corridors have been identified as priority segments of the Trans Texas Corridor.
These corridors parallel I-35, I-37 and I-69 (proposed) from Denison to the Rio
Grande Valley, I-69 (proposed) from Texarkana to Houston to Laredo, I-45 from
Dallas-Fort Worth to Houston and I-10 from El Paso to Orange.
Texas Corridor will allow for much faster and safer transportation of people and
goods. It will relieve congested roadways. It will keep hazardous materials out
of populated areas. It will help improve air quality by reducing emissions and
provide a safer, more reliable utility transmission system. It will keep Texas’
economy vibrant by creating new markets and jobs.
Based on an estimated cost of $31.4 million per centerline mile,
the 4,000-mile corridor would cost $125.5 billion, not including right of way
and miscellaneous costs. Factoring in right of way at $11.7 billion to $38
billion and miscellaneous costs at $8 billion to $20 billion, the estimated
total cost for the Trans Texas Corridor would range from $145.2 billion to
In 2001, the
77th Legislature provided several new financial tools to help Texas meet its
transportation demands. Legislation enabling toll equity, regional mobility authorities
and the Texas Mobility Fund will help TxDOT continue its efforts to enhance the
existing transportation system. These tools also will help pay for the Trans
The Trans Texas Corridor plan gives shape to a vision coming
into sharper focus every day. The corridor is a way for Texas to
expand opportunities, enhance freedom of movement, and provide the good things of life to the ever-growing number of people making Texas their home.
The Trans Texas Corridor is the largest engineering project ever proposed for Texas. The corridor paves the way—literally—to the future of Texas.
Partners in the public and private sectors, by working together early in the process, can develop a 21st Century transportation corridor that will be a model for the nation.
The Trans Texas Corridor will allow for much faster and safer
transportation of people and goods. It will relieve congestion on existing roadways. It will keep hazardous materials out of populated
areas. It will improve air quality by reducing emissions and providing a safer,
more reliable utility transmission system. It will keep Texas’
economy vibrant by creating new markets and jobs. It will bring economic
development to all parts of the state, but especially in economically
depressed rural areas. Industrial parks served by multimodal
transportation and economic development zones built around connectivity points will foster economic growth. The corridor will lead to the
development of new cities while increasing the importance of existing
The Trans Texas Corridor is an all-Texas transportation network
of corridors up to 1,200 feet wide. The corridor will include
separate tollways for passenger vehicles and trucks. The corridor also
will include six rail lines (three in each direction): two tracks for
highspeed passenger rail, two for commuter rail and two for freight. The third component of the corridor will be a protected network
of safe and reliable utility lines for water, petroleum, natural
gas, electricity and data.
Four routes have been identified as priority segments of the
Trans Texas Corridor. These corridors parallel I-35, I-37 and I-69
(proposed) from Denison to the Rio Grande Valley, I-69 (proposed) from Texarkana to Houston to Laredo, I-45 from Dallas-Fort Worth to Houston and I-10 from El Paso to Orange.
Factors weighed in identifying priority corridor segments
relief for metropolitan areas.
hazardous material routes.
most likely to generate toll revenue.
for economic development.
Public involvement will be a key to planning and developing the corridor. During the corridor’s route-selection phase, any
needed changes will be identified through a detailed, project-specific process of public involvement. The public will have
opportunities to comment early and often.
Connection between the corridor and nearby cities will be
accomplished with the existing highway system. Proposed corridor segments will require interconnection with additional modes of transportation to enable passengers and freight to reach their
final destinations in nearby cities. Privately funded franchises or
public private partnerships will provide transportation from the corridor to destination cities.
Construction of the corridor could allow modification of more than $2 billion in planned statewide mobility projects. Projects along existing major highways paralleling proposed corridor
routes may not require as much right of way, could be modified in scope
or even delayed. Not included in this estimate are projects the
Texas Transportation Commission has previously funded. Most Phase 1, Priority 1 Trunk System projects will continue to be developed.
Expanding the corridor beyond Texas will require a cooperative effort with Mexico, as well as Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
Safety, improved travel time, and greater reliability will
characterize the Trans Texas Corridor. Planned for phased construction, the
system will connect cities across the state with a series of multimodal corridors. These will feature a high-speed, controlled-access
tollway with separate lanes for passenger vehicles (three lanes in each
direction) and trucks (two lanes in each direction). Additional features include two-way rail (six tracks, three in each direction) with
separate commuter/freight and high-speed passenger facilities and a
dedicated utility zone for transmission of oil, natural gas, energy, water
Separating passenger vehicle and truck lanes to benefit the
traveling public is fundamental to the corridor’s overall design. To avoid contributing to urban congestion, the corridor will connect
major cities while not flowing directly through them. The corridor
also will be designed to take advantage of intelligent transportation
The vision is that the corridor will be developed in phases
through several scenarios. For example, the heavy-duty truck lanes (two
in each direction) could be built first, to be shared initially by
both passenger vehicles and trucks. As traffic volumes increase and additional capacity is warranted, separate passenger lanes will
be constructed. This will be accomplished without disrupting the existing roadway.
The rail component also lends itself to phased construction. To make this a more feasible element for the corridor, a single
track for freight and commuter lines would be constructed initially. This trackage would be built first along segments most needed to
relieve pressing transportation problems. Construction of high-speed
passenger rail to connect the largest population areas will be implemented as the need grows for travel alternatives.
