For years, Texas has been planning a privately financed super turnpike from Mexico to the Oklahoma border.
But like rush-hour traffic, the plan for a Trans-Texas Corridor is only inching along. "It ran into a firestorm of controversy in Texas,” said Neal McCaleb, a former Oklahoma transportation secretary. Critics have a wide range of concerns about the corridor, which has a key stretch that would parallel Interstate 35. (Another stretch would extend from the Texarkana/Shreveport area to Mexico.) Particularly upset are landowners who may be in the corridor's path. The Texas Transportation Department calls many concerns myths. The department says, for instance, that property owners will be paid fair market value and entire towns will not be wiped out.
How would it affect Oklahoma?Still, the critics, including former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, got the attention of Texas legislators. Last year, legislators approved a partial moratorium on private toll road deals. How the corridor — if it ever is built in Texas — would affect Oklahoma is unclear. McCaleb was a consultant for a company that was seeking to build the corridor along I-35. The company proposed extending the corridor through Oklahoma. "The Oklahoma arm never got off the ground because our proposal was not selected. And the other proposals had no provision for anything in Oklahoma,” McCaleb said.
‘There's a lot of misinformation'Oklahoma transportation officials say they have no plans to extend the corridor through Oklahoma.
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