Austin-Angel, JV will reconstruct or resurface 27 roadways and bridges in most need of restoration.
Today's $150 million award follows September's $75 million dollar allocation that allowed repairs to begin in the Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, Odessa and San Angelo districts. With this action, all $225 million provide by House Bill 1025 has been awarded to construction projects.