Bill To Use Some Transportation Commission Money In Moving Utilities Passes Texas Legislature

May 14, 2019

 

The Texas Legislature has passed a bill (134 for, 7 against, 2 present not voting) that would allow the state to take over the relocation of some utility lines in cases where any delay would also delay Department of Transportation projects.

District 19 State Sen. Pete Flores‘s SB 1512 would facilitate road projects by allowing the Texas State Transportation Commission to pay up to $10 million per year in cases where utility lines must be relocated because of TxDot road projects, but the government entity or utility can’t afford to move the lines themselves and can’t quality for a load from the state infrastructure bank.

Waiting for utilities or political subdivisions to come up with the money for such relocations sometimes delays road projects, causing TxDot to have to pay for relocations — the bill would move such payments to the Transportation Commission.

The bill also includes special consideration for political subdivisions with populations below 5,000 that have also been among counties declared federal disaster areas five times during the previous six years, easing infrastructure rebuilding.