Highway department officials went into the session estimating the agency needed $4 billion more per year, about as much as it currently spends on new highway construction annually. To seriously dent the congestion crisis, some have said TxDOT needs about $12 billion per year. The agency is carrying about $23 billion in debt, as estimated by Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville.
Under present scenarios, TxDOT will have about $2.5 billion for new construction in 2015. Lawmakers say this isn’t enough to meet the needs of a growing state.
“It is within our means to address it; we just need to do it,” said Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.