Huge, gaping bags of it, apparently.
An estimated $313 billion will be needed to meet Texas' transportation needs through 2030, a special panel appointed by Transportation Commission Chairwoman Deirdre Delisi said today.
The figure takes into account the investment required to maintain pavement and bridges, to keep congestion from getting worse in urban areas and to provide for mobility and safety in rural areas, said Michael Walton, who holds the Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
Walton heads the 12-member committee named by Delisi to come up with the estimate of transportation needs. Among other members are H-E-B executive Ken Allen of San Antonio and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.
The panel's study did not include revenue sources for meeting the needs.
A past transportation cost estimate by TxDOT that showed an $86 billion funding gap in highway construction was questioned by the State Auditor's Office, putting a shadow on its claims of accuracy and fueling legislative concerns about the information coming from the agency.
Delisi said the current 2030 Committee had a broader scope and, importantly, was composed of outside business and civic leaders.
"TxDOT didn't produce this number," she said. "This was done by an esteemed panel of experts. That's the most important thing to remember."