The Texas Transportation Commission acted unanimously to approve roughly $2 billion in highway projects across the state. The projects will be funded by Proposition 12 bond proceeds, which were authorized by the Texas Legislature in 2009.

Voters initially approved the bond referendum in 2007, directing the Legislature to authorize up to $5 billion in general obligation bonds for transportation projects.

Senate Bill 1 allows $2 billion in Proposition 12 bond proceeds be spent on non-toll highway projects, with $1 billion expended by September 2011. Criteria for selecting projects included corridors of statewide significance based on traffic density and crash rates; rehabilitation and safety projects based on pavement improvement and safety improvement; and mobility projects based on factors including delay reduction.

Included in the approved list are six projects, valued at an estimated $1 billion, to expand IH-35 from a four- to a six-lane highway between San Antonio and Hillsboro.

Other projects include the reconstruction of Houston’s $178-million IH-610/U.S. 290 Interchange; $100 million to expand IH-45 in Houston; a 4-mi, $80-million expansion of Loop 375 in El Paso; and $130 million to San Antonio’s Wurzbach Parkway to complete a 4.8-mi reconstruction and expand from a four-to a six-lane divided roadway.