Friday, September 01, 2006

Texas Gov. For Super Hiway

Texas governor leads superhighway rally
Spanish firm to build $7 billion project, charge Americans tolls for 50 years

Posted: September 1, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2006

Texas highway proposal

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has led a pep rally for a $7 billion highway project that will loop around the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, but is being opposed by landowners who will see their private property taken by the state.

A report on KWTX said the tollway to be built by the Spanish-based Cinta-Zachry consortium is part of an "ambitious" $184 billion plan for a network of superhighway transportation corridors around the state.

Those, in turn, are expected to be part of the nationwide network of NATFA superhighways that are planned to run from Mexico to Canada, dividing the United States into economic and social districts.

The rally in DeSoto featured handshakes among local government officials who say they have sought the project for some time, over the opposition of property owners whose land would be taken for the massive project.

Staff members for the state Department of Transportation are working to compile and evaluate the comments that were submitted at the dozens of public hearings on the project where residents could ask questions and register opinions, the report said.

A decision from the Federal Highway Administration on environmental concerns is expected in 2007.

This portion of the superhighways complex is expected to run east of Interstate 35, promoters said in the report.

The Cintra-Zachry consortium already has been given a contract by the state for the first portion of what is expected to be a 4,000-mile network of quarter-mile-wide transportation corridors across Texas, the report said.

Up to six separate passenger vehicle lanes, with another four for trucks, two high speed passenger rail tracks, two more for freight trains and a variety of other features are planned.

Cintra partnered with the San Antonio-based Zachry Construction to make plans for the work, the report said.

Cintra plans to spend $6 billion on the first portion of the corridor and plans to pay the state $1.2 billion and then will have the right to run the road and charge tolls for 50 years, plans show.

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