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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

  • State's Most Congested Roadway Cleared for Expansion
  • TxDMV, TxDOT Honored for Web Tool
  • Texas Highways: Autumn Road Trips
  • TxDOT Appointments
  • Take the Austin Travel Survey
  • Fort Worth's Tilley Bridge Dedicated
  • Commission's Sept. 27 Meeting Set for The Woodlands
  • Drive Clean Across Texas Sweepstakes
  • TxDOT Podcast: Margo Richards, Drive Texas
  • Small Hr


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September 17, 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.

State's Most Congested Roadway Cleared for Expansion

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I-35W north of Fort Worth will be part of the $1.3 billion reconstruction and expansion project.

A 10-mile section of I-35W in Fort Worth—part of which is ranked the state’s most congested road in a recent TxDOT study — is expected to be under construction by mid-2013. The stretch of roadway between I-30 and US 287 was environmentally cleared this year by the Federal Highway Administration, allowing the estimated $1.3 billion reconstruction and expansion project to move forward as part of the North Tarrant Express comprehensive development agreement. Existing lanes will be rebuilt, and will remain free lanes, but two managed toll lanes will also be added in each direction.

The project will be built in two segments. Pre-construction activities on Segment 3B north of I-820 are already under way, while a financial public hearing for Segment 3A is tentatively set for this fall. Subsequently, the Legislative Budget Board must review and approve the proposed project agreement, and the Office of the Attorney General must make a determination of legal sufficiency before final approval of the public-private partnership. TxDOT plans to have the entire project under contract by the end of the year.

The stretch of I-35W topped TxDOT’s recently released 2012 list of the 100 Most Congested Roadways, which details where Texas motorists spend nearly $3 billion in lost time and wasted fuel  annually. The annual study helps TxDOT identify solutions to address congestion on state roadways.

Read more »

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TxDMV, TxDOT Honored for Web Tool

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Trucks that move loads that are taller, longer, wider or heavier than legal limits must get a permit and — for many loads — a route from the TxDMV. Photo by Kevin Stillman.

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America has honored the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) and TxDOT with a Smart Solution Spotlight award for the Texas Permitting and Routing Optimization System (TxPROS), a Web-based system that allows Texas motor carriers to self-issue permits for overweight/oversize loads on state roadways. The award recognized TxPROS for its use of smart technology to improve service, save time and resources, and keep loads and motorists safe. While the project was developed under TxDOT, the state Legislature transferred the size and weight program and its staff to TxDMV in January. The two agencies continue to coordinate closely because of overlapping responsibilities in routing overweight/oversize cargo.

Read more »

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Texas Highways: Autumn Road Trips

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The Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison is America's largest and most diverse animal sanctuary. Photo by Michael Amador for Texas Highways.

The October issue of Texas Highways takes readers on an autumn road trip through East Texas, to the haven of flowers and forest at Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange and a Panhandle trek through the heart of Comanche country on the Quanah Parker Trail. The official travel magazine of Texas also features articles on Murchison's Black Beauty Ranch (America's largest animal sanctuary), Central Texas brewpubs and Atlanta State Park, with such riparian pleasures as swimming, fishing and bird watching.  Follow the magazine on Twitter and Facebook.

For a free trial issue »

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Greg Malatek
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Jill Lawless
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Rickey Dailey

TxDOT Appointments

TxDOT leadership has announced three new key appointments. Greg Malatek, P.E., is the new Austin District engineer. Malatek started his TxDOT career in 1984 as a summer hire in the Yoakum District and later served as district design engineer in the Amarillo District and area engineer in the San Antonio District’s New Braunfels and Seguin area offices. Most recently, he served as deputy district engineer for the Waco District and interim Austin District engineer.

Jill Lawless is the new editor of Texas Highways magazine. Lawless started her career with the magazine more than 23 years ago as an intern for its first editor, Frank Lively. She is the magazine’s fifth editor and previously served as interim editor and managing editor. Lawless holds a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

Rickey Dailey is the new public information officer for the Corpus Christi District. Dailey was the capitol bureau chief for three daily newspapers in the Rio Grande Valley, including the Brownsville Herald, The Monitor in McAllen and the Valley Morning Star in Harlingen. After his editorial career, Dailey spent the last decade developing strategic communications for a public relations firm in Austin.  

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Take the Austin Travel Survey

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I-35 is one of Austin's main roadways, serving as a key route to downtown, the University of Texas campus and points beyond.

Want a chance to win a little extra cash? Help TxDOT and the Texas Transportation Institute learn more about how you travel around Austin and complete this short survey. It only takes about 15 minutes and two lucky respondents will win a $200 VISA gift card! The results of this survey will be used to build and operate a better transportation system. The survey closes Sept. 19.

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Fort Worth's Tilley Bridge Dedicated

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The Phyllis J. Tilley Memorial Bridge in Fort Worth is the first arch-supported, stress-ribbon structure of its kind in the United States.

The recently dedicated Phyllis J. Tilley Memorial Bridge over the Trinity River is Fort Worth’s newest architectural icon. The 364-foot pedestrian and bicycle bridge, named for the late community advocate, links the city’s popular Trinity Trails and downtown. Designed by Freese and Nichols, Inc. and Boston architect Miguel Rosales, the structure is the first arch-supported, stress-ribbon bridge of its kind in the United States. The design features a minimalist span and a simple, elegant supporting arch. The $3 million project was funded through several sources, including federal grants administered by TxDOT, the city of Fort Worth and private donations, including funding from Streams and Valleys, Inc.

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Commission's Sept. 27 Meeting Set for The Woodlands

The Texas Transportation Commission will conduct its September meeting in The Woodlands, continuing a long tradition of taking the state’s business on the road to make it easier for Texans to participate in transportation decision-making. The meeting will take place at 9 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 27, at 2801 Technology Forest Boulevard and is open to the public. The Commission will honor former Commissioner Ned Holmes and consider approving the selection of a group to develop, design, construct and, potentially, maintain Segments F1, F2 and G of the Grand Parkway (SH 99) toll project in Harris and Montgomery counties.

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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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TxDOT Podcast: Margo Richards, Drive Texas

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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 TxDOT Travel Information Division Director Margo Richards about Drive Texas™, a comprehensive highway conditions reporting system providing web and mobile device users with real-time, visual information on the TxDOT system, including everything from construction and maintenance work, to weather conditions and accident information. (This episode originally aired in June 2012.) Episodes are also available on iTunes.

Listen to Podcast »

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