July 8, 2019      10:30 PM
Transportation commissioners debate role in funding process
Commissioners appear to be of two minds as the vote approaches on the 10-year Unified Transportation Program
How much power commissioners wield to override transportation
spending decisions was the topic of an hour-long discussion at the Texas
Transportation Commission’s most recent workshop session. Now the
question is: Will that discussion lead to significant changes?
A little over a decade ago, when Ric Williamson chaired the commission, there was no doubt who was
in charge. It was Williamson, who was all but a de facto executive director of the agency, pushing for toll roads
and taking direct fire from lawmakers.
Texas Monthly once dubbed Williamson the “most hated man in
Texas” as he fought to move the Trans-Texas Corridor forward. He
also argued in favor of foreign-owned toll roads. Those were the Rick Perry
days. Now toll roads, in the era of Gov. Greg
Abbott, are firmly off the table.
By Kimberly Reeves