Gov. Perry: First Ten Miles of Katy Freeway Expansion Project Now Complete
KATY - Gov. Rick Perry today announced the completion of the first ten miles of the Katy Freeway expansion project, which has expanded capacity on a stretch of I-10 from the Fort Bend County line to just west of State Highway 6. The 23-mile, $2.7 billion project has been underway for three years, and is expected to be done in spring 2009 - nearly twice as fast as similar, past construction projects.
"I have never heard more positive feedback about a road construction project than what I have heard from people in West Houston and Harris County concerning the Katy Freeway expansion," Perry said. "That's because people can see progress by the day, and only three years into it, nearly ten miles of expanded freeway are now open to the public. When the entire project is done in a couple years, it will not only cut down on congestion and accidents, it will help reduce pollution from idling vehicles, expand the local economy and provide a more efficient corridor for hurricane evacuations."
Perry said that in the past this type of project would have taken more than a decade to complete, and attributed the quick completion to the state's ability to use a mixture of federal, state and toll revenue dollars to accelerate construction. "By leveraging toll revenues in addition to gas tax dollars, we have infused this project with funding up front rather than building it one piece at a time as state and federal revenues become available," Perry said.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta recently came to Texas and called the state's method for financing new transportation construction a model for the nation.
"No state in the nation is laying as much asphalt as Texas, as we build critically needed capacity from El Paso to Beaumont so Texans spend fewer time stuck in traffic and more time with their friends and loved ones," Perry said. "Instead of waiting on Washington to give us our fair share of highway funding, or raising the gas tax, we are leveraging the resources of the private sector to build roads faster and sooner, allowing Texans the choice of driving roads funded by tax dollars, or new ones funded by tolls."
Perry was joined at the announcement by Representative John Culberson and Texas Transportation Commissioner John Johnson.