TxDOT Looks To Private Firms For Road Maintenance Projects

TxDOT is considering whether to use private contractors for maintenance work on some Texas highways. Officials believe the move could save the state millions of dollars.

TxDOT's Mark Cross says they tried it as a pilot project here in Houston and saved about $10 million.

Now they've issued a request for information to see what ideas are out there for privatizing highway maintenance in two corridors. That's I-45 between Houston and Dallas, and I-35 between Dallas and San Antonio.

"Private companies often times are able to use resources and maybe even, you know, basically things we don't have access to, that will allow cost savings."

TxDOT says it envisions using private contractors for routine work, such as grass cutting, litter removal, and patching potholes. TxDOT maintenance workers would then be re-assigned to higher priority projects.

"Government is usually a little bit restricted to what it can use, even though the toolbox may be pretty big, it still may not be as big as what the private sector may have."

Cross says once they gather information, they expect to issue a request for qualifications from companies that want to bid on state-maintanced projects.

Bio photo of Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

Gail Delaughter joined KUHF in October 2008 as Saturday morning news anchor and host. A native of New Orleans and a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, Gail has extensive experience in Texas and Louisiana as a radio news reporter and morning show anchor and co-host...