Monday, March 9, 2009

Transportation Commission NOT using stimulus funds where most needed

Ben Wear has coverage of the tolled "Manor Expressway" flyovers that will be built with the stimulus funds that are supposed to be going to help people and the economy:

"Q: I saw that $90 million of federal stimulus money will be used to build four flyover bridges connecting U.S. 290 and U.S. 183. Wouldn't it make more sense to use that money for flyovers at U.S. 183 and Interstate 35, or 290 and MoPac Boulevard? Isn't there more traffic at those places?

"A: Well yes, there is more traffic and missing flyovers at several other locations around town. The interstate has almost 250,000 cars a day at U.S. 183, which has 84,000 cars a day there, according to Texas Department of Transportation counts, and there are only two "direct connectors" there. It's the same at MoPac/U.S. 290 — two flyovers — with MoPac having 110,000 cars a day and U.S. 290 with 80,000 cars a day. At 183/290, by contrast, U.S. 183 has 50,000 cars a day and U.S. 290 has 43,000 cars a day.

"The key difference: tolls. The 183/290 interchange will be the west entry to and exit from what will be a toll road within three years, and the plan is to charge a 25-cent to 50-cent toll on the flyover bridges.

"The Texas Transportation Commission controlled the stimulus purse and, as evidenced by two-thirds of the $1.2 billion for new roads going to tollways, they had a clear preference."

If you follow the link, you can see several reader comments criticizing the stimulus funds going to this toll project.

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