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TxDOT, county talk roads
Joe Ramos (standing, from left), senior director of regional services for the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG), addresses Wilson County Attorney Russell Wilson, commissioners Larry Wiley, Ricky Morales, Paul Pfeil, and Albert Gamez Jr., and County Judge Marvin Quinney Nov. 5 about AACOG’s involvement in task forces related to obtaining funding for road damage caused by increased traffic related to operations in the Eagle Ford shale play.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Wilson County Commissioners Court continue to work together to keep the county moving. Representatives from TxDOT and the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) met with the commissioners for a special meeting Nov. 5 to present their “Road Tour,” which included details of the department’s four-year plan. (See map in PDF download above.)
Jonathan Bean, director of transportation, planning, and development for TxDOT’s San Antonio District, said that increased traffic brought about by the Eagle Ford shale play has caused area thoroughfares to deteriorate at a faster rate than in the past. He said research has determined that the service life of state-maintained roadways decreases by an average of 16 percent because of traffic associated with crude oil well operations. Roads experiencing traffic due to natural gas well operations see an average of 30 percent less service life.
Joe Ramos, senior director of regional services for AACOG, said State Sen. Judith Zaffirini has initiated an Eagle Ford caucus of government officials from within the affected counties, which is aimed at voicing concerns to Gov. Rick Perry as one united front. The group is set to meet in January before the next legislative session.
Ramos also said that another group, the Eagle Ford Task Force, is set to meet Thursday, Nov. 15, in the San Antonio Petroleum Club. Topics of discussion will include work-force issues, infrastructure, water, regulations, health services and education, and more.
In addition to wear and tear on road surfaces, Eagle Ford traffic has improved the conditions for crashes. Stockdale City Manager Banks Akin asked the TxDOT representatives if a traffic light at the intersection of U.S. 87 and S.H. 123 in Stockdale was in the department’s plans. Akin said he had heard that surveys were in progress, but this has not stopped countless inquiries from residents.
“I have done everything and answered all the questions I can from my desk,” Akin said.
Bean said the surveys of that intersection are ongoing.
***In attendance: Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney, and commissioners Albert Gamez Jr., Paul Pfeil, Ricky Morales, and Larry Wiley; County Attorney Russell Wilson, Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr., and Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Sara Canady.
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