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

In this issue

  • Spur 601 Completion Celebrated
  • Remember to Buckle Up
  • Corpus Christi District Helps
    Protect Environment
  • Transportation Commission Actions
  • AP Video Touts Texas Rest Areas
  • Statewide Podcasts
  • TN Online
  • Small Hr


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TxDOT Goals

  1. Prepare for the future
  2. Enhance safety
  3. Maintain the transportation system
  4. Relieve congestion
  5. Enhance connectivity
  6. Work with our partners to
    identify funding strategies

May 2, 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.

Spur 601 Completion Celebrated


Officials gathered in El Paso on April 27 to celebrate the completion of the Liberty Expressway (Spur 601) project that connects US 54 with Loop 375 and provides easier access to El Paso International Airport, Fort Bliss and Biggs Army Airfield.

Construction of the expressway began in 2007, and the road has been open since January. U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, State Rep. Joe Pickett, El Paso Mayor John Cook, Fort Bliss Garrison Commander Colonel Joseph Simonelli Jr., and TxDOT Executive Director Amadeo Saenz participated in the ceremony.

“This project reflects what is possible when we all work together at all levels of government, and in the private sector, to move El Paso forward,” Reyes said. 

The $368 million, 7.4-mile project not only enhances mobility in El Paso, it also was built with the city’s first pass-through finance agreement with TxDOT.

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Remember to Buckle Up

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TxDOT kicks off its annual “Click It or Ticket” safety belt awareness campaign on May 3. The department is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its successful promotion getting Texans to buckle up.

In the last decade, the number of Texans using safety belts has increased from 76 percent in 2002 to 93.8 percent today, according to the Texas Transportation Institute. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that the increase has resulted in 2,843 fewer traffic fatalities and 48,000 fewer serious injuries on state roadways over the last 10 years.

For more information »

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Corpus Christi District Helps Protect Environment

Corpus Christi District maintenance and environmental employees recently took the lead in clearing an illegal tire dump along Nueces Bay in Portland.  In conjunction with the city of Portland and the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program, TxDOT workers on April 20 filled eight dump trucks with 392 tires.

Although the tires had been dumped outside of the state right of way in sensitive wetlands on US 181, the district spearheaded the cleanup and the tires were hauled away for recycling.

District Engineer John Casey said the cleanup demonstrated TxDOT’s commitment to environmental stewardship and community.

“Just about everyone in the Coastal Bend area is now aware of how much TxDOT and particularly each of you cares for this community,” Casey said in commending employees.

A Corpus Christi man was arrested on April 27 and later charged with the illegal dumping, a state felony that carries up to two years in jail and a maximum $10,000 fine.

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Transportation Commission Actions

The Texas Transportation Commission convened April 28 for its regular monthly meeting and took the following actions:

  • Allocated $350 million from the Texas Mobility Fund for the construction of Segment E of the Grand Parkway (SH 99) project in Harris County.
  • Granted final approval to a request from the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority for a State Infrastructure Bank loan up to $20 million to pay for a portion of the cost of constructing the Loop 375 extension project in El Paso County.

The Commission's next monthly meeting is set for 9 a.m., Thursday, May 26. The Commission will not conduct a workshop session in May.

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AP Video Touts Texas Rest Areas

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In recent years, TxDOT has revamped the state's safety rest areas to provide more services and a safer experience for Texas travelers. Associated Press (AP) Reporter Lee Powell recently spoke with Andy Keith, TxDOT maintenance facilities manager, and visitors at the Bell County Safety Rest Area on northbound I-35 near Salado about the importance of roadside stops and the role Lady Bird Johnson played in beautifying their surroundings.

Watch the AP video »

Read more about rest areas »

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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 TxDOT Emergency Management Coordinator Carla Baze about the agency’s role in fighting recent wildfires that have burned more than one million acres across the state. Episodes are also available on iTunes.

Listen to Podcast »

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Read the latest issue of TN, TxDOT's bimonthly newsletter for employees »

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