Tribpedia: Transportation

Tribpedia

Texas requires an extensive and expensive system of highways, railways and roads.

Building new roads and maintaining old ones has become increasingly costly, and efforts to keep that balance have been politically perilous.

The Trans-Texas Corridor — an attempt to pull together a master plan for the next stage of transportation building in the state — fell to political foes who objected ...

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Highways Are Talking Point as Candidates Take to Road

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.

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.

Eddie Posselt (right) works on a 18 Wheeler tanker truck's windshield with his employee Danilo Estaco (inside truck) on Dec. 12, 2013. Posselt moved to Carrizo Springs last year to work in the oil fields, ended up launching Windshields Etc in July. He now runs the business full time.  The oil drilling boom in South Texas' Eagle Ford Shale has also led to a boom in windshield repair and replacement.
Eddie Posselt (right) works on a 18 Wheeler tanker truck's windshield with his employee Danilo Estaco (inside truck) on Dec. 12, 2013. Posselt moved to Carrizo Springs last year to work in the oil fields, ended up launching Windshields Etc in July. He now runs the business full time. The oil drilling boom in South Texas' Eagle Ford Shale has also led to a boom in windshield repair and replacement.

Oil Boom's Unexpected Byproduct: Broken Windshields

A surge in truck traffic related to the drilling boom in parts of Texas has resulted in a smaller boom in the windshield replacement industry. 

 

TXDOT chief Phil Wilson at an Aug. 29, 2013 board meeting in Austin. Wilson has been tapped to lead the Lower Colorado River Authority.
TXDOT chief Phil Wilson at an Aug. 29, 2013 board meeting in Austin. Wilson has been tapped to lead the Lower Colorado River Authority.

Phil Wilson Named New LCRA General Manager

The Lower Colorado River Authority's board has tapped Phil Wilson, the Texas Department of Transportation's executive director, to be the agency's new general manager.

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 address issues like traffic safety. A new report stresses the need for the state to consider partnering with the private sector on certain initiatives. 

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.

The Colorado River is shown east of Longhorn Dam in Austin. The capital city is almost entirely reliant on the Colorado River and its system of dammed reservoirs for water,
The Colorado River is shown east of Longhorn Dam in Austin. The capital city is almost entirely reliant on the Colorado River and its system of dammed reservoirs for water,

Expensive State Troubles and Thrifty Voters

Texas voters said yes to a big-ticket proposition for water projects and no to some other spending items, leaving a question for policymakers with a to-do list full of expensive problems: Is the public willing to go along?

TribuneFest: All Transportation is Local

At the Trib's Oct. 17 symposium on transportation at Southern Methodist University, Aman Batheja sat down with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins; Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes; John Langmore, vice chairman of Austin's Capitol Metropolitan Transportation Authority board; and former U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, chief of public engagement for VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 10/21/13

M. Smith on wasted private tutoring efforts, Satija on government protection for the lesser prairie chicken, Root finds a new nest of Democratic trial lawyers, Malewitz finds a border skirmish featuring mollusks, Hamilton with the latest on politics at the University of Texas, Batheja on the link between vehicle traffic and bond ratings, Aguilar finds some promise in a juvenile justice program in Eagle Pass and Aaronson covers the court fight over new abortion regulations: The best of our best for the week of Oct. 21-25, 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
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.

The JR Central N700 Series, a Japanese Shinkansen bullet train developed by two railway companies in Japan.
The JR Central N700 Series, a Japanese Shinkansen bullet train developed by two railway companies in Japan.

The Politics of High-Speed Rail in Texas

Texas Weekly

Details of an expensive, privately funded high-speed rail project connecting Dallas and Houston will come out next year, just in time for candidates for office to weigh in. 

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 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. This story is part of our monthlong 31 Days, 31 Ways series.