© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

TxDOT Considering Gravel Roads In South Texas As Cost-Saving Measure

South Texas Environmental Education and Research

Roads are being worn down with the high volume of heavy-load trucks passing in and out of the Eagle Ford Shale area, causing TxDOT to balance the need for frequent repairs with cost saving measures in their budget.

A paved road costs the agency about $500,000 per mile to maintain, but gravel roads cost about $10,000, so TxDOT wants to convert 83 miles of roadway into gravel, a decision that is being met with opposition from county officials.

State Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, held a meeting with the judges and commissioners of the affected counties and TxDOT, and this week was able to work out a 60-day waiting period on any decision.

Counties must submit their request for TxDOT to hold off the conversion within the next few days. Uresti said he hopes that will give enough time to discuss the changes with other stakeholders including the companies involved in the Eagle Ford.

TxDOT said it would take about $1 billion per year to keep roads affected by energy development in shape. At the end of the last legislative session lawmakers approved $225 million.