From today’s Dallas Morning News.
Texas plans to begin buying nearly 200 pieces of private property along Interstate 35E north of Dallas early next year as it moves to deliver on the long-promised reconstruction of the heavily traveled route to Denton.
At nearly $5 billion, the mix of paid and free lanes would be the area’s largest highway project ever.
I hope you got that. $5 billion for a project whose core segment is 12 miles.
Now, some notes are necessary. This is a heavily traveled segment and part of our generally neglected national infrastructure. Furthermore, planners are looking toward some use of tolling to finance a large portion of the work. This is probably a necessary project, although one should question any construction that expands on an already over-built highway system. In other words, somehow this improvement will only end up making the congestion worse.
It is also worth observing that the total federal outlay for high speed rail development is a mere $10 billion. That is for the entire nation. Critics of rail improvements squawk as if roads don’t cost anybody anything.
A small fraction of the money spent on I-35 would easily fund an extended Heartland Flyer service into Kansas. All of this demands a larger vision than somebody’s front yard and a little creative thinking.
You can read the whole thing here.