Page Options
Up Arrow
March 24, 2010 Workshop Meeting Transcript

Texas Department of Transportation Commission Meeting

Ric Williamson Hearing Room
Dewitt Greer Building
125 East 11th Street
Austin, Texas 78701-2483

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Ted Houghton, Jr., Acting Chair
Ned S. Holmes
Fred Underwood
William Meadows


Amadeo Saenz, Executive Director
Steve Simmons, Deputy Executive Director
Bob Jackson, General Counsel
Roger Polson, Executive Assistant to the
Deputy Executive Director


MR. HOUGHTON: Good afternoon to all. It is 1:32 p.m. Central Daylight Time. Note for the record that public notice of this meeting, containing all items on the agenda, were filed with the Office of the Secretary of State at 11:42 a.m. on March 16, 2010.

Before we begin, as customary, would you turn your pager, phone, personal communication devices off or in the silent mode.

Today's meeting will involve a series of discussions on various topics currently before the department and the commission. We'll accept public comment that is relevant to the posted agenda items but we will not have an open comment period. To comment on an agenda item, please complete a yellow speaker card and identify the agenda item on which you would like to speak. You can find these cards at the registration table in the lobby. We will limit each speaker to three minutes, unless you're, as former Chair Ric Williamson would say, a member of the legislature and you can have all the time in the world. So if you're here today, so it would be noted.

Before we begin on the agenda today and before I turn to my fellow commissioners for opening remarks, I would like to note that the reason I am sitting here as chair today is due to the arrival of 6 pound, 13 ounce Catherine Lise Cate Delisi, last Tuesday. Chair Delisi is reported doing fine, and as she just texted me, she said, I will be watching.

(General laughter.)

MR. HOUGHTON: She can't get too far away. So I'm certain, as it says in my notes, that she will probably be streaming live on the internet. We congratulate Deirdre, Ted and Cate and look forward to having Deirdre back here very soon.

Now, do any of the commissioners have any comments or questions before I turn it over to Amadeo?

MR. MEADOWS: I would just join you in your congratulations to the Delisis, and also say that I am comforted by the fact that she, in fact, is watching you.

MR. HOLMES: Watch carefully, very carefully.

MR. HOUGHTON: Don't say it Fred.

(General laughter.)

MR. HOUGHTON: Any other comments? No.

Amadeo, it's all yours.

MR. SAENZ: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The first item on today's agenda is a report from Grant Thornton giving you an update on the status of the ongoing organizational and management review. George Ebert, director of our Human Resource Division and our point of contact with Grant Thornton, will start off this agenda item.

MR. EBERT: Commissioner Houghton, commissioners, Mr. Saenz. For the record, I'm George Ebert, director of Human Resources for TxDOT and the department's liaison with Grant Thornton for the management and organizational review.

At our last workshop, we discussed the desire to have the final review presented at the May commission meeting in order to take advantage of the streaming video capabilities here in Austin. At your direction, we've been working with Grant Thornton to negotiate the cost of changing the deliverable date to May 27. We have done that and arranged to have a portion of the Grant Thornton team available to answer questions and to handle any briefings through the end of May.

Beyond the May time frame, there was also interest expressed in having Grant Thornton available on call to handle any questions or briefings that might come up after the delivery of the final report. We've made those arrangements as well, and arranged for a series of placeholder hours that will be used during June to August, but only at the specific commissioner direction. This will involve two members of the Grant Thornton team who will be available to us should we need them.

Unless directed otherwise, then we'll move forward to execute the contract modification that extends the milestone out to May 27 for the report delivery and allows for on-call support through the end of August.

Do you have any questions for me?

MR. HOUGHTON: Questions, fellow commissioners? Ned?

MR. HOLMES: No. I think that's fine.

MR. EBERT: Okay. In that case, I'd like to introduce Anna Danegger, director of State and Local Government Practice for Grant Thornton, who will give you your monthly update on the project status.

MS. DANEGGER: Thank you. Good afternoon, commissioners, Mr. Saenz. For the record, my name is Anna Danegger and I'm representing Grant Thornton today, and I'm pleased to give you an update on our status with the project.

We continue to make progress toward our tasks as directed, which include making recommendations around TxDOT's organizational structure and staffing, focusing on the management levels of the organization, making recommendations to further transparency, accountability and communications, making recommendations to further efficiency via a diagnostic review of the following business processes or functional areas. Those include: accounting operations, communications, human resources, information technology as it supports the rest of TxDOT, planning, designing, building, and note that the plan, design and build activities are a review of the functional area and not the engineering tasks that are included in those; and finally, contracting or procurement and purchasing.

In addition, we're reviewing TxDOT's use of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, or DBE, and Historically Underutilized Business, or HUB, programs. And finally, we're conducting a compensation study reviewing 38 representative positions in TxDOT.

As part of out data gathering and analysis efforts, we have been requesting and reviewing government-furnished, requesting and conducting meetings with individuals and groups of TxDOT personnel and with members of the House and Senate Transportation Committees, and the new Select Committee on Transportation Funding, and requesting and conducting interviews with approximately a dozen HUB and DBE organizations and/or businesses.

We'll look forward to presenting our final report and its associated recommendations to you at the May 27 commission meeting here in Austin. That concludes my presentation. I'm happy to take any questions if you have them.

MR. HOLMES: Anna, you said that you had had a process by which you had contacted or invited contact and information from TxDOT staff. Is that right?

MS. DANEGGER: That's correct. That was in the, I suppose, mid winter time period. We had a survey that went out to 100 percent of TxDOT staff. That was just in advance of DMV staff formally breaking off so it did not go to the staff that were DMV folks, but it did go to all of the staff that continued to be TxDOT employees, and we had a better than 50 percent response rate on that survey..

MR. HOLMES: That wasn't just the second floor, that was the entire universe of TxDOT employees?

MS. DANEGGER: Correct.

MR. HOLMES: That's nearly a unique level of response, isn't it?

MS. DANEGGER: That's correct, it's very unusual to get that kind of response rate; you would not expect that going into a survey.

MR. HOLMES: So literally that's thousands of individuals responding?

MS. DANEGGER: That's correct. We received responses through a web-based survey. It was in excess of 5,000 responses, and I apologize, I don't have the number off the top of my head.

MR. HOLMES: Nearly 7,000?

MR. MEADOWS: 6,900.

MS. DANEGGER: Thank you, your memory is much better than mine, 6,900 respondents, and we received most of those through a web-based survey that provided the opportunity for employees also to provide what we call free response or to provide their written comments in addition to their responses to the questions that they were asked.

In addition, we had responses come in in paper copy that were sent directly to Grant Thornton and those included, for folks in the field that did not have internet access at their work stations, those included responses to our questions and also a free response.

MR. HOLMES: Well, I'm very encouraged by the interest in the TxDOT staff and I'm interested in the May meeting and receiving your report.

MS. DANEGGER: Thank you.

MR. HOUGHTON: Any other comments? None? Anna, thank you.

MR. UNDERWOOD: One quick thought on this. By these comments that you received, whether they're from the legislature or our staff, this helped guide the direction that you're going in this study. Isn't that correct?

MS. DANEGGER: That's correct. The way that our methodology for this study started was to get information from a very wide range of sources, so that included external stakeholders, it included senior staff here at TxDOT and it included really all TxDOT staff because as we've discussed, we had a greater than 50 percent response rate to our survey, and over half of those who responded to the survey also provided comments in that free response. So they gave us sort of more than what we were asking for in providing their comments about what was working, what wasn't working, and what were important areas of focus here in TxDOT.

All of that information-gathering at the outset of the study was used to really tell us what we needed to be looking at, what were the questions we needed to be asking, of whom did we need to ask those questions, and we guide the next stage of our study as we were looking at those initial seven process areas and also organizational design.

MR. UNDERWOOD: So the bottom line is that thanks to the input from the stakeholders or the legislature or the TxDOT employees, that's what really is guiding your direction. And I say that for the public to understand that there's a lot of rumors out there of all kinds of things, it's being driven not by some arbitrary up here but actually being driven by actual thoughts by individuals that are actually involved in the processes. Isn't that correct?

MS. DANEGGER: That's correct, involved in the process, both inside and outside of the organization, absolutely.

MR. UNDERWOOD: Thank you.

MR. HOUGHTON: Well, Anna, at the same time, to dovetail into Fred's comments, is it's also best practices that you, from your experience at Grant Thornton, have reviewed organizations across the country whether it be the private sector or the public sector.

MS. DANEGGER: In terms of how we're forming our recommendations?

MR. HOUGHTON: In terms of best practices.

MS. DANEGGER: Yes, absolutely. We started with input from all sorts of folks, over 200 interviews and over 6,900 survey responses, and that sort of told us the direction that we needed to go in terms of questions and next steps. And then we did a lot more research on top of that, both in looking at TxDOT information on how things are, in fact, happening here, what's the data that tells us that, and also in looking at other DOTs and other organizations to provide best practices, exactly.

MR. HOUGHTON: Any other questions?

MR. UNDERWOOD: Just want to make sure I understand, let me see if I can say this properly or whatnot, but this is being driven by the comments that you received. Isn't that correct?

MS. DANEGGER: That's correct.

MR. UNDERWOOD: And then as our interim chair -- I like to call you that now --

MR. HOUGHTON: Just call me chair, Fred.

MR. UNDERWOOD: Yes, sir, I'll call you chair since the chair -- I apologize. I know you're watching.

(General laughter.)

MR. UNDERWOOD: So with this input it helped you go in that direction, and then say Ted says, you'll go ask with best practices that you've been able to glean from other organizations and what you've seen from other departments of transportation to be able to come up with the solution to fine tune this organization.

MS. DANEGGER: Correct.

MR. UNDERWOOD: Thank you.

MR. HOUGHTON: Thank you, Anna. Any other questions? None? Thank you.

MR. SAENZ: Thank you, Anna; thank you, George.

Commission, agenda item number 2, Brian Ragland will come up and give us an update on the implementation or the recommendations in the State Auditor's Office Cash Financial Forecasting and Fund Allocation Audit, and I believe we're reached a milestone that we've completed all the recommendations.

MR. RAGLAND: Yes. Thank you, Amadeo, commissioners. For the record, I'm Brian Ragland, director of the Finance Division. I'm here today to update you on the progress of our implementation of the State Auditor's Office Cash Financial Forecasting and Fund Allocation Audit. That audit, as you know, was conducted in the fall of 2008, and we received some 16 or 17, I believe it was 17, recommendations from the State Auditor, and I'm here today to update you on three of those that have changed since my last report to you.

Item number 6 asked us to develop and implement policies and procedures for our cash forecasting system. We did that in coordination with the Texas Transportation Institute, and we just recently completed those and have published those to the Finance Divisions internet website. Obviously, we will continue to update that set of procedures as the cash forecasting system gets updated.

Item number 9 asked us to complete an annual reconciliation of the cash forecasting system with the Comptroller's Office in a timely manner. Part of that timely manner was put in there because it appeared that we were not doing that. We were able to point out that we didn't actually receive the cash report until many months after the end of that fiscal year, but nonetheless, we did agree with their recommendation, so the update here is that we've completed that process for both 2008 and 2009 and will continue to do so in the future.

And then finally, item number 14(a), the recommendation was to continue our efforts to implement the recommendations related to the funding gap which included the development and implementation of a process to implement the recommendations of the 2030 Committee. As you know, the 2030 Committee presented its final report in February of 2009, and the department has been using this report as a key reference document for our long-range transportation planning efforts and our funding efforts, and we have put to use or will be putting to use the 2030 Committee report in the development of future Texas Transportation Plans, and the next one is scheduled for collaborative development in the summer of 2010 and your final adoption in the fall.

And so that's all I have on those three items. As Amadeo mentioned, we believe the recommendations to be fully implemented at this point so this is the last time I'll be updating you on this unless you wish me to do so in the future. Any questions?

MR. HOUGHTON: Questions? None? Brian, thank you.

MR. RAGLAND: You're welcome.

MR. SAENZ: Thank you, Brian.

Commission, agenda item number 3 deals with planning activities and we're going to have three different reports in this area, but before we start, I'd like to cover a couple of little minor things. Of course, planning is one of our primary functions, the planning of the transportation system, the planning of the multimodal transportation system, and it goes hand in hand, as we do planning, we do it in cooperation with a lot of public involvement, both at just the public level, the partnership level, and such and so forth.

Sunset recognized that the planning and public involvement areas were very important, and so we've got a lot of planning efforts going on today. We're going to hear about three of the planning efforts, the statewide, the long-range transportation plan. We're going to hear about a Rail Plan that's being developed. We've been talking about the Strategic Plan. Tomorrow there's an agenda item where you all will be asked to approve the aviation plan, and it's going to be very important as we go out there and talk to the public that we show how all of these pieces tie together.

And we kind of show it maybe it's like a train where the key and overarching plan is the statewide long-range transportation plan. It's a 25-year document, it has the transportation goals for a multimodal system, it has the transportation policy, it identifies the needs. We talked about earlier in what Brian said, the 2030 Committee was one of the plans that we used to come up with the needs. Of course, then as you have, it also includes within this Statewide Transportation Plan the other plans: one of them being the Rail Plan that we'll hear about in a few minutes, the Aviation Plan for tomorrow, the development of the UTP that we'll be discussing tomorrow.

So all of these, as we've gone out and we talked to the public, I've asked staff to make sure that we present and be very open to the public of how this whole planning umbrella really works and on what part of the plan and how they tie together so that you kind of eliminate confusion, and so we're moving forward with that so every one of those plans. As we present to the public, we will ask them to give us comments and tell them what part of the planning process we're working on, and if they do want to give us comments on other portions of the planning effort, we can pick those up and also pass them on to our other staff.

