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San Antonio Hopes To Reap Millions For Roads With Passage Of Prop 7

Chris Eudaily
TPR News
U.S. Highway 281 will be San Antonio's highest priority for Proposition 7 highway money.

Statewide passage of Proposition 7 in Tuesday’s election is expected to bring millions of new road construction dollars to the San Antonio area.  

Voter approval means an estimated $2.5 billion each year in additional money will be available for highway projects across Texas.  The money will come from a portion of state sales and vehicle taxes set aside for transportation.

San Antonio Councilman Ray Lopez expects the Alamo City to receive a healthy portion of that money.  Lopez chairs the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

“We are actually prepared to go to Austin and show our plan and show the priorities and then get as big an allocation as we can from the Texas Transportation Commission.”

Lopez  says historically greater San Antonio receives  8 to 9 percent of state highway funding .  If that holds true, Proposition 7 money could  bring the region an extra $225 million a year beginning in 2018. Lopez says there’s little debate over where the money would be used first.

“(On) 281 without a doubt.  We’ve also committed for (U.S. Highway) 281 to be done without tolls that would come out of Prop 7 at the very top of the list,” he said.

In addition to expanding that gridlocked corridor north of Loop 1604, Lopez says planners will now have the resources to begin relieving congestion at many of the major intersections going in and out of San Antonio.

Shelley Kofler is Texas Public Radio’s news director. She joined the San Antonio station in December 2014 and leads a growing staff that produces two weekly programs; a daily talk show, news features, reports and online content. Prior to TPR, Shelley served as the managing editor and news director at KERA in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.