Texas Department of Transportation Newsletter

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

In this issue

  • "Texas Is Not Your Ashtray" Campaign
  • Updated TxDOT Tracker Online
  • Retirement Dinner for Saenz, Simmons and Whitworth
  • I-69 Website Launched
  • Keener, Berry to Retire

  • Transportation Commission Meeting Set for Thursday

  • Statewide Podcasts

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Austin, TX 78701
(800) 558-9368

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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

Monday, June 27, 2011

Editor's Note: 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.

"Texas is Not Your Ashtray" Campaign

Content Inline

A smoldering cigarette butt tossed out a car window onto dry grass can spark a blaze that quickly spreads for miles, scorching farm and ranch lands, destroying homes, threatening lives and exhausting limited state resources to battle. With Texas suffering the worst drought in nearly half a century and cigarette butts accounting for 43 percent of the state's roadside trash, the "Don't Mess with Texas" (DMWT) program is increasing its public awareness campaign that cigarette butts not only create litter but also contribute to wildfires. DMWT is promoting its "Texas is Not Your Ashtray" message with statewide advertising that includes social media messaging and billboards.

For more information »

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Updated TxDOT Tracker Online

A revised TxDOT Tracker, the agency's online public performance reporting and management tool, has gone live. The current version presents the semi-annual FY 2011 update of TxDOT performance reports. It also has several new measures to help document the efficiencies of the agency's business processes and programs. A recent report by the Pew Center on the States and the Rockefeller Foundation ranked Texas as one of 13 states leading the way in providing the essential tools – goals, performance measures and data – needed to help decision makers choose more cost-effective transportation funding and policy options.

View the TxDOT Tracker »

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Retirement Dinner for Saenz, Simmons and Whitworth

Make plans now to attend TxDOT's goodbye dinner honoring Executive Director Amadeo Saenz, Deputy Executive Director Steve Simmons and Audit Office Director Owen Whitworth – all who will retire Aug. 31. The barbeque dinner for the longtime administrators will be held 5:30-9:30 p.m., Aug. 17 at the Texas Exposition Center, 7311 Decker Lane in Austin. Tickets are $25 a person.

For more information »

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I-69 Website Launched

I-69 LogoArea planning groups recently launched a new website to generate citizen feedback for the proposed I-69 corridor that would run from the Mexican border in the Rio Grande Valley to northeast Texas. As planning for the corridor progresses, the site is the first step in a public relations effort initiated by the I-69 Advisory Committee and the five I-69 Segment Committees. The website has links to planning committees, transportation funding information and ways to submit comments. Brochures about the proposed project can be downloaded.

Visit the I-69 website »

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Keener, Berry to Retire

Terry Keener
Terry Keener
Terry Keener
Chuck Berry

Two TxDOT veterans, Childress District Engineer Terry Keener, P.E., and El Paso District Engineer Chuck Berry, P.E., have announced their retirements, effective Aug. 31, 2011. Both Keener and Berry have worked in their respective districts during their entire TxDOT careers – Keener for nearly 40 years and Berry for 32 years. Keener has been responsible for managing all engineering operations in the in the Childress District since 2004. After earning his bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M University in 1971, he joined TxDOT as an engineering assistant in the district's design office and went on to work in several other offices, including construction and lab, right of way and maintenance.

Berry became the El Paso District engineer in 2002. Over the years, he has served in various engineering roles in the district's roadway and bridge design sections and construction office. Berry holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Rice University and a master's degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Transportation Commission Meeting Set for Thursday

The Texas Transportation Commission will convene for its next regular monthly meeting at 9 a.m., Thursday, June 30. The meeting will be held at the Texas State Capitol Extension Auditorium, E1.004, while the Greer Building – TxDOT's Austin headquarters and where the Commission usually meets – undergoes renovation. The Commission will not hold a workshop session in June.

The Commission will receive staff updates on the agency's modernization efforts and transportation-related bills adopted by the 82nd Texas Legislature. The Commission also will consider awarding approximately $63 million in federal and state grant funds for public transportation projects across the state, including new transit vehicles, new and expanded facilities, expanded service and planning.

Read the agenda »

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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, http://www.txdot.gov/ .

In this week’s episode, we talk with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator David Strickland about a series of public service announcements on the problem of distracted driving featuring characters from the new Disney-Pixar movie “Cars 2.” Episodes are also available on iTunes.

Listen to podcast »

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