July 6, 2008

Is the Trans-Texas Corridor I 69 issue over?

Groveton News
Coyright 2008

CORRIGAN – Is the Trans Texas Corridor-I 69 issue over? The Trinity-Neches Texas Sub-Regional Planning Commission says no, at last week’s meeting held at Corrigan City Hall. Approximately twenty-five people attended the meeting to hear the commission’s plans.

According to TNTSRPC President Bob Dockens, on June 11 the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) held a press conference and announced that the department would no longer explore building the TTC-I69 through undeveloped areas of East Texas.

During the press conference, TXDOT officials said the I-69/TTC would use existing highway facilities, which in this part of the state means U.S. 59 through Angelina, Polk and San Jacinto counties.

According to Craig Whealy, member of TNTSRPC, “The maps are still in place for the TTC-I-69 and it could resurface in five, ten or fifteen years.”

“The thing we need to do is have some conversations with politicians to get rid of the maps,” stated Whealy.

“We have sent letters to TXDOT and will be hearing from them by July 18,” said Whealy. The planning commission will meet with TX DOT and they will address the commission’s questions.

Connie Fogle, member of TNTSRPC stated, “It’s a smoke screen, this is not over. We are going to be fighting this battle for several years.”

Dockens stated that the fight is not over.

“Spread the word to your friends, we need your support,” said Dockens.

“We need each entity to get a group of questions together for the TxDOT meeting,” stated Dockens.

According to Dockens, if the I-69/59 is put in place, Hwy 59, as we know it will only be feeder roads. The new roads will be limited access toll roads.

The Trinity-Neches Texas Sub-Regional Planning Commission held their first meeting after representatives from Trinity, Groveton and Corrigan met on April 22, 2008 at Groveton City Hall.

The TNTSRPC was formed under the authority of the Texas Local Government Code Chapter 391 which allows counties and towns to “join together and cooperate to improve the health, safety and general welfare of their residents.”

Under chapter 391, state and federal governments must coordinate with local planning commissions concerning “com-mon problems of transport-ation” before building roads or other transportation facilities through their jurisdictions.

The TNTSRPC Board members are Bob Dockens– president, Corrigan Mayor Grimes Fortune– vice-president, Trinity Mayor Lyle Stubbs– secretary, Groveton Mayor Troy Jones– treasurer, Connie Fogle– member and Craig Whealy– member.

© 2008, The Groveton News News: www.easttexasnews.com

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