Money Attached to Stimulus Plan Could Improve Roads - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Money Attached to Stimulus Plan Could Improve Roads

Paul Braun, TxDOT Paul Braun, TxDOT

Elise Preston
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TX - A new economic plan could improve roads in our area, but some in the area fear the improvement has strings attached.

Roads, railways and runways are driving forces in President Obama's new plan to jump start the economy.  It's part of a stimulus plan that comes with  a price tag of about 50 billion dollars.

The proposed plan could help fix $400 million  worth of projects TxDOT would like to complete in the Amarillo area.

State Representative John Smithee says it's never a waste of money when a state can fix up infrastructure, but  he tells NewsChannel 10,  doing it in hopes of stimulating the economy, won't work.

"If you look at the federal budget, they are broke. They don't have the money. When the federal government talks about spending money to do something for us, they are going to borrow it from our grand kids" said Smithee

It's a conversation he says he's had with our representatives on capitol hill.

"People I have talked to here locally, they just want the government to cut spending, work a balance budget and try to keep the tax rate down. That's what people want." Smithee tells NewsChannel 10

However, those wants could come without some up-keep of area roads.

"We are in a budget crunch." TxDOT Spokesperson, Paul Braun tells NewsChannel 10.

A crunch Braun says,  leaves Panhandle region projects unfunded and incomplete.

"We're in a problem in the rural area's we have roadways that were not made to handle to traffic that travels on them. We don't have the money to beef them up." said Braun.

With the last economic stimulus, the Amarillo region received nearly $30 million to complete TxDot projects around our area.

Projects like the Grand street overpass and the 335 Loop. If the plan is passed by Congress, TxDOT officials say they have many more projects that need the money.

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