Texas Highway Money Issues - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Texas Highway Money Issues

A recent audit for TX-DOT urged that increasing construction costs and more fuel efficient cars are causing a need to raise money for Texas roads in other ways.

The major way they suggested was more toll roads, something that TX-DOT doesn't see happening right away in Amarillo.

Right now amarillo is in good shape with our state roads, but that could change in the future. Mark Tomlinson is the District Engineer for the Amarillo district. He thinks Amarillo is doing well right now with the upkeep and renovations of it's roads, but he sees that a problem could very easily arrise in the future.

"Our commission is talking about taking some dollars for expansion, and holding it back for preventative maintenance and rehabilitation. It looks like it will be needed to maintain the roads we have," said Tomlinson.

So where could the money that Amarillo will be holding back be going? Tomlinson says there are places that could use it. 

"If we had sufficient funds, I feel we would be building segments of the loop to freeway standards. I-27 and I-40 would be expanded in the area."

If new roads cannot be built, and major roads renovated it could have a big impact on the community.

"With a good transportation system, typically you enhance the economic system in that area. Retail, Restaurants, and Hotels come in. It just spurs the economic development that everyone's interested in, and we are too."

There are preventative measures that can be taken.

"I'm concerned more and more, that instead of being able to do it in 40 years, the answer may be we'll never be able to do it. Unless, it is done through alternative financing."

Alternative financing would involve creating debt, which TX-DOT does not want.  Right now, Tomlinson says that Amarillo is doing very well as a district compared with the rest of Texas.

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