Lawmakers Grill TxDOT on Progress of Billions in Road Funding

Back in 2015, Texas voters overwhelmingly voted to approve billions of dollars for the Texas Department of Transportion. called Proposition 7, on a promise that it would 'reduce congestion' by building new roadways without the use of toll roads, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

So why are our highways still congested?

State lawmakers grilled TxDOT officials during a special hearing on that question during a special hearing at the Capitol.

TxDOT officials said the money has be distributed for more than highway also goes to construction and safety improvements as well.

But some lawmakers, like State Rep John Wray of Waxahachie, said he sees a lot of waste.

"This roadway needs a shoulder, even though we're going to tear that whole highway out in five years, but we still need to spend out dollars building that shoulder."

TxDOT officials also pointed out that with right of way acquisition and the needed environment impact statements, it frequently takes up to a decade from the availability of funding for highway projects to get underway.

State Rep. Ed Thompson of Brazoria said what concerns him is the 'endless' construction projects that end of destroying local businesses.

"They'll move enough equipment, they'll tear up enough roads so they can get their payment, and then the project sits," he said.  "Meanwhile, the business are left with, in many cases, no way to get into the business."

Lawmakers said they will continue to monitor TxDOT's use of the Proposition 7 billions, to make sure voters are getting the congestion relief they have been promised.

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