The Texas Transportation Commission-created TxDOT Restructure Council sends word today: Its long-awaited report, full o' recommendations aimed at improving the broke(n) Texas Department of Transportation, is done and available for reading right ... here. And high on the to-do list: Throw out the TxDOT leadership. Says the doc: "It is a change of TxDOT's leadership, starting at the highest levels of the executive administration, which will become the foundation for any lasting success." Which is but one of dozens of changes proposed. Also on the list:
Administratively align the five major urban districts (Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio) for management, strategy development, and sharing expertise and personnel; in addition, develop and implement a management structure for more effectively integrating and coordinating the operations of the Fort Worth and Dallas districts.
There's also a bit about a familiar subject -- high-speed rail. Says the report -- penned by Howard Wolf, South Oak Cliff's own Jay Kimbrough and David Laney, the latter of whom is a Dallas attorney with whom you may be familiar -- "proceed with caution":
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As for cost, depending on the complexity of the engineering work required, the degree of urbanization along the route and the necessary rolling stock capacity, construction and rolling stock capital costs typically range from $56 million to $112 million per mile (mileage between Houston and Dallas: 225). Also, it is not unusual for HSR projects to take over a decade to complete, creating the need for significant capital outlays before there is any cash flow. If debt is involved, delays in construction or passenger ramp-up, or shortfalls in ridership yield, can create significant financial stress.