AUSTIN – The Texas Transportation Commission approved projects for the 2009 Safety Bond Program on Thursday that provide $600 million in funding for highway improvements having the greatest potential for reducing traffic accidents.
This is TxDOT’s second safety bond initiative in five years. A 2004 bond issuance provided the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) with $605 million to fund 644 safety projects. This year’s program will fund 355 projects to make Texas highways safer for the traveling public.
The bond programs give TxDOT the tools to make substantial safety improvements throughout Texas, said Amadeo Saenz, TxDOT executive director.
“Safety is our number one priority,” he added. “Each year more than 3,400 people are killed in traffic accidents in Texas. With the money from this program, TxDOT can make safety upgrades that have the potential to prevent thousands of accidents and save lives.”
More than 900 miles of highway will see safety improvements such as widening narrow two-lane roads, adding left turn lanes and continuous left turn lanes, installing concrete and cable barrier in divided highway medians, converting undivided highways to divided roads, building overpasses, and much more.
TxDOT will widen approximately 617 miles of narrow, two-lane roads and install 290 miles of median barrier to lessen the possibility of head-on collisions. The program will also fund 105 projects to install left turn lanes or continuous left turn lanes to reduce the number of rear-end collisions. In addition, TxDOT has plans to build 23 highway interchanges to improve traffic flow and reduce accidents.
In 2003, voters gave the Commission the authority to issue bonds to pay for state highway improvements. The Proposition 14 bond program is funded by state gas tax revenue. At least 20 percent of the funds generated by the bonds are designated for safety projects.
The list of approved safety projects can be found at www.txdot.gov. For more information call TxDOT Government and Public Affairs media relations at 512 463-8588.
The Texas Department of Transportation
The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining nearly 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 15,000 employees strive to empower local leaders to solve local transportation problems, and to use new financial tools, including tolling and public-private partnerships, to reduce congestion and pave the way for future economic growth while enhancing safety, improving air quality and preserving the value of the state’s transportation assets. Find out more at www.txdot.gov.