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

In this issue

  • New Galveston Ferry Dedication Set
  • RFI Issued for SH 183 Project in Dallas County
  • TIGER Grant Applications
  • Texas Highways Magazine Honored
  • Drive Clean Across Texas Contest Winner
  • Transportation Commission to Meet Nov. 17
  • Rail Conference in January
  • Check Road Conditions
  • 2012 Transportation Forum Set For San Antonio
  • Statewide Podcasts
  • 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

November 14, 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.


New Galveston Ferry Dedication Set

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John W. Johnson

A new Galveston-Port Bolivar ferry ─ the John W. Johnson, named after a former chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission ─ will be dedicated and christened in a special ceremony Nov. 18. The new ferry will be the sixth vessel in the fleet that operates on Galveston Bay between Galveston Island and Port Bolivar. The TxDOT ferry service is the only way motorists can cross the waterway between Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston Island, a 2.7-mile trip. The new 500-passenger, 70-vehicle ferry is capable of carrying eight 18-wheel trucks weighing 80,000 pounds each. Johnson, chairman of Permian Mud Service, Inc., served on the Commission 2000-07, including four years as chairman.

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RFI Issued for SH 183 Project in Dallas County

TxDOT has issued a request for information (RFI) to assist in creating a project development strategy for improvements to 6.7 miles of SH 183 in Dallas County. The RFI focuses on SH 183 from SH 161 to Carl Road and from SH 114 to Empire Central. These two sections, both listed among the 50 most congested in Texas, fall between the North Tarrant Express project on the west and Project Pegasus/Trinity Parkway on the east. The RFI closes Feb. 29, 2012.

Read more »

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TIGER Grant Applications

TxDOT has submitted four applications to the U.S. Department of Transportation for more than $93.8 million in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) discretionary grant funds for rail and highway projects across the state. Projects include the North Tarrant Express in Dallas/Fort Worth; the South Orient Railroad Rehabilitation from Sulphur Junction to Fort Stockton; rail improvements at the Port of Corpus Christi; and the multistate Sunbelt Rail Rehabilitation.

Read more »

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Texas Highways Magazine Honored

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Award-winning "Dive In!" photo by Erich Schlegel for Texas Highways.

The November issue of the award-winning Texas Highways, the official travel magazine of Texas, features articles on where to find the best fall colors in the state, Smithville's growing popularity with filmmakers and the Monument Cafe in Georgetown. This year, the monthly publication received several awards from the International Regional Magazine Association, including a gold for single photo ("Dive In!"), a silver for art direction of a single story ("Flights of Fancy"), a bronze for overall art direction and a bronze for photographic series ("True, Texas"). Follow the magazine on Twitter and Facebook.

Learn how to get a free trial issue »

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Drive Clean Across Texas Contest Winner

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Dallas Cowboys quarterback Stephen McGee (left) presents keys to a new Ford Fusion Hybrid to Daryn Metzler (right) and his wife Lora.

Daryn Metzler of Katy won a new 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid by entering the Drive Clean Across Texas online sweepstakes. Metzler, chosen in a random drawing from almost 29,000 entries, was recently presented with the keys to his new sedan by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Stephen McGee, following the team's practice session at its Valley Ranch headquarters. The low-emission Fusion was donated by the football club to help promote the statewide public education campaign that encourages motorists to do their part in reducing air pollution.

For clean air tips »

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Transportation Commission to Meet Nov. 17

The Texas Transportation Commission convenes for its next regular monthly meeting at 9 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 17. The meeting will be held at 200 East Riverside Drive, Room 1-A.1, in Austin. The Commission will not hold a workshop session this month.

The Commission will discuss the agency’s modernization project and FY 2011 agency-level performance trends. The Commission also will consider final adoption of a new highway memorial sign program for motorcycle operators or passengers killed by impaired drivers.

Read more »

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Rail Conference in January

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Creating and funding freight and passenger rail services in a tight economy will be among the topics explored at the 8th Annual Southwestern Rail Conference, set for Jan. 26-27, 2012, in the Grand Hall at historic Dallas Union Station. The only all-rail conference held each year in Texas is hosted by Texas Rail Advocates.

Presenters from the private and public sector will focus on national, state and regional freight and passenger rail issues. Bill Glavin, director of TxDOT's Rail Division, will be among the featured speakers. Registration is now open and a special discounted hotel rate is available at the Hyatt Regency - downtown Dallas.

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Check Road Conditions

If you're traveling during the holiday season, remember that road conditions can change quickly due to the weather, construction and natural disasters. TxDOT keeps you up-to-date on road conditions in your area and throughout the state. Call us toll-free at (800) 452-9292 for current road conditions.

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2012 Transportation Forum Set For San Antonio

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Registration is now open for the 7th Annual Texas Transportation Forum, set for Feb. 15-17 at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio. The theme for the 2012 Forum is "We're Going Places!" The annual event assembles local, regional and state leaders with national experts to discuss timely transportation issues.

Engineers attending the Forum can earn Professional Development Hours. Find out more here.

Register before Dec. 15, 2011, and receive a discounted registration rate. The Grand Hyatt Hotel is also offering discounted rates to those who reserve their rooms before Nov. 17, 2011. We hope to see you in San Antonio in 2012!

Register now »

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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 Terry Pence, TxDOT traffic safety section director, about the "Know When to Pass" public awareness campaign and the dangers of game-day drinking and driving. 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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All inquiries may be directed to AskTxDOT@txdot.gov.