Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently announced an unprecedented investment in the 2024 United Transportation Program (UTP) that would allocate $100 billion over a 10-year period to highway and bridge projects throughout the state.
(Photo courtesy of TxDOT.)
The Texas Transportation Commission (TTC), this August, is expected to approve Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of Transportation's record $100 billion, 10-year plan for infrastructure projects across the state to help meet demand for residents amid an ongoing population boom and period of economic growth.
This unprecedented investment in the 2024 Unified Transportation Program (UTP) that was recently announced also would increase funding in vital areas, including safety, energy sector, rural and urban connectivity, border infrastructure, maintenance and preservation.
According to TxDOT, the massive total is estimated to be $15 billion more than the 2023 UTP and is based on the record projected revenue for the state, derived primarily from growth in Proposition 1 (2015 legislative session) revenues generated by oil and gas severance fees dedicated to highway improvements.
Stacey Bryant, president of the AGC of Texas, is pleased with the proposed investment.
"AGC of Texas applauds the leadership of Governor Abbott, the TTC and TxDOT for this historic investment in our state's infrastructure," he said. "The 10-year, $100 billion transportation plan will fund projects designed to improve congestion, maintain roadways and increase safety for our fellow Texans. AGC of Texas members stand ready to, in the words of Gov. Abbott and TTC Chair J. Bruce Bugg, Jr., ‘turn dirt.'"
The proposed UTP includes:
- $18.7 billion for preventive maintenance and rehabilitation on the state highway system;
- $14 billion for strategic priority projects that improve connectivity, economic opportunity, military movement, border and port connectivity and emergency routes;
- $11.5 billion for metro and urban corridor funding that increase mobility and capacity along urban corridors;
- $10 billion for statewide rural connectivity;
- $7.8 billion for statewide urban connectivity;
- $6 billion for Texas Clear Lanes projects, which address congestion in the state's largest metros;
- $5.8 billion for federal metropolitan mobility projects (areas with populations of 200,000 or more); and
- $4.7 billion for bridge construction, safety and rehabilitation projects.
Gov. Abbott, who was re-elected in 2022, stated, "I'm proud to announce a record $100 billion plan to strengthen and improve our transportation infrastructure. Under TxDOT's 2024 Unified Transportation Program, we will dedicate critical funds to bolster our major roadway infrastructure to address the unique needs of Texans in rural, urban and metropolitan communities. This 10-year plan will further boost our economy and keep Texas the economic juggernaut of the nation. Together, we are working to ensure that Texas remains the premier destination for people and businesses."
TxDOT Commission Chairman J. Bruce Bugg, Jr. shared the same sentiment.
"As the state of Texas continues to see exponential population and economic growth, this funding will help meet the needs of all Texans," he said. "As cities grow every year, it's important we continue to address congestion in our busiest parts of the state through our Texas Clear Lanes initiative, which is also set to get a significant boost."
TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams addressed the safety aspect.
"Safety is a top priority for TxDOT and these funding levels reflect that," he said. "This historic UTP allows the department to deliver on a record number of projects that are not only innovative but will help improve safety for all Texans. These efforts can and do have real impacts on our ability to drastically reduce fatalities on our roadways."
The total proposed direct and indirect investment in safety in the 2024 UTP is approximately $17 billion, a nearly $3 billion increase over the 2023 UTP.
Texas Clear Lanes congestion relief projects also will see an increase of $1 billion over the next 10 years; urban and rural connectivity will increase by $3.4 billion; and a two-year border projects program will increase from $60 million to $120 million. A full breakdown is available at https://ftp.txdot.gov/pub/txdot/commission/2023/0223/5-presentation.pdf
"As Texas cities are continuing to grow every year, it's important we continue to address congestion in our busiest parts of the state through our Texas Clear Lanes initiative —which is also set to get a significant boost," Wiliams said.
Currently, TxDOT has more than $33 billion in transportation projects under construction throughout the state with more than 7,000 transportation projects under way or scheduled to break ground in 2023. CEG
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