Houston leaders say investment in transportation "critical" - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Houston leaders say investment in transportation "critical"

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It took lots of time and a good bit of turmoil, but Texas lawmakers have finally agreed to turn taxes collected from the state's rich oil and gas plays into brand new pavement.

More than a billion dollars each and every year for bridges, roads and crossings all to help Texans and their goods get where they need to go, in a timely fashion.

Harris Judge Ed Emmett says the need is both simple and critical.

"This growth is not just going to keep coming to Texas if we get congested. The areas where the economy grows is where goods move freely. If we don't build transportation infrastructure those goods are going to go somewhere else and where those goods go, the jobs go, where the jobs go, the people go," said Emmett.

In Houston, that means efficient pathways into and out of the port as well as fresh roadways linking outer suburbs - the communities set to draw the lion's share of an estimated two million new arrivals over the next 20 years.

"Companies will not re-locate to Houston, if they can't their goods across town and can't get their employees to work in the morning," said Bob Harvey, President and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership.

Harvey believes the steady flow of cash for transportation will pay powerful dividends.

"As long as we have the best business climate in the country and as long as we continue to address these critical issues there's nothing that constrains this region's growth," said Harvey.

Texas voters will have the final say with a statewide vote in November of 2014. Harvey is confidant taxpayers will see the value of investing in transportation.


"Think about it, two years ago, one year ago, six months ago what were you experiencing versus what you are experiencing today getting in and around this area? I think people get it. They know there is a critical need here that needs to be addressed," said Harvey.

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