More public subsidies for Austin toll projects

Link to article here.

Note the massive amount of taxpayer subsidies for these LOSER toll projects. If these were well-conceived toll projects that could pay for themselves, that would be one thing, but using taxpayer money to build them only to charge taxpayers AGAIN to use them, is clearly an egregious DOUBLE TAX.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Central Texas gets $153M for transportation projects

Austin Business Journal

The Texas Transportation Commission has approved $153 million for work on several toll roads on Mopac, U.S. 290, U.S. 183 and others.

The Texas Department of Transportation and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority will use grants for work on:


Manor Expressway project (126.7 million)
the MoPac Improvement Project ($5.4 million)

Oak Hill Expressway

"The Mobility Authority Board, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) and the Texas Transportation Commission all came together to prioritize funding for these vital Central Texas Projects," says Heiligenstein. "With so many unmet needs statewide, getting scarce dollars isn't easy these days. We made a good case that Central Texas was in critical need of these funds, and we came to the table with a promise of local funding in the form of toll revenue bonds. As a result, we were rewarded with $153 million in grants."

The $500 million Manor project will create a toll road from U.S. 183 on U.S. 290 to Parmer Lane. It is also being paid for through issuance of toll revenue bonds or other creative financing methods, according to a press release. Due to funding limitations, TxDOT will provide the grant money over a three-year period between 2012 and 2014.

The Mopac Improvement Project proposes to construct express lanes along an 11-mile stretch of Loop 1 from Cesar Chavez Street downtown to Parmer Lane. The TxDOT grant will pay for an environmental study that was halted in 2007 due to funding issues.

The Oak Hill Expressway seeks to alleviate traffic at the "Y" on U.S. 290 in Oak Hill. The grant money will be used to complete a comprehensive environmental impact statement that would allow for construction of the expressway.

The 3.5-million Manchaca Expressway project proposes four tolled lanes and non-tolled lanes connecting Mopac in southwest Austin to FM 1626 and I-35. The latest grant money will be used to complete an environmental impact statement.

The eight-mile Bergstrom Expressway project will make improvements to U.S. 183 South from Springdale Road to Patton Avenue.