Stimulus money will pay for some highway maintenance projects for East Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - State transportation officials moved forward Thursday with a bundle of road and bridge maintenance projects to be paid for by $505 million in federal economic stimulus money headed to Texas. The Texas Transportation Commission is expected to approve $1.2 billion in bigger highway projects using the federal cash next week. Texas is set to get $2.25 billion in transportation money from the stimulus plan signed into law last week by President Barack Obama. Republican Gov. Rick Perry has criticized the federal economic stimulus bill, but he and his transportation allies have long said the state needs more money for roads to ease traffic congestion. The five-person transportation commission, all his appointees, easily voted to approve the stimulus money maintenance work Thursday. On Wednesday, the Texas Department of Transportation staff issued a list of projects that meet federal criteria and could be ready to go soon, and thus be paid for with economic stimulus money. The commission also approved Texas Department of Transportation support for 10 aviation projects valued at $49.7 million. Those stimulus-funded projects will be submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration for a final decision.

To learn about the projects in your region go to Texas Department of Transportation at  (keyword "stimulus").