Corporate use of public roads, destroying them, but those roads can't be fixed with tax dollars. (my guess is that those oil companies are using tax loopholes in offshore banks)

The sharp increase in heavy traffic from a historic oil boom has damaged many farm-to-market roads in South and East Texas. The damage related to energy development has become so extensive that state and local authorities lack the funding to make all the repairs. Last month, the Texas Department of Transportation announced plans to convert more than 80 miles of paved roads to gravel. The conversions are expected to start Monday, TxDOT officials said. But the plan has been met with criticism from lawmakers and some of the farmers and ranchers who live near those roads.

“Since paving roads is too expensive and there is not enough funding to repave them all, our only other option to make them safer is to turn them into gravel roads,” TxDOT spokesman David Glessner said.

Dimmit County, near the Texas-Mexico border, will be hit hardest by TxDOT’s decision. More than 30 miles of the county’s farm-to-market roads are slated to be turned to gravel.

In the final days of the 83rd regular legislative session, lawmakers found $225 million to repair county roads affected by energy development, and the same amount for repairs to state-owned roads. That funding, though, was only a temporary fix. Efforts to increase taxes on the companies that are profiting from the energy boom to cover the road repair costs failed to gain traction. TxDOT said repairing and maintaining the oil field roads into the future will cost about $1 billion a year in additional funding.

The conversions will affect roads in four South Texas counties — Live Oak, Dimmit, LaSalle and Zavala — and two West Texas counties — Reeves and Culberson. Glessner said the farm-to-market roads that will be turned to gravel were picked, in part, because they are rural routes that are ineligible for federal funds.


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