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Is $2.5 Billion Enough to Build Better Roads in Texas?

Image via Flickr/Lars Plougmann (CC BY-SA 2.0)
An overpass near Round Rock, Texas.

From Texas Standard:

The longest state constitution in the nation is about to get longer. Texan voters passed all seven proposed amendments to the constitution.

One amendment aims to fix a problem most all Texans are familiar with: transportation. The state's growing population might be good for the economy, but hasn't done the roadways many favors.

After elections ended in Texas yesterday, Proposition 7 passed with 83 percent approval. The new law will pump $2.5 billion into road construction and maintenance starting in September 2017.

State Senator Don Huffines, vice chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, talks to the Standard about the changes the new amendment would bring.

So is this big win for Texas infrastructure enough take care of the roads?

"Unfortunately, it is not," Huffines says. "$2.5 billion sounds like a lot, but it's less than half of what we need going forward to really relieve our congestion in the state of Texas and our connectivity."

Huffines says that highway funding is an important, non-partisan issue and the legislature isn't seeking to raise taxes to cover the costs.

"We're also committed not to have a bunch of more toll roads, I think people are tired of toll roads," he says. "So we're taking the bull by the horn and getting more money in for TxDot."

In this segment you'll learn: 

– How to address the need for more funding in the next legislative session

– What kind of projects the money could be allocated towards

– How the interstate system is affecting quality of life in Texas

Listen to the full audio in the player above.


Rhonda joined KUT in late 2013 as producer for the station's new daily news program, Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.
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