Tribpedia: Texas Department Of Transportation

Tribpedia

The Texas Department of Transportation, known as TxDOT, oversees roads, railways and other transportation systems across Texas. It also plays a significant role in dealing with weather-related emergencies. In addition to building and maintaining state highways and public transportation systems, the department issues permits for heavy trucks and registers motor vehicles. 

According to its website, TxDOT employs 13,000 people ...

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Texas Transportation Commission chair Ted Houghton, l, confers with TXDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson during the meeting on August 29, 2013 regarding budget shortfalls.
Texas Transportation Commission chair Ted Houghton, l, confers with TXDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson during the meeting on August 29, 2013 regarding budget shortfalls.

TxDOT's CFO Named Interim Executive Director

The Texas Transportation Commission selected James Bass, the Texas Department of Transportation's chief financial officer, as TxDOT's interim executive director Tuesday.

New section opening  of the Grand Parkway in Katy, Texas, Saturday, December 14, 2013.
New section opening of the Grand Parkway in Katy, Texas, Saturday, December 14, 2013.

Highways Are Talking Point as Candidates Take to Road

Both Democratic and Republican candidates in 2014 races have pledged to increase resources for the cash-strapped Texas Department of Transportation. While the issue does not draw the emotional response of debates over education reform and abortion regulations, candidates are betting that traffic concerns resonate with voters.

Texas Department of Transportation Executive Director Phil Wilson gets a ride in a Google self-driving car on Feb. 19, 2013, in front of the Hilton Austin.
Texas Department of Transportation Executive Director Phil Wilson gets a ride in a Google self-driving car on Feb. 19, 2013, in front of the Hilton Austin.

Report: Make Transportation Technology a Priority

Transportation officials see emerging technologies playing a role in helping the state address issues like traffic congestion and safety. A new report, commissioned by the Texas Department of Transportation, stresses the need for the state to consider partnering with the private sector on related initiatives. 

A natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area in South Texas is straining the area's rural roads as more than 1,000 loaded trucks are needed to bring a single well into production.
A natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area in South Texas is straining the area's rural roads as more than 1,000 loaded trucks are needed to bring a single well into production.

Road Funding Figures Surprise Some Counties

Nearly every Texas county appears to be eligible for some state aid under a $225 million plan to help repair roads damaged amid the oil and gas boom. Some are happier about their allocations than others. 

View from one of Capital Metro's 1M northbound busses at the intersection of 4th and Congress in Austin.
View from one of Capital Metro's 1M northbound busses at the intersection of 4th and Congress in Austin.

In Austin, Toll Lanes May Give Bus Service a Boost

In Austin, transportation planners are hopeful that a toll project on MoPac Boulevard will eventually help increase ridership on city buses, which will be able to use the new tolled lanes for free. With the practice of "dynamic tolling," tolls will be constantly adjusted to keep traffic flowing, and buses using the lanes could cut some time off their routes.

A damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road, south of  FM 99 in Live Oak County, Texas on Friday, August 16, 2013. The road is on a list of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation has announced will be converted to gravel because the agency lacks funds to keep them maintained at a safe level.
A damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road, south of FM 99 in Live Oak County, Texas on Friday, August 16, 2013. The road is on a list of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation has announced will be converted to gravel because the agency lacks funds to keep them maintained at a safe level.

South Texas County Gets Off TxDOT's Gravel List

La Salle County officials have agreed to pay a portion of the repair costs and all the maintenance costs for 20 miles of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation had intended to convert to gravel.

A driver maneuvers around a badly damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road south of FM 99 in Live Oak County, TX on Firday, August 16, 2013
A driver maneuvers around a badly damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road south of FM 99 in Live Oak County, TX on Firday, August 16, 2013

Gravel Plan on Pause, but Fallout Continues

Texas Weekly

Debate over the Texas Department of Transportation's controversial plan to convert some damaged asphalt roads to gravel has come up in a fight between the House and Senate to boost the agency's funding. House Speaker Joe Straus says he is unconvinced that the agency's plan to convert paved roads to gravel is needed.

Worsening Austin Traffic Prompts Talk of Toll Road Swap

As state and local leaders consider what to do about the most congested segment of road in Texas, Interstate 35 through central Austin, the possibility of swapping the interstate with a nearby toll road remains a possibility. The mere fact that such a switch is being considered indicates how worried officials are about future congestion.

The 85 mph speed limit on a portion of the SH 130 toll road between Austin and Seguin is the highest speed limit in the nation.
The 85 mph speed limit on a portion of the SH 130 toll road between Austin and Seguin is the highest speed limit in the nation.

Debt Issues Tied to SH 130 Could Impact Toll Projects

A year after opening, a privately operated toll road in Central Texas may be in danger of defaulting next year, increasing the scrutiny of a funding model touted by transportation advocates and state leaders as key to managing the state's growth.

