Congresswoman Granger speaks with a BNSF worker at the Tower 55 project site where Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood praised Fort Worth area officials for their bipartisan effort to secure $104 million for the makeover of the Tower 55 train intersection and multiple dangerous railroad crossings near downtown.
With a rapidly growing economy and population and Burlington Northern Santa Fe, American Airlines, and Tower 55 all residing in the district, it is especially important to Texas' 12th Congressional District that America has a transportation infrastructure system in place that is maintained, efficient and economical.
With transportation as one of my top priorities in Congress, I secured a position on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development in 2013, which controls funding for all transportation programs in the country.
I am also proud that in 2011 I was able to secure $50 million in transportation funding to support infrastructure projects in the district, including Tower 55.
I am pleased to see the Texas Department of Transportation begin to move forward with the Tower 55 improvements, as they will address long-term congestion issues and support the district’s continued economic growth. I also believe that the start-up funding for high-speed rail will allow Texas to begin exploring options for a future rail corridor that links Fort Worth to Houston.
While in Congress, I’ve also fought to improve I-35W, State Highway 121, and I-820, better our rail capabilities and throughways, and expand D/FW Airport and the surrounding municipal airports.
I believe that building and maintaining a strong transportation infrastructure is vitally important to managing economic growth and ensuring economic development. That’s why I’ll continue to work closely with transportation stakeholders and fight to make sure Texas’ 12th Congressional District receives the right federal assistance to address our infrastructure needs.
Whether driving kids to school or trucking products to one of Texas’ ports, it is vitally important that our highways are maintained and safe.
Texas’ 12th Congressional District is booming. More families, more companies and more traffic are coming to our area every day. We need to make sure our highways have the capacity to safely take us to our destinations.
We also need to ensure this capacity is used in a smart way to optimize our resources and space. And with over 300,000 miles of roadway in Texas already and more that should be built, finding ways to construct and maintain these highways will require teamwork between federal, state, and local governments.
In 2012, Congress passed Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), which allows us to provide funding for surface transportation projects. I will work closely with my fellow Transportation Subcommittee members to oversee the implementation of that program to make sure your tax dollars are being spent responsibly and effectively.
Additionally, in the coming months, I will be looking closely at the long-term structural issues with our nation’s transportation funding streams. We must find a solution that helps provide certainty and solvency for the Highway Trust Fund, which gives states funding for critical transportation infrastructure projects that are important to our nation as a whole.
Finally, in September 2014, the Highway Reauthorization Bill will need to be renewed. As Congress begins work on this all-important piece of legislation, you can be sure that I will do my part to meet the highway needs of the 12th District and our nation in a fiscally responsible, sustainable way.
Trains can move one ton of freight nearly 450 miles on a single gallon of fuel, so with gas prices rising and highways becoming increasingly congested, it’s not difficult to see why rail transportation is once again becoming a critical piece of our nation’s transportation infrastructure.
Here in Texas’ 12th Congressional District, Tower 55 is one of the busiest rail intersections in the country. Located in downtown Fort Worth, Tower 55 connects freight and passenger trains that are traveling between the West Coast, the Midwest, the Gulf Coast, the Southeast, Canada and Mexico. As many of you know, this intersection gets pretty congested.
I strongly support the Tower 55 revitalization project, which will improve rail traffic flow in and out of Fort Worth. Making these critical enhancements will address congestion problems and provide economic growth opportunities to the 12th District.
Additionally, later this year, Congress will need to reauthorize the nation’s passenger rail policy, which creates pathways to make critical investments to our nation’s rail system. I will be working closely with other Members of Congress to pass legislation that balances rail transportation efficiency with safety.
Airlines and Air Travel
North Texas is the proud home of the two most dynamic domestic passenger airlines – American Airlines and Southwest Airlines – and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the economic engine for North Texas.
My work on airport and airline issues began over 15 years ago as the Mayor of Fort Worth and it’s been a pleasure to watch our area’s air travel capabilities expand in that time.
As your representative in Congress, I have worked very hard to improve the safety of air travel for passengers – even in the face of repeated attempted terrorist attacks and budget cuts. I have also fought to ensure the many airline employees – many of whom reside in the