TxDOT Needs to Make Big Changes

Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst was in Houston today to discuss the state of Texas transportation. He says the Texas Department of Transportation needs to make some serious changes if it wants to tackle the state's congestion problems. Wendy Siegle reports.
While Dewhurst gave some praise to the Texas Department of Transportation, he also had some harsh words for the agency.

“I’ve never seen a state agency in my seven and half years as Lieutenant Governor that has such poor public relations with the legislature, and most Texans.”

Dewhurst, who is up for reelection, discussed the state’s congestion woes at a transportation event in Houston. With over a thousand people moving into Texas everyday, the state’s most heavily used freeways are set to get even busier. Dewhurst says TxDOT needs to prioritize future road projects based on congestion to make it easier for everyone to move around. But first, he says, the agency needs to make some internal changes so it can work more efficiently and productively.

“By and large in order to be able to build as many new roads, we need to be nimble, quick; we need to outsource more of our engineering; we need to get roads built; we need to have more creativity in our financing and move the state forward.”

Dewhurst didn’t talk about public transportation during his prepared remarks, though he says it will play a role in reducing congestion across the state. He says Texas faces unique challenges when it comes to building public transit infrastructure.

“Most of our cities here in Texas are so spread out… You’re talking about a lot of cost, a lot of right-away in order to move people back and forth.”


Dewhurst says the biggest challenge the 82nd legislature faces is balancing the budget. The state’s legislative session starts January 11th.