So today we'll hear first about the Strategic Plan. Of course, we started with the Strategic Plan a few months ago and we kind of looked at the Strategic Plan and we identified our goals, and those same goals are going to be the goals that are in the Statewide Plan, except that you'll have a higher measure, a higher standard, and there may be some additional goals. The Strategic Plan is our short-term vision of how much of those goals we want to accomplish. Mary Meyland will present that and then, of course, we'll have a presentation on the Rail Plan, and finally, we'll have a presentation on the statewide long-range transportation plan.

So with that, I'm going to let Mary take over. As I mentioned, we're going to make sure, as we go out that we explain to the public how all of this ties together to hopefully avoid confusion and they can see that we do have a coordinated process instead of a very fractured process. So Mary, I'll turn it over to you all.

MS. MEYLAND: Thank you very much, Amadeo. Good afternoon. I'm Mary Meyland, your director of Strategic Policy and Performance Management Division office. It's our pleasure to be back again with you. We started this process September of last year, introducing you to the Strategic Plan and our need to update it. We're kind of rolling in two venues now. We're looking at a public version and what's going to be required as we submit our budget for the legislative appropriations process later this summer. So we're going to take a few minutes here and kind of bring you up to date on what we've done to date.

We did have an opportunity to meet with our executive administration in March, earlier this month, and we've come through with some recommendations that Dr. Neumann is going to come and bring forward to you for further consideration and your endorsement, particularly regarding some issues that Chair Delisi made us aware of that you were interested in maybe looking at setting the goals in some priority emphasis and also looking at those specific performance measures that we will use as we move forward in our work program development that will help describe what success for the department looks like and then finally which we won't have at this junction but we will later on this year, look at the actual targets and/or benchmarks that we'd like to use for this agency to move forward.

Before I go into the actual presentation of the Strategic Plan, I will remind you that last month I came before you and showed you the first Tracker page which was our report card, so to speak. We are going live with that website on Friday, so you will see the new performance measures for the public out on Friday and we're very excited to finally bring that to fruition for you.

So moving forward, I think there's a presentation in your binder that you can refer to and then there's a document that goes into more detail regarding the goals and the performance measures we're going to talk to you about this afternoon.

What we proposed to achieve with this presentation is one, kind of recap where we've been with the Strategic Plan and where we are hoping to go with both the public version, and here we go talking about different versions of plans again, and the Legislative Budget Board and our Strategic Plan that is required by law; and the second part is what Dr. Neumann is going to do for us and talk about the specific performance measures by goal and get your endorsement and approval for us to continue to move forward with the document preparation.

I've integrated this slide to kind of give you an overview of why we're pushing forward with a public Strategic Plan. In the past we have had a public view of the Strategic Plan, and basically they're one and the same. The public Strategic Plan is that short-range policy plan that Amadeo spoke of, it basically guides our four- or five-year work program, it says this is what we want to focus on as an agency, moving forward in these initiative and these goal areas, and we hope to accomplish these targets within this next five-year framework. As Amadeo mentioned, the goals that are in this public Strategic Plan have been put out to the public, been vetted out, and will go again as we put the plan out for final review, probably in May, based on your approval, and then we hope to take these goal sets and push them into the longer range Strategic Plan which is going to be the Statewide Transportation Plan.

And in addition, the public Strategic Plan becomes the basis for the LAR or the Legislative Strategic Plan, so nothing is lost; it just becomes a metamorphosis to basically accomplish two things on the legislative side, and that is to put the performance measures into our biennial budget process and to get the performance measures approved through that legislative appropriations process.

We do realize that it will take several legislative sessions, more than likely, to drive these two documents together because we already have an extensive set of performance measures and goals that are already existing in the LAR process and the LBB process, but we would like to desirably push them together so that the same measures are being used, not only for our budgetary processes, but for our performance measurements as we move forward.

And Amadeo, did you want to mention more about that process?

MR. SAENZ: Right. Of course, with respect to the Legislative Appropriations Request, James presented to you all in December at a discussion item kind of some of the areas that we were beginning to look at as we have to develop our Legislative Appropriations Request that's due by July, and we've got a timeline and a schedule moving forward, starting next month, where we're presenting to come back and get from the commission feedback with respect to do you want the Legislative Appropriations Request to be based on needs or just what's been done not in this last session but prior sessions that's just based on the amount of money available say through the Transportation Fund, and then what other key areas we're going to go through and make a recommendation on riders that exist in our Appropriations Bill this biennium, whether we think that they should remain or be changed or modified.

We're going to come back and present those to you in April so that we can then start putting together the LAR to reach an ultimate goal of getting it approved by our June meeting so that we can present it and submit it to the LBB by July. And of course, part of the LAR submittal is the requirement of submitting this LAR strategic plan that is a completely different format, it is more of a budgeted format. So that's kind of the path forward.

I've asked James to go back and refresh the December presentation and identify those areas and send you individual memorandums to see if we can get some feedback on some of the answers that he needed to start that LAR process, and you'll be getting something from us in the next week or so on that so that we can kind of start the process, and the next few months is going to start getting ready to prepare our Legislative Appropriations Request, finalizing Strategic Plans to get us ready for next legislative session.

MS. MEYLAND: I think it's important to realize that obviously we have evolved from the goals and the performance measures that are currently in the law and the bill pattern and we're hoping to, I believe at Amadeo's request, kind of parallel the existing measures and kind of dovetail in the ones that we were hoping to propose for this first go-round and then maybe modify them as time allows.

MR. SAENZ: We already have some performance measures in the current LAR, in the current appropriations bill. We've added more because we want to be able to get a more clear picture. I think in time we'll be able to work with LBB and the legislature to incorporate or enhance those into the LAR so that the whole world gets to see this clear picture.

In the meantime, we're still going to be presenting all the performance measures on our website so that the public can see how the department is doing and we can have a transparent process and show them this is how we're spending your money and this is what we're giving you for that money.

MS. MEYLAND: Thank you.

Moving forward, to recap our development program, we started discussion with you in August of last year, we introduced Dr. Neumann in September where he started presenting to you what was the objectives behind the Strategic Plan. We've spent a couple of months trying to formulate those goals and drive forward, with assistance from members of the administration as well as subject matter experts in the field.

Right now we're at the juncture in March where we're actually promoting the performance measures that are coming forward to you and we're hoping to get your endorsement to move forward with a draft of the document that we will present to you next month.

And with that, I'm going to turn it over to Dr. Lance Neumann, he's the president of Cambridge Systematics, and he will present the remainder of our presentation.

DR. NEUMANN: Thank you, Mary. Commissioners and Mr. Saenz, nice to be with you again. For the record, I'm Lance Neumann from Cambridge Systematics.

As Mary said, what I really want to do is walk you through the goal statements that I worked with you on back in the fall in a workshop when were down here in front of the dais, and now we've added to those goal statements a set of objectives that we've also talked about and some example performance measures, I think, also were presented to you by Mary as we went through this process.

And today, primarily what to do is walk through each of those goal statements and give you the recommended measures that we're suggesting we attach to each of these goal statements, very much for your reaction and comment. And as always, when I've spoken with you, we recognize that this is your Strategic Plan and the department's Strategic Plan, we want your guidance, we want your direction and we want you to be comfortable that we're capturing the issues that you feel are most important.

Just a word on the performance measures, as the department thought about the appropriate performance measures, a couple of guidelines that we kept in mind. First, these are high level strategic performance measures, so we're talking about what's the department truying to accomplish at the highest, most strategic level. We want each of these measures, to the maximum extent possible, to be very clear, simple, easy to interpret, recognizing that the audience for these measures is not just the department and technical folks and engineers but very much the external partners, the legislature, the commission, the general public.

To the maximum extent possible, and Mary and Amadeo mentioned this as well, we wanted to try and make the proposed measures as consistent as possible with the measures that are now in the Legislative Budget Board process, but we also recognize that we really wanted to go beyond some of those measures in terms of capturing key issues.

And then finally, we recognized and we reminded staff in the department who worked on this exercise that these aren't the only measures that TxDOT is going to deal with, that at different levels of the department, a whole series of tactical and very operational and important measures are also tracked and measured, so the department has a lot of data, they measure a lot of performance indicators, those are all important, they need to be consistent with these high level measures, but we're focusing on the highest, most strategic level measures, and that's really the purpose of this exercise and this plan.

In terms of just to remind us of the goals statements that really the commission established back in the fall, the executive administration, as they went through the most recent workshop with staff defining measures, also put these goal statements in an order that reflects the department's recommendation on relative priorities of these goals, and let me just run through them in their order and I would love to get some reaction from you as to whether this order makes sense to you, and I'll say that.

And I'll make a qualifying statement at the start. I've talked with a number of you individually about the whole issue of relative priorities and you've made it very clear that while that's an important issue. It's not just relative priorities but it's also what are we trying to accomplish with each of these goals and it's not just that safety may be a very important goal but it's also what are we actually going to really try to accomplish with safety relative to these other goals. So it's not only the order but the actual results we're going to try to derive that ultimately are important.

The order, though, that the executives are suggesting is first, the first goal that you established as well, develop an organizational structure and strategies designed to address the future multimodal transportation needs of Texas. This goal was all about re-establishing trust and credibility for the department, thinking very hard about proactive working with partners, becoming very performance-driven and much more accountable and transparent. So it was very much an over-arching goal that certainly in my discussions with the commission, a lot of you, if not all of you, suggested if we don't accomplish this goal, it's going to be hard to accomplish progress on some of these other goals.

So the department clearly is viewing this as the most important goal, relatively, and then the safety related goal, the preservation of the existing system, congestion relief, enhancing system connectivity, and then the final goal, proactive providing information on financial options was the order they are suggesting.

So let me just pause there and see if there are reactions/comments on that.

MR. HOUGHTON: Go ahead.

DR. NEUMANN: Moving right along.

What I'd like to do now is go through, goal by goal, and give you a brief description of the proposed performance measures that the department and the executive administration is suggesting that we attach to each of these goals. I'll identify which of these goals are already in the existing LBB process, and which, therefore, would be additional performance measures that we're suggesting.

So goal number one, developing the overall organizational structure and strategies designed to address the future multimodal needs of the State of Texas. The proposed measures are: percentage of construction projects completed on time and on budget, both of those measures are in the LBB process now; the percentage of design projects completed on time, on budget, the on-time design project completion measure is in the LBB process, the budget measure is not; percentage of funds available for projects that include more than one mode of transportation, number of projects let to construction with more than one mode of transportation.

The notion here is, again, responding to some clear guidance from the commission that to the maximum extent possible, the measures reflect multimodal objectives consistent, of course, with the department's multimodal responsibilities. The notion here is that there are some funds that the department gets that are restricted in terms of how they can be used, but there are other funding sources that there is some flexibility and let's track, for those portions of funds for which there is flexibility with respect to modal use, how broadly we're using those funds for different modes.

Next measure, overall customer satisfaction rate. The implication here is the department is suggesting a periodic survey of the public in Texas to get a sense of reaction to the department's efforts.

Employee retention rate very much came out of discussions again with the commission concerned about the department as a whole making sure we attract and keep highly qualified staff to drive the mission of the department moving into the future.

And then the final measure is really move of an activity measure but that on an annual basis the department will do a comprehensive assessment of performance across all of the goal areas, across all of the performance measures, look for areas for performance improvement, and share that, of course, with the commission and the public.

MR. HOUGHTON: We have a question.


MR. HOLMES: Help me with how you would measure customer satisfaction.

DR. NEUMANN: I think the notion is to do a public opinion survey, so to craft a survey, periodically survey the general public on different aspects of TxDOT performance. And there are state DOTs around the country that do that on a periodic basis and you do get some challenges when you ask the general public about different aspects of the transportation system, the extent to which they perceive it being TxDOT's responsibility versus a county responsibility versus a city responsibility isn't always clear, but there are some questions and some value that's come out of that survey, so that's the notion.

MR. HOUGHTON: You just hit on a point. How do you do that, I'm driving down a street in El Paso, Texas, no one knows if it's a city street, county street or a state highway.

DR. NEUMANN: Again, I think you have to, as you craft the questions for this survey --

MR. HOUGHTON: It's thrown into one barrel from a driving public's view.

DR. NEUMANN: Depending on how you define the questions, you can get that problem, so I think there are ways to design the survey to focus on some responsibilities that clearly are TxDOT, some of these questions may get some reactions that are not just directed at TxDOT. But there are examples of these surveys out that we can share and show you how other states have gone about this.

A, and I'm pointing out that issue just to acknowledge that you have to be careful how you craft the questions and what the survey is about. But that's the notion, to go out to the public with a set of questions that are designed to try and get some gauge of how the public perceives TxDOT.

MR. HOUGHTON: Let me ask, Amadeo or any staff member that can grab onto this question, out of the dollars that we receive, what percentage is not dedicated to concrete and asphalt?

MR. SAENZ: Is James here?

MR. HOUGHTON: Where's James? Is James watching on the internet? Let's see how fast he can get down here.

MR. SAENZ: Or send a text.

