Gov. Perry Announces Development Agreement for Trans Texas Corridor
Gov. Rick Perry today announced that the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Cintra-Zachry consortium have signed a comprehensive development agreement to begin planning for construction of the first segment of the Trans Texas Corridor, which will parallel Interstate 35 from San Antonio to Oklahoma.
Under the agreement, Cintra-Zachry will create a master development plan that will include a list of specific transportation facilities that could be developed, an overall project schedule and a financial plan. The development plan will be completed in 12 to 15 months and must be approved by TxDOT.
"This development agreement is a significant step toward a better, more reliable transportation system that will move commuters and cargo faster and more safely, and create greater economic opportunities for our families and employers," Perry said. "In Texas, we're not waiting on others to lead or innovate, and we're not going to accept a future marred by gridlock and growing pollution problems."
Cintra, an international engineering and construction firm, and San Antonio-based Zachry Construction Corporation previously agreed to provide $7.2 billion for construction of the first six segments of the project at no cost to taxpayers.
"The Trans Texas Corridor will allow needed roads to be built faster, and ultimately cheaper, without any tax dollars being expended up front for construction," Perry said. "And beyond providing a new method to move people and goods faster, the Trans Texas Corridor is a huge jobs program that will put 140,000 Texans to work as we build the first six segments."
Perry also noted that landowners on the eventual route will receive fair compensation and a unique chance to participate in corridor proceeds, much like royalty payments paid to landowners who have oil and gas wells on their property. Perry also pledged that the public will have a thorough opportunity to continue giving their input as the route is determined, environmental factors are considered and the price for driving on the corridor is set.
"Just as the interstate highway system was an essential element to the growth and prosperity of our economy over the last 50 years, the Trans Texas Corridor will greatly expand the economy of the next fifty years," Perry said. "It is truly vital to creating jobs, wealth and opportunity because it will better connect Texas to trading partners, and ensure the reliable movement of people and products in our time-sensitive economy."
Perry said that the state would continue to make improvements to I-35 and other highways as needed, and roads that are toll-free today would remain toll-free in the future.