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.


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. ken says:

    By the time it gets done it will be obsolete.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Quite possibly. That’s usually the way with highways. I’m not sure what the alternative is, though. Public transportation just isn’t feasible outside tightly packed urban areas and we don’t yet have the flying cars the sci-fi writers have been promising.

  3. M. Murcek says:

    Swell. Clinton killed the Superconducting Supercollider (which might have been used to actually learn some things about the nature of the Universe) and the gummint in Texas comes up with this instead.


  4. Chad Evans says:

    I read about this quite some time ago, but I must say it could be a good idea. Anyone who has ever tried to travel on I-35 South of Dallas knows the highway is nothing more than a glorified city road.

  5. bryan says:

    !#$%$#%!! toll roads! Another Yankee invention we don’t need more of in Texas.

  6. SFC SKI says:

    Well, toll roads are paid for by the people who use them, not a bad idea.

    I have to agree, I-35 is the pits, especially through San Anonio, Austin, and Dallas. A lot of the Western States go through a period of unplanned sprawl and development beofrethey finally admit that things are less than perfect, Texas has been debating this corridor for over 5 years, good to see they are getting off the dime.
    Maybe one day I’ll be able to get through west Texas using other than Farm To Market roads as well. I love the wide open spaces, but sometimes I actually have places to go and not all day to get there.