Money From Voter-Approved Initiatives Earmarked For Houston Congestion Relief

TxDOT says it’s ready to allocate a couple of billion dollars to help keep traffic moving in the state’s biggest cities. Those projects include some notorious Houston traffic bottlenecks.

Traffic backs up behind a crash on I-45 headed into downtown Houston.

The Texas Transportation Commission is about to approve updates to its ten-year funding plan. That includes $2.5 billion for Texas Clear Lanes, the state's congestion relief initiative.

Transportation Commissioner Bruce Bugg says they want to get ready now for what could come in the future.

"Those 27 million some-odd new Texans that will come to the state of Texas over the next 35 years are predominately going to migrate to today's five major metropolitan areas," says Bugg.

So what's in the plan for Houston? Projects include work on a major route out of downtown, U.S. 59 through Midtown and the Museum District. Also included is the I-45 interchange at U.S. 59. Other work is planned for the 610 South Loop.

TxDOT is using voter-approved statewide propositions to do the work. And Bugg is appealing to lawmakers not to divert that money to deal with the state's budget challenges.

"We know that a robust and predictable revenue stream for road funding is necessary for us to be able to do these projects," adds Bugg.

Now as for when those Houston projects start, TxDOT says it will be another few years.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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