Sep 9, 2013 5:26 PM by Caroline Flores - firstname.lastname@example.org
CORPUS CHRISTI - The city is firing back at TxDOT about a new program it has proposed. It's called the "Turnback Program." It would transfer ownership of state owned roads to local governments, meaning we would have to pay to maintain state roads.
TxDot officials says if their program does become a reality they will pass on 12 state streets to the city, and tax payers will have to pay for the costs to maintain them. That's something our Mayor isn't happy about.
"Our tax payers are not obligated to take care of TxDOT roads," said Mayor Nelda Martinez.
To put it simply Mayor Martinez says she isn't buying into the new Turn Back Program. She says our city has enough trouble maintaining the streets we have, and we can't afford to take on any other streets.
"TxDOT roads are their roads. Legislatively it's their obligation to maintain them," said Mayor Martinez.
TxDOT says right now the program is on a voluntary basis, and Mayor Martinez says Corpus Christi isn't jumping in line to take over state roads. She says unless the state is willing to give us funds to pay for maintenance, it's not going to happen.
"We just identified the TxDOT roads we currently do have, and it would be in the millions. And so this is unacceptable," said Mayor Martinez.
The Mayor says if TxDOT were to put up funds to take care of the roads, then she would consider having a conversation about the transfer of ownership. But until then, she isn't interested.
"I will protect our tax payers and make sure that Tx DOT will continue to follow the law with their obligation to maintain these roads," said Mayor Martinez.
Here is the list of the 12 streets the state would pass on to Corpus Christi:
TxDOT says major highways like Crosstown and SPID won't be turned over because they still function as part of the state highway system.