MR. HOUGHTON: Or send a text. But we can hold that in abeyance

MS. MEYLAND: While we're waiting for James, though, to further elaborate on the customer satisfaction issue, we propose that we'll put together a whole program of customer capability for interaction. We already have quite an extensive customer base from our travel centers as well as our motor carrier permitting centers which we would use as a base. We've learned from Missouri about road rallies and we're working with TTI to formulate a plan where we'd actually go out with the public in different regions of the state and get their impressions on our roadway infrastructure and what they perceive to be a good, bad or better pavement, things like of that sort. So we have a whole range of opportunities other than just polling and customer surveys that we typically do on the internet to try to get these types of responses back.

And there's James.

MR. MEADOWS: I'd just mention that what Mary is talking about is probably a little skewed in terms of the customer base. I know municipal governments, I know Fort Worth when I was involved with the city, we did an annual polling which was a citizen satisfaction focused on an array of city services and it really is very helpful and I think it can be measured scientifically pretty accurately. And I think if you were to do it, again, scientifically, and engage the right people to do your polling, you'd have a pretty good sense of what people's reaction and their sentiment would be with regard to our delivery of services, and I think it would be very helpful, I really do. I think it's used pretty regularly and used with good effect.

MR. HOUGHTON: Where did James go?

MR. MEADOWS: He ran.

DR. NEUMANN: Seven percent.

MR. HOUGHTON: Is it 7 percent is the number?

MR. SAENZ: We thought you were James.

(General laughter.)

MR. HOUGHTON: When you talk about multimodal, a very small piece of the dollars can be used outside concrete and asphalt.

MR. SAENZ: What we looked at and we kind of discussed a little bit is there are some funds, for example, the RTR money up in the Metroplex, and that money is flexible to allow for multimodal solutions, and they've taken that initiative. So that could be a measure in areas of the money that's available, how much of it is being used and then maybe what results are we seeing. You'll see something on the reduce congestion element, and then once you have that, the second measure would be once you identify that program, how fast are you turning it around, how fast are you getting it implemented so that we can see how efficient we're working?

So those were two of the measures we kind of looked at multimodal. It is going to be challenging because we do have very limited resources, but it's something that we can start looking at.

MR. SIMMONS: For the record, Steve Simmons, deputy executive director. The question that Mr. Houghton is asking about the multimodal, I'm actually the one that's been kind of pushing this idea of dollars or projects and stuff like that, because our performance measure is talking about being a multimodal transportation organization but we never report on how we're doing, so the idea is to look at the funds that could be available, not the whole pot because then the percentage that we would be spending would be very small because it's pigeonholed to highways and things like that. But things like the Texas Mobility Fund could have been used for other modes of transportation.

MR. HOUGHTON: Operative word: could have.

MR. SIMMONS: Could have, that's right.

MR. HOUGHTON: But too late.

MR. SIMMONS: Exactly, but there are other things like some of the STP MM funds and things like that that could have a multimodal use for them, and it's just a performance measure of are we thinking multimodal or are we just thinking modally or single modally. And so that was the idea behind it was to just look at the amount of available funds and how much did we use towards multimodal.

MR. HOUGHTON: Okay, James, what was the number, 8 percent or 7?

MR. BASS: For the record, I'm James Bass, chief financial officer at TxDOT. The answer is 8 percent. Now what's the question?

(General laughter.)

MR. BASS: I understood the question to be what percentage of our money that we received is not dedicated for highway purposes, and of the revenue to the State Highway Fund. I'll give you a technical answer and then a little more flavor to it, roughly 8 percent of the revenue we receive is not dedicated by the constitution for highway purposes, and that's revenue to the State Highway Fund.

MR. HOUGHTON: In real dollars, what does that mean?

MR. BASS: It's around $325 million a year. Now, out of that $325 million a year that is not strictly dedicated by the constitution, roughly $150- of it is participation in highway projects from cities and counties that they provide 10 percent of right-of-way acquisition or 10 percent of the construction. That is not dedicated or limited by the constitution but it's certainly limited by our agreement with them. So if you take that off, you roughly end up with, ballpark figures here, $150 million of revenue into the State Highway Fund per year that is not dedicated by agreement or the constitution for highways.

The majority of that within TxDOT's budget goes for public transportation and aviation purposes. Those are the two big primary users of non-dedicated money within TxDOT. But at this point I have to remind you that TxDOT is not the only agency who operates out of the State Highway Fund, so other agencies also utilize some of that non-dedicated or non-highway money within the State Highway Fund.

As Mr. Simmons stated earlier, the Texas Mobility Fund was available for highways and public transportation projects, so it could not have been used for freight but could have been for transit or commuter rail, and a lot of those decisions, obviously, as many of you will recall, were made by the local areas, how they wanted to utilize their allocations. The last big chunk of funding that the department has available to them is, of course, the $5 billion under Proposition 12 and it is 100 percent dedicated or limited to highways, the constitutional language says for highway improvements.

MR. HOUGHTON: So we're talking about not much.

MR. BASS: Correct.

MR. HOUGHTON: James, thanks for coming from up high.

MR. BASS: Certainly.

DR. NEUMANN: Should I move on to the next goal?


DR. NEUMANN: So goal number two, enhance safety for users of the Texas transportation system. Injuries and fatalities, number and rate, disaggregated by where on the system they occur, in the current LBB process, the overall highway fatality rate is included, so one measure related to this cluster of measures is in the LBB process. Clearly, the department is suggesting that we further differentiate obviously by identifying not only the overall accident and fatality experience but also what component of the system it occurs on that has an impact on possibly where you're directing funds and where you're going to direct some of your strategies.

Work zone incident rate is to look at specifically accident history in work zones across the state, and that's, of course, both related to the driving public as well as to workforce and contract employee in those work zones. Percent of general aviation airports with safety improvements, again, this is an area that TxDOT does participate in in terms of grant funding. And then the percent of railroad crossings with signalization, and that is also a measure that is currently in the LBB process.

Questions or comments on those?

(No response.)

DR. NEUMANN: Goal three, maintain the existing transportation system, so a system preservation oriented goal, the percentage of transportation facilities in good or better condition, bridge, pavement, transit fleet, general aviation. Again the transit feet and the general aviation components relate to grant programs that TxDOT participates in so it's that aspect.

In the current LBB process, bridge condition, good and better condition is in the LBB process right now. Percent of targets met in the four-year pavement management plans, I think this is a relatively new exercise the department is undertaking, district by district, setting pavement condition targets and obviously those rolling up to a state condition target. So the intent here is to report on these and I think 2011 is when the first report from that process is going to be due.

The Texas Condition Assessment Program condition score, this is an overall kind of pavement condition score, has three components: a component that relates to the pavement itself, a component that relates to maintenance and roadside features, and a component that relates to traffic. In the current LBB process, the maintenance and traffic components are reported; the recommendation is to report instead of just those two components, the overall composite score.

And then finally, the percentage of TxDOT ferry system planned improvements completed, I just need to say that I think there's still some communication going on with the folks in the maintenance and ferry groups to define what the appropriate measure is, but I think the intent is, since

TxDOT has some responsibility in the ferry system, to have that reflected in that list of measures, so this may not be the final measure that's selected.

So again, let me just stop there and see if there are questions or comments on this.

(No response.)

DR. NEUMANN: Goal number four, promoted congestion relief strategies. The recommendation is for both large urban areas -- that's urban areas with 500,000 or more population, and small urban areas, those areas with less than 500,000, that three congestion-related measures be reported: total travel delay, that's travel time, of course; congestion costs and that includes both time costs and fuel costs; and travel delay per commuter be reported for both large urban areas and small urban areas.

I should point out that this is an area, congestion measures, where TxDOT, and Steve Simmons in particular, along with support from TTI worked with AASHTO to help AASHTO develop a recommended set of appropriate condition measures for congestion that all 50 states are going to adopt consistently across the country. TxDOT provided the leadership for that effort, AASHTO has now accepted and approved these three measures for all states in the country.

So these three measures are recommended to replace the current LBB measures which are an urban congestion index and a statewide congestion index. And again, I think it's fair to say that TTI is comfortable moving in this direction, and obviously those overall congestion indexes are things that TTI has led the effort ton too. So just a sense that this is a better way to capture congestion and measure congestion and differentiate between large and small cities.

MR. HOLMES: Excuse me just a second.

DR. NEUMANN: Yes, sir.

MR. HOLMES: When you take urban areas of 500,000 or more, there's a pretty big difference between 501,000 and 6 million four in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. How do you differentiate between the really large urban areas and the 500,000 population? Are you just mixing them all together?

DR. NEUMANN: In this case the suggestion is that we report these three measures for all cities 500,000 or more, all cities 500,000 or less, and just in those two categories. It's certainly possible to develop different strata, and you're absolutely right, the collection of cities 500,000 or more includes some at 500,000 and some at multiple millions, and of course, to some extent that's true for under 500,000 too, you've got some small cities. So certainly if the commission felt, and I don't want to speak for the department, but if the commission felt that we like the three measures but we'd like to see this disaggregated a little more finely, so 2 million and above, 500,000 to 2 million, 500,000 and below, there's no reason that that couldn't be done.

MR. HOLMES: I don't think it's a meaningful comparison unless you do that, because if you aggregate from 500,000 to the largest, the Metroplex and you put them all in one category, it's just simply not meaningful.

MR. HOUGHTON: Let me ask a question, piggyback that, Commissioner Holmes. How do you look at Dallas-Fort Worth, as one or as two? Are you looking at it as an MPO region, is that how you're looking at 500,000 versus millions?

DR. NEUMANN: I think it is; I think this was proposed for MPO regions.

MR. HOUGHTON: In other words, then the RTC, that would be a region, that would be how you'd look at that region, not two separate and distinct communities.


MR. SIMMONS: For the record again, Steve Simmons. As Lance alluded to, I chaired the AASHTO committee to come up with these performance measures, and as I got more into it and working with Tim Lomax at TTI, I found out that congestion is like beauty, it's in the eye of the beholder, and every time you come up with a scenario that makes sense, there's an equal and opposite reason for not picking it.

The classic example is in Houston we want traffic to move very well, in San Francisco they actually want to increase congestion in order to drive more people to transit. But the idea is to pick the metropolitan area and report on it to show is it getting better or is it getting worse, now as a comparative between one area to the other. It's that particular area.

Are we doing stuff that actually makes congestion get better or is it actually we're not doing enough? It's just a report on that area, if that makes any sense. So you're not comparing the Lubbock to the Houston, you're comparing Houston and what's happening within Houston -- are we putting enough resources? are the resources being able to address congestion?

MR. HOLMES: But you're going to look at each one of those metropolitan areas individually as opposed to aggregated, because I thought I heard Dr. Neumann say he was going to aggregate it.

MR. SIMMONS: Well, there will be a statewide -- you'll lump in the small and the urban and come up with a statewide index too so you see how the state as a whole is coming up.

MR. HOLMES: That will be an interesting calculation.

DR. NEUMANN: And I probably confused you. Clearly, you can't do this without calculating this urban area by urban area, so those results will be available as well.

MR. SAENZ: And commission, really as we move forward in the future as you all are allocating resources, we could go to the MPOs, the RTC, the H-GAC and that they would develop and identify what their goal was, say, for reducing congestion, based on the resources that they received and the plan they put together and at the end of the year then you can go back and measure to see how much they've accomplished, have they made progress or not made progress, but it's a measure.

Now, I agree the combining to come up with a statewide congestion index for the metropolitan areas will be difficult; it will have to be weighted on a lot of factors. So it may not really tell us the whole story, but I think we should be able to have enough data that we could see how the different areas or are the different areas making headway or not by comparing them to what their plan was individually.

DR. NEUMANN: Progress on the top 100 most congested roadway segments, that also is an LBB measure and we're continuing it.

And then the last one is really, obviously, a little more of a qualitative notion, effectiveness of multimodal congestion management projects and strategies in large urban areas, and the thought there was that this creates an opportunity for the department to work with its partners with whom it's usually partnering on for these kinds of projects, to really together look at what have been the real impacts and results of some of those congestion relief projects and strategies.

Goal five, enhance system connectivity. This is a goal area that has a lot to do with access throughout the state through transportation services and facilities, it's a goal area where the existing LBB structure and set of performance measures doesn't really have any measures that directly relate to this. The proposed measures in this area are, again, customer satisfaction with industry access to international markets and international gateways.

Again, you would have to do this through a periodic survey as well as, potentially, other forums where customers either make comments or provide information to the department. But the point is proactively go out to the business community and see what the business community thinks about the Texas transportation system's service through international markets and international gateways.

The rest of the measures very much reflect the notion of trying to measure accessibility for different populations within Texas, so the percent of Texas population within a 30-minute drive of an airport capable of supporting business jet aircraft service, the percent of Texas communities with 500,000 population or more that have intercity bus service, passenger rail service, small urban bus service or elderly and disabled bus service --

MR. HOUGHTON: You said 500,000?

DR. NEUMANN: No, 50,000, sorry; I may have said it but I didn't mean it; it's 50,000.

The percent of Texas population with access to TxDOT-sponsored rural public transportation services, and then the percent of high volume, in this case defined as greater than 5,000 average daily traffic, rural roads with Super 2 or 4-lane divided facilities. Super 2 are two-lane roads with passing lanes.

So that whole set of measures is consistent with how other states look at accessibility, look at service particularly in rural areas of states, and just try to define a sense of to what extent do different transportation services and facilities reach the overall population of the state.

Comments, reactions, seem reasonable?

(No response.)

DR. NEUMANN: Last but not least, goal number six, facilitate the development and exchange of comprehensive multimodal funding strategies with transportation program and project partners. This was, again, a goal that the commission defined with very much a very strong theme that we ought to be very proactive about providing information on funding options but very clear that we don't get to decide. That is to say, you don't get to decide, the legislature gets to decide, but your role is to provide information.

