Sunday, July 31, 2005

Local reps bring home transportation bacon

Local reps bring home transportation bacon - The Daily Texan - State & Local: "Two Austin congressmen relayed news Friday of millions of dollars worth of transportation-related earmarks they were able to secure for their districts, as part of a massive transportation bill approved by the U.S. House Friday.

Surely, Lamar Smith and Lloyd Doggett, Republican and Democrat respectively, were not alone in their boasting this weekend. The $286.4 billion highway bill, passed after two years of work, holds $24 billion earmarked for local projects. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas lawmakers brought home 220 earmarked projects totaling $669 million for highways and mass transit. TxDOT also estimates Texas motorists will receive a slightly larger rate of return on the gas tax, because of the bill.

Smith and Doggett claim to have brought back almost $20 million in bacon to decrease traffic congestion, improve highways, increase the number of bike and pedestrian trails and create jobs for the Austin area. The construction of a $350 million commuterrail project was also approved in the bill, according to a written statement from Smith. "


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