Contact: Media Relations
Phone: (512) 463-8700
Date: Dec. 6, 2018
“BUILD” grants used to address some of nation’s most critical transportation needs
AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Transportation was awarded $50 million in federal grants to pay for critical improvements needed to address safety and connectivity in the booming Permian Basin. Through its Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation grants, the U.S. Department of Transportation is helping pave the way for Texans and the rest of the nation to have safe and improved access to oil and gas.
“Investments in our state’s roads and highways are an essential part of ensuring that Texas continues to grow and prosper,” said Governor Abbott. “I thank Secretary Chao and the U.S. Department of Transportation for these BUILD grants and for recognizing the critical role the Lone Star State plays in driving our nation’s economy.”
“We are grateful to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Senator John Cornyn, Chairman Mike Conaway and Congressman Will Hurd for their leadership in securing these funds for our great state,” said Chairman J. Bruce Bugg, Jr. “The Permian Basin is a strategic asset not only for Texas, but for the entire United States. Governor Abbott has asked TxDOT to help ensure infrastructure needs in the Permian Basin are made a statewide priority. These BUILD grants will be a huge boost in the furtherance of that goal.”
Specifically the BUILD grants will be used for the following projects:
· Project Name: Texas Energy Sector Rural Improvement Program of Projects: Winkler County Improvement Project
· BUILD Award: $25,000,000
· Project Description: The project will replace the existing four-way stop with an overpass at SH 302 and SH 115 (including over the railroad) in Kermit, Texas within the Permian Basin.
· Project Name: Texas Energy Sector Rural Improvement Program of Projects: Glasscock County and Reagan County Improvement Project
· BUILD Award: $25,000,000
· Project Description: The project will replace the existing four-way stop with an overpass at SH 158 and SH 137 and improve SH 137 west of Garden City, Texas within the Permian Basin.
The continued increase in energy activity is creating significant damage to roads from water, sand, equipment and big trucks, creating a safety issue for all drivers in those areas. As such, TxDOT announced an historic investment throughout the Permian Basin over the next 10 years through its Unified Transportation Program. The UTP includes plans for more than 1,700 miles of improvements to strengthen pavements, add shoulders and add lanes for passing and travel.
“Thirty percent of our national oil and gas production occurs in the Permian Basin and production is expected to double in the next five years,” added Bugg. “Texas is leading the nation in energy production and our diverse team of partners are working together to address safety and congestion throughout Texas’ energy sector.”
Funds will also be used to address safety. While just 2 percent of Texans live in the Permian Basin, a shocking 10 percent of all traffic fatalities take place there. Since 2010, the Permian Basin has seen a 46.3 percentage increase in fatalities.
“Safety is our top priority and we appreciate the assistance from our federal partners to address a booming area that not only benefits the citizens of Texas, but the nation as a whole,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass.
Additional quotes follow. For media inquiries, contact TxDOT Media Relations at MediaRelations@txdot.gov or (512) 463-8700.
Senator John Cornyn
“With more people coming to Texas each day, we must ensure our infrastructure can meet increasing demands,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I’m proud to have supported these grant applications, and I’m grateful to the Trump Administration for supporting Texas infrastructure.”
Congressman Mike Conaway (TX-11):
“Our rural communities depend on roads like SH 158 and SH 137 to keep us connected. Critical infrastructure improvements are especially necessary as the Permian Basin’s energy sector continues to boom, making these roads busier than ever before. Thanks to TxDOT’s continued commitment to the Texas Energy Sector Rural Improvement Program of Projects, the 11th District will be getting some much needed upgrades to keep our citizens safe and our economy thriving.”
Congressman Will Hurd (TX-23):
“The Permian Basin energy sector employs 444,000 people, fuels ten percent of our state’s economy and produces thirty percent of our nation’s oil and gas. With production in the Permian projected to double in the next five years, it is imperative that West Texans have access to safe, reliable highways to accommodate increasing traffic,” said U.S. Representative Will Hurd (TX-23), who was instrumental in securing the funds by penning a bipartisan letter of support signed by 21 members of Congress to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and by advocating for the projects separately to Deputy Assistant Secretary Sean McMaster. “These funds will allow TxDOT to connect the needs of local residents with state and national planning efforts, so that hardworking West Texans can continue to power our economy safely. I was proud to advocate on behalf of my constituents for these much-needed infrastructure improvements, and I will continue to deliver real results for South and West Texans.”