And the measures we're suggesting here is the percentage of projects and programs that actually use alternative funding sources such as TRACK, the range of funding mechanisms that we're actually taking advantage of, and then the timeliness and frequency of reporting transportation finance information. Again, that's kind of an activity-oriented measure but trying to get at the notion that we want the department to be proactive in providing information and let's track how we do.

So that's the set of measures being recommended for each of the goal areas. Overall, I think in terms of numbers of measures it's workable, you don't want too many more than this, although we're absolutely interested in any suggestions or comments, and I think collectively, as I look at this set of proposed measures, relative to work we've done with quite a few other states around the country, it reflects a very good solid set of measures, clearly reflects the state of the practice, in my opinion, in terms of state DOT performance reporting.

Unless there are further comments, Mary is going to close.

MS. MEYLAND: Thank you, Dr. Neumann. We appreciate his expertise in leading this discussion.

As we move forward from today, we really are looking for your endorsement of the direction that we're setting forth in the performance measures, and we want to take this information that we've presented today and then we will push it into a final draft of the Strategic Plan that we will bring forward to you next month and ask your permission to put it out for public review one last time, and then come back through May with any comments that we receive for the public, and then give you a final version of the Strategic Plan in June which will roll itself into very well the financial or the LBB Strategic Plan as well, remembering that this is the words or the introduction to the actual financial or LBB Strategic Plan version.

And you'll see that we have a deadline of basically the first week in July to submit that information to the LBB.

So we're working on track and we appreciate your attention this afternoon, and we're willing to take any comments that you have over the next few weeks through your assistants.

MR. HOUGHTON: Any comments?

(No response.)

MR. HOUGHTON: Mary, thank you very much.

MS. MEYLAND: Thank you very much.

MR. SAENZ: Thank you, Mary; thank you, Dr. Neumann.

Next I'm going to have Jim Randall come and talk about the statewide long-range transportation plan, another initiative that we are working on, and as I mentioned, this is our long-term vision, our overarching vision, and so Jim will kind of give us where we're at on that and the plan to get us there.

MR. RANDALL: Good afternoon, commissioners. I'm Jim Randall, director of the Transportation Planning and Programming Division.

To begin with, we're looking at the long-range plan. The items I'd like to cover in today's presentation is: our federal requirements for the plan; our state law recommendations and guidance that we received on the development of it; pertinent planning documents that will be incorporated into the plan; key elements of the plan; public involvement; and our timeline for completing the plan.

Under the federal requirements, we were required by federal regulations to develop a statewide, long-range transportation plan that has a minimum 20-year forecast period. The plan will include highways, public transportation, non-motorized modes such as pipelines, bicycles and pedestrians, rail, waterways and aviation, particularly with respect to intercity travel. The plan will look at capital, operations and management strategies and other measures to ensure the preservation and the most efficient use of the existing system.

We will incorporate other existing plans and we will also coordinate with the MPOs and others. In fact, a member of my staff right now is making a presentation on the plan to TEMPO this afternoon, and that's the Association of Texas MPOs.

The plan will also include a discussion on the environmental process as well as a discussion on possible mitigation activities. This discussion will focus on policies and strategies rather than on a project level. This will be developed in consultation with appropriate federal and state regulatory agencies and tribal governments. The plan will also include a financial analysis that will look at existing and future conditions. This will include determining the unconstrained financial resources needed to meet the performance measures being developed by Mary Meyland's group, as well as the recommendations made in the 2030 Report.

For the constrained component of the financial plan, we'll be using the CFO's forecast to 2020 and the TRENDS Model funding levels to 2035. As you may recall, these funding levels were approved by you in November of 2009.

In addition, we'll also provide several opportunities and means for public involvement. The plan will be a living document, it will be available on our website, it will be reviewed periodically to ensure all links listed dare current and we update it fully every four years in accordance with the planning rules currently being developed.

Moving on to the state law recommendations and guidance, the Texas Transportation Code requires the department to develop a plan that includes all modes of transportation. In developing this plan, we must seek the opinions and assistance from other state agencies and political subdivisions that have responsibilities for the various modes. The Code also requires the plan to contain component that is not financially constrained and that identifies transportation improvements designed to relieve congestion.

As you know, the Sunset Commission final report in July 2009 also recommended that the department integrate the various planning efforts into a single measurable plan that would contain, again, measurable goals with measurable targets, statewide priorities which includes priority corridors, projects and areas of concern, a participation plan, at least a five-year update schedule, collaboration with MPOs on funding forecasts, and integration of other long-range plans.

As you may recall, House Bill 300 would have amended the Transportation Code to include the development of long-term goals and performance targets, the identification of priority corridors, projects or areas of concern for meeting these goals, and a plan for obtaining input on these goals and priorities.

As I previously mentioned, we will be incorporating other plans. Again, Mary Meyland's team is developing the 2011-2015 Strategic Plan. Also incorporated in the plan will be the Strategic Highway Safety Plan developed by the Traffic Operations Division, the MPOs long-range plans, and the STIP, or the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.

There are several plans and studies in progress that will be included as the data becomes available. These include the 2010 Texas Airport System Plan which the Aviation Division is scheduled to present at tomorrow's commission meeting. As you know, the Rail Division is currently working on a rail plan, and the Planning and Programming Division is currently working on a Waterborne Freight Corridor Study. The plan will also include the 2010 UTP which is currently being developed, and of course, we will also be building off the 2030 Committee report. We're working with Dr. Lomax to extend the findings from 2030 to 2035.

Some of the key elements to the plan is the plan will have a 24-year time frame. The federal regulations require a minimum of a 20-year planning horizon. While we intend to update the plan every four years, we may need to update it sooner due to the results of the 2010 census and any new federal authorization bills that might be enacted before then. Again, we'll be analyzing all modes of transportation. This will include a description of what's on the ground now or in the water or in the air or even under the ground, what is the current usage, what is the current funding and how well the current system is meeting the current demand. The plan will also analyze the future conditions by mode.

As previously mentioned, we will also look at funding forecasts for the non-highway modes and we will be seeking available forecasts in t hat area. The plan will also address the eight planning factors which are outlined in federal regulation. Two of these factors that we are required to pay particular attention to are the safety and the security of the system.

As far as public involvement, there will be three newsletters: one going out in the next few weeks announcing the plan, one this summer presenting early results of the plan, and a final one prior to the public hearing this fall. There will be two rounds of four stakeholder meetings. We will also be asking the districts to host two rounds of open houses, one in early May and again in August. The first round will be an intro to the plan including a video by Mr. Saenz as well as story boards; the second round will be presenting the findings and seeking comments on those findings.

We will also have a web page on TxDOT's website for disseminating information, along with an e-mail address for the public to contact us, as well as a toll free telephone number.

As indicated in the timeline, we're on an accelerated schedule to complete the plan in less than nine months. We will bring you the final plan for your consideration in November prior to the Sunset Advisory Commission meeting in December.

That concludes my presentation. Do you have any questions?

(No response.)

MR. RANDALL: Thank you.

MR. SAENZ: Thank you, Jim.

Next we will have Bill Glavin come up and give us one of the components of the plan, the Rail Plan. Of course, we've brought Bill, we've got a Rail Division, and one of the things that we're trying to do now is to develop a comprehensive Rail Plan for the State of Texas that also kind of complements the national Rail Plan. So Bill has got a big task before him but he's going to do a great job for us.

So Bill, kind of tell us where you're at and we will discuss how it all ties together at the end.

MR. GLAVIN: Commissioners, good afternoon, Amadeo. For the record, I'm Bill Glavin, the director of the Rail Division for the Texas Department of Transportation. With me today are Jennifer Moczygemba with the Rail Division, Yolanda Prazzi of the University of Texas Center for Transportation Research, and Allan Rutter from Cambridge Systematics. They're here to help me answer any questions that may arise during the course of the presentation.

The Texas Rail System Plan was last published in 2005. There were previous versions of the plan published by the Railroad Commission in 1979 and 1984. The key features of the Rail Plan as required under the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act, or PRIIA, include an inventory of all rail facilities in the state that includes both Freight for Class 1 railroads and short lines; it includes passenger, intercity, commuter, light rail and transit; it includes active rail lines, abandoned rail lines, and proposed future rail lines; it's a five- and a twenty-year plan.

We must demonstrate coordination with other state transportation planning programs and activities under Section 135 of Title 23; we have to generate lists of potential improvements to the network; we have to have integration and planning of the freight and passenger networks; we have to have integration of freight with the shippers, the receivers and the ports; we have to have integration of the passenger with the local transits at the various nodes; we have to have integration with the adjacent states; we have to have integration with the national corridors; and as a border state, we need to have integration with Mexico.

Key features of the plan continue to be: we have to note future expansion activities, possible relocations, underlying growth, both in the population and in freight mobility as changes occur in the world of trade; we have to examine the mobility of both passengers and freight and preserve that; we have to develop freight and passenger rail policies and principles; we have to develop service goals, programs, investment goals and programs; and of course, we have to develop the two big Fs, funding and financing.

State legislative mandate is contained in Senate Bill 1382. This bill focuses on passenger networks only, includes annual updates to the plan, a description of the existing and proposed systems, status of systems under construction, analysis of potential interconnectivity issues, ridership projections for proposed systems, as well as ridership statistics for existing systems.

In order to generate that plan, we're going to go out with seven regional rail visioning workshops. Stakeholders to be involved in these workshops include shippers and receivers, aggregate, coal, chemical, grain, intermodal and ports, Class 1 railroads and short lines, commuter rail, transit and Amtrak, rail labor, airlines, MPOs, RMAs, rail districts, economic development groups, corridor councils or advocates, La Entrada, Ports to Plains, East Texas, I-69, I-35, advocacy groups, the T-Bone, the Triangle, Double Wishbone, the bullet trains, overlying existing freight lines operating at 79 mile an hour, operating at 90 mile an hour, operating at 100 mile an hour, operating at 110 mile an hour, operating at 150 mile an hour, operating at 185 mile an hour, and operating at 220 mile an hour.

And I have apologies for any of those who feel they were left out or object to the order in which I mentioned them.

(General laughter.)

MR. GLAVIN: Expectations. We will meet the PRIIA requirements; we will meet SB 1382 requirements; however, at this point in time we cannot expect to put lines on a map, we're just not there at that point. We will have lists of potential improvements and the impacts of those improvements from both a public and private benefit for freight and they also my have implications on the passenger or potential passenger networks; we will propose a rating system for those potential improvements.

We will define next steps that will be involved which will point to the necessary studies: statewide ridership analysis, corridor analysis, and service development plans. these studies will be iterative, they will be concurrent and not sequential because time is of the essence, and to the extent possible, we want to expedite the results.

As these studies are rolled out and the results are in, we'll recommend corridors and passenger train velocities, frequencies of service. This, in turn, will allow us to draw preliminary lines on the map for further analysis: preliminary estimates of construction costs, preliminary estimates of ongoing operations and maintenance costs, preliminary estimates of revenue streams.

We've talked to the deputy administrator of the FRA, Karen Rae. This plan, as I've laid out for you, is in accordance with her expectations. It will put us in line for funding for the low-hanging fruit or those items that are on the list of potential projects for improvements, depending on the fund source, i.e., the HSIPR funds will not fund Tower 55 in its entirety but it could fund a portion of Tower 55 that was attributable to passenger benefits.

It would also put us in line for federal funding for the necessary studies and also moving on into the next step, preliminary engineering, environmental studies, et cetera. But there are no guarantees.

Some may be disappointed at this pace, especially if they have well thought-out plans or a vision and wondering why we just haven't adopted that as our Rail Plan and drawn those lines on the map. However, we are a public agency, we are potentially expending public funds, and as good stewards, this is the process that we have to follow.

Any questions?

MR. MEADOWS: Let me make sure I understand the timetable here. What should we expect to receive in September of 2010?

MR. GLAVIN: You will receive the document as I outlined it. It will have the listing of potential projects, potential improvements, it will meet the requirements of PRIIA, the inventory of everything that's out there, and all the various consolidation of the all the views and the visions and the thoughts and the list of the studies and how we need to go forward and take the next steps.

MR. MEADOWS: I not only encourage but applaud the efforts so far. Clearly, this is something that we're very serious about as a commission, and the fact that you're standing in front of us is evidence of that. The Rail Division is created, we're committed to it, we're moving ahead. It appears to me that this is a realistic but aggressive schedule, and I think it will give us the information that we need in order to move ahead, at least in advocacy of the notion of some of these opportunities. I appreciate it very much, look forward to seeing it.

MR. HOUGHTON: Go ahead, Ned.

MR. HOLMES: Bill, will you have a list of potential projects in September?

MR. GLAVIN: We've already begun generating the list of potential projects, but that will be added to as we go through the stakeholders and also through the public comment periods.

MR. HOLMES: And in addition to the list, will there be any economics involved with that list?

MR. GLAVIN: We will come up with a means or we will propose a methodology for ranking those projects.

MR. HOUGHTON: Ranking them how?

MR. GLAVIN: Based on the benefits, cost-benefit analysis.

MR. HOLMES: And if you do that, that presumes that you have some idea about cost.

MR. GLAVIN: That is correct. Those are the projects that we specifically identify that would not necessarily be the passenger network in and of itself. We really need to do the studies to determine the mileage and the location, the number of trains that are going to be operating on it. There's a lot of different ballpark numbers out there.

MR. HOLMES: A lot. So the document that we're going to receive in September will have projects and cost-benefit analysis of those projects, or the methodology by which you would measure benefits.

