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TxDOT Steps Up Focus on Rural Transportation Needs

AUSTIN, TX — According to the Texas Transportation Commission, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has dedicated billions to statewide connectivity projects to upgrade interstates and other major rural highways over the next 10 years.

“TxDOT is planning to invest an historic level of approximately $14 billion in our rural areas over the next 10 years through our 2023 Unified Transportation Program,” said Commissioner Alvin New. “This represents a 600 percent increase in planned rural funding compared to just seven years ago. It demonstrates TxDOT’s commitment to building and maintaining a safe and efficient transportation system, not only in our most populous areas, but also in those rural areas that are so vital to our state’s economic success.”

A new report by national research nonprofit TRIP called “Keeping Rural Texas Connected” highlights the need for that level of rural investment. The Texas economy — driven by energy production and extraction, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, and tourism — relies on its transportation network to maintain strong economic growth and quality of life, TRIP said.

That will help Texas continue attracting new residents and businesses, as from 2000 to 2020, the state’s population increased by 41 percent and should increase another 60 percent by 2050.

“Texas’ growth, if not accommodated with an improved and expanded transportation network of modern highways, could lead to decreased connectivity within rural areas and between rural and urban communities, impeding further economic growth,” TRIP said in a statement.
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