Gov. Perry Emphasizes Economic Importance of Infrastructure at Opening of Katy Freeway
Reiterates need for long term transportation funding solution
Gov. Rick Perry today spoke at the ribbon-cutting for the Katy Freeway Reconstruction Project, emphasizing the economic importance of developing the state's transportation infrastructure and reiterating the need to find a long-term transportation funding solution in the upcoming legislative session.
"Our strong economy and competitive business environment attract more than 1,000 people to Texas each day, and our transportation infrastructure must adapt to accommodate such growth," Gov. Perry said. "Road maintenance and expansion are essential to moving people, goods and services around the Lone Star State. These competitive assets are key to attracting people and businesses to relocate and expand in Texas."
The governor reiterated his commitment to work with state leaders to implement long-term transportation funding solutions in the 81st Legislative Session. The solutions include ending the gas tax diversion to fund the Texas Department of Public Safety, which amounts to $1.2 billion each biennium; creating a Transportation Finance Corporation to allow Texas-based investment funds to invest directly in Texas transportation projects; and passing authorizing legislation and appropriation for the Proposition 12 bonds approved by voters in the November 2007 constitutional election.
In the past 25 years, Texas' population has increased 57 percent and road use has nearly doubled, but state road capacity has grown by only eight percent. Continued population growth is expected over the next 25 years. TxDOT predicts road use will likely increase 214 percent; however, according to current plans, capacity is projected to grow by a mere six percent.
Transportation remains a top consideration for businesses looking to relocate or expand. Earlier this year, CNBC ranked Texas the number one state for business, citing transportation infrastructure as one of the key factors for our success; and for the third straight year, Chief Executive Magazine ranked Texas as the best state in which to do business, applauding the state for controlling taxes and spending as well as for its positive regulatory burden, quality of life and infrastructure.
The Katy Freeway Reconstruction Project is the largest ever undertaken by the Houston TxDOT district, involving the renovation of 23 miles of interstate freeway, and implementation of dynamic priced toll lanes in each direction. The $2.8 billion project was undertaken and funded through a tri-party agreement between TxDOT, Harris County and the Federal Highway Administration.