North Texas transportation planners and contractors are gearing up for a big windfall from the infrastructure stimulus spending President Biden unveiled Wednesday.
Members of Congress are debating how large the spending should be, but most agree an infrastructure improvement plan of some size is necessary.
North Texas would be eligible for a large amount.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments maintains a long list of potential transportation projects.
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“It’s exciting these conversations, for not just the size of the programs, but is there an opportunity to tear down traditional silos and create a new greater vision,” NCTCOG Transportation Director Michael Morris said.
For instance, Morris said improved internet access may be considered a green transportation option that saves people from driving.
“We possibly may be talking about equal access to the internet, maybe as a transportation mode,” Morris said.
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President Biden also asked for spending on technology breakthroughs on climate issues, with a substantial portion of the money devoted to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, like Paul Quinn College in Southern Dallas.
“I’m really excited about that,” said Dallas building contractor Greg Cody. He attended a Historically Black University in North Carolina.
Today he is the owner of GCC Enterprises which teamed up with a Hispanic-owned firm Azteca on a renovation project, preparing for bigger things to come.
“It just goes to show if we pool our resources together, we can come up with something that increases our capacity,” Cody said.
The Regional Black Contractors Association of Dallas is working to promote inclusion for minority-owned businesses in this big economic stimulus plan.
“This is an opportunity to create jobs and we want to look for ways to say yes as opposed to shut people out,” RBCA President Kim Shaw said.
Among the big projects that could be in line for federal money is the complete reconstruction of the I-30 Canyon in Dallas. Deck parks are proposed to bridge the downtown segment of I-30 to the Cedars neighborhood that got cut off in the original freeway construction.
A bigger vision also removes the elevated roadway that divides downtown from Deep Ellum.
Adding technology for autonomous vehicles of the future and reconnecting neighborhoods could boost favor with the Biden Administration.
“Interstate 30 is a perfect example that I believe checks all the boxes,” Morris said.
Other examples of big transportation projects from the NCTCOG that could get a boost include:
*High Speed Rail: Dallas to Houston
*High Speed Rail: Dallas to Fort Worth
*Autonomous Transit (Tarrant, Midtown)
*Technology (Freeway Induction Loops)
*State Highway 183 (Section 2E+)
*Y Connector (IH820/IH20)
You can view the entire agenda here - https://www.nctcog.org/nctcg/media/Transportation/Committees/STTC/2021/agenda-packet-mar.pdf?ext=.pdf.
On the first page, click the link about 3/4 the way down the page that says "Electronic Item 3.1"