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

  • TxDOT Expedites Permits for Japan Relief Aid
  • Transportation Commission Actions
  • National Work Zone Awareness Week
  • Statewide Podcasts
  • Small Hr


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April 4, 2011

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

TxDOT Expedites Permits for Japan Relief Aid

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TxDOT's Motor Carrier Division (MCD) facilitated last week's cross-state transport of three long-haul rigs carrying large transformers destined for Japan to aid in disaster relief after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. MCD expedited the approval of super-heavy permits for a Texas company to haul the transformers at gross weights ranging from 420,000 to 510,000 pounds.

At 20-feet wide and 197-feet long, the loads traveled from Sweetwater to the Port of Houston, where they were loaded onto a vessel and shipped to Japan. MCD coordinated the transport with six TxDOT districts – Abilene, Brownwood, Fort Worth, Waco, Bryan and Houston – to provide traffic control as the rigs moved across Texas.

It took a great deal of coordination in a short period of time to pull this off,” said MCD director Carol Davis. "TxDOT divisions and districts worked closely with an engineering consultant to accomplish in a few days what would normally take weeks."

Read more »

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Transportation Commission Actions


The Texas Transportation Commission convened March 31 for its monthly meeting and took the following actions:

  • Accepted the final 2030 Committee Report assessing the costs of various levels of investment in the Texas transportation system.
  • Authorized the department to issue a request for qualifications for the development, design, construction, financing, maintenance and operation of the portion of the SH 99 (Grand Parkway) project from Segment D in Harris County to Segment I-2 in Chambers County.
  • Adopted amendments to the Outdoor Advertising Program to eliminate ambiguous statements, develop a fee penalty structure and reorganize rules into a more logical format.

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National Work Zone Awareness Week

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TxDOT joins the Federal Highway Administration and other transportation partners this week to observe the 12th annual National Work Zone Awareness Week.

Work zones can be hazardous for both motorists and highway crews working to improve Texas' highways. Since 1938, there have been 270 TxDOT employees killed, with 200 of those deaths occurring in work zones. In 2009, 108 people were killed in highway construction and maintenance zones in Texas. However, because of TxDOT's increased safety measures and public outreach, the 2009 statistic represents a 35-percent decrease in work zone fatalities from the previous year.

“One work zone fatality is one too many,” Texas Transportation Commissioner Fred Underwood said.  “We are continuing our efforts to educate motorists on the dangers of speed and distracted driving in work zones.”

Learn more about the statewide work zone awareness news conference attendees, including State Senator Tommy Williams.

Read more »

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Statewide Podcasts

TxDOT produces a weekly Statewide Podcast to keep you updated on the latest transportation news and issues, and new podcast episodes are published every Friday on the TxDOT website, www.txdot.gov.

In this week's episode we talk with Jerral Wyer, director of TxDOT's Occupational Safety Division, about National Work Zone Awareness Week, which begins today. Episodes are also available on iTunes.

Listen to Podcast »

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