The Texas Transportation Commission has approved $225 million for work to repair roads damaged as a consequence of the state’s oil and gas boom. The funding, provided by the Texas Legislature (see Shale Daily, May 30), will allow the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)to begin repairing and rehabilitating roadways damaged by heavy trucks and increased traffic. It is estimated that energy sector traffic across the state has caused $400 million in immediate roadway safety concerns, such as severe edge damage on narrow roadways, deep rutting and pavement damage. Estimates show an additional $1 billion per year is needed to restore roadways heavily impacted by energy development to “good” or “better” conditions, the commission said. “Fatalities resulting from motor vehicle crashes in Texas rose by 11% in 2012 compared to the previous year,” said TxDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson. “We are pleased that our lawmakers saw fit to fund some of these safety-focused rehabilitation and repair projects, and we hope resources that enhance safety will continue to be a priority as our energy industry thrives.” With more than 80,000 miles of highway, Texas, home of the Eagle Ford and Barnett shales as well as the Permian Basin, has the largest highway system in the nation.
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