THE TRANSPORTATION PROBLEM
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|Speaking of transportation issues, we?d been saving The Real Estate Council?s Sept. 28 meeting at The Fairmont Hotel for a rainy day and, voila, we have one. Pictured are Hillwood VP Russell Laughlin, TxDOT deputy district engineer Bob Brown, Munsch Hardt CEO (and TREC legislative affairs chairman) Glenn Callison, NTTA chairman Paul Wageman, and NCTCOG director of transportation Michael Morris. Bob says the biggest issue facing transportation is funding, which led Russell to note that public/private partnerships may be the wave of the future. He says the business community is being called upon to address the lack of funding because ?it is not a planning problem, and it is not an engineering problem. It's a financing problem.?|
|Prime examples of public/private partnerships are the DFW Connector, LBJ Express (the old LBJ is pictured at one of the few times it wasn't bumper to bumper), and the North Tarrant Express. Russell says each of these will greatly advance the transportation infrastructure as a whole, but it will take the help of the North Texas business community and the private sector to continue to meet the demands of a growing economy. The LBJ Express won't officially begin until early next year, but preparation work is already underway;geotechnical borings (which are more exciting than they sound) started a few months ago to test soil and pavement. This testing occasionally requires service roads and main lanes to be closed to accommodate the drill rig and crew. Last weekend saw several closures as crews were verifying locations of existing utilities to prepare adjustment and relocation plans.|