Voters in Texas locales face decisions on roads and bridges
October 31, 2018
Voters in locales around Texas will decide next Tuesday on questions that would raise nearly $1 billion for roads and bridges via bonds and a sales tax.
Two ballot questions in Collin County would make available $750 million for roads and bridges.
The county directly north of Dallas has four highways – three of them tolled roadways.
Proposition A would authorize the seventh most populated county in the state to issue up to $600 million in bonds to pay for “for constructing, improving and maintaining nontolled, high-speed highways and freeways.” Service and frontage roads associated with a highway would also get attention.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments estimates building a freeway or tollway costs $10.4 million per lane mile to construct.
Projects expected to be funded include U.S. 380, U.S. 78, and a north-south corridor.
Proposition B would authorize the county to issue up to $140 million in bonds to pay for arterial roads and bridges.
Cities would be required to match funds provided by the county. The amount typically equates to a 50 percent funding match.
The council estimates arterial roadways cost $4 million per lane mile to construct.
In the city of Austin, voters in the state’s fourth largest city will decide on additional funds for roads and bridges.
Proposition G would authorize the city to issue up to $160 million in bonds for the planning, construction, reconstruction and improvement of roads, intersections, bridges, and urban trails.
Improvements to traffic signal synchronization and control systems, acquiring and installing traffic signals are also included in the bond allowance.
Street reconstruction would receive the biggest chunk at $66.5 million. Another $15 million would be allotted for intersection and pedestrian safety improvements. About $4.5 million would be designated for upgrades and installation of signals and technology.
Ballots in the city of Baytown, east of Houston, will include a question to continue collection of a local sales and use tax for maintenance of roads and bridges.
Proposition A would reauthorize a one-fourth cent tax for maintenance and repair of municipal streets. The tax would expire in four years, unless voters renew it once again.