Trans Texas Corridor Dead Only in Name Says Group
By Mark Anderson
Uniting for Reform and Freedom, one of the main citizen groups that has
steadfastly fought the Trans Texas Corridor (TTC) portion of the NAFTA
Superhighway for several years, does not buy new claims by Texas highway
officials that the TTC is “dead”—not by a long shot.
announcement by TxDOT Executive Director Amadeo Saenz at the Texas
Transportation Forum that the ‘Trans Texas
Corridor, as it was originally envisioned, is no more,’ is just another in
a series of comments to lead opponents into believing the Trans Texas Corridor
is indeed dead. TURF believes this is a deliberate move to dupe opponents into
complacency, and we expect iron-clad action before we begin celebrating
victory,” TURF founder Terri Hall informed American Free Press in a news
release Jan. 7.
had just covered a Jan. 5 federal court hearing where TURF is fighting for the
right to hang two banners across San
Antonio city public right-of-ways to alert the public
about a TTC-related plan to convert area freeways into tollways. TURF wants to
let the public know that conventional gas-tax plans for maintaining and
highways will suffice and no tolling is needed, along with highlighting an
effort with a separate banner to recall a pro-toll city councilwoman.
hearing had just been held—with the judge promising a decision soon—when TURF
responded to claims that the TTC is “dead.”
clear from the TxDOT director’s speech, that it’s only a name change and the
Trans Texas Corridor is, in reality, “going underground,” Ms. Hall added,
noting that just about every news source in Texas indicates this sobering reality.
instance, the Austin American Statesman, while noting the TTC will be
broken up into smaller projects, noted that those smaller projects “will
apparently include the 300-plus miles of what has been called TTC-35 from San Antonio to the Oklahoma
border and the I-69 project from the Rio Grande
Valley to Texarkana
But they will not be called the Trans Texas Corridor.”
pointed to a San Antonio Express-News piece that noted: Other than
backpedaling from the Trans Texas Corridor brand, and the goals and priorities
set over the years, the Trans Texas Corridor remains intact. TxDOT still
plans to partner with private corporations to build and lease projects. Toll
roads, truck-only lanes and rail lanes are also still on the table. Environmental studies for the I-35 and East Texas corridor segments still chug through the
pipeline. And a development contract with Cintra of Spain and Zachry
Construction Co. of San Antonio, for projects paralleling I-35, is still valid.”
renewed effort now will operate under the name ‘Innovative Connectivity Plan,’ ”
Ms. Hall added: “No
law has been changed, no minute order rescinded, no environmental document
re-done (as is required by federal law), and there are still two contracts
signed giving two Spanish companies the right of first refusal on segments of
the corridor previously known as TTC-35 and TTC-69. So by every real measure,
the Trans Texas Corridor goes on full steam ahead. What [this] hype was
about is a political ploy to make the public go back to sleep while it gets
built under a different name. While we welcome genuine responsiveness from
TxDOT and a true repeal of the Trans Texas Corridor, this hardly qualifies.”
agrees with Texas State Sen. Robert Nichols’s recent statement in the Dallas Morning News: “If it is just a name
change, and nothing more, I don’t think that is going to do much to appease
lawmakers,” said Nichols, R-Jacksonville.
For more information call TURF at (210) 275-0640; EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The website is www.TexasTURF.org
Mark Anderson is the corresponding editor for American Free Press.
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(Issue # 1, January 5 & 12, 2009)