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Source : Unsplash
December 1, 2022
Author : Alex Bustillos
The roads in the Lone Star State will get a 7-star upgrade, thanks to the new funding allocation announced by Governor Gregg Abbott.
Texas has unveiled a $85 billion, ten-year road-building plan, the 2023 Unified Transportation Programme (UTP), to improve road safety, reduce traffic congestion, and enhance rural accessibility.
The UTP funds will coincide with an extra $32 billion over ten years for routine maintenance and project development, involving over 7,000 projects and a total state investment of $117 billion.
Several projects in the UTP plan are roadway segments included on the list of Texas's 100 most congested roadways. The projects will be financed through legislative and voter-approved initiatives allocating portions of oil and gas taxes, sales taxes, and other funds to the state highway fund. These initiatives have boosted the UTP by more than $50 billion over the next decade, with $34.3 billion in projects approved in August 2013 under the 2014 UTP.
The approved plan contains an unprecedented increase in spending to $14 billion for rural projects.
According to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the average yearly investment of $8.5 billion in the UTP over the next decade is predicted to generate $15.5 billion per year in economic benefits. These improvements result from increased labor income and company productivity and the creation of 58,500 direct and indirect jobs.
"The State of Texas is working to ensure the transportation needs of our fast-growing state are met and that the safety of Texans on the roadways is protected," explained Governor Abbott. "TxDOT's 2023 Unified Transportation Program is a critical step toward addressing the diverse needs of Texans in rural, urban, and metropolitan communities.”
The benefits of these projects will be felt throughout the state, but one of the areas that will receive a significant portion of the UTP funding is the Texas Galveston Bay Area. A total of four projects have been identified, and they will commence between 2023-2026.
Between Edmund Way and Highway 146, FM 646 will be widened with 3 separate projects costing a total of $71.43 million.
At the cost of $33.5 million, FM 646 will be expanded between Edmund Way and FM 1266.
A separate project, FM 646, will be widened between FM 1266 and FM 3436. Between FM 3436 and Highway 146, FM 646 will be widened through a further expansion project.
A fourth Bay Area project involves the construction of an intersection between FM 517 and I-45. The estimated cost is $65.88 million.
Texas DOT Executive Director Marc Williams stated, "TxDOT is working hard to not only build the new roads and transportation capacity Texas needs but to maintain the more than 80,000 miles of roads and other transportation infrastructure under our care.“
Follow Contractor News for the latest update on public work projects and government funded construction.