The 200-foot-wide utility zone will accommodate large water lines, natural gas and petroleum pipelines, telecommunication fiber-optic cables and high-power electric lines. Because of
rapidly changing technologies, utilities will not be installed until
needs are clearly identified. The utility zone initially would be leased
to agricultural concerns where feasible. Conduit for data transmission would be installed initially for use when needed. Lines for oil,
natural gas and water would be constructed as demand occurs.
Although the design and cost analysis reflects construction of
all corridor components, individual elements can be phased in as needed. All corridor cost estimates are based on current dollar
Pavement cost for a four-lane truck roadway is estimated at $3.1 million per centerline mile. Projected pavement cost for a
six-lane passenger vehicle roadway is $1.1 million per centerline mile. Other roadway costs in addition to pavement structures will include mobilization, clearing right of way, excavation, signing
and pavement markings, embankment, drainage structures, landscaping and safety features. Total roadway cost per centerline mile is
estimated at $7 million.
The average cost of grade-separated bridge structures is
estimated at $5.2 million per centerline mile. The average cost of
interchanges is estimated at $3.2 million per centerline mile.
The use of freight cars capable of accommodating heavier loads allows for transportation of increased tonnage in a single
train. The corridor will have heavier rail for these freight cars. The
average cost for conventional commuter and freight rail is estimated at $4.4 million per centerline mile for four tracks. This estimate
does not include passenger stations or dispatch control centers. Including costs for mobilization, excavation and embankments as well as incidental expenses associated with construction of new track, the cost would be $7.4 million per centerline mile for
Based on an estimated cost of $31.4 million per centerline mile, the 4,000-mile corridor would cost $125.5 billion, not including right of way and miscellaneous costs. Factoring in right of way
at $11.7 billion to $38 billion and miscellaneous costs at $8
billion to $20 billion, the estimated total cost for the Trans Texas
Corridor would range from $145.2 billion to $183.5 billion.
An extensive environmental review will be an integral part of
the process to develop the Trans Texas Corridor. Though all segments are conceptual at this point, avoidance or minimization of
adverse environmental impacts will be paramount in developing the
corridor. A large-scale ecosystem approach to mitigation will compensate for unavoidable impacts. Keys to ultimate success include
cooperation among stakeholders, a new approach to addressing regulatory requirements, improvement of the efficiency and effectiveness of transportation environmental decision-making and successful
preservation of the transportation corridor.
Right of way
To preserve the corridor for future generations, acquiring
property for all components should begin as soon as possible. Property
rights are important to TxDOT and will receive high priority in this
process. Through good-faith negotiation, TxDOT will acquire necessary
right of way in a single transaction with each owner. Acquisition of
right of way will be characterized by public-private investment,
including financial participation by utilities, railroads, developers and landowners.
The toll segments of the Trans Texas Corridor will be developed through a variety of means including low-bid contracts for
turnpike improvements coordinated by TxDOT. Another mechanism for toll-segment development would be through low-bid contracts coordinated by regional mobility authorities. Development also
can occur through exclusive development agreements (also containing
a franchise agreement) with private-sector developers.
Administration of such projects would come through TxDOT, a regional mobility authority or a regional toll authority. Proposals for exclusive
development agreements would be solicited by requests for proposals or submitted by private entities as unsolicited proposals. Regional
toll authorities (such as the North Texas Tollway Authority) or a
county toll authority (such as the Harris County Toll Road Authority)
also could play a role in development of the corridor’s toll
segments. Legislative action will be required for full implementation of
The rail component of the Trans Texas Corridor will give the
people of Texas and visitors the ability to travel by commuter and
highspeed rail. In turn, this will reduce traffic congestion. Rail also
will provide more capacity for freight (both rail and truck), greatly enhancing the state’s ability to accommodate the movement of
goods to market. In addition, the Trans Texas Corridor will provide
rail companies with new markets.
The utility component of the Trans Texas Corridor includes
infrastructure for the movement of oil, natural gas, water, electricity and data. The corridor’s dedicated utility zone will reduce the
chances of pipeline damage and the related safety and environmental
consequences. It will improve the efficiency of pipeline systems. It will provide more capacity for electrical transmission systems. It
will improve cost-effectiveness by providing advanced
telecommunications and data transmission to all areas of the state. It will
facilitate the long-distance transfer of fresh water to areas of Texas
desperately needing this vital natural resource.
In 2001, the 77th Legislature provided several new financial
tools to help Texas meet its transportation demands. Legislation enabling toll equity, regional mobility authorities and the Texas
Mobility Fund will help TxDOT continue its efforts to enhance the
existing transportation system. These tools also can be used in
developing the Trans Texas Corridor. Other possible methods of funding include concessions, the federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998, various other federal
programs and leasing right of way.
Many statutory tools for corridor development already are in
place, but some changes in state and federal law will be needed. This
section of the report provides a timeline for action by TxDOT from August 2002 through December 2003. The action plan also sets forth specific congressional and legislative actions needed to
move the Trans Texas Corridor off the drawing board and onto the
Looking Down the Road -
Executive Summary >
Environmental - Right of Way -
- Dedicated Utility Zone -
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