We’ve all had issues with the roads in Texas at one time or another. And a new study sheds some light on why things are as bad in some spots as they seem to be. It’s a study that TxDOT vehemently disagrees with.
Smart Growth America says TxDOT spent 82% of its money expanding roads between 2004 and 2008 while spending just 11% on fixing the roads during that period. And from 2009 to 2011 the report says TxDOT spent four times more on expansion than it did repairs. Activist Terri Hall at Texas TURF told KTRH the money has been mismanaged.
“We have a very bad case of misplaced priorities in our state budget. We have not been properly maintaining our state highway system, yet we continue to expand it,” Hall told KTRH.
Hall says you might not realize how bad things really are.
“We’re about a billion dollars a year in the hole on what’s needed just to maintain our system and get it to an acceptable level. We have to shore this up. TxDOT in some part of the state is actually taking paved roads and turning them back into gravel roads,” Hall explained.
And she says lawmakers in Austin have done nothing to stop this.
“Our legislature has been asleep at the switch. They know about the problem. They keep kicking the can down the road,” Hall said.
TXDOT released a statement over the weekend disagreeing with the report, saying they only spent 35% not 82% on expansion between 2004 and 2008.
Spokesman Bob Kaufman said some of the group’s previous findings didn’t match up with TxDOT’s numbers. But the statement did not address the study’s findings in detail.
“We strongly disagree with the characterization on the use of funds made in this report,” Kaufman said in a written statement.