Wednesday, June 27, 2007

State may defy local leaders on 121 toll plan

Dallas Morning News Report:

Money, politics could push panel to override choice of NTTA

The Texas Transportation Commission has made a habit of honoring local leaders' decisions.

But when commissioners meet Thursday to consider North Texas leaders' plans for the politically charged State Highway 121 toll road, nobody expects a rubber stamp.

The Regional Transportation Council voted 27-10 last week to endorse the North Texas Tollway Authority for the multibillion-dollar project. If ratified by the commission, the local vote would torpedo an earlier deal the state reached with the Spanish company Cintra.

Commissioners have never overruled a decision by the regional council, but with so much money and politics at stake, Highway 121 could set a precedent.

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