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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

  • TxDOT Wins Awards
  • TxDOT Website Redesign Survey
  • Historic Piano Bridge Reopens
  • TxDOT Clears Panhandle Highway Shut Down By Hail Storm
  • Don't Barrel Through Work Zones!
  • TIGER IV Funding Applications Submitted
  • Mica Visits Pharr District
  • Texas Highways: A Family Tour of San Antonio
  • Texas Highways Gift Shop
  • Don't Mess with Texas Scholarship
  • Commission Meeting Set for April 26
  • Talk. Text. Crash.
  • TxDOT Podcast: Former U. S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta
  • Small Hr


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April 16, 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 AskTxDOT@txdot.gov.


TxDOT Wins Awards

The U.S. Small Business Administration's San Antonio District Office has named TxDOT's Business Outreach and Supportive Services Program as recipient of the 2012 District Director's Alliance Award (team award). The program, which operates within TxDOT's Office of Civil Rights, was selected for its commitment to increasing public-sector opportunities for small businesses across the state. The award will be presented May 11 at a special ceremony in San Antonio.

The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) has selected TxDOT as 2012 DBIA Transportation Owner of the Year in the state DOTs category for advancing awareness, understanding and use of the design-build project delivery method. TxDOT design-build projects include the LBJ Expressway and the DFW Connector. The award will be presented April 26 at DIBA's 2012 Design-Build in Transportation Conference in Phoenix, Ariz.

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TxDOT Website Redesign Survey

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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 www.txdot.gov.

Take the survey »

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Historic Piano Bridge Reopens

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TxDOT Yoakum District Engineer Lonnie Gregorcyk speaks at the Piano Bridge reopening about the restoration project.

The historic Piano Bridge on CR 480 near Dubina in Fayette County recently reopened to traffic. Built in 1885, the span over the East Navidad River was closed in 2010 because of damage to the truss structure. A complete restoration that included a fresh coat of paint, new approach spans and new decking was funded through a cooperative agreement with the Federal Bridge Program, TxDOT and Fayette County. More than 60 people attended the April 2 ceremony.

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TxDOT Clears Panhandle Highway Shut Down By Hail Storm

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Amarillo District crews clear hail, mud blocking U.S. 287.

Traffic on southbound U.S. 287 about 20 miles south of Dumas in the Panhandle came to a standstill late in the afternoon on April 11, when up to four feet of hail accumulated during a slow-moving storm. TxDOT closed the highway for several hours, while Amarillo District crews brought out snowplows to clear the mounds of hail and mud blocking the road. The roadway reopened around midnight, but crews continued working into the next day, clearing ice and assessing damage.

Watch TxDOT crews in action »

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Don't Barrel Through Work Zones!

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TxDOT has seen a decrease in work zone fatalities because of increased safety measures and public outreach efforts.

Work zones can be hazardous for both motorists and crews working to address transportation needs around the state. TxDOT maintains approximately 80,000 miles of highway and oversees more than 1,000 projects at any given time. To remember victims and raise safety awareness for workers and motorists, TxDOT will join the Federal Highway Administration and other transportation partners April 23-27 to observe the 13th annual National Work Zone Awareness Week.

This year’s theme is “Don’t Barrel Through Work Zones! Drive Smart to Arrive Alive.”  In 2010, 100 people were killed in highway construction and maintenance zones in Texas, down from 108 the previous year. While work zone fatalities and crashes have declined, there is still work to do. Everyone should take responsibility for work zone safety, from engineers and planners to drivers and pedestrians.

View »

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TIGER IV Funding Applications Submitted

TxDOT has submitted final applications for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER IV) funding to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The applications include $537 million in Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act credit assistance for the North Tarrant Express Segment 3A in Fort Worth; $6 million for the South Orient rail line rehabilitation project from Sulphur Junction to Fort Stockton; and $5.6 million for the U.S. 77 Overpass at La Parra Avenue in Sarita.  TxDOT also jointly submitted an application with the Northeast Texas Rural Rail Transportation District (NETEX) for $9.5 million for rehabilitation of the NETEX rail line in Franklin, Hopkins, Delta and Hunt counties. TIGER IV funding awards are expected to be announced in May.

