Amarillo & TxDOT Hope For More Stimulus Money

An economic shot in the arm will be heading to the Panhandle in the next two months, as millions of dollars head to road construction and safety projects.

But some officials say the news of the stimulus funding that is coming to the region is bittersweet.

More than 45 million dollars will soon be funding road projects across the Panhandle and some in the city of Amarillo.

"The projects were projects that were designed, the environmental process was completed and they are ready to go," said Paul Braun, the TxDOT Amarillo District Public Information Officer.

But the original wish list from TX-dot asked for almost 200 million more for repairs.

And the city of Amarillo was denied funding for several projects.

Mayor Debra McCartt went to Austin last week to ask for the TxDOT Commission to reconsider, and redirect more money to the Panhandle.

"We wanted to make sure they knew we had issues up here and we did not get a single of our six projects funded. We didn't feel like that was quite fair to tell you the truth," said Mayor McCartt.

While the region only received about two percent of the stimulus money, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation has more discretionary funds to hand out in the next 90 days.

And both TxDOT, and the city of Amarillo are holding out hope to get more money.

"I think we're going to see some action, I hope so. Going to keep our fingers crossed. But we're not going to give up," said Mayor McCartt.

"There were some projects that we wanted to see funded, but we just didn't get the money. At least with these projects this is money we didn't have before," said Braun.

With the money already on its way, 29 million will go toward four major improvement projects, the Amarillo Metropolitan Planning Commission has 8.5 million to spend, and TxDOT has another 7.5 million for safety improvements on Panhandle highways.