Congressman Lamar Smith

Representing the 21st District of Texas
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Transportation

airplane in flight

If we want economic growth, we must anticipate increased traffic. Proper planning, maintenance of existing roads and construction of new roads will help reduce travel times and increase public safety.

When President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act, it was hard to imagine the impact it would have on our economy and on rural communities. Although the positives of the Federal Interstate System greatly outweigh the negatives, Texans today face an accompanying problem: congestion and safety.

Our roads and bridges are in critical need of repair and improvement. Our local traffic is unacceptable and at times intolerable. Only a decade ago, 20,000 loaded trucks crossed the border at Laredo and up the I-35 corridor each year. That number has increased to 120,000, which is largely due to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

We can encourage economic growth and job creation if we repair our transportation infrastructure. New roads and highways are needed to meet the population growth.

The transportation appropriations bill is usually renewed every five years. In 2005, Congress passed the Transportation Equity Act, which included $12.8 million that I obtained for transportation projects in the 21st Congressional District. This legislation will make our roads safer, reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and create jobs.

I was also able to obtain approval for the future construction of a $350 million commuter rail project in the bill. Once completed, commuter trains will run on existing rail lines along the I-35 corridor. The effect of this is that it puts the commuter rail project in line for future funding.

We need to prepare for the future. With the Internet, we have the ability to travel half-way across the globe in a matter of seconds. Yet it can take an hour to travel a route that should take only 15 minutes.

An improved transportation system reduces fatalities and injuries. That should be the primary consideration when building new roads and highways.

More on Transportation

May 25, 2016

Washington, DC – Today it was announced authorization has been given to begin construction on a new federal courthouse in San Antonio for the Western District of Texas.

After years of efforts to replace the current, aging John H. Wood, Jr. Federal Courthouse, the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a project prospectus for the new courthouse.

May 24, 2016

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and a bipartisan group of Texas members of Congress sent a letter to the Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in support of the City of Austin’s application for the Beyond Traffic: The Smart City Challenge Grant.

Apr 23, 2011
By Gary Martin/gmartin@express-news.net
Updated 12:01 a.m., Saturday, April 23, 2011

Delays, layovers and connecting flights: The San Antonio congressional delegation is demanding some respect in the skies above the nation's capital.

Sep 21, 2009
U.S. Congressmen Ciro D. Rodriguez; Henry Cuellar; Charles Gonzalez and Lamar Smith announced $5 million in Stimulus funding for VIA Metropolitan Transit to replace conventional diesel buses with 35-foot composite body electric transit buses.
Jul 24, 2009
Congressmen Lamar Smith (TX-21) and John Carter (TX-31) today announced that $19;140;000 in funding for Austin was included in the FY2010 Transportation; HUD Appropriations bill and passed by the House of Representatives. The money will be used to purchase para-transit vehicles for Capital Metro; as well as new technology to improve bus service and traffic congestion.
Jul 24, 2009
Today; the San Antonio Congressional Delegation announced that the San Antonio VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority will receive over $30 million in funding. The funding is provided under the Department of Transportations Federal Transit Administration (FTA) as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Jul 14, 2009
Congressmen Lamar Smith (TX-21) and John Carter (TX-31) today announced that $19;140;000 in funding for Austin was included in the FY2010 Transportation; HUD Appropriations bill and passed by the THUD Appropriations Subcommittee. The money will be used to purchase para-transit vehicles for Capital Metro; as well as new technology to improve bus service and traffic congestion.
May 22, 2009
Washington Post: The Obama administration is preparing to send General Motors into bankruptcy as early as the end of next week under a plan that would give the automaker tens of billions of dollars more in public financing as the company seeks to shrink and reemerge as a global competitor; sources familiar with the discussions said.
May 18, 2009
Bexar County “ Bulverde Road IV Phase A “ Requesting $4,640,000
Dec 19, 2008
Today President Bush announced a $17.4 billion rescue package for the Detroit auto makers that allows them to avoid bankruptcy. The money will come from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Earlier this week; Congressman Lamar Smith joined other House Republicans in signing a letter to the President opposing the use of TARP funds for an auto bailout.