The TxDOT Update
News and Information from the Texas Department of Transportation
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In this issue

  • TxDOT Plans to Issue $1 Billion in Prop 12 Bonds
  • Rescission Decision
  • Commission Approves 2012-13 Legislative Appropriations Request
  • TxDOT Updates State's 100 Most Congested Roadways List
  • Hurricane Preparedness
  • Warning: Don't Drink and Drive Mobilization Campaign
  • TxDOT Podcast: Deirdre Delisi
  • 2011 Transportation Forum Registration Open!
  • TN Online
  • Small Hr


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Monday, September 13, 2010

Here's our round up of Texas Department of Transportation news and events. If you have any questions, comments, or just want to know more about something you read in here, send a message to


On Aug. 26 the Texas Transportation Commission authorized the department to proceed with a financing structure for the first $1 billion of bonds from the Proposition 12 bond program.  TxDOT plans to issue the general obligation bonds this month. The debt structure for the bonds will be based on discussions with state leadership.

In January 2010, the Texas Transportation Commission approved highway improvement projects to be funded with Proposition 12 bonds.  Among the projects approved is a 94-mile expansion of the I-35 corridor through Bell, McLennan and Hill counties.

The bonds are payable from the state's general revenues rather than from State Highway Fund revenues.  The Texas Legislature appropriated $1 billion in the 2010-2011 biennium to begin making payments on approximately $2 billion worth of projects. In addition, $1 billion was appropriated to the State Infrastructure Bank to make loans to local entities for highway projects.

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Rescission of Federal-Aid Apportionments

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on Aug. 16 issued a Notice of Rescission of Federal-Aid Apportionments.  A federal rescission of funds reduces the amount of federal funds provided through previous legislation.  The notice advises the states that $2,200,000,000 of unobligated federal-aid highway funds previously apportioned to the states are being rescinded as required by HR 1586.  The portion of the rescission assigned to Texas is $190,367,982.  This federal rescission is in addition to the $1,938,561,426 that has previously been rescinded from Texas since January of 2005.

TxDOT convened a meeting of the Stakeholder Committee on Rescissions, which is made up of Metropolitan Planning Organizations and TxDOT staff, to develop a plan to respond to the rescission in the most efficient manner to protect our most valued programs.

Below are the programs being rescinded and the corresponding amounts.

• Interstate Maintenance (IM) - $27,033,581

• Recreational Trails - $3,334,400

• Surface Transportation Program (STP) - $150,000,000

• State Planning & Research - $10,000,000

All the funds rescinded are from obligation authority that has not been assigned to specific projects. In other words, no contract authority will be taken and therefore there is no immediate loss of actual funds affecting projects under construction or scheduled to let in the next few months.

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On August 26 the Texas Transportation Commission approved the 2012-13 Legislative Appropriations Request (LAR).  For the last several years, TxDOT has undergone a process of modernization. The Texas Sunset process, independent performance audits conducted in advance of the Sunset process, and the Grant Thornton Management Review continue to help the department evolve into a more transparent and deliberative agency that is responsive to the public and the legislature.

There are numerous planning documents that guide TxDOT and local officials over the multiyear timeframe in which projects are conceived, planned and constructed. The 2012-13 LAR is a key element of the department’s financial map. It offers greater clarity into the transportation needs of the state in the next biennium and beyond.
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Using more accurate technology, TxDOT recently unveiled an updated list of Texas’ 100 most congested roadway segments. This year, actual traffic speed data was used to calculate delay, rather than estimations based on traffic volume used in the previous list. As a result of the increased accuracy of the data and methodology behind the list, several roadway segments have shifted rankings on the list.

The top 100 list includes the state highway system and many city, county or toll road segments. Additionally, it now considers both weekday and weekend congestion levels. This provides congestion rankings based on delays experienced every day of the week.
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TxDOT plays a critical role in ensuring the safety of the traveling public during emergency situations, and our response to Hurricane Alex was no different. From storm preparedness, education, evacuation and recovery, TxDOT employees were there ensuring all citizens of Texas were safe.

We developed a slideshow of photographs taken before, during and after Hurricane Alex that demonstrates TxDOT’s commitment to keeping roads open. Read more »

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Alcohol and asphalt don’t mix. TxDOT's annual "Drink. Drive. Go to Jail" impaired driving mobilization campaign began two weeks ago and continued through Labor Day. Many public education outreach methods were used, including half cop/half cab vehicle wraps and a bright orange "WARNING" decal that was placed on vehicle windows while parked in entertainment districts. This cling decal served as a final reminder to patrons not to drink and drive before it was too late.

Penalties for a first-time DWI conviction can add up to more than $17,000 and include driver's license suspension for up to a year, a fine up to $2,000, and up to six months in jail. Read more »

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TxDOT produces a weekly Statewide Podcast with the latest transportation news and issues. New podcasts are published every Friday on the TxDOT web site,  In this week’s episode, we talk with Deirdre Delisi, Chair of the Texas Transportation Commission, about the agency’s modernization efforts.  Episodes are also available via iTunes. Listen to Podcasts»

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Registration is now open for the 2011 Texas Transportation Forum. The theme of the Forum is 'Yeah, I Can Do Modern.' It will be exciting, informative and will feature presentations on timely transportation topics from leading experts.  Reserve your hotel room and register now for your seat at the table!  Register Now»

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