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

TxDOT Mission

Work with others to provide safe and reliable transportation solutions for Texas.

TxDOT Goals

  • Maintain a safe system
  • Address congestion
  • Connect Texas communities
  • Best in class state agency

TxDOT Values

  • Trust
  • Integrity
  • Responsibility
  • Excellence
  • Service

In this issue

  • Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Celebrated
  • Amtrak, TxDOT Announce Rail Study
  • Wildflower Tour Featured in Texas Highways
  • Commission Meeting Set for March 29
  • Going Out This Weekend? Take a P.A.S.S.
  • New Chambers County Safety Rest Areas Open
  • TxDOT Website Redesign Survey
  • Historic Goodman Bridge Relocated
  • Transportation Forum Survey
  • Get a Free Litterbag
  • TxDOT Podcast: Jim Reed, Transportation Advocates of Texas
  • Small Hr


You can manage your subscription to TxDOT Update here.


Contact Us

125 East 11th St.
Austin, TX 78701
(800) 558-9368

Email Us

Follow Us

Facebook  Twitter  Transportation Podcasts  Transportation Videos

March 12, 2012

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


Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Celebrated

Content Inline
The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, the newest addition to the Dallas skyline, was recently inaugurated. Photo by Daniel Driensky

The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas doesn't officially open to traffic until the end of the month, but the city has already welcomed the new landmark with a recent weekend-long celebration that included a sunrise dedication and blessing, parade, fireworks, 5K run and Lyle Lovett concert. Numerous state officials, including Texas Transportation Commissioner Jeff Austin III, were among the thousands who participated in the festivities.

The 40-story, white, steel cable-stayed arch, designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, spans the Trinity River and connects Woodall Rodgers Freeway in downtown to Singleton Boulevard in west Dallas. The bridge was expected to be open to traffic in time for the dedication ceremony, but recent rain delays have pushed back the projected opening to March 29.

Read more about the bridge »

Back to top

Amtrak, TxDOT Announce Rail Study

Amtrak and TxDOT have agreed to study the feasibility of a new passenger rail service along I-20 from Dallas-Fort Worth to the Arkansas and Louisiana borders. TxDOT has received $265,000 in federal funds for the study through the East Texas Corridor Council, which promotes economic development in East Texas, northwest Louisiana and southwest Arkansas. Results of the study are expected at the end of the year.

Read more »

Back to top Hr

Wildflower Tour Featured in Texas Highways

Content Inline
Photo by Randall Maxwell for Texas Highways

It's just about time for colorful bursts of wildflowers to begin popping up all over the Texas landscape. Check out the April edition of Texas Highways for 16 pages of prime wildflower viewing locales around the state. The magazine's annual wildflower tour offers all the details on popular spring flower fests, from the Tyler County Dogwood Festival to El Paso's Franklin Mountains Poppy Fest. Enjoy other articles in this edition on the renowned painted churches of Fayette County; the annual Buffalo Gap Wine and Food Summit; and a San Antonio insider's favorite restaurants. Follow the magazine on Twitter and Facebook.

Learn how to get a free trial issue »

Back to top

Commission Meeting Set for March 29

The Texas Transportation Commission will convene for its regular monthly meeting at 9 a.m., Thursday, March 29. The meeting will be held at 200 East Riverside Drive, Room 1-A.1, in Austin. At this time, the Commission is scheduled to hear a staff update on the recent receipt of qualification submittals from teams interested in entering a design-build contract for the Dallas Horseshoe Project, discuss the Texas Rural Transportation Plan and consider approval of the 2013 Unified Transportation Program for fiscal 2013-22. The Commission agenda is subject to change until it is officially posted with the Secretary of State's office.

Read more »

Back to top

Going Out This Weekend? Take a P.A.S.S.

Content Inline
The Weekend P.A.S.S. truck is traveling the state, encouraging young adults to designate a sober driver.

Spring break has arrived, and TxDOT is urging young adults to designate a Weekend P.A.S.S. (Person Appointed to Stay Sober) before going out for the night. Throughout March, TxDOT will be traveling the state, visiting colleges and military bases, with a truck equipped with an interactive photo booth aimed at discouraging drunk driving. Participants can have their photographs taken in a fictional jail scene and posted to the P.A.S.S. campaign’s Facebook and view a short video.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 20 percent of young adults reported having driven a vehicle within two hours of drinking alcohol in the past year. The number of fatal crashes in which alcohol is involved is more than double on the weekends than during the week, NHTSA statistics show.

Back to top

New Chambers County Safety Rest Areas Open

Content Inline
The new Chambers County safety rest areas feature boardwalks and nature trails.

TxDOT's new Chambers County safety rest areas on I-10 recently opened. The two partner travel centers, located near Winnie on both the eastbound and westbound lanes of the interstate, were built on property once owned by James Taylor White, an early Texas pioneer and one of the state's first cattle barons. They're also not far from where the first shots for Texas independence from Mexico were fired. The famous "Turtle Bayou Resolutions" were signed near White's home. Artifacts from White's original homestead are on display at the centers, which also feature boardwalks and extensive trails for visitors to learn about the state's history and the natural habitat.

Read more about TxDOT’s safety rest areas »

Back to top

TxDOT Website Redesign Survey

Content Inline

We're redesigning our website and need your input to make it more user-friendly. Take our short online survey to help us determine what information you want and when you need it. Your responses will help us improve your experience at

Take the survey »

Back to top

Historic Goodman Bridge Relocated

Content Inline
The 1929 Goodman Bridge over the Angelina River will have a new home at Pecan Acres Park in Nacogdoches.

The historic Goodman Bridge on CR 789 in Nacogdoches County was recently lifted from its span over the Angelina River and relocated to its temporary home at the Nacogdoches County Exposition Center, where it is undergoing maintenance and repairs. Once restored, the 1929 truss bridge will be installed for permanent use and display at Pecan Acres Park in Nacogdoches. The city of Nacogdoches and Nacogdoches County are partnering to preserve the historic structure. TxDOT is building a new $1.5 million bridge adjacent to the old location.

Back to top

Transportation Forum Survey

Content Inline
TxDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson updated the Forum audience on important agency initiatives.

Thanks to everyone who helped make the 7th Annual Texas Transportation Forum a great success. The recent event in San Antonio was our most well-attended Forum, drawing 1,300 attendees to discuss the latest transportation policy and funding issues. Now, we need your feedback. Please take a moment to complete this brief survey and share your thoughts on how we did, what we might do differently next year and what you would like to see at future Forums. Your feedback is critical to the continued improvement of this event and will help us plan a better Forum in 2013.

Take the survey »

View 2012 Forum session videos »

Back to top

Get a Free Litterbag

Content Inline
This bag design was inspired by Jennifer Ostler, who won the 25th Anniversary Don't Mess with Texas Design a Litterbag Contest.

Litterbags help keep trash off Texas roadways and are available for free at You can choose from three designs: the Don’t Mess with Texas 25th Anniversary litterbag design contest winner, the Environmental Green or the Real Texans Don’t Litter bags. Also, show your pride in the Lone Star State and spread the litter prevention message with a free Don’t Mess with Texas bumper sticker or decal.


Back to top

TxDOT Podcast: Jim Reed, Transportation Advocates of Texas

The TxDOT Podcast keeps you updated on the latest transportation news and issues, and new episodes are published every Friday on the TxDOT website,

In this week's episode, we talk with Jim Reed of the Transportation Advocates of Texas about his organization's goals. Episodes are also available on iTunes.

Listen to Podcast »

Back to top Hr


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


Back to top

All inquiries may be directed to