A driver maneuvers around a badly damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road south of FM 99 in Live Oak County, TX on Firday, August 16, 2013
A driver maneuvers around a badly damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road south of FM 99 in Live Oak County, TX on Firday, August 16, 2013

TxDOT May Get Extra Money for Damaged Roads

State lawmakers are expected to give the Texas Department of Transportation an extra $250 million for work in counties affected by the drilling boom, but that likely won't stop some paved roads from being converted to gravel.

Passengers wait in line to board the Megabus to Austin at the Houston bus stop located at  815 Pierce St. on Sept. 27, 2013.
Passengers wait in line to board the Megabus to Austin at the Houston bus stop located at 815 Pierce St. on Sept. 27, 2013.

Bus Industry Consolidation Hits Rural Texas Communities

A surprise decision by Megabus earlier this year to cancel its rural routes has left local officials scrambling. The company's move is the latest consolidation of the state’s makeshift intercity bus system, a network that many rural Texans have long relied on for travel. 

A damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road, south of  FM 99 in Live Oak County, Texas on Friday, August 16, 2013. The road is on a list of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation has announced will be converted to gravel because the agency lacks funds to keep them maintained at a safe level.
A damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road, south of FM 99 in Live Oak County, Texas on Friday, August 16, 2013. The road is on a list of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation has announced will be converted to gravel because the agency lacks funds to keep them maintained at a safe level.

Graveling Over Visible — and Invisible — Funding Holes

The state's proposal to convert some paved roads back to gravel has invisible counterparts in other areas of the state budget. But roads are right there, every day with all their potholes, construction projects and worsening traffic jams as more people flow into Texas. That visibility makes a difference.

Attendees filled the Alexander Convention Center on Tuesday evening for a Texas Department of Transportation hearing in Cotulla, TX on their controversial plan to convert some paved roads to gravel to save money on maintenance.
Attendees filled the Alexander Convention Center on Tuesday evening for a Texas Department of Transportation hearing in Cotulla, TX on their controversial plan to convert some paved roads to gravel to save money on maintenance.

A New Boom for Oil, but a Bust for State's Rural Roads

As the Texas Department of Transportation blames a funding shortfall for its plans to convert some rural roads to gravel, South Texans argue they are being unfairly punished for the region’s drilling boom. Texas' coffers are bulging from oil production taxes, and they say maintaining roads damaged by drilling trucks should be the state's priority.  

Texas Transportation Commission chair Ted Houghton, l, confers with TXDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson during the meeting on August 29, 2013 regarding budget shortfalls.
Texas Transportation Commission chair Ted Houghton, l, confers with TXDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson during the meeting on August 29, 2013 regarding budget shortfalls.

TxDOT Officials Address Concerns on Cost-Cutting Plans

During a meeting when local and state officials accused the agency of poor communication, Texas Department of Transportation officials confirmed plans Thursday to delay converting more asphalt roads to gravel.

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TxDOT employees Brad Shepard and Canaan Johnson finish up after putting asphalt cold mix down for edge repairs on Interstate 35-S near Parmer Lane on Monday August 19th, 2013.
TxDOT employees Brad Shepard and Canaan Johnson finish up after putting asphalt cold mix down for edge repairs on Interstate 35-S near Parmer Lane on Monday August 19th, 2013.

New Law Aims to Protect TxDOT Workers

Texas drivers will have to slow down or move over one lane when passing Texas Department of Transportation workers under a new law aimed at protecting their safety. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series, a monthlong look at how the bills and budget passed by the 83rd Legislature will affect Texans' lives starting Sept. 1. 

Before and after images of of the frontage road on I-37 in Live Oak County. The Texas Department of Transportation converted the badly-damaged asphalt road to an unpaved road the week of August 19, 2013.
Before and after images of of the frontage road on I-37 in Live Oak County. The Texas Department of Transportation converted the badly-damaged asphalt road to an unpaved road the week of August 19, 2013.

TxDOT's Cost-Cutting Plans Draw Local Outrage

With the announcement of two new cost-cutting proposals, the Texas Department of Transportation has managed to anger dozens of local officials in both rural and urban parts of the state. This week, the agency began converting certain rural road segments from asphalt to gravel. It also may stop maintaining some roads in large cities.

A damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road, south of  FM 99 in Live Oak County, Texas on Friday, August 16, 2013. The road is on a list of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation has announced will be converted to gravel because the agency lacks funds to keep them maintained at a safe level.
A damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road, south of FM 99 in Live Oak County, Texas on Friday, August 16, 2013. The road is on a list of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation has announced will be converted to gravel because the agency lacks funds to keep them maintained at a safe level.

Plan to Convert Roads to Gravel Begins Despite Pushback

Starting Monday, the Texas Department of Transportation plans to convert more than 80 miles of damaged roads in South and East Texas from pavement to gravel. Lawmakers and residents worry it will create safety hazards and reduce property values. But TxDOT says converting paved roads to gravel is the only safe plan it can afford.