POSTED: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 6:20pm
UPDATED: Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 1:28pm
According to the Federal Department of Transportation, Texas has the second busiest highways in the country.
Only California ranks higher.
And those highways need maintenance. And Texas is growing, so the system needs expansion. And the legislature didn’t give The Texas Department of Transportation anywhere near the money they need to do that.
So TxDot is ready to tell Texas cities, you fix your own roads.
Many roads that local folks assume are just city streets are actually maintained by TxDot.
And they are proposing what is called “Turnback.” Letting cities foot the bill for highways inside their city limits of towns over 50,000 population. Here that would be Tyler and Longview.
That would cost millions of dollars.
To see how this would impact Tyler, we have to take a drive.
A lot of roads in town are also part of the old Farm to market system and are maintained by the state.
We can begin with one that we all travel every day, Loop 323.
And according to most estimates, TxDot would hand over to Tyler responsibility for Broadway south of the Loop.
North of Loop 323, this part would revert to the city’s nickel.
This is the corner of Paluxy and the Loop. You may think of this street as Paluxy, but to the highway department, it’s FM 756.
It may not seem like a Farm to market Road with the Green Acres neighborhood on one side and a shopping center on the other.
But under the plan, what we think of as a city street, would become just that, a city street. Because TxDot has up to now, been maintaining it.
Fifth Street. Nope, it’s Highway 64.
Municipalities are livid about the plan, since the costs will be astronomical.
But since the legislature didn’t come up woefully short of highway money, there may be no other choice.