Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Central Texas is in Perry's Crosshairs

TxDOT Zeros in on TTC-35 Route

Perry's cross-hairs

Are you about to be picked off by Governor Perry's private highwaymen?

At 10:00 a.m. today, Governor Rick Perry and his pal, Transportation Commissioner Ric Williamson, released the draft environmental impact statement for the first Trans-Texas Corridor, also known as TTC-35.

The map shows a "narrowed" 10 mile wide area considered to be a prime target for state condemnation of private property. The land will be owned by the state for lease to a Spanish toll road builder, as well as other private developers and concessionnaires. Many of these friendly folks have contributed hefty sums (both directly and indirectly) to Governor Perry and other politicians at the state and national level.

For starters, here is what lies in the path of this half-baked scheme:
  • More than one and a half million acres, much of it prime farm and ranch land
  • Approximately one million people
  • Three major aquifers
  • Over 8,000 acres of public park land
  • More than 100 acres of federally recognized historic sites.
You will hear the mantra that the need for this sort of enormous private tollway/supercorridor is "well documented."

Trouble is, the "documentation" is coming after it was proposed by Perry and the private interests who would benefit from it. The decision was made, and the "studies" that follow are being used to sell it.

CLICK HERE for TxDOT's interactive map & Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) for TTC-35

CLICK HERE for a close-up view of affected counties on the CorridorWatch web site

TTC-35 Map
© 2006 Austin American-Statesman

TTC-35 is only the beginning. Get ready for three more "priority" supercorridors, already in the works.

TTC 35, 69 and priority corridors

For a brief timeline of Perry's private pork-fest, click on the links below:

Fall 1999
I-35 Corridor Study is completed and approved (it was shelved after Perry took office).

October 2001
Perry gets campaign contributions from road builders
Prop 15 goes on the state ballot
Read Prop 15: It says nothing about the Trans-Texas Corridor

November 2001
Props 2 and 15 Added to State Constitution

January 2002
Perry's backers win big
Perry's massive scheme accomplished "under the radar."

Feburary 2002
Perry lays out "Trans-Texas Corridor Plan"

April 2002
Corridor Action Plan fast-tracked

June 2002
Trans-Texas plan is mapped out
TxDOT: "We're open for business."

July 2002
Firms put in secret Trans-Texas bids
Perry's "Vision" of Trans-Texas Corridor Stimulates More Campaign Contributions
Still, most Texans know nothing about it

May 2003
House Bill 3588 is Born
House Bill 3588: The Original Transportation Abomination

August 2003
TxDOT requests Federal Highway Administration approval to proceed with TTC-35 Corridor as an experimental program using a Comprehensive Development Agreement (“CDA”)

January 2004
TxDOT's "European Vacation" includes trip to Madrid

March 2004
Feds agree to "streamline" environmental study for Trans-Texas Corridor

April 2004
TxDOT starts first segment of TTC=35

September 2004
Strayhorn attacks Perry, CAMPO on toll roads

October 2004
Cintra Goes Public Overseas to raise funds for TTC bid

December 2004
"Light rural traffic does not justify Trans-Texas Corridor plan"
Spanish contractor to begin Corridor
Top Aide to Perry Worked for Cintra
Account of aide's role at Cintra contradicted

March 2005
Perry signs deal with Spanish Firm
Texas Rep Files Bill to Slow TTC-35

May 2005
Grassroots Road Warriors Rally in Austin
Legislators try to give Corridor a makeover

June 2005
One result of that makeover
Chronicle files freedom of information request with TxDOT
"Privately funded?" Cintra-Zachry asks Uncle Sam for a Loan
TxDOT, Cintra-Zachry file suit to keep documents secret

A complete timeline of news articles and web posts related to the Trans-Texas Corridor (1999-Present) can be viewed by clicking links located in the right side bar of this page under the heading TTC NEWS WATCH.

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