MR. GLAVIN: The methodology by which we rank them, right.

MR. HOLMES: But you'll have some estimate of cost?

MR. GLAVIN: Yes, but those are mostly going to be on the freight-related side, not on the passenger side at that point.

MR. HOLMES: That would be a great start.

MR. SAENZ: Bill, just to kind of make sure, on the passenger side and with all of, I guess, the promotion or the emphasis given to high-speed rail, is there anything that could keep us from, should we receive money, to start doing, say, we've been directed to look at the two high-speed rail corridors that we have in the state, the South Central and the Gulf Coast, and there was something in the federal bill that says looking to connect it, and would there be something, even as you're developing the Rail Plan, where you could do some of the feasibility studies to look at potential ridership, to look at preliminary costs, and then how you can use that in your overall Rail Plan?

MR. GLAVIN: As I said, we're going to point to studies that are going to be necessary, the statewide ridership analysis, but we're not going to wait for the results of the State Rail Plan to start kicking off statewide ridership analysis. It is set to go out for request for qualifications here in the next month or so.

MR. SAENZ: Because you'll need some of that information to kind of start generating preliminary costs, anyway.

MR. GLAVIN: That is correct.

MR. HOUGHTON: Are you going to identify sources of revenue to fund the rail projects that Commissioner Holmes just talked about?

MR. GLAVIN: We will do that to the extent possible.

MR. HOUGHTON: It's about $150 million, I think, right now.

MR. GLAVIN: That is part of the requirements under PRIIA is that we do have to identify the various funding sources and financing options and opportunities. It will point to some of the shortfalls that we have within the State of Texas.

MR. HOUGHTON: Okay, thanks, Bill. Any other questions?

(No response.)

MR. SAENZ: Thank you, Bill. Thank you, everybody.

As you can see, commissioners, we're going to have so many planning efforts, it's going to be very important that when we present to the people, we emphasize what the whole picture is because otherwise we'll have a lot of confused folks out there.

Agenda item number 4, David Casteel is going to lead a group that's going to give you a status report on where we're at on our active CDA projects that we have across the state, so David, I'll turn it over to you.

MR. CASTEEL: Thank you, Director Saenz and commissioners. For the record, my name is David Casteel and I work for you as the assistant director for District and Field Operations.

This item is to update you on the development of four very important projects across the state, and I've asked some of the experts in this effort to be with me today and give you a brief presentation and discuss as you wish. With me are Don Toner who is our right-of-way acquisition agent for our CDA programs, Bob Brown who is our CDA implementation officer itn the Dallas-Fort Worth area and he's overseeing three large projects there, and Frank Holzmann who is overseeing the State Highway 130 Segments 5 and 6 project in the Austin and the San Antonio Districts. These projects are in different stages of development, I hope the presentation will be to your liking, and I'll turn it over to them and sit down and answer any questions later.

MR. HOLTZMANN: Commissioners, Mr. Saenz, I appreciate the opportunity to visit with you today. We'll go through a couple of things, brief you first, I guess, on SH 130. My name, for the record, is Frank Holzmann, I'm the State Highway 130 project manager.

This gives you kind of an idea of what projects we have going on currently in the state. For SH 130 there's segments 5 and 6 and Iin the Dallas area there's the North Tarrant Express, the DFW Connector and the LBJ Freeway. As pointed out earlier, I'll be covering the SH 130 project, Bob will be covering the Dallas area projects.

Part of our project to implement the CDA program, we've actually put together a CDA project board that consists of Mr. Simmons, Mr. Bass, Mr. Casteel, Mr. Barton, Mr. Tomlinson, the district engineers in those associated areas in both San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Wrorth and Austin, Carlos Lopez, Mario Medina, Maribel Chavez and Bill Hale. Our CDA coordinator for right of way is Don Toner, he handles the right of way for all the CDAs in the area and that actually gives us a little bit of consistency across the board. And then as I pointed out, Bob has a staff that works under him on his projects and I have one that works under me for SH 130.

To give you an update on the 130 and where we're at with it, the limits of 130 stretch from Mustang Ridge around State Highway 45 Southeast where that ties in with Segments 1 through 4 near 183, down through Lockhart and down to Seguin at I-10 or near I-10 just outside of Seguin. It's approximately 44 miles worth of tollway. The developer on this project is the SH 130 Concession Company which is an LLC formed by Cintra and Zachry.

The value of that project is about $1.75 billion which includes a construction and right-of-way cost of about $1.37 billion, operations and maintenance back in 2006 we estimated at about $380 million, but all these costs that are associated with it are the responsibility of the concession company, we didn't have to pay any of that. In return for that, the SH 130 concession company has a 50-year, long-term lease. And what do we get in return for that 50-year, long-term lease? Prior to the CDA coming on board, in order to implement Segments 5 and 6, in order to a do a muni model similar to what we did on Segments 1 through 4, we needed about $750 million in toll equity and that was back in 2006, so you can imagine what that number is today.

Because we went with the CDA model, we ended up with over a $25 million up-front concession fee, we have revenue-sharing, there's revenue-sharing bands that are associated depending on the traffic volumes that come in estimated at about $245 million, that was in 2006 dollars. Those can fluctuate depending on what the traffic projections are and how much traffic we have on it, but the key point is we receive a share of each dollar that comes in on that roadway.

In addition, the economic growth along that corridor, City of Hutto, when SH 130, 1-4 went through there, they saw significant growth. I visited a lot with the City of Lockhart, Caldwell County, City of Seguin, Guadalupe County, and they're all looking forward to that growth coming there, they've already got developments that are taking place, they're already on the plats and they're ready to get moving.

Our contract was executed in March of 2007; the right of way and design are essentially complete; we have right of entry on all the parcels for them to begin; construction started in the spring of 2009 and they've got about a billion dollars worth of construction and they're about 15 percent complete, and by contract, they have to be completed by late 2012, so it's an extremely aggressive schedule to meet that.

With that, I'll take any questions you have.

MR. HOLMES: How many miles is that?

MR. HOLZMAN: Forty-four.

MR. HOUGHTON: Don, what would that be total overall from top to bottom, Segments 1 through 4 and then 5 and 6, miles?

MR. HOLZMAN: Ninety-one miles.

MR. HOUGHTON: That's almost bigger than the NTTA system, Bill.

MR. MEADOWS: Very close.

MR. HOUGHTON: Seems like it's going very well. Thank you.

MR. HOLZMAN: Yes, sir, thank you.


MR. BROWN: Good afternoon. For the record, my name is Bob Brown, I work in both the Dallas and Fort Worth Districts and for David Casteel. And I guess since these three projects were all starting at about the same time, I think the TxDOT administration thought it would be appropriate for one office to manage these to where we'd have a consistent approach and consistent interpretation of the contract since for two of the CDAs we have the same basic developer. But as you are probably aware, the NTE is the projects over in Tarrant County, DFW Connector is just north of DFW Airport, and LBJ is along LBJ through Dallas County.

For the DFW Connector, this is a design-build project that's fully publicly funded for about $1.02 billion. It has $667 million of Fund 6 money, $104 million of Prop 14 that will fund the right-of-way acquisition, and then $250 million of stimulus funding which makes it the largest stimulus-funded project in the United States, so we're proud of that and we're expecting a lot of visitors and scrutiny, and we're ready for that.

Now, if you look at the exhibit, the blue portion is that that is funded, the orange is planned but not funded at this time, as David and his team configured the project through the final negotiations, I think they did a very good job to address the majority of the congestion problems and then over time, if the region gets additional funding, then the orange sections could be brought on line either through this contract or through future contracts.

The contract was executed in October of this year, we issued a final notice to proceed in December -- excuse me, the contract was executed October of last year; notice to proceed issued December last year; construction work began in February. The design is about 70 percent complete, there are portions of the design that have been completed and have been issued for construction. The construction is just starting, it's been very wet in the area so not much has taken place, but this is a very long duration project with completion to occur in mid 2014, and again, this being a design-build, there's no long-term lease associated with this but there is some options that TxDOT can pick up for a series of capital maintenance agreements.

The idea fort the capital maintenance agreement is to help transfer the design and construction risk to the developer to where they know that they could have some skin in the game and maybe they have some long-term responsibilities. So that option we could execute up to three five-year capital maintenance options with the developer, NorthGate Constructors, a consortium of Kiewit, Zachry and Parsons Brinckerhoff, and we're very pleased with the progress so far.

Now, for the North Tarrant Express, the NTE is actually two separate CDAs. The Project shown on this exhibit is the part that's funded, it's a concession CDA that covers Interstate 820 and then State Highway 183 and 121 in north Tarrant County. For this project which has a value of $2.5 billion which is $2.1 billion of construction, right-of-way and utility adjustments and another $450 million of long-term maintenance. For this value, TxDOT did have to contribute public funds in the amount of $573 million to make this a feasible project.

This contract was executed June of last year, the developer obtained financing in December of last year, we issued a final notice to proceed, and at this time the final design and right-of-way mapping is underway. We expect construction to begin late in this year with completion scheduled to occur in mid 2015.

Again, just like the State Highway 130 Segment 5 and 6 project, this has a long-term lease associated with it, this is a 52-year contract, so this developer will be responsible for not only the design and construction but also the long-term operation and maintenance as well as the full life cycle costs from right of way to right of way for that full term.

Now, for the NTE Master Development plan, we have identified additional segments of the NTE so this will be the State Highway 183 segment which we call Segment 2E over on the east side, and then Segments 3A, 3B and 3C which is the I-35W corridor which is now probably the highest priority unfunded project in Tarrant County, and then Segment 4 which is on the east side, the Interstate 820 portion south of Airport Freeway.

So the intent of the master development plan is for TxDOT and the developer to work and to identify a financing plan to where additional segments could be developed with the intent that there would be little or no additional public funds required from TxDOT.

The focus at this time is to look at the Segments 3A and 3B, the I-35W corridor from downtown Fort Worth up to US 287. We expect to receive a draft financial plan within the next few days and a possible development proposal for that segment within the next month or so. As part of that, TxDOT may consider financing and traditionally developing the Interstate 820/Interstate 35W interchange which Mr. Barton will cover here on another item. And with TxDOT delivering that interchange, it enhances the financial feasibility of Segments 3A and 3B by providing an opening for that segment to be built through the interchange.

And then the next project, the LBJ Managed Lane project in Dallas County, this has a value of $3.2 billion which includes $2.7 billion of construction and utilities. I might mention the right of way has already been acquired by the Dallas District and for this, the developer will also be required of the long-term life cycle and operating costs which amount to about $500 million in 2009 dollars, and for that the public has to provide funding in the amount of $445 million.

This contract was also executed last fall. We're awaiting financial close, we expect the developer will achieve that this spring, and now the developer and TxDOT are reviewing the CPM schedule and project and quality management plans. Those reviews are ongoing. And assuming we have successful financing, construction will begin late this year and be complete also in mid 2015.

MR. HOUGHTON: Bob, this hasn't met financial close yet?


MR. HOUGHTON: What's the purple segment that says East on it, is that funded or is that part of it?

MR. BROWN: Well, when the initial RFQ was done, we were considering also including the east section as part of the CDA but we just didn't have enough, it just didn't pencil out, so we have built some interim HOV lanes on the east which one day could, if the region chose to, those could evolve into managed lanes on the east, and one day that east section does need to be addressed through a future project, but it's not within the scope of this project.

MR. HOLMES: Bob, again, who are the members of the LBJ Infrastructure Group?

MR. BROWN: LBJ Infrastructure Group is a consortium of Cintra U.S., Meridian Infrastructure Finance, and the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System, and that's also the same team on the NTE, and we're also very proud that the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System is an equity member of both of these CDAs.

MR. HOUGHTON: That is impressive. We don't broadcast that much, do we?

MR. BROWN: No, we haven't, but perhaps that's something we could start doing more of.

MR. HOUGHTON: Public funds.

MR. BROWN: So just a few of the other benefits of both the NTE project and the LBJ project, the department and the public will receive all new infrastructure on all these corridors which has exceeded its design life.

MR. HOUGHTON: Bob, I'm sorry to interrupt you. Is this the only one not to meet financial close?

MR. BROWN: That's correct.

MR. HOUGHTON: What is the contribution of equity by the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund?

MR. BROWN: From what I understand, 10 percent of the equity contribution on LBJ, I think the equity is going to be in the neighborhood of $500 million, so they'll be 10 percent of that.

Just a few other benefits. All these corridors will receive all new infrastructure, congestion relief, improved safety, and again, these projects, while we are constructing tolled managed lanes, there will still be non-tolled general purpose lanes that will still remain that the users can choose to use. The public funds are capped on these projects, the financial risk is shifted to the developer, and the long-term operations and life cycle costs are shifted to the developer.

MR. HOUGHTON: Did you total all these up, Bob? Is it like $9-something billion?

MR. BROWN: For the funded projects and DFW amount to $5 billion, Frank's project is another billion, and then if additional segments of the NTE come online, those could add another $2 billion to the development.

MR. MEADOWS: But just what we have today, agreed upon today, recognizing the LBJ project is not going to financial close, the quick total of public funds invested versus the total value received by the driving public is?

MR. BROWN: $2 billion in DFW, zero on 5 and 6, and we're getting a total return of --

MR. MEADOWS: Never mind, I'll do it.

MR. SAENZ: I've run those numbers, I think in the Dallas-Fort Worth area the three projects is $2 billion of public money for $8.6 billion of projects.

MR. MEADOWS: That's the answer.

