Might just be a funny news coincidence, except for the fact that both these articles have a TxDOT AND Brazos County tie. First, on Chet Edwards.
A project that could ease local road congestion may be in store for an economic boost.
U.S. Representative Chet Edwards announced he has secured $600,000 for the Brazos Valley Transportation Management Center. The center is a partnership between Bryan, College Station, Brazos County and the Texas Transportation Institute to study ways to reduce road congestion and plan for future growth in the area.
"Reducing congestion is a safety, quality of life, and economic development issue in Brazos County, and I am thrilled my request for important transportation investments was approved," said Edwards. "I want to commend local leaders in Brazos County for requesting support for this important project.”
The $600,000 will help complete the project when added to the $400,000 Edwards secured in 2005.
Officials say the Brazos Valley Transportation Management Center could become a national model for easing congestion in communities similar in size to Bryan -College Station.
Then, there was THIS article. Brazos County Officials Officially Want Trans Texas Corridor
The possible addition of two superhighways to Brazos County has local officials wanting inclusion in a state study.
The Bryan-College Station Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee is joining both cities and the county to encourage the Texas Department of Transportation to include Brazos County in a proposed feasibility study of the Trans Texas Corridor 69 highway.
TxDot approved $2 million dollars to conduct the study. Currently, Brazos County is not included in the study's target area. At Wednesday's MPO meeting a formal resolution was read stating Brazos County officials' desire for that to change.
MPO's chairman, Charles Sippial said the county's inclusion could provide an easier avenue into BCS and the county, by way of the proposed Interstate 14 project, should it be built.
"What an interstate provides is ease of accessibility of the university to other places within the state and outside of the state," Sippial said.
Um. It's a friggin TOLL road.
The TTC-69, is a part of the total Trans Texas Corridor, would link Mexico to Canada. Interstate 14 is a proposed highway from Austin to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina that will run into the TTC-69 and already existing interstates.
The proposal has drawn strong opposition from several area counties including Grimes, Waller, Washington and Robertson.
Wonder what Chet Edward's official position on the Trans Texas Corridor is?
As far as reading how the Brazos Valley bigwigs think about the TTC, here's a TxDOT meeting from 2004.
MR. HAPP: Thank you, Judge. I am John Happ; I serve on the city council for the City of College Station; I am the council's chairman of the Transportation Committee; I'm the director of Easterwood Airport, Texas A&M University's Airport; and I'm vice-chair of the Texas High Speed Rail and Transportation Corporation.
The judge has just mentioned that our area has both urban and rural infrastructure needs, and this is truly amazing considering the significant investment that the state has in Texas A&M University. It is no secret that A&M is the economic engine that drives our local economy, but it needs to be noted that A&M contributes significantly to the economy of the state. In addition to being a Sea and Space Grant university, the 127-year-old institution is the oldest land grant university in the state of Texas. Combined, Texas A&M University and Blinn College serve more than 55,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the majority of whom have a permanent address outside of the Brazos Valley region.
Please note that while A&M ranks among the nation's largest universities, it is unique that it is not directly located on a four-lane interstate highway. There are well over 13,000 faculty and staff working at Texas A&M and Blinn College. Many of the faculty and staff live in counties within the region and use the highways and the city streets to travel to and from work on a daily basis. A&M also has the largest economic development impact which amounts to several billion dollars for the region and the state.
Texas A&M President Robert Gates has recently announced a faculty reinvestment plan that will add 447 new faculty positions over the next five years. Those new faculty positions will also result in additional staff requirements and graduate student activity.
In addition, athletic events, cultural and educational programs, academic conferences and activities at both the Association of Former Students and Bush Presidential Library complexes bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to the community every year, including heads of state and other dignitaries. It is important that they have efficient and safe access. These visitors depend upon access to all modes of transportation.
Entities like the Bryan-College Station Visitors Bureau rely on mobility for their success. The reality is that our accessibility truly defines who we are. The Brazos Valley is a world class region, home to a world class university and research institution with less than world class access. The many entities gathered here today have joined forces to help solve this problem.
With the success of A&M, the Brazos Valley continues to prosper and develop and experience both economic and population growth. With prosperity, the need to move an increasingly large number of people and goods becomes even more important. The region is coordinating efforts to address transportation issues by working with the Bryan-College Station MPO, the Brazos Valley Council of Governments, the Bryan TxDOT District, and by considering other tools and techniques such as discussing the possibility of toll roads and the possible creation of a regional mobility authority...
MR. CAMPBELL: Well, I'll start with some scenarios because we've been looking at option scenarios exhaustively, so that's probably the easiest for me to start with. The kind of situation that would occur where we might make use of an option, they're always going to be very project-specific, very locations-specific, so I would never anticipate some sort of across-the-board application of options.
But say we have a project that is out there, a Trans-Texas Corridor type project that is still considering several different alignments. We can look at the nature of use of property today, a good example would be property that's maybe an agricultural use and it might be bringing in $1,000 an acre versus the value that property will have in reality and in the impressions of the public as those alignments are more specifically determined. Even though it's officially not supposed to be taken into consideration, project impact does affect the cost of property along the routes, and that's where an option can be a useful tool.
Go read the whole thing. It's pretty obvious the Brazos Valley govt has been drooling over being part of the TTC. So, if you live around there, and thought you were SAFE from Governor 39 percent's machinations, wake up!