Crossroads of the Americas:
The Trans-Texas Corridor

Texas sits at a geographical and metaphorical crossroads. With nearly 2000 miles of border with Mexico, a deep-water maritime port in Houston, and a projected population of 33 to 36 million by 2030, it finds itself with a list of complex transportation problems.

The magnitude of its challenges is staggering: an aging Interstate system and congested highways, rail networks that string through growing urban areas, and the freight ramifications of NAFTA and growing global free market.

Across Texas, a new idea is forming for transportation. Using innovative financing arrangements such as public-private partnerships and toll roads, the state is planning a potential 4000 miles of new construction. The Trans-Texas Corridor will feature an array of multi-modal options: new highways with separated right-of-ways for passengers and trucks, new track for high speed rail and freight rail, and space for telecommunications infrastructure.

The plan is not without its critics. The price tag is awe-inspiring. The public fears foreign-owned infrastructure, a supra-national government, and eminent domain. It is a plan of such sheer size and utter self-confidence that it could only be imagined in once place: Texas.


Recommended resources:

Crossroads of the Americas: The Trans-Texas Corridor: A bit of history, a look at Texas's current problems, their broad and forward-thinking solutions, and those people who disagree. Plus, we dive into the workings of the trade corridors that would use the "TTC".

Texas: The Next Fifty Years : A 12-minute video from the Texas Department of Transportation explaining the past, present, and future of Texan transportation. This film serves as an introduction for the public about Texas's transportation challenges and goals.

The NAFTA Superhighway: An article from The Nation, a good background piece that also digs into the reasons behind the fears for the Trans-Texas Corridor and conspiracy of the NAFTA Superhighway.

North American Inland Port Development: A wonderful journal article describing feasibility and preferred preferences for an inland port in Des Moines, Iowa.

(You should be able to log in with this link via the university library system. If this is not possible, the document is available via "Find it@" through the university library system. It is published in International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, yr:2004 vol:34 iss:7 pg:579.)

Everything's Bigger in Texas: Pros and Cons of the Tollway Plan: A short jounrnal article addressing the major points about tolling.

(You should be able to log in with this link via the university library system. If this is not possible, the document is available via "Find it@" through the university library system. It is published in Planning, yr:2005 vol:71 iss:5 pg:10.)

I-35 Trade Corridor Executive Summary: An early document, from 1996, about the projections for the I-35 corridor through 2025. The publication provides some pre-TTC insight as to why TxDot might have chosen some of the options they did.