TRANSPORTATION

Contracting Experiment Drawing Mixed Reviews

Design-build contracts allow the engineering and construction of a project to be done by a single company.
Design-build contracts allow the engineering and construction of a project to be done by a single company.

After four years of trying out a new way of awarding state contracts known as design-build, lawmakers aren't sure taxpayers get a better deal, and Texas businesses say they're being muscled out of jobs by larger, out-of-state companies. 

Rural Critics Organize to Stop Bullet Train

Japan Central's N700 high speed train, the same train that a private firm wants to bring to Texas.
Japan Central's N700 high speed train, the same train that a private firm wants to bring to Texas.

Dallas and Houston leaders may want a super-fast train connecting their cities, but folks in between aren't as sold on the idea. Some have formed Texans Against High-Speed Rail, and they're hiring lobbyists and courting allies in a bid to kill the plan.

 

House Approves Use of Sales Tax for Highways

State Sen. Robert Nichols R-Jacksonville, and state Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, speak at a Texas Tribune event on April 7, 2015.
State Sen. Robert Nichols R-Jacksonville, and state Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, speak at a Texas Tribune event on April 7, 2015.

The Texas House gave initial approval Thursday to a major boost in transportation funding from sales taxes, setting the stage for a showdown with the Senate over the best way to pay for Texas roads.