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article imageTexas Transportation Officials Still Denying Existence of NAFTA Superhighway

By restlessmind     Jan 29, 2008 in Politics
Townspeople seeking info about the planned TTC-69 link of the NAFTA Superhighway find sales pitch, disinformation but no hard answers to their concerns over issues like property seizure and tolling of public roads
The 800 people who packed the Hempstead’s Knights of Columbus Hall last week for a Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT)-sponsored town hall meeting devoted to the TTC-69 leg of the Trans Texas Corridor were met with aggressive PR efforts on behalf of the planned giant multi-billion dollar toll road, but few answers to their questions.
Transportation Commissioner Ted Houghton of El Paso, reinforcing the concern of many in the audience that the series of 11 town hall meetings in various towns along the route would be nothing more than a sales pitch, called it a return to "Marketing 101."
"We did a pretty horrible job with public relations," Houghton admitted.
TTC-69 would be part of the NAFTA Superhighway system designed to carry container goods—mainly Chinese—from Mexican ports like Lazaro Cardenas up through Mexico and the U.S.A. and into Canada. As TXDOT admitted on its own website in a document since removed:
Interstate 69 is a planned 1,600-mile national highway connecting Mexico, the United States and Canada. Eight states are involved in the project. In Texas, I-69 will be developed under
The Trans Texas Corridor master plan.
The Trans Texas Corridor is, of course, the Texas link of the NAFTA Superhighway.
Many people harbor an inherent distrust over vast public-private partnerships that can seize property by “eminent domain” for projects chiefly profiting giant corporations while the public picks up a hefty share of the tab. TTC-69 is to be built either by San Antonio-based Zachry American Infrastructure or Cintra, a Spanish firm.
The hundreds of citizens who thronged to the meeting hall hoped that their concerns would be seriously addressed. But it was not to be. Commissioner Houghton, fielding questions, told his incredulous audience that TTC-69 was “not about cargo and containers,” and cut off further questioning along that line. At one point, he drew guffaws when he denied that it would even be a NAFTA highway because “it doesn’t connect to Mexico.”
Reminded that its southern terminus point—Brownsville/McAllen—is on the border, Houghton retorted, “Well it’s close but it doesn’t, so let’s get the facts right.”
The series of meetings will continue through February 6.
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