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Critics Worry Planned Trans Texas Corridor May Be A Breeding Ground For 18-Wheeler Crashes

Christine O'Kelly
Aug 14, 2008
Some see the proposed Trans Texas Corridor as a dream, but for others it is a nightmare. The TTC, or Texas Superhighway, is a privately financed system of highways, railways and utility rights of way. It is now in several stages from planning to actual construction. Expected to be completed in about 25 years, it will run parallel to some existing highways while creating a water, gas and electricity pipeline, high-speed rail for freight and passengers and toll roads for 18 wheelers, trucks and passenger vehicles.

Location

The exact location of this super highway has not been determined as of yet. There are two corridors under consideration for the TTC. One plan parallels Interstate 35 (I-35), from Gainesville to Laredo, passing the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Austin and San Antonio. The second is a corridor generally following US 59, from Texarkana past Houston to either Laredo or the Rio Grande Valley. Both of these corridors have seen a notable increase in freight traffic over the past 20 years as a direct result with increased trade with Mexico.

18-Wheeler Lanes

The 18-wheeler trucks from Mexico bringing goods into the United States will be a major source of traffic along the corridor. At first all vehicles, including 18-wheelers, will use the same lanes as regular traffic during the early phases of the TTC construction. Ultimately, the plan calls for 18-wheelers to have separate lanes from passenger cars. Private investors will initially fund the development of the TTC, at a cost estimated today to be $184 Billion. They will then charge tolls to use the system.

Highway Safety Concerns Arise.

A major concern regarding the TTC is that its roads will have limited access and critics worry that 18-wheeler crashes will cause major interference in the traffic flow. With as much as 10 miles separating points of entry to the system, it will be difficult for emergency vehicles to respond quickly to 18-wheeler crashes, spills, fires, train derailments, pipeline ruptures or other emergencies.

The citizens group Corridor Watch cites the "certainty of significant transportation disruptions that will result from simple accidents within a corridor that has no alternate route capacity as a function of its limited access points and geographic alignment that's distant from the existing highway infrastructure."

Due to the system's limitations, it is feared a slow emergency response time will be the rule, not the exception. This of course would be a concern to major 18-wheeler crashes on the TTC. Also, traffic on the TTC is expected to move faster, which can result in increased accidents. Innocent drivers who initially share these roads with large 18-wheeler trucks are at the greatest risk.
About the Author
Christine O'Kelly is an author for 18-Wheeler Accident.org , an organization of legal representatives specializing in helping clients that have been involved in 18-wheeler crashes .
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