MR. SAENZ: And then, of course, on the 130 it is zero investment for $1.3 billion in capital and another $1.6 billion in private equity in transportation investment.

MR. BROWN: Well, this concludes our presentation. We also brought Don Toner up, he's with TTA, the Turnpike Division. Don, again, handles all the right-of-way acquisition and coordination for the entire CDA program and is doing a great job, and I just wanted to thank David and his support, and we do have TTA staff assisting us. Dieter Billieck from TTA has been assigned to facilitate some issues for us, and we're also getting great support from the Finance Division and OGC.

MR. HOUGHTON: It's a great story, David, a tremendous story that doesn't get told a whole lot, especially with Mr. Holmes talking about the investment of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund is another story to itself. My congratulations.

MR. CASTEEL: Well, of course a lot of people were involved in putting these projects together and now we're in the implementation stage and I would like to recognize the four district engineers that we have involved with these projects for lending us staff at various times to make the projects work in a concerted effort. And these guys are really breaking new ground as far as delivering projects. Frank's office basically consists of him and two other people for this billion dollar project, so it's a new model for delivering projects in Texas.

And I'd also like to thank Mr. Simmons for his leadership on our project board to ensure that we're doing comprehensive and consistent implementation of these projects because they're very complicated and we're really working on that very hard. So with that, Mr. Saenz.

MR. SAENZ: Thank you, David, and thank you, everyone. These folks, like I said, they're breaking new ground, they're plowing new ground, and they're doing a great job. I do want to recognize, and we did mention OGC, but Jack Ingram has kind of been our CDA guru lawyer, Jack of all trades, I think is what I'm going to call him, but Jack, he might sound quiet, he's quiet-spoken but he carries a pretty big stick, and he has helped us move these projects tremendously, so thank you, Jack. And of course, David's leadership as we've set these up.

Our plan is to, on a periodic basis, maybe quarterly or every six months, come back and give you, commission, a little status so that you can see kind of how those projects are developing and things and issues that we've identified that will be of interest so that we can keep everybody notified with what's going on.

I would also request that if you are ever interested in trying to go look at some of these projects, I'm sure that we can arrange a tour so that we can see how this new model that's being used to develop these types of projects can be seen out there in the field. So guys, thank you so much, great job.

David is going to continue, commission, to present our next agenda item, and of course, the legislature entrusted us with the bonding program, Proposition 12, and we had a process and projects have been selected. And of course, now our role or our big push is to make sure that we deliver on the projects that were selected so that we can use it as a way to show the legislature that we're doing a great job in trying to implement the money entrusted to us, so we're going to give you a little status report on where we're at on the Proposition 12 Bond Program, so David.

MR. CASTEEL: Again for the record, my name is David Casteel and I work for you as the assistant executive director for District and Field Operations.

In the implementation of the Stimulus Program, we assembled a leadership group to help us guide our process and be consistent in application and use our resources wisely. Larry Tegtmeyer from the Wichita Falls District, and Mark Marek from the Design Division assisted Mr. Barton and I in the implementation of those projects. That was a good success for the department, and building on that model, we've asked Randy Hopmann, who is our district engineer in Tyler, to work with Mr. Marek on the implementation of the Prop 12 Program.

So I've asked Mr. Hopmann today to come and give you an update on delivering those projects to a stage to where they could be let to contract, and also, since much of the discussion on Proposition 12 has been along the I-35 corridor, I've asked Greg Malatek, who is the deputy district engineer in Waco, and his boss, Mr Richard Skopik who is the district engineer in Waco.

As a point of introduction, of course Randy is the district engineer in Tyler, he was previously the district engineer in Lubbock. Commissioner Underwood knows him well and he did a great job out there and he's doing a great job in Tyler. Mr. Malatek has recently moved to the Waco District with the sole focus of implementing the 35 program, and he has that experience as formerly the area engineer in New Braunfels where he widened 35 on the south end. And then, of course, Mr. Skopik has lived with this for a long time and he's ready to get it under contract.

So with that, Mr. Hopmann.

MR. HOUGHTON: Randy, why did you move from Lubbock to Tyler?

MR. HOPMANN: To be closer to family.

MR. HOUGHTON: Is that right? Or you just got tired of those Red Raiders?

MR. UNDERWOOD: It's called happily married.

(General laughter.)

MR. HOPMANN: Well, you notice when I moved out of Lubbock, that's when the Aggies finally were able to beat the Red Raiders. Isn't that right, Mr. Underwood?

MR. UNDERWOOD: Let's go on with the presentation.

(General laughter.)

MR. HOPMANN: For the record, my name is Randy Hopmann and I am the Tyler District engineer and I've been asked by the administration to kind of oversee the development of the Proposition 12 funded projects, and as Mr. Casteel did say, I do have a co-presenter. Greg Malatek will come up here with a few slides, I'd like to get into this a little bit.

And I'm going to start first with Commissioner Underwood and I have a very good friend in Lubbock by the name of Delbert McDougal, and Mr. McDougal is a very successful developer in the Lubbock area and in Texas overall, and when I left Lubbock he had one of the largest, privately-funded revitalization projects going on in the country, and I think it's wrapping up right now. It's immediately adjacent to Texas Tech University and also to the Marsha Sharp Freeway that's just been recently completed in that immediate vicinity.

But he wrote a book a few years ago and he titled it "Failure Is Not An Option" and this is an autobiography about his days as a developer and the challenges that he had and I think the lessons that he learned, and he gave me a copy of this book and signed it and autographed it for me, and I've read it and I keep it in my office and I keep it on the bookshelf because it reminds me of the challenges that we have here at TxDOT and the fact that we have to work very diligently and we have to persevere to overcome those challenges so that we can be successful for Texans that use our transportation system out there.

And I think that's very appropriate as we start talking about Proposition 12 and the challenges that lie ahead of us in regards to Proposition 12. This presentation is an implementation report. It's just to kind of give you a status update of where we are, what we are up to and what we've been accomplishing, and give you a sense that we do have a plan and that plan is rolling out. We call it our One DOT approach to success because it involves just about the entire State of Texas and all of TxDOT to be able to implement such a big program.

So just a quick look back, you're very familiar with this, but in November of 2007 is when voters approved Proposition 12. It was for a total of $5 billion, and then, of course, House Bill 1 in the 2009 legislative session authorized $2 billion in bonds, $1 billion is for the State Infrastructure Bank and $2 billion are for construction payouts, with $1 billion being allocated for the biennium of 2010 and 2011. And then, of course, the commission selected the projects to be funded with Proposition 12 funds in November of 2009, so we have those projects.

And that's when we really dug in and really got down to business developing these projects. Since the projects have been identified, we know what we're working on, development work continues and will continue for quite some time in the future. We have schedules established for each Prop 12 funded project and we've also identified resources, manpower so that we can continue developing these projects and get them ready for letting as we like to do. And when you combine all that together with our staffing plan, as I said, we refer to that as the One DOT plan and that's certainly been implemented in regards to Prop 12.

How we're managing this big program, this $2 billion program, we're using Primavera 6; it's called P6 for short. It will allow decision-makers to efficiently manage the Prop 12 funded projects, the overall program. It allows us to determine the status of each project at any point in time, allows us to monitor that status and make decisions as we move along in the development schedule. P6 contains project-specific development schedules, the assigned resources -- the personnel are in there. We know what the schedules are; we know the personnel assigned to those schedules that are in there by name, so we're able to have accountability associated with the development of the Prop 12 funded projects.

And then we certainly have milestones identified for each project that's being developed. They've been established, they're published, they're out there, and that's how we are meeting the objectives of Prop 12 and the aggressive timelines in the development of these projects.

We also have transparency as a part of it. Again, we're using P6 and we have developed or are in the process of developing various visual reports that will allow administrators, elected officials and the public to monitor the development so that they can see through the internet exactly where we are in developing these projects and delivering these improvements to them.

We have letting reports, of course, and we will be monitoring the obligated Prop 12 funds, and then, of course, the remaining balance of Prop 12 funds that we have available to us. We will have a planned letting schedule and we will also be comparing that to the actual letting schedule so you'll be able to see what we anticipated to do versus what we actually delivered, and that will be developed into a report. And then because there's three different main categories of Prop 12 funded projects of corridor projects, mobility projects, and then also rehabilitation and safety projects, we will have monitoring reports for each one of those different categories of types of work funded through Proposition 12.

And then, of course, we have Project Tracker that's out there on the internet and the public will be able to go out and click on Project Tracker and easily identify the Prop 12 projects and be able to determine the status of the development of those projects. So we'll have a few different ways for the public to know exactly where we stand in the development of a project, and that's our transparency efforts.

Here's an example of a report that's active. We have it out there right now; I realize you can't read it but it kind of gives you a feel. Each row is a separate project and it's color-coded. The key is down at the bottom, but you'll have green,  -- when you see green that's good, that means we're ahead of schedule; if you see yellow it means we're getting close to a deadline; if you see orange up there, that means we've missed a deadline or we're right behind a deadline. And that could simply mean that we submitted the project one day late or something like that, we didn't qualify it necessarily.

MR. HOLMES: Now, Randy, you know Commissioner Underwood chairs the transparency committee.

MR. HOPMANN: Yes, but he has really good eyes, I know he can read that.

MR. UNDERWOOD: Did the legal department have something to do with this, as small as it is?

MR. HOPMANN: No, sir. They'll probably get me after this.


(General laughter.)

MR. HOPMANN: But anyway, our district engineers are using these reports, they're published periodically to the internal report that we're using at this point in time.

As you know, there were 75 projects that were selected for Prop 12 funding: $1.17 billion is for corridors of statewide significance; $324 million for rehabilitation and safety improvements to the existing system; $574 million for mobility projects or congestion relief; and then $150 million for the top 100 congested segments that we have in the State of Texas.

Here's kind of a synopsis of where we stand in regards to the development efforts. In this fiscal year, by August we will have about $500 million in projects that will be ready to let: one of those projects is a corridor project, an I-35 project actually, and Greg will talk about that here in a moment. That will be ready this fiscal year; we have a mobility project that will be ready this fiscal year, about $60 million, and that's in San Antonio. And then there's 51 rehabilitation and safety improvement projects totaling about $258 million. We do have some consultant and right-of-way needs in this fiscal year as well.

And if we look ahead to FY '11, it's obviously much larger, about $1.2 billion will be prepared for letting in FY '11: six of the corridor projects which are mostly I-35, and the one El Paso project, that's $818 million; and two mobility projects that will be in Houston and San Antonio will round out the $349 million in mobility; and then we have 13 rehab and safety projects that we'll finish up in FY '11. Quite a bit of consultant and right-of-way needs in FY '11 to deliver those projects, and you'll see the numbers right there.

This is just kind of an idea of a letting schedule. Of course, all of this will have to be finalized when we get final authority from the Bond Review Board, but you can kind of see how this is shaping up. We have a lot of projects that are going to be ready at the beginning of the schedule here and a lot of projects that will be available for letting at the end, and when I say a lot, I really mean the amount of the projects.

The letting schedule will be compressed, as best we can. The front-end will be compressed, that is until we get final approval from the Bond Review Board, that will be compressed on the front-end, and we're working feverishly to compress the back-end too, to move those projects on the backside that you see there in the summer of 2011, we're trying to move those forward to accelerate those to the Spring of '11, and so you'll see it kind of makes a little horseshoe shape as far as the number of projects that are going to be available for letting as well as the amounts that you'll see there in those different months.

And this is kind of a payout curve. W, we're having to monitor this very closely;, it's a cumulative payout curve. You can see the different amounts based on whether it's corridor, rehab, mobility, right of way or consultant. Because we have general revenue funds that are paying the debt service on Prop 12 and there's only so much of that available per year, we're having to really monitor it really close on the payout side of things, so this is kind of what that will look like. Again, this will be adjusted once we get final approval from the Bond Review Board.

And here are the mobility projects, in particular the Houston projects, and the I-45 project in Houston is planned for letting in May of 2011, so there's that Spring '11 schedule coming into place. And then the San Antonio project, as I said, one of the projects is anticipated to go to letting this July and the remaining sister project to the Wurzbach Parkway project will be in March of 2011. And then the El Paso project on Loop 375 is anticipated to be ready for letting in April of 2011. So that's what it looks like on the mobility side of things.

So as you can see, and hopefully I've been able to demonstrate for you in the last couple of slides, that every project in Prop 12 has been identified, each one of those projects has a schedule associated with it, and each of those scheduled projects is resource-managed. We have moved resources from across the State of Texas to adequately resource each of those projects. And that's our One DOT approach and that will help us keep the projects on schedule and on budget and be successful for Texans across the State of Texas.

And I-35 is what we're going to talk about next, I'm going to turn it over to my co-presenter here, and he's going to talk specifically about I-35 but it is a very good example of the One DOT approach that we're using for the Proposition 12 projects.

MR. UNDERWOOD: Randy, before you leave real quick, how is this different how we're doing this now compared? It is different than how we've normally done things at this point in time. Is that correct?

MR. HOPMANN: What is different is we're using some new reporting techniques, we're using P6 for scheduling and managing those resources and watching the status reports and we are being transparent with that information by creating these reports that we can put online so the public can see it, decision-makers can see it, elected officials can monitor it as well. And the other thing that's different, in my mind, is the One DOT approach where we're using resources from all over the state. We have West Texas districts that are working on I-35 that Greg is going to talk about here in a moment.

MR. UNDERWOOD: Right. I just want you to know that Doug is doing a great job but you're missed in Lubbock. Okay?

MR. HOPMANN: Thank you very much.

MR. UNDERWOOD: You're welcome.

