Ric Williamson chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission and a strong advocate of toll financing died of a heart attack in the early hours of this morning. Williamson, 55, was first appointed to the commission - which makes policy for TxDOT and has various executive functions - in 2001 and became its chairman in Jan 2004.
A TxDOT letter formally requesting detailed proposals asks Trans Texas Corridor 69 bidders to focus on upgrade to interstate expressway standard of US77 in the far south of corridor.
North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) has had its bond rating downgraded because of concerns about the debt it's taking on to finance its concession agreement with TxDOT on SH121. Standard and Poor's (S&P) have lowered their rating on NTTA longterm bonds from A+ to A, a high rating still. But the NTTA will remain on "Creditwatch with negative implications until NTTA clarifies its longterm plan of finance," S&P say.
Texas DOT are retreating from the concept of Trans Texas Corridors along the route of their #2 TTC - the planned TTC69. Further planning will focus first on upgrading existing highways with new corridor right of way a secondary option. The department is accommodating opposition to the grand - some would say grandiose - plans for wide totally new corridors sweeping across the countryside as announced by Gov Rick Perry in 2002, and pictured in the concept shown below.
The North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) say they are moving toward a scheduled financial close on the SH121 toll concession with TxDOT which requires a $2.5b upfront payment to the state. The deadline precludes the traditional public authority method of putting in place permanent longterm bonds so NTTA is issuing Bond Anticipation Notes (BANs). These are bridge financing between the deadline for payment to TxDOT and their ability to sell longterm bonds.
Texas Transportation Commission at their monthly meeting today (Oct 25) authorized TxDOT to call for bids to enhance, operate and toll a maze of expressways around and to the north of Dallas Fort Worth Int Airport variously called DFW Connector SH114/SH121 or the Grapevine Funnel.
The 183A tollroad on the northwest fringe of the Austin area is creating significant benefits for users and non-users alike. A survey based on before and after trip time measurements was done by HNTB for the toller Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA).
Houston toll leader Strech brought down by puritan zero charity policy - county audit finds no wrongdoingBy Peter Samuel on October 8, 2007
Before the politicians known collectively as "the ledgie" (spelt Lege for legislature) assembled this year in Austin, Texas DOT's forward projections were that total road funds would be in the range $10b to $11b/year over the next few years, about $4b/year of that being state and federal tax based money and $6b to $7b/year would be from toll concessions based on longterm leases, known locally as CDAs. As the