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Crosby overpass delayed as roads budget tightens

CROSBY – The proposed bridge over the railroad tracks at FM 2100 has been delayed again, this time the letting date is August of 2010, according to the Texas Dept. of Transportation (TXDoT) Public Information Office.

The delay is part of the Active Funds Authorization and the Project Planning Schedule. Samuel Anabae made the announcement.

That office was unable before press time to state exactly when the decision was made, what prompted the decision or how tentative (or likely to change) the decision was. There have been two delays already, first estimates were from September of 2008, next for January of 2009. This time they are on the active status for funding.

Connecting U.S. 90 to IH-10 and IH-610 continues on schedule. Consideration for the proposed Grand Parkway to be a toll road has been put forward, so the local outlook for being able to swiftly cross from Highlands to Huffman is bleak. The delay will however help the schools avoid transportation delays and an immediate cost increase in 2009. Still on the books for proposed projects is a Southbound exit ramp at FM 2100 which was to be let in September of this year.

Another consideration for the delay may lie in the local railways themselves. The Lafayette Subdivision Phase II was built in the 1860s by Texas and New Orleans Railroad, it is now owned by Union Pacific Railroad. It is the railroad that crosses FM 2100. One TXDoT study indicates “Increased traffic capacity of the Lafayette Subdivision for current anticipated growth is essential.,” and “A second main line of tracks from Dayton to Dawes will improve mobility.” But the total plan would require $117, 000, 000. But “No public benefits were identified.”

The Overpass at FM 2100 and the railroad was to cost about $12 Million but that cost has almost certainly increased.

On October 14, Governor Rick Perry, (R.) in Austin, speaking to Associated General Contractors of Texas Equipment and Trade Show called on the legislature to address issues on transportation and infrastructure inadequacies. The Texas Governor stated that funds from the gas tax that go to the Department of Public Safety are needed for roads. He cited the funds as amounting to $1.2 Billion for every 2 years.

Perry says that the infrastructure of Texas roads is overwhelmed by more than 1000 people per day moving to the state. He indicates that the state population has grown 57% over the last two decades while roads have increased 8%. Over the next 25 years, road usage will increase 214% while road capacity will increase 6%.