Waco District to receive $1.2B in funding for transportation pro - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Waco District to receive $1.2 billion in funding for transportation projects

Source: KXXV Source: KXXV

The Texas Department of Transportation recently approved $70 billion in funding for transportation projects for the next ten years.

The Unified Transportation Program approved the funding, which is more than double than last year’s 10 year plan that included $33 billion worth of projects.

The plan aims to meet the state’s growing transportation demands by addressing capacity, maintenance and safety needs.

"Our numbers have been significantly less based on the overall statewide allocation. This allocation is going to be significant and it means a lot to what we are going to be able to do in our eight-county district,” TXDOT Spokesman for Waco District Ken Roberts said.

The additional funding comes from legislative and voter approved initiatives in 2014 and 2015 that allocated portions of tax revenue to the state highway fund.

“Texans have sent a loud and clear message that they are tired of sitting in traffic, and this funding plan will significantly address safety, maintenance, connectivity and congestion on our crowded highways,” Gov. Greg Abbott said.

The Waco District, which covers eight counties, including McLennan, Hill, Falls, Coryell and Bell counties, will receive $1.2 billion for 2017 until 2026. More than $600 million will be used for preventive roadway maintenance and rehabilitation program, according to TXDOT.

In addition, more than $70 million will be used for connectivity of roads, which includes widening State Highway 31 through Hill County to the Navarro County line.

The Killeen/Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization will determine how it will use their allocated $250 million. One of the possible projects includes adding capacity to US 190 from Harker Heights to Belton.

The Waco MPO will also determine the use for its allocated $210 million. One project could include continuing to widen FM 1637 in the China Spring area from FM 2490 to FM 185.

Roberts said the roads are currently safe but population growth demands an increase in capacity.

“The demand is there, the need is there, the roadways are safe but the demand is increasing. It's incumbent upon us to keep up with that demand,” Roberts said.

He added drivers will notice the construction, but they will also notice improved driving conditions.

"At the end of the day what they're going to have our roadways with greater capacity and they're not going to notice there is greater capacity, they are just going to see they're able to get from point a to point b much more efficiently and very safe,” Roberts said.

 The funding will be used from 2017 until 2026.

Copyright 2016 KXXV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly