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TxDOT proposes turning over some state roads to local governments

By Ariana Garza, Weekend Anchor/Crime & Courts Reporter, agarza@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:38:26 AM CST
Updated On: Aug 19 2013 05:44:13 PM CDT
TxDOT Turnback Proposal
ABILENE, Texas -

Maintenance of some state roads could soon fall to local county or city governments.

The Texas Department of Transportation is proposing a highway transfer “turnback” program that would decrease costs for the state and, according to TxDOT officials, increase local control over state roads.

In the Abilene area, 25 roads could be affected by the proposal. Nearly 80 miles of roads in the City of Abilene, nearly 3 miles of roads in Taylor County and nearly 4 miles of roads in Jones County could be affected. Those roads include state highways like Highway 36 and 351.

Taylor County Judge Downing Bolls received a letter about the proposal August 13.

“Their position from the letter that I've read seems to be like they feel local travelers mostly travel on those roads and that really makes them county roads, so consequently their feeling about it is that they could reduce their costs by in turn turning those over to the county to take care of,” Bolls said.

He said Taylor County already maintains more than 600 miles of roads.

“Those are just the paved roads,” Bolls said. “So we feel like: We've got our roads thank you very much, we've got plenty to take care of here in the county.”

In the letter, TxDOT said the benefits to local jurisdictions include things like controlling speed limits, road closures and maintenance scheduling.

“We are looking at this as a possibility and will need to have more conversations with the affected communities before we can address how any possible transfers of maintenance responsibility would occur,” TxDOT Director of Media Relations Veronica Beyer said. “We have not suggested or planned to turn over every state roadway in these communities; rather, we are focused only on those that function as local streets rather than as part of the state's system to connect communities together.”

The proposal will be discussed in a TxDOT commission meeting August 29 but no action will be taken at that time.

The estimated cost for TxDOT to maintain the roads that could be affected across the state is $165,000,000.

Below is the list TxDOT provided of the 25 Abilene-area roads that could be affected:

 

Abilene

BI0020R

8.408

Abilene

City

City of Abilene

Abilene

BU0083D

10.231

Abilene

City

City of Abilene

Abilene

FM0018

2.491

Abilene

City

City of Abilene

Abilene

FM0089

3.954

Abilene

City

City of Abilene

Abilene

FM0600

8.583

Abilene

City

City of Abilene

Abilene

FM0600

0.656

Jones

County

County of Jones

Abilene

FM0707

5.978

Abilene

City

City of Abilene

Abilene

FM1082

3.943

Abilene

City

City of Abilene

Abilene

FM1082

0.246

Jones

County

County of Jones

Abilene

FM1750

5.487

Abilene

City

City of Abilene

Abilene

FM2404

0.224

Abilene

City

City of Abilene

Abilene

FM2833

7.338

Abilene

City

City of Abilene

Abilene

FM2833

1.245

Jones

County

County of Jones

Abilene

FM2833

0.949

Taylor

County

County of Taylor

Abilene

FM3034

0.501

Abilene

City

City of Abilene

Abilene

FM3034

1.713

Jones

County

County of Jones

Abilene

FM3308

0.212

Abilene

City

City of Abilene

Abilene

FM3308

1.928

Taylor

County

County of Taylor

Abilene

FM3438

5.046

Abilene

City

City of Abilene

Abilene

FM3522

2.012

Abilene

City

City of Abilene

Abilene

FS0707

0.426

Abilene

City

City of Abilene

Abilene

SH0036

5.349

Abilene

City

City of Abilene

Abilene

SH0351

3.410

Abilene

City

City of Abilene

Abilene

US0084

3.559

Abilene

City

City of Abilene

Abilene

US0277

2.559

Abilene

City

City of Abilene