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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 11, 2005
Contact: Nancy Singer
(202) 366-0660
FHWA 02-05

Nation's Top Highway Official Highlights Innovative Public-Private Partnership on Texas Corridor Project

During a visit to Austin, Texas, Federal Highway Administrator Mary E. Peters today focused national attention on an innovative transportation partnership that is attracting private capital to fund transportation improvements and reduce congestion in the region.

Peters joined Texas Governor Rick Perry and Ric Williamson, chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission, to announce an agreement between the state and a private consortium of engineering, construction and financial firms. The consortium, Cintra-Zachry, has proposed investing $7.2 billion to develop the approximately 600-mile, Oklahoma to Mexico portion of the Trans-Texas Corridor.

"Texas is a national example for all states and a leader in unleashing the resources, innovation and efficiency of the private sector to bring transportation improvements to the public faster and at less cost to American taxpayers," said Peters. "Public-private partnerships in transportation hold great promise in cutting the congestion that's choking our economy and keeping families apart from one another."

This section of the proposed Trans-Texas Corridor will roughly parallel Interstate 35, running north-south through the state from Oklahoma to Mexico. As envisioned, the multi-use corridor would include lanes for passenger vehicles, trucks and rail and dedicated zones for water, electric, telecommunications and other utility lines.

The FHWA has worked with TxDOT on the flexibility the state needs to pursue its partnership with the private sector.

"The Bush Administration supports giving states and local governments a bigger menu of options that they can use to keep people and goods on the move," said Peters.

Congress is now considering six-year surface transportation legislation that would fund highway, bridge and transit programs. The Bush Administration has proposed a number of provisions that would give states more opportunities to partner with the private sector and attract private investment in transportation, according to Peters.

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