Texas to Supersize Highways
Texas is set to supersize highways (USA Today)
Texans are known for doing things in a big way. But the state is planning a futuristic highway system that’s gargantuan even by Texas standards: 4,000 miles of expressways, mostly toll lanes. The Trans-Texas Corridor, almost a quarter-mile wide, would carry cars, trucks, trains and pipelines for water, oil, natural gas, electricity and fiber optics. The roads would be built over the next 50 years at a cost of up to $185 billion, mostly with private money. The network eventually would crisscross the state, diverting long-distance traffic onto superhighways designed to skirt crowded urban centers. Trucks and trains carrying hazardous materials also would use the highways.
The state’s goal: relieve some of the nation’s worst traffic congestion, fed by Texas’ booming population and the exchange of goods with Mexico that has been accelerated since 1994 by the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Gov. Rick Perry, creator of the Trans-Texas Corridor, calls it a “visionary transportation plan” that could become a national model. Perry touts it as the USA’s most ambitious transportation project since President Dwight Eisenhower and Congress launched the interstate highway system in 1956.