AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Texas is getting tens of millions of dollars from the Biden Administration to make transportation safer and help with some supply chain issues across the state.
In total, $101.6 million will be put toward six projects, detailed in a press release from the White House.
“They’ve got to do what they can, there’s a lot of improvements to be made in a lot of different areas,” Johnathan, an active bicycylist, said.
These projects are good news for bicyclists across Texas.
The money is coming from a program called Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE).
“Our mission is to advance safety throughout the region, especially for our most vulnerable users and communities,” Principal Transportation Planner for the North Central Council of Governments Travis Liska said.
The money will be put toward fixing or building bridges, sidewalks, adding bike lanes, re-designing corridors or adding pedestrian signage.
This is all being done to try to prevent accidents and make traveling more accessible in communities that are known to be more impoverished. The funds are also expected to help with supply chain issues at ports.
“The state is growing rapidly,” Liska said. “And you just look at what we need to make sure that people can travel, it’s an astronomical amount of money. So, every little bit helps.”
These projects could take up to five years to complete, and construction isn’t expected to begin anytime soon.
Here’s a rundown of the projects, according to the release.
- Multimodal Laydown, Transportation Infrastructure Fostering Community Based Job Creation –The Port of Port Arthur Navigation District will receive $13.6 million to convert an abandoned railyard into a modern cargo storage and staging area. The project includes an approximate 25.5 acres of site stabilization and related lighting, fencing, fiber optic, stormwater management, relocation of utilities underground, and reconditioning of a two-story structure to mitigate flood risks. The project will decrease accidents by creating more space for the efficient and timely movement of goods and people. The project will reduce truck idling and emissions, improve freight mobility and multimodal transfer capabilities, improve access to jobs and local economic development, while addressing racial equity and improving transportation resiliency.
- Telephone Road: Main Street Revitalization Project – The City of Houston will receive $20.9 million to deliver approximately 2.8 miles of multimodal improvements and connect two planned community-led projects at the north and south ends, creating one continuous corridor. The project will address hazards such as faded street markings, crumbling or non-existent sidewalks and bike lanes within the roadway that has led to numerous crashes. The project will improve safety and ADA accessibility by upgrading pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure and creating additional transportation options.
- Texas Active Transportation Network – The Texas Department of Transportation will receive $25 million to complete two trails totaling approximately 50 miles, including approximately eight bridges, landscaping and trail amenities on the Northeast Texas Trail (NETT) and the Paso del Norte Trail (PDN) in the El Paso area. Upgrading eight bridges and dozens of miles of trail will provide underserved communities access to schools, jobs, recreation centers, grocery stores, and other essential services. The project will upgrade the condition of the bridges that will improve safety and promote active transportation to residents.
- Commerce Street Corridor Redesign Project – The City of Harlingen will receive $5 million for a planning project for the redesign and preliminary engineering of the Commerce Street Corridor. The project will evaluate corridor transportation needs, establish a community-supported vision for the corridor, and develop a preferred design concept and associated preliminary engineering. The project will reduce crashes and protect non-motorized travelers along the corridor. It will also incorporate stormwater management to improve resiliency against flooding. The project will increase affordable and accessible transportation options by improving non-motorized facilities The project includes broad collaboration with key stakeholders in an underserved community.
- Improved Bicycle/ Pedestrian Routes to Rail & Transit Technology Upgrades – The North Central Texas Council of Governments will receive $25 million to construct over 30 miles of sidewalk in the half-mile radius of DART’s 8th & Corinth, Morrell, Illinois, and Kiest Stations. It will also extend the Cedar Crest Trail approximately 1.5 miles, and improve transit accommodations with upgrades and safety features at nearby bus stops on DART route 217 and Blue Line light rail stations including Kiest, VA Medical Center, and Morrell Stations. The project enhancements will address safety concerns caused by inadequate or missing sidewalks, and improve the safety of pedestrians and transit riders. The project will improve transit access in a community where 17% of the population lacks access to a personal vehicle. The project is the result of collaboration between NCTCOG, the City of Dallas and DART, and has included robust public engagement processes. It includes innovative technologies such as Next Generation SMART Shelters at the stations.
- Ysleta Port of Entry Pedestrian and Site Improvements – The City of El Paso will receive $12 million for design and construction of pedestrian and related site improvements on City of El Paso-owned property, the Ysleta Port of Entry. The project will improve safety by constructing separate facilities for drop-offs and pick-ups, as well as pedestrian improvements such as designated raised crosswalks, warning signage, guardrails, canopies, and wayfinding signage. The project will reduce air pollution and emissions by supporting pedestrian infrastructure and transit bus stops. The project will help ease barriers to crossing the bridge on foot, bike, or reaching the border crossing by transit. The port of entry is the second busiest crossing in the U.S, with many people crossing between Juarez and El Paso to commute to jobs, school, shopping, and family. This project is a result of collaboration between the El Paso Bridges steering committee, which is comprised of 20 government agencies, non-profits, businesses, and other stakeholders both in the U.S. and Mexico