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

In this issue

  • Commission Updated on Grand Parkway
  • I-69 Sign Unveiling
  • Dallas District Honored
  • Register Now For 2012 Transportation Forum!
  • "Don't Crowd the Plow" Events
  • TTI's Most Congested Highways List
  • Rail Conference in January
  • 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 21, 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.


Commission Updated on Grand Parkway

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Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Ted Houghton (right) and TxDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson at Commission meeting.

The Texas Transportation Commission convened for its regular monthly meeting on Nov. 17 and received two reports on the progress of the Grand Parkway (SH 99) project in the greater Houston area:

  • The annual report from the Grand Parkway Association on the status of projects and activities.
  • A staff update on the agency’s issuance of a request for qualifications for a comprehensive development agreement on certain project segments.

The Commission also took the following actions:

Read more about the meeting »

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I-69 Sign Unveiling


A sign unveiling for the first stretch of the I-69 corridor in Texas will be celebrated Dec. 5 in Robstown. The ceremony follows the Texas Transportation Commission's recent decision to add the 6.2-mile segment of US 77 between I-37 and SH 44 in western Nueces County to the interstate highway system as I-69.

The interstate designation ─ considered a milestone in the development of I-69 from Texarkana to the Mexico border ─ is the result of a strong partnership between TxDOT, the Alliance for I-69 Texas, the I-69 Segment Committees, the I-69 Advisory Committee and local elected officials and community leaders along the proposed corridor route.

I-69 is intended to relieve traffic pressure in some of the state’s fastest growing counties and link the Rio Grande Valley with trade routes extending as far north as Canada. The proposed corridor is planned to occupy the footprint of existing highways, including US 59, 77, 84 and 281 and SH 44.

Visit the I-69 website »

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Dallas District Honored

TxDOT's Dallas District was recently recognized by Air North Texas for outstanding achievement in outreach for its work in educating employees about clean air choices. The district sent air pollution watch and warning emails to its more than 900 employees and included air quality information in the district's quarterly employee newsletter. TxDOT is one of several organizations involved with Air North Texas, a regional air quality partnership and general public outreach effort.

Read more »

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Register Now For 2012 Transportation Forum!

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Register now for the 7th Annual Texas Transportation Forum before the early registration discount expires on Thursday, Dec. 15. The theme for the 2012 Forum, set for Feb. 15-17 at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio, 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.

The Grand Hyatt Hotel has extended its discounted rates through Wednesday, Nov. 23. So be sure and take advantage of these special rates by reserving your hotel room and registering now for your seat at the table. We hope to see you in San Antonio in 2012!

Register now »

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"Don't Crowd the Plow" Events

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Winter is in full swing in the Panhandle, and TxDOT's Amarillo District will kick off this season's "Don't Take a Chance: Don't Crowd the Plow" public awareness campaign on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the parking lot of Moore's Food Pride, US 54 East in Stratford. A series of similar events is planned throughout the area this month.

TxDOT will have a fully-equipped snowplow on display at each event.  Residents will be offered the opportunity to sit behind the wheel and visualize what plow drivers can see and, more importantly, cannot see when operating a plow.

Snowplow operators often have very limited visibility due to hazardous driving conditions, such as blowing snow.  Many motorists drive directly behind the plow, making it impossible for the operator to see them. Safety for motorists and TxDOT employees is the department’s primary concern, especially during winter weather events. 

Read more »

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TTI's Most Congested Highways List

The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) has released its first ranking of the nation's most congested highways. The report looks at congestion levels under a variety of different circumstances, including most congested corridors for trucks; most congested corridors in the morning/evening/lunchtime; most congested corridors on the weekend; corridors with the most unpredictable travel times and more. The result is multiple lists of congested roadways, rather than one definitive list.

Read the report »

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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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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 Galveston Ferry Operations Manager Bill Mallini about the recent addition of the newest ferry to the Galveston line in 20 years, the John W. Johnson, named for the former Texas Transportation Commissioner. Episodes are also available on iTunes.

Listen to Podcast »

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All inquiries may be directed to AskTxDOT@txdot.gov.