Read more »

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Mica Visits Pharr District

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U.S. Rep. John Mica

U.S. Rep. John Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, recently visited TxDOT’s Pharr District to discuss regional and national transportation issues with local leaders. The discussion underscored the ability of federal, state and local officials to work together to reach shared goals and emphasized the importance of I-69 to the economic development of the region. U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa and other officials participated in the McAllen briefing led by Pharr District Engineer Mario Jorge.

“I welcomed the opportunity recently to meet with officials from Hidalgo and Cameron counties, as well as TxDOT. We had a very productive discussion,” Mica said.

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Texas Highways: A Family Tour of San Antonio

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Dale Chihuly’s intricate glass sculptures will decorate the Dallas Arboretum from May 5 through Nov. 5. Photo courtesy of Chihuly Studios.

A visit to San Antonio is an annual tradition for many Texas families. The May issue of Texas Highways takes you on the Crider family’s photo exploration of the Alamo City’s historic downtown streets, famed River Walk and other landmarks Enjoy other articles in this issue on kayaking the Upper Brazos River; discovering hiking, camping and the botanical assets of Lajitas in the Big Bend; the captivating Trois Estate near Enchanted Rock; and Dale Chihuly’s upcoming glass sculpture garden exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum. Follow the magazine on Facebook.

For a free trial issue »

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Texas Highways Gift Shop

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The Texas Highways Gift Shop is located at 150 E. Riverside Drive in Austin.

The Texas Highways Gift Shop in Austin will close Friday, April 20. But our online gift shop will continue offering a full assortment of products that capture the spirit and pride of Texas, including tote bags, books, maps, prints, CDs, DVDs, note cards and more.

If you're in the Austin area this week, be sure to stop by the gift shop at 150 E. Riverside Drive for some great deals as we close out our inventory. Store hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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Don't Mess with Texas Scholarship

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Apply online today for a chance to win a $3,000 Don’t Mess with Texas Scholarship. The deadline for applications is April 20. The scholarship, sponsored by BASF Corporation in partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful, recognizes the achievements of Texas high school seniors who have taken leadership roles to prevent litter in their schools and/or communities. Any Texas high school senior planning to attend a Texas college or university and currently attending public, private or home school may apply. One $3,000 scholarship and two $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to students planning to pursue a two- or four-year degree.

To apply »

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Commission Meeting Set for April 26

The Texas Transportation Commission will convene for its regular monthly meeting at 9 a.m., Thursday, April 26, at 200 East Riverside Drive, Room 1-A.1, in Austin. The Commission is scheduled to discuss the I-35E managed lanes project in Dallas and Denton counties and TxDOT's Task Force on Energy Sector's Impact to Roads; and consider authorizing the issuance of a request for proposals to develop, design, construct and potentially maintain Segments F1, F2, and G of the Grand Parkway (SH 99) project in Harris and Montgomery counties.

Read more »

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Talk. Text. Crash.

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April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and TxDOT joins its safety partners around the state to encourage drivers to refrain from engaging in non-driving activities while on the road, particularly cell phone use and texting. In its second year, the “Talk. Text. Crash.” outreach campaign is designed to raise awareness of the consequences of distracted driving. Last year, distracted driving led to more than 81,000 crashes in Texas and killed 361 people. Overall, nearly one in four crashes in Texas involves driver distraction.

Read more »

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TxDOT Podcast: Former U. S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta

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

In this week’s episode, we talk with former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta about the state of national transportation funding and the need for a new federal transportation reauthorization bill. (This episode originally aired in July 2011.) Episodes are also available on iTunes.

Listen to Podcast »

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