MR. MALATEK: For the record, my name is Greg Malatek, I'm the deputy district engineer for Waco.

This is just to give a perspective of the 94-mile stretch of I-35 construction we have on. We have six of those projects that run about $1.1 billion that are Prop 12. If you're looking at the slide, if you're starting at the bottom, you've got --

MR. HOUGHTON: Doug, where does it go to and from?

MR. MALATEK: It goes from the Williams-Bell county line up to the Hillsboro split. Again, we've got six projects from Prop 12, it will go through Salado, Belton, Temple, Waco, up to Hillsboro.

The projects that we have recently completed is Section 1A which is on the south, it goes from the Williamson-Bell county line to Salado; and then the project up north in Hillsboro is up at the split, that one is recently completed also. We have two projects that are currently under construction: we have Section 6 that is just south of Hillsboro that is scheduled to be completed next spring of 2011; and then the project just south of Waco on Section 3C, that's a 3.4-mile stretch that is scheduled to be completed in the Spring of 2012.

MR. HOUGHTON: What are you doing on these projects, what is it that you're building?

MR. MALATEK: The projects are to widen to six lanes the mainlanes, and then convert --

MR. HOUGHTON: Three on each side?

MR. MALATEK: Yes, sir. And then convert the frontage roads to one way and the ramps to a one-way system.

Starting on our projects for Fiscal Year 2010, we have Section 5C that is also just south of Hillsboro near Abbott, the project is going to be funded with Prop 14 dollars, and it's scheduled to let in April 2010. The next project in Fiscal Year 2010 is Section 1C. This one is scheduled to go in April 2010 and it's just north of the City of Salado, south of Belton.

MR. HOUGHTON: And all these projects, Greg, are basically the same.

MR. MALATEK: Yes, sir. They're all six lanes, one-way frontage roads.


MR. MALATEK: The next one to go in Fiscal Year 2010, and this is the first Prop 12 that Mr. Hopmann mentioned, is scheduled to go in July 2010 and this one is just north of Waco and it's 13.37 miles in length.

Starting out in Fiscal Year 2011, this is our next Prop 12 project that is scheduled to go in April of 2011 and it is in the west area, it's north of Waco and it's a $150.6 million, 8-mile stretch, and again, it's going to be a six-lane section, more of a rural section in that area.

The next project to go in Fiscal Year 2011 is Section 1B, this is also a Prop 12 project, it will go in May of 2011, and it is 3.41 miles in length. The next one in 2011 is Section 3B, this is scheduled to go in June of 2011 and it's 6.23 miles. The next section is Section 3A-2 which goes in July of 2011 and that is the section just north of Temple. And then the last project that is scheduled to go in Fiscal Year 2011, in August of 2011 is the project just north of Temple.

MR. HOUGHTON: Now, Greg, nothing through Waco itself?

MR. MALATEK: That's the next section, the projects I'm going to talk about are the projects that are unfunded right now. We are planning for, we're working toward a Fiscal Year 2012 possible letting, but the right of way and construction funds are unfunded at this time in the Waco section. This project is currently being worked on to have plans ready early 2011, so if funding does come available, we can move as quick as we can.

But on the project through Waco, it's a little bit different than the other projects, we're working with the local Waco MPO, instead of six lanes to make this an eight-lane section, four lanes in each direction.

MR. HOUGHTON: Significant right-of-way acquisition then.

MR. MALATEK: Yes, sir.

MR. HOUGHTON: Does Baylor University go away or something like that?

(General laughter.)

MR. MALATEK: No, sir, Baylor University does not go away, but we're working very closely with Baylor.

MR. HOUGHTON: That's huge.

MR. MALATEK: And then the last project that connects the whole puzzle together is Section 2B, this is in Temple. We're working to have plans ready early 2011, the project is currently slated for Fiscal Year 2013, again, we're looking to have plans ready early in 2011. Same thing as in Waco, right now it's funded for six lanes but we're working with the locals to make it eight lanes through Temple.

Does anybody have any questions on the projects?

MR. HOLMES: Yes, Greg, before you get too far, are those the only two pieces of that 90-mile stretch?

MR. MALATEK: About 94 miles, yes, sir.

MR. HOLMES: That are not funded?

MR. MALATEK: Yes, sir.

MR. HOLMES: Of course, only about $500 million worth.

MR. HOUGHTON: That's right.

MR. MALATEK: But we're working toward it and when dollars do come available we can move them.

MR. MEADOWS: Greg, my question has to do with phasing of that 94 miles, or how many sections that you have just described that are funded would be under construction more or less at the same time?

MR. MALATEK: With that short letting time that whole stretch will be under construction at one time, yes, sir, other than the very first two projects that are complete.

MR. MEADOWS: I understand, we have one of them that's completing in a year from now, but that's the northern segment. I think we need to understand when we say that what the potential impacts and ramifications are and really give some thought to that, and I know you all are but we certainly are going to be sensitive to it because we certainly will hear about it. There's a price to pay for progress but sometimes it may be a little too painful.

MR. HOUGHTON: Are you speaking personally, Commissioner Meadows?

MR. MEADOWS: Yes, actually.

(General laughter.)

MR. MEADOWS: As being a consumer of the product, Interstate 35, obviously it's welcome, but as I see that aggressive letting schedule which we certainly encouraged, I do think we need to give some thought to that and how it is that we're going to accommodate the people that utilize that facility every day.

MR. MALATEK: Yes, sir, you're right, because of the short letting, it's going to be all under construction at one time. Sooner or later somebody is going to hit construction several times going through that stretch on 35.

MR. HOLMES: I know you've already thought through this, but I presume that you're going to be able to keep the existing lanes open, and you're going to work outside of the existing lanes.

MR. MALATEK: Yes, sir. The four lanes that we have, the two lanes in each direction we'll keep open. Any lane closures are planned at night; unless there's an accident or an emergency, all lane closures will be done at nighttime.

Moving on from the projects, just to kind of give you an idea on the One DOT concept that we're working on for our projects, we've got first, with utility agreements and relocation, we have the Fort Worth District, Paris District, San Antonio, Tyler, Waco and Yoakum Districts are helping with that, and then the right-of-way acquisition we have our north, south and east regions.

And just to kind of put a perspective on that, with utilities and right of way, you have folks that are coming in, they've hit the ground running, they're learning, these are experienced folks that are used to working with utility companies and title companies in their area, so they've really taken on a lot but they've done an outstanding job on meeting our schedules and getting that thing out. But you have to understand that these folks that are coming in, it's kind of like me just moving up to Waco for the first time, they're learning everything that's up there so it's a real monumental task and they're doing a great job.

On right-of-way map review, we have our Tyler and Waco districts are helping with that. And then our PS&E consultant selection, we had Houston, San Antonio and the Waco districts, helped us to select our different consultants that are helping on the PS&E. For the schematic PS&E development for Waco which are Section 4 and Section 2B in Temple, those are the sections that are currently unfunded, our Design Division is overseeing our consultants in the schematic and PS&E review. And then the PS&E review for Section 5B, we have our Childress and San Angelo districts are developing those sets of plans.

Also, for schematic and PS&E development for all other sections, of course, the Waco District is taking up the slack on that. And then for structural design on bridges and retaining walls for all sections, our Bridge Division is doing all of that except for the sections through Waco and Temple, they are handling all the work even with the consultants. Our Bridge Division has taken on a whole lot of work on 35. For PS&E review we're utilizing Tyler and San Antonio and also the Waco District.

And then finally, from the construction inspection and administration, right now the project that is just about to let north of Salado, our Austin District is going to be overseeing the construction administration and inspection out of Georgetown, they're going to be helping with that or overseeing that for us. And then also the rest of it will be the Waco District and possibly utilizing the Dallas District for the construction administration. But again, it's all One DOT that's working to get the job done out there on 35.

And I guess just to kind of summarize from what Mr. Hopmann has said, every project is identified on Prop 12, every project has a schedule, every schedule is resource- managed and you have the One DOT approach, we'll keep every project on schedule and on budget, and then I-35 is a good example of how that One DOT is working today.

MR. HOUGHTON: Greg, a.k.a. Doug, thank you very much.

General laughter.)

MR. MALATEK: Yes, sir, thank you.

MR. CASTEEL: Mr. Skopik, would you like to make any comments? I know this is your life and your legacy project.

MR. SKOPIK: I'll just be brief. I just want to appreciate the commission with your leadership and support certainly to move forward with a great deal of the length of the work that you've approved to move forward and to give it to us to make it happen, particularly the six Prop 12 segments, tremendous $1.1 billion, and all we'll have left are the two urban segments there in Temple and Waco, and so we certainly appreciate your support on that and we'll do our dead-level best and are doing our dead-level best to make it happen.

MR. CASTEEL: I would like to expand on Mr. Meadows's comment and question. Of course, right now we're focused on getting things read to let and developing our resources for construction. At the same time, we have another team working through our Traffic Division and with districts north and south of this project to work on an intelligent information system to share information such that when you're in Fort Worth, you know wthat there will be a lane closure three miles south of Salado and what time that will be.

And we implemented a similar process between Austin and San Antonio a few years back after there was a commission meeting and a commissioner from San Antonio didn't make it here because she was caught in a lane closure, and we learned our lesson and we learned to share information. So that is an important part of this is sharing information and planning our construction schedules wisely, so getting to construction, number one, and number two, making sure we do it right.

MR. UNDERWOOD: David, quick question on that. When you say notifying people, how soon are you going to notify them?

MR. CASTEEL: Mr. Simmons is coming up here.

MR. UNDERWOOD: Makes you nervous, doesn't it.

(General laughter.)

MR. CASTEEL: It does because he's been on me for this one for a while now.

The information will be shared in realtime, plus we hope through the ITS system, the signs on the highway, we'll put up portable signs with intelligent transportation capability where we can send realtime messages to them along the corridor, as well as we hope to develop, with Coby's assistance, a Twitter group or a social group that you'll be able to access that as well as a website.

MR. UNDERWOOD: The reason why I'm asking that is it would be nice if we could tell people ahead of time, not after they get on the road and realize that there's going to be some traffic but they can make their plans days or a week in advance. Especially the trucking people and whatnot, it would be really nice if they knew there's going to be construction, such-and-such is going to be shut down to one lane these particular days or these particular weeks or these particular hours and let them know a week in advance or whatnot so they can make their plans.

MR. CASTEEL: Absolutely, sir. Mr. Simmons.

MR. SIMMONS: For the record, Steve Simmons again. This is a very important issue for us because of the length of it. It will be extraordinary, it will be something very similar to what they did on the Katy Freeway, you'll be able to get e-mail alerts, as David said, Twitter accounts, we'll be contacting the major freight companies that utilize it, the HEBs and things like that, so that they're aware of where to go get the information or be able to be alerted with it.

We realize this is going to be an impact to the public for several years for a long distance on the major corridor of Texas, and we want to make sure that we keep everybody informed. So as David said, that's one of the things that we're focusing on and we have a group looking at that.

MR. CASTEEL: Any further questions for us on this?

MR. HOUGHTON: I want to point something out, David. The El Paso project, and what I'm seeing here in these last slides, the regionalization and the One TxDOT approach is using the talent that you have across the state where you need the talent on projects, and I think on the El Paso project under Prop 12, I think the design is being done by what district?

MR. CASTEEL: The 375 project in the El Paso District, the Lubbock District, in particular Steve Warren, who is the TP&D, there has really stepped up and assisted and pushed this through for us, as well as we have resources coming in to help in the modeling and the right of way on that as well, and the El Paso District itself has a role in that

MR. HOUGHTON: I guess my point is that we've broken down these barriers and using the talent that we have across the state. I like your One TxDOT approach to things, it is very encouraging that we're getting the resources to the right place and getting these projects on the ground quickly.

Now, with that said, if Commissioner Meadows has a problem with the traffic issues or too much construction, I think of myself out in El Paso, and Commissioner Holmes, and I think Chair Delisi, if she were here, would agree, we could move some of that money to El Paso.

MR. UNDERWOOD: wWait a minute, before we do that.

MR. MEADOWS: I don't think she's going to want to do that.

MR. UNDERWOOD: Before we do that, Ports to Plains is also available while we've got our hand in the air.

MR. HOUGHTON: I'm sure Chair Delisi would agree with that, and we're going to find out if she's really watching this program.

(General laughter.)

MR. HOUGHTON: But I do want to congratulate you for what you have done on the One TxDOT approach, and to all the folks. Thank you very much.

MR. CASTEEL: And I would be negligent if I didn't acknowledge a whole group of district engineers who are jumping in and responding to Randy's call and Richard's call and Greg's call for help on these types of things.

MR. HOUGHTON: Matter of fact, I think you got Lonnie out from the Yoakum District in El Paso today. Right?

MR. CASTEEL: Actually, I have Lynn Passmore from Brownwood, Lonnie Gregorcyk from Yoakum, Mario Medina from San Antonio, and Toribio Garza from the Maintenance Division in El Paso helping them with their maintenance program, and there's been a presentation from Mr. Passmore before, and I hope to come back in the future and show you some results from those processes.

MR. HOUGHTON: Thank you, David, very much.

MR. CASTEEL: Thank you, sir.

MR. HOUGHTON: Thanks, gentlemen.

MR. SAENZ: Thank you, gentlemen.

You know, commission, the I-35 existing corridor, if you recall, the 35 Advisory Committee identified that the priorities should be to go out there and focus and finish the existing corridor. We're calling that Main Street Texas, I-35 Main Street Texas, it is the backbone of our north-south corridor so we've got a plan there.

