Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price is expected to be the only elected representative from Texas to meet with President Donald Trump on Monday following the release of the President’s long-awaited infrastructure plan.
NBC News reported that the administration is expected to present a plan that puts $200 billion in new federal funds into the effort to rebuild the nation’s highways, bridges and other infrastructure, according to a senior administration official, who briefed reporters over the weekend on condition of anonymity: $100 billion on "incentives" to match state, local, and private investment spending on infrastructure projects and $20 billion for expanding federal loan programs that focus on various kinds of infrastructure (rail, water, transportation).
Mayor Price was invited by the White House to attend the event.
"High-growth cities need a lot of infrastructure work,” Price said. “And if we are there at the table we will have a better chance to present ourselves, and for them to understand our needs.”
Among the needs that have drawn a lot of attention in recent weeks is the effort to fund expansion of a six-mile stretch of Interstate 35W in far north Fort Worth.
A section of the North Tarrant Express Project, between US 287 on the south and Eagle Parkway on the north, is currently in development limbo since the Texas Transportation Commission declined to fund the project at its most recent meeting last month.
A portion of the planned expansion includes the addition of four managed toll lanes. The toll lanes were approved as part of the initial plan for development back in 2009.
The business community, led by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, has pushed a letter-writing campaign meant to urge Governor Greg Abbott and other state leaders to change their decision and fund the expansion of I-35W. As of late last week, more than 700 people have already followed through and written state lawmakers.
The area in question, near Alliance Airport, has long been the fastest-growing area in what is the second fastest-growing city in the United States. And new numbers from the City of Fort Worth show that the boom in growth is not expected to slow down.
As of 2017 there are an estimated 76,823 individual homes in the area of Fort Worth immediately adjoining I-35W that has been denied future funding, according to a recently-released Transportation Impact Fee Study. By 2027 it is projected that there will be 100,817 houses in that same area.
Business growth in that same stretch is also expected to continue to rise. As of 2017 there were 40,723,000 square feet of employment space along that corridor. It is projected that by 2027 that number will grow to 68,535,000 sq. ft.