Austin Chamber of Commerce Chair Brian Cassidy and CEO Mike Rollins today sent letters to Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, requesting an "interim charge to study methods for transportation infrastructure financing."
The Chamber advocates on behalf of more than 2,000 member businesses that consistently rank traffic congestion as one of the top issues facing Central Texas businesses.
"The Austin region has been a significant driver of Texas’ economic success over the past 15 years, attracting capital investment, job creation, and spurring innovation," said Cassidy. "Our region’s population increases by 150 people every day, resulting in increased congestion on our roads and highways. IH 35 needs large-scale, capital intensive projects but unfortunately public funding has been unavailable to make these projects feasible. We are asking our governor, lieutenant governor, and Texas House speaker to instruct the State of Texas to study how to finance these projects by taking an open-minded approach and studying best practices, including means to allow for private sector investment. We are hopeful our government will recognize the urgent need to find solutions to relieve congestion and ensure commerce and people can move through our region in a timely and safe manner."
The full letter can be read here.
This letter has been sent as Cassidy testifies to members of the Texas Transportation Commission today in support of including all segments (funded and otherwise) of the IH 35 Capital Expressway project in the 2020 Unified Transportation Program.
In his testimony, Cassidy urged members of the commission to "proceed with advancing the Capital Expressway project in a manner that preserves all future options and opportunities for funding, financing, investment, operations, and demand management."
About the Austin Chamber of Commerce
The mission of the Austin Chamber of Commerce is to help create jobs so people can find work, provide for their families and achieve prosperity. We invest in a broad range of programs that build, support and diversify our regional economy.