ROADS: Oil and gas boom crumbling Texas roads

Some politicians believe the state needs to step up and fix them

Asphalt News StateImpact Texas February 27, 2013
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The process of fracking is fracturing county roads in southern Texas.


Some lawmakers believe it is about time the state steps up with some funding to help fix the crumbling routes. A group of them met on Feb. 26 discussing ways to manage the oil- and gas-drilling boom in their region.


Fracking, which pulls oil and gas out of the ground, requires as much as 5 million gal of water to be drilled, and that water is hauled in by a number of trucks.


“It has to be hauled in, it has to be hauled out,” Rep. Phil King said. “To move a full rig unit may take as many as 40 truck trips. And on those thin blacktop county roads, it’s tough.”


In fact, the process has been so tough on the roads that lawmakers believe as much as $2 billion is needed to repair them. State Sen. Carlos Uresti has introduced a bill that calls for one-time funding of $400 million. The money would come from Texas’ Rainy Day Fund, which is funded by drilling tax revenues.


Rep. Van Taylor, however, warned the group that oil booms eventually bust, and now might not be the time to pull from the Rainy Day investment.


“The revenue stream that brought the Rainy Day Fund to where it is, at some point, all that production leads to a drop in price, and then development stops. It’s important to be careful.”

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