Trans Tx Corridor Public Hearing

Tuesday, March 23, 2004
LaGrange, Texas

An estimated crowd of 800 filled the LaGrange hall to capacity!

An estimated 800 filled the Knights of Columbus Community Center in LaGrange Tuesday night for another Trans Texas Corridor public hearing. As the meeting time drew near a line of people waiting to sign-in stretched out the door, down the sidewalk and into the parking lot. [photos]

At least two County Judges and a half-dozen County Commissioners came to hear state transportation officials answer questions and address concerns about the Trans Texas Corridor. District 17 State Representative Robby Cook joined Transportation Commission Member John Johnson and Department of Transportation Executive Director Michael Behrens in speaking to the audience. [bio] The audience included elected city and county officials represented more than a dozen communities and four or five counties.

The sometimes angry crowd was not happy with the uncertain answers given to dozens of their questions. No timetable for construction nor the location of future corridors was provided in response to repeated requests. Confusion was generated when one official talked about the Corridor in terms of when it is built, not if it is built. While another official characterized the Corridor as only being conceptual and nothing more than a vision. Members of the audience were quick to point out that state law and the plan adopted by the Transportation Commission have put the Corridor well beyond the conceptual phase. Executive Director Behrens even referenced TxDOT's role and the process of Corridor construction and operation.

Fayetteville resident David Stall called the Corridor "Highway alchemy." He went on to add, "The Governor wants to turn your land into state gold." Stall disclosed to the group that last month, on the same day that TxDOT officials were holding a Trans Texas Corridor meetings in Bastrop and twenty-three other counties, a delegation from Spain was scheduled to hear a program titled, "Presentation of Projects: I-69 Corridor, I-10 Corridor, I-45 Corridor." He was disturbed that TxDOT was actively offering the I-10 Corridor as a potential project only days before a TxDOT official stood before the citizens and officials of Colorado County and said the I-10 corridor is "20, 30 or 40 years away." [text]

Stall told the audience that the, "grand plan adopted by the Transportation Commission is not driven by well-defined demands for transportation. It is driven by the opportunity to generate revenue." [text]

One speaker from Wahalla credited with getting the community involved. founder Linda Stall vowed that this is only the beginning and that TxDOT and state officials will hear lots more from the entire state. Additional information will continue to appear on the Internet website.

Prepared Comments by David Stall. [full text]

Letters to the editor by TxDOT Executive Director Behrens. [full text]


UPDATE: has reviewed TxDOT's sign-in sheets from the March 23, 2004 public hearing in LaGrange, Texas. Sixty-three pages list 703 participants. Since we were there and know that many participants refused or just didn't sign-in, we're still estimating 750 to 800 in attendance.






Thank you for your time and interest.


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