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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.

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  • Maintain a safe system
  • Address congestion
  • Connect Texas communities
  • Best in class state agency

TxDOT Values

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In this issue

  • Transportation Commission Actions
  • I-69 Segment Committees Complete Reports
  • Gregorcyck Named Corpus Christi District Engineer
  • Lubbock's Marsha Sharp Freeway Opens
  • Texas Highways: Chasing Waterfalls, Star Gazing
  • Panama Canal Stakeholder Working Group Website
  • Graham Named New General Counsel, Jackson Retiring
  • Drive Clean Across Texas Sweepstakes
  • Sign Up for I-35 Lane Closure Emails
  • TxDOT Podcast: A Conversation with Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell
  • Small Hr


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July 30, 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.

Transportation Commission Actions

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TxDOT Deputy Executive Director John Barton addresses the Texas Transportation Commission during its July 26 meeting in Corpus Christi.

The Texas Transportation Commission convened July 26 in Corpus Christi for its regular monthly meeting, continuing its tradition of traveling outside of Austin to meet with communities. The Commission will hold its Aug. 30 meeting in Austin and its Sept. 27 meeting in The Woodlands. The Commission took the following actions in Corpus Christi:

  • Designated the 35-mile stretch of US 59 from north of the Liberty County line to I-610N in Houston as I-69.
  • Authorized issuing a request for proposals for the development, design, construction and, potentially, maintenance of US 77 from Kingsville to Driscoll in Nueces County.
  • Gave preliminary approval to allocating $197.6 million to the Central Regional Mobility Authority for construction of the MoPac Improvement Project in Austin.

The Commission also received reports on the agency's proposed Fiscal Year 2014-15 Legislative Appropriations Request and the federal surface transportation authorization bill recently signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Read more »

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I-69 Segment Committees Complete Reports

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The five, citizen-driven I-69 Segment Committees have completed their final reports, recommending that existing freeway sections along the study route be designated as I-69 Texas. TxDOT is reviewing more than 200 miles of highway along US 59, US 77, US 83 and US 281 as the first step in the designations. To date, six miles of US 77 between I-37 and SH 44 in Robstown and 35 miles of US 59 between I-610N in Houston and the Liberty County line have been officially designated as I-69.

In addition to the common recommendation, each segment committee established priority recommendations for developing the interstate in their regions. The I-69 Advisory Committee will use the local recommendations to compile a blueprint for continued development of the interstate.

Read more about I-69 planning »

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Gregorcyck Named Corpus Christi District Engineer

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Lonnie J. Gregorcyck

Lonnie J. Gregorcyck, P.E., is the new Corpus Christi District engineer, overseeing operations for the 10-county South Texas area. A 28-year TxDOT veteran, Gregorcyck most recently served as Yoakum District engineer and interim Corpus Christi district engineer. A career employee in the Yoakum District, he joined the agency in 1984 as an engineer assistant in the Victoria area office. He quickly advanced, serving as project engineer, advanced planning engineer, supervising planning engineer, Yoakum area engineer and district engineer since December 2003. Gregorcyck earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M University in 1984 and became a licensed professional engineer in 1989.

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Lubbock's Marsha Sharp Freeway Opens

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State and local officials gathered to help former Texas Tech Lady Raiders basketball coach Marsha Sharp (center) cut the ribbon on her namesake freeway in Lubbock.

Former Texas Tech Lady Raiders basketball coach Marsha Sharp recently cut the ribbon to open Phase 4 of her namesake freeway, completing its crisscross through Lubbock. Sharp joined TxDOT officials and area leaders to mark the opening of the final segment of the Marsha Sharp Freeway. Construction on the freeway began in 2003 at a cost of $316 million. Completion of the eight-mile freeway allows motorists to drive across the heart of Lubbock nonstop from West Loop 289 to I-27.

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Texas Highways: Chasing Waterfalls, Star Gazing

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Cub Scout Grant Stidman looks for stars at the George Observatory at Brazos Ben State Park. Photo by J. Griffis Smith for Texas Highways.

Read about Texas' surprising number of waterfalls, ranging from powerful torrents to steady trickles, and the state's tallest peak at Guadalupe Mountains National Park in the August issue of Texas Highways. The newest issue of the official travel magazine of Texas also features articles on the George Observatory in Brazos Bend State Park; Aquatica, SeaWorld San Antonio's new water park; Bastrop's dining scene; and Amarillo's renovated downtown. Follow the magazine on Twitter and Facebook.

For a free trial issue »

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Panama Canal Stakeholder Working Group Website

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A new TxDOT website for the Panama Canal Stakeholder Working Group details the $5.2 billion expansion of the canal, slated for completion in 2014, and how it will impact global trade. To ensure that Texas is well-positioned to maximize this economic opportunity, TxDOT has convened the working group to address this issue. The group will recommend transportation improvements that will better position the state to take advantage of the expansion and enhance Texas' role in global trade. The group's next meeting is set for Wednesday, Aug. 1 in Corpus Christi.

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Graham Named New General Counsel, Jackson Retiring

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Bob Jackson

TxDOT General Counsel Bob Jackson has announced his retirement, effective Aug. 31. Jackson began his 28-year TxDOT career in 1984 as a legislative analyst. He worked part-time in the Houston District while attending the University of Houston Law Center. He later served as the department's deputy general counsel and was named general counsel in 2006.

Jackson's successor is Jeff Graham, who previously served as chief of the Financial and Taxation Litigation Division for the Office of Attorney General of Texas. Graham is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Mo.

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Drive Clean Across Texas Sweepstakes

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Don't miss your chance to win a new Ford Fusion Hybrid. Enter the Drive Clean Across Texas online sweepstakes today! The deadline for entering is Sept. 23. The statewide public outreach and education campaign encourages motorists to make cost-saving, no-cost and low-cost changes in their driving and vehicle maintenance behaviors to reduce harmful vehicle emissions — a major contributor to air pollution. The low-emission 2012 Fusion Hybrid is donated by the Dallas Cowboys Football Club. Texas drivers ages 18 and up can enter.

To enter the sweepstakes »

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Sign Up for I-35 Lane Closure Emails

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If you travel I-35 through Central Texas, you already know that much of the stretch from Hillsboro through Salado is being widened, requiring lane closures and creating some traffic delays. To get where you're going on time, sign up for I-35 email notifications about closures involving mainlanes, frontage roads, ramps and cross streets. We have several email subscription options ─ daily, seven-day and high-impact lane closure forecasts. Choose the one that works best for you.

To sign up »

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TxDOT Podcast: A Conversation with Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell

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.

In this week's episode, we talk with former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell about his mission to modernize the nation's infrastructure, everything from sewers to highways to air traffic control. (This episode originally aired in February 2012.) Episodes are also available on iTunes.

Listen to Podcast »

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