Of course, we also we also have the segment advisory committees that are out there working with the grassroots, with the local organizations to identify what is the 35 corridor going to look like in the future, so there will be some presentations on that segment as they start developing some of the ideas on how they're going to take I-35 to the next level, so this is a great initiative.

Commissioner Meadows, we'll make sure you get a tweeter that says: Bill, use 281.

MR. HOUGHTON: Tweeter or Twitter?

(General laughter.)

MR. SAENZ: Agenda item number 6, commissioners, the last one for today, John Barton will give you a little status report. You had asked us to put together some plans on how we could fund some major projects across the state. We had given you a preliminary report in January and we had promised to come back. We still don't think we have the full answer but we're making some headway, so John is going to give us the status on that.

MR. BARTON: Thank you, Director Saenz. And for the record, my name is John Barton, I'm your assistant executive director for Engineering Operations.

As Mr. Saenz pointed out, in January we provided you an update on three particular projects of interest to the commission that are of state importance and significance, those being Interstate 35 East in Denton and Dallas Counties, as well as Interstate 35W and 820 in the Fort Worth area, and then US 77, also future Interstate 69 down in the Valley. So today I'd like to just provide to you a brief update on the status of those three projects.

Just to summarize real quickly, on the Interstate 35 project, I-35E, I'll cover that first. It's in one of our most congested areas in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and is certainly an area of high growth in population as people continue to move into these bedroom communities along the corridor and travel to and fro for their business needs. It is a corridor and in this particular project the focus runs from US 820 in the Denton area down to the Interstate 635 Loop in the northern part of Dallas, it's about 28 miles long.

And as we focus on this project, as many of you know, today it's a six-lane interstate facility with non-continuous frontage roads. Looking into the future, it's been determined that we would need to have, to handle the future ultimate travel capacity needs, eight lanes with four managed toll lanes in the middle and continuous frontage roads along that corridor.

Because of the financial conditions that we believe exist today, as we look to solutions for this particular project, we're considering the implementation of a phased approach which would construct six of the ultimate eight general purpose lanes with four managed toll lanes and then continuous frontage roads throughout the corridor.

We are looking at several different options in delivering this. There's been local funding commitments provided to the project from the region that consists of approximately $592 million from the toll revenues that are being collected from the State Highway 121 project that were provided by the NTTA to the region. There aren't any identified state or federal funds for this project and therein lies part of the problem.

As we look for financial solutions, as we briefed you in January, it appears that the potential for the pass-through toll financing program and entering into an agreement with a private sector developer may provide us an opportunity to advance this project, and that is a process that we're continuing to work on.

We have completed the environmental assessment draft document for this project, it's at the Federal Highway Administration being reviewed, and we're waiting for them to give us a notice to proceed to public hearing. Once they do that, then we will move forward with that, and we do expect to be able to receive a finding of no significant impact or the conclusion of the environmental review process later this year, perhaps by the middle part of 2010.

We continue to progress and proceed with the revisions to the Pass-Through Toll financing rules to allow us to move forward with this type of project under that program, and once we have completed those activities, staff will be coming forward to you after considering the potential for implementing this project under that particular type of approach.

So that's the brief status report on the I-35E project. If you would allow me, I'd like to go on and talk about the I-35W/I-820 interchange project. This is, of course, a very important project, it's considered a keystone project of the improvements that are taking place under the North Tarrant Express project there in the Fort Worth area. Again, this is one of our most highly congested areas of the Fort Worth Metroplex region and it is at the heart of the North Tarrant Express project.

From this slide you'll see that it is at the very west end of the planned improvements that are part of the current comprehensive development agreement that we have entered into with the North Tarrant Express Mobility Partners, and is, again, the keystone to making that particular connection to Interstate 35W from Interstate 820.

The existing interchange at that location is in fairly poor condition, the bridges are relatively old, the pavement has received a lot of traffic and has certainly been damaged over the years, and the capacity of that interchange, because of its left-hand exists, is a little bit limited and certainly doesn't meet the capacity needs that are there today. And as we move into the future, the North Tarrant Express concession CDA will be building two direct connectors into the improvements they are constructing on Interstate 820, and therefore, will be building part of this particular interchange.

At this point in time, we are awaiting information from the developer as they continue to work on their master development plan. They have begun submitting to us their draft financial and development plans, and we believe that as we continue to receive that information and evaluate it, they will be coming forth with solutions that would allow them to implement the two areas of Interstate 35W that are circled there in red, that being from Interstate 30 south of 820 up to Interstate 820, and then from Interstate 820 up to US 287 where it diverges and heads to Decatur, Texas. And their intent is to move forward with the development of those particular segments with little or no additional tax funds necessary to allow that.

In doing so, they would build two additional connections to those managed lanes, either directly or indirectly, and therefore, would leave the remainder of this interchange left unimproved. To support that leveraged additional improvements, we believe that it might be possible to move forward with a separate project under the design-bid-build process to implement the non-tolled elements of this interchange and improve it to improve capacity of the general purpose lanes and frontage roads. We think that the ultimate cost of that project for engineering, right of way and construction would be approximately $150 million.

As I've mentioned, our status report to date is that the North Tarrant Express Mobility Partners are preparing and submitting their draft financial and facilities plans. They started submitting that information to us last week and continue to do so. We'll evaluate that information and then be coming forward to you with a recommendation of how we might proceed with supporting their financial plan and draft facility plans, and we think that we may be able to do that in the April or May time frame of this particular year.

And then lastly, just a real brief update on the US 77 or Interstate 69 corridor from the Corpus Christi area south to Brownsville as highlighted on this particular map. This existing facility, as many of you know, is a four-lane highway with a mixture of different design types, with a lot of at-grade crossovers and ultimately, obviously, will not in its current condition serve the interstate traffic that is anticipated along the Interstate 69 corridor that is being contemplated.

This is a critical corridor in Texas and it certainly has national implications as a trade route connecting South Texas to the Port of Houston and points beyond as NAFTA traffic moves across the border of Texas and Mexico.

The Interstate 69 comprehensive development agreement, as many of you know, the successful proposer for that particular CDA was Zachry American Infrastructure. They have submitted their documents to us and we have submitted those to the Attorney General for review and approval and have yet to receive that approval, and I'll talk briefly about that again in just a minute. But they contemplated many improvements along this particular corridor as part of the comprehensive development agreement.

We are currently near the conclusion of the development of our environmental assessments for this corridor, we expect to be submitting those to the Federal Highway Administration soon, and believe that later this summer we should be able to move forward with our public hearings so that we can close out with a finding of no significant impact in the fall or winter of 2010, early 2011.

Four projects of importance are ready to be implemented as soon as a comprehensive development agreement is approved and Zachry American Infrastructure is released to proceed. Those are noted on this map and we talked to you about those back in January. The districts, both in Corpus Christi and Pharr, as well as the local communities and counties, have been very eager and aggressive in getting these projects ready to proceed and continue to do that so that real construction activities can begin as soon as we're ready to move forward.

So today where we stand is, again, the comprehensive development agreement is still at the Attorney General's Office. The most recent development is that Zachry American Infrastructure has requested a change in their corporate structure which they're allowed to do, but it does require us to evaluate the impact of that particular request on the comprehensive development agreement, and we have notified the Attorney General that they have made this request.

We are currently evaluating their request, and have asked them to provide us some additional information to help us further evaluate the impacts of that, and as soon as we get the additional information from them, we'll continue to review that and share with the Attorney General our input and thoughts on the impacts of that on the comprehensive development agreement and seek their approval to move forward.

So with that, I'll be happy to try to answer any questions that you may have, and again, appreciate the opportunity to share this brief update with you.

MR. HOLMES: John, it wasn't clear to me, on these four projects in Kleburg, Kenedy, Willacy and Nueces Counties, were you planning to go forward with those outside of this Zachry CDA process, or is that part of it?

MR. BARTON: These are improvements that are included in the CDA, and if and when we get the approval to move forward with that, Zachry America would be the implementing partner to that. We would be working with them to get that done. Now, there is a potential that all of that ultimately doesn't work out, and if that's the case, then we do have four projects that would be very much needed and could be moved forward outside of the CDA at some point in the future.

MR. HOUGHTON: Are they funded?

MR. BARTON: They are not funded at this time.

MR. HOUGHTON: They are not.

MR. BARTON: No, sir.

MR. HOLMES: And you've got a few other small either bypasses or elevated sections or some solution in Driscoll and Rivera.

MR. BARTON: Driscoll and Rivera, yes, sir.

MR. UNDERWOOD: Those are part of the Zachry?

MR. BARTON: Yes, sir. All of the improvements along the corridor are actually part of the Zachry comprehensive development agreement, as well as many other improvements that they contemplated in the Brownsville and Corpus Christi area.

MR. HOLMES: And I'm not sure that I understand these four that you've got listed on that slide, I guess, number 24.

MR. BARTON: Yes, sir.

MR. HOLMES: Do I read this correctly that it's a mainlane and one overpass at each of these, except for Nueces.

MR. BARTON: Except for this section at US 77 in Nueces County where it intersects with State Highway 44 and FM 892. That particular project we'd construct some additional mainlanes as well as direct connectors from US 77 to State Highway 44. The rest of these are to build an overpass at those cross locations in the mainlanes through that area.

MR. HOLMES: And do I understand this that between the overpass in Willacy County the one in Kenedy County at Sarita, there are no other overpasses along there?

MR. BARTON: There currently are not, and this is a minimalistic approach to get an interstate-like type facility south of Refugio County. There are obviously crossovers and some at-grade intersections along that stretch but they are primarily for residences or for the ranches in that area and are not heavy traffic generators. So these overpasses would be the ones that we feel like as a minimum need to be put in place to improve truck movements and to create an interstate-like facility as quickly as possible.

MR. HOLMES: So it's not restricted access necessarily between those two points?

MR. BARTON: That's correct.

MR. SAENZ: It would still be a four-lane, divided highway which exists today, but in Sarita we've got that intersection that the community is on one side and most of the people that come to the community are on the opposite side. The right of way was already in place, so if you put an overpass there, then you eliminate that potential crossing.

And then, of course, south of Raymondville they've got one, Spur 56 was one of the segments that was still missing. There are still crossovers that allow people to go from north to south or south to north, but you're pretty much taking care of your cross streets.

MR. BARTON: Except for those residential and some of the ranches.

MR. HOLMES: And so there would not be mainlanes between those points, you would continue to use the existing what are, in effect, access roads.

MR. BARTON: Correct.

MR. SAENZ: And it's pretty similar to what we have been developing, I guess, on some of the projects further south of Raymondville where we identified those key farm to market roads that came across, we put grade separations so that you can just separate them. The road works good, it's got plenty of capacity, you're just trying to eliminate intersection points where you have a lot of cross traffic.

MR. HOLMES: It has plenty of capacity.


MR. HOLMES: I've never had to go slower than the speed limit.

MR. BARTON: Nor have I, and I always drive at or below the speed limit, for the record.

(General laughter.)

THE WITNESS: I'd make an observation or a comment, based upon hearing several of the presentations today, including this last one that you've just made with regard to the status of the Interstate 35W and 35E projects. It just occurs to me as we talked about Central Texas, 35 and prior to that we talked about 130, we get so focused, appropriately, you and your staff, Amadeo, others, people making the presentations today on the delivery of these very important 5- and 10-mile segments of these projects that we lose sight of the successes that we really are having.

And these successes are a result, and we need to communicate this, of a real understanding and thoughtful approach to meeting the goal and challenge that we have and that is facilitating the flow of people and goods between these urban centers of Texas. And if you think about what was discussed today -- just think about this for a moment, if our goal is to facilitate the flow of people and goods along what is the corridor linking San Antonio, Texas, through Austin and further on to Dallas-Fort Worth, you think, we talked about a 90-mile stretch of 130 which squarely is in that corridor; we talked about 90 miles of significant improvement to the Interstate 35 corridor; we talked about two prospective projects in the congested areas of Dallas and Fort Worth, and you add it all up and that would have a significant impact and it will enable us to meet the goals we're talking about.

So sometimes when we're talking about these 10-mile segments which are in and of themselves important, we lose sight of the fact that you and your staff, this agency, this commission , really are focused on and understand what the transportation goals are that we have to meet in this state. So thanks.

MR. BARTON: Thank you.

Just one last comment, Director Saenz and Deputy Director Simmons, just so you'll note, I started at 3:52, I was through at 4:01 and the questions came after that so I wanted to make sure you know that I got finished in less than ten minutes.

MR. HOUGHTON: Thanks for the brevity.

MR. SAENZ: Thank you, John.

That's it, commissioners.

MR. HOUGHTON: Any other questions, comments? Do we have anybody signed up?.

MR. SAENZ: We don't have a comment period.

MR. HOUGHTON: A motion?

MR. UNDERWOOD: So moved.

MR. HOLMES: Second.

MR. HOUGHTON: All in favor?

(A chorus of ayes.)

MR. HOUGHTON: Adjourned.

(Whereupon, at 4:08 p.m., the meeting was concluded.)


MEETING OF: Texas Transportation Commission Workshop
Special Meeting
LOCATION: Austin, Texas
DATE: March 24, 2010
I do hereby certify that the foregoing pages, numbers 1 through 118 inclusive, are the true, accurate, and complete transcript prepared from the verbal recording made by electronic recording by Nancy King before the Texas Transportation Commission.

(Transcriber) (Date)

On the Record Reporting, Inc.
3307 Northland, Suite 315
Austin, Texas 78731


Contact Us