In response to Ben Wear's Austin Statesman article "TxDOT says outsourcing highway maintenance could save millions, but previous pilot project fell flat"
We have learned during the past 10 years that what TxDOT has to say often means very little regarding the truth on various issues.
Mr. Wear makes some good points in the article, e.g., that TxDOT already has used private contractors to perform various highway and road building and maintenance. Unfortunately, more often than not, the work performed is not professional or quality oriented.
A small example of this is 5 years ago when TxDOT decided to repave FM 1826 in parts of Hays and Travis counties. The seal was a cheaper and lower quality product instead of using a hot seal. Very quickly after the job was completed the road became marred, noisy and bumpy. When large and heavy trucks turned on the road, they created swirls and marks in the seal. However, TxDOT already had signed off on the job instead of supervising the work more closely and inspecting the quality performed.
It was disastrous for residents, who fought TxDOT for 1 long year to resurface the roadway correctly. Finally residents won the battle but lost the war as taxpayers had to pay twice to have the roadwork done correctly. TxDOT is arrogant and mismanaged by various Perry appointed puppets at the helm.
There are quite a few other stories that show us that TxDOT often performs inferior work via its private contractors while it spends too high a cost for private work.
Maybe the workload and administration of the too independent TxDOT agency should be cut down and turned over to a private and/or independent commission to oversee and manage road work expenditures and performance evaluations.
In addition, TxDOT and Gov. Rick Perry are far too happy to develop toll roads to increase the profits of their wealthy special interests and themselves instead of doing what they are supposed to do: work in the best interests of the Texas community.