When President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act, it was hard to imagine the impact it would have on our economy and on rural communities. Although the positives of the Federal Interstate System greatly outweigh the negatives, Texans today face an accompanying problem: congestion and safety.
On April 1, 2004, the House passed the Transportation Equity Act, which included $14 million I obtained for transportation projects along the I-35 corridor. This legislation will make our roads safer, reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and create jobs.
Our roads and bridges are in critical need of repair and improvement. We should be able to travel between San Antonio, New Braunfels, San Marcos and Austin without being injured or losing valuable work time. Anyone who lives in these areas knows the importance of good and unobstructed transportation.
Our local traffic is unacceptable and at times intolerable. Only a decade ago, 20,000 loaded trucks crossed the border at Laredo and up the I-35 corridor each year. That number has increased to 120,000, which is largely due to the North American Free Trade Agreement.
We can encourage economic growth and job creation if we repair our transportation infrastructure. New roads and highways are needed to meet the population growth.
Our country and our economy benefits from a strong transportation network. But we are approaching a crossroads, both literally and figuratively. This legislation is one step closer to finding solutions to our crumbling transportation infrastructure.
The $14 million obtained includes:
$6 million for US 290: Upgrades US 290 in the City of Austin from east of Williamson Creek to west of FM 1826. Currently, the US 290 Freeway ends east of William Cannon Drive and transitions into a four-lane divided roadway.
$7 million for SH130/SH45: Completes the northern 48 miles of SH130, the IH-35 bypass from Georgetown to US 183 at future SH45 (SE).
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