TxDOT Looks To Private Funds For Help With Highway Cleanup

State transportation officials are now looking for private sponsors to help fund the growing cost of highway cleanup work. A new program hopes to save the state money.

Amid fears over multi-billion dollar budget deficits in the years to come, the Texas Transportation Commission has now approved a rule change that allows private donations for highway trash pickup and grass cutting along with rest area maintenance.

To make that program work, TxDOT is now looking for a consulting firm that will find private sponsors. The firm will also collect financial donations on the state's behalf.  TxDOT crews will do the actual maintenance work.

TxDOT's Veronica Beyer says they're estimating the program will save Texas about $3.5 million a year.

"In 2012, we spent about $2.9 billion dollars on maintenance and preservation, and you know, that's a lot of money. And for our state being in the challenges that it's seeing right now with funding, we need to do what we can at TxDOT to think creatively."

And similar to what you see in other states around the country, sponsors will get their name on a highway sign.

"We have about 24 million Texans and 50 million travelers coming down our highways annually. So this is a great opportunity for private businesses to be recognized."

Beyer say TxDOT hopes to have the program up and running in the next couple of months.

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...