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Cuellar Says Fixing Roads A Priority In Washington

Flickr user Adam Fagen (afagen)

Today Congressman Henry Cuellar appeared at a Greater San Antonio Chamber luncheon to brief regional business leaders on his priorities for the district.

One of those priorities is repair of the roads and bridges in rural counties where hydraulic fracking has become a way of life.

Cuellar serves on the House Appropriations Committee, which reviews proposed expenditures. Most of the oil- and gas-rich counties south of San Antonio were woefully unprepared for the sudden change in their populations, traffic and infrastructure needs, and Cuellar said repairs for roads and bridges all over the country must be considered when drafting federal legislation.

"First of all we have to make sure when we do the next highway bill - and they're starting to do the Highway Bill up there in Washington now - is that we put in the money to meet the needs we have right now. There are roads and bridges that are just in decay right now. But the question is: How do we pay for it?" Cuellar said.

Cuellar praised the Texas Legislature for its action this session in earmarking money for road repair in those counties where fracking activities have torn up county roads.

Senate Bill 1747, one of the last bills passed over the weekend, provides $225 million to repair roads in high-impact oil and gas producing regions in the state.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.