Eltife: TxDOT's 'turnback' program doesn't fix anything - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Eltife: TxDOT's 'turnback' program doesn't fix anything

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Miles and miles of Texas roadways could be turned over to cities to help the Texas Department of Transportation save money.

TxDOT 'turn back' program would give control of certain roadways from the state to the city. Tyler and Longview are included in the plan, which is still under discussion.

Under the plan, Tyler would receive control of 42 miles of roadways, while Longview would receive control of 28 miles. [Click here to see maps of the roadways affected.]

The plan would pass a big price tag on to those cities who would have to deal with maintenance on those roadways.

"[The program] puts a lot of pressure on local governments that have to come up and find the money to maintain those roadways that traditionally and historically done by TxDOT," David Willard, Longview City Manager, said.

"This would be an expensive proposition for the City of Tyler," said Mayor Barbara Bass.

Local officials have sent letters stating their opposition to the transportation commission and asked state lawmakers for assistance as well. State Senator Kevin Eltife received letters from both the Cities of Tyler and Longview and has sent his own letter of opposition to the transportation commission.

"This doesn't fix anything! All this does is take the problem from the state level to the local level," said State Senator Kevin Eltife. "And it's harder for cities to deal with this problem than it is for us at the state level."

Some cities believe TxDOT should look for a solution on the state level rather than shifting the problem to municipalities.

"I think that we can look at this on a statewide basis," Mayor Bass said. "We can look at it as what we need to do as Texans, and do the right thing without straining the local communities with the cost of this 'gift' back to the communities." 

Along with cities, the Texas Municipal League has also voiced opposition against the plan. The 'turnback' plan is still under discussion, but Sen. Eltife said he hopes the transportation commission will opt for to make the 'turnback' voluntary before requiring cities to control the roads.

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