Houghton addresses Transportation Forum participants at TAoT reception in San Antonio

 

TAoT Chairman Brandon Janes welcomes guests at kickoff reception.

 

 

 

 

Chairman Houghton Predicts Highway Projects

Will Require More Local Funding

 

January 18, 2014

 

It is unlikely that state or federal lawmakers will ever come up with the funding needed to meet the very large highway transportation needs in Texas.


That was the assessment of Ted Houghton, Chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission, as he addressed a large gathering from around the state attending a reception hosted by the Transportation Advocates of Texas.

 

“No longer can we depend on the Texas Legislature or the Federal Government to fund our transportation needs at the local level at 100%.  Those days are long gone,” Houghton said.

 

He recalled causing a stir in 2005 when he told a Rio Grande Valley audience that the “road fairy” is dead.   “About the road fairy -- we hear people say we are going to get to it in the next legislative session.  That is not going to happen.  It’s just not. That's because of all the other needs this state has," he said.   That means that communities and the state must look for other ways to work together to maximimize funding and get more transportation projects "across the goal line.


The TxDOT chairman said that local communities are going to have to come up with some of the funding to make projects happen.  He pointed to a recent San Antonio initiative that will contribute local vehicle registration funds in a collaborative effort with TxDOT to help pay for a portion of $800 million in improvements to I-10, US 281 and Loop 1604.  He pointed out that over the past few years all of the major metropolitan area in the state have made major contributions in one form or another to get projects funded and moving forward. Additionally some smaller communities and rural counties are setting up transportation reinvestment zones to generate local funds that can be used to match state and federal funds managed by the Transportation Commission.

 

The TAoT reception was held January 6th in San Antonio as a kickoff event at the start of the 9th Annual Texas Transportation Forum.

 

Houghton and several hundred guests were welcomed by Brandon Janes who is the incoming chairman of the board of the Transportation Advocates of Texas.