TX-DOT Hopes Congress Will Bail Them Out

Legislation that could boost the economy, and repair roads in nearly every Panhandle county could soon be passed through congress.

The local TX-DOT district is asking for over 240 million dollars to repair roads in all corners of the Panhandle.

But one local congressman says he doesn't know where that money would come from if there is another bailout.

As the economy remains unstable, one person has a plan to spark jobs, and create safer roads.

"President-Elect Obama has proposed a big infrastructure stimulus bill and the argument is it will help the economy," said  Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas)

"And that could be a lot of work all around the state for contractors and other folks. Which would really help stimulate the economy," said Paul Braun, the TX-DOT Spokesman.

Texas is asking for $6.2 billion from the Federal government.

Not for new lanes, or to decongest the metropolitan areas.

But for neglected projects like finishing Highway 87 from Dalhart to the state line.

"We want to put the money into areas where it can be the best spent and areas where there is the most traffic and the most need," said Braun.

TX-DOT says the money is essential because Texas has been sending more money to the Federal government, through the gas tax than the state gets back.

"We get about 82, 83 cents per dollar that we send out so we're basically a donor state," said Braun.

While the need on many state highways is evident, Congressman Thornberry has other concerns.

"I worry about where the money is going to come from. We are spending a tremendous amount of money these days because of the economic problems," said Congressman Thornberry.

It could be several months before this is legislation is passed.

Tx-DOT says if they receive federal money, projects could start as early as August.