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, including engineers, administrators, designers, architects, sign makers, accountants, purchasers, maintenance workers and travel counselors.
Five appointed commissioners and an engineer-director have administrative control of the department.
Ric Williamson, the late transportation commissioner, became a symbol of the contentious effort, which relied heavily on privatizing some key roads. During the 2009 legislative session, TxDOT chose to forgo the original all-in-one concept and use traditional corridors for the various transportation modes.