Thursday, August 7, 2008

TTC-69 lobby group, Alliance for I-69, takes their show on the road

By Terri Hall - TURF - Aug. 9, 2008
Alliance for I-69 is the biggest pro-TTC-69 lobby group in the state. Their chief lobbyist, Gary Bushell, is also the same lobbyist TxDOT illegally hired with taxpayer money to lobby elected officials in the path of the TTC-69. Bushell is also a notable campaign contributor to MANY politicians, Bexar County Rep. Frank Corte among them. Today, Alliance for I-69 teamed up with Zachry, who along with Spanish company ACS won the development rights to TTC-69 in June, hit Victoria with their dog and pony show, and they’ve been in Austin hitting up lawmakers, too. Their logo on the material they left with lawmakers even has a Canadian, Mexican, and U.S flag morphed together, yet TxDOT denies the Trans Texas Corridor is about NAFTA, international trade, the movement of freight/goods, or the economic integration of the three countries.

I-69 partners make presentation
Victoria Advocate - August 05, 2008

The Alliance for I-69 Texas and U.S.-owned company Zachry American Infrastruture have partnered up and are traveling across the state giving presentations on I-69. On Tuesday, they stopped in Victoria.

During the short initial meeting, city leaders met with Gary Bushnell of the advocacy group and Gary Kuhn, senior project manager for Zachry, the firm awarded the contract for the superhighway.

The Interstate 69 corridor project is a proposed multi-use, statewide network of transportation routes in Texas that will incorporate existing and new highways, railways, utility right-of-ways and toll roads. Zachry was awarded the contract for the project in June by the Texas Transportation Commission.

The presentation focused on ways Victoria could use I-69 to their economic advantage and about the potential the corridor has in terms of new transportation technology.

According to Kuhn, Zachry is working on a master plan that takes into account local projects Texas communities want to do and how the company can help improve local economic development. Kuhn also discussed Zachry’s proposal for a freight shuttle that would go alongside the existing route of U.S. 77 in Victoria. According to Kuhn, the freight shuttle combines the best characteristics of the rail and truck transportation, but is more efficient, cheaper and causes less pollution. He added that it would run on electromagnetic pulses that create motion and a freight shuttle system across Texas could be up and running by as early as 2015.

“We’ve been working with the Alliance to visit all the communities involved in the I-69 Interstate. There is a lot of collaboration that needs to take place among these communities,” Kuhn said. “It’s a kind of one for all and all for one deal.”

The meeting included Mayor Will Armstrong, Dale Fowler of the Victoria Economic Development Corp. and Lee Swearingen of the Victoria County Navigation District.

Read more in TURF and in the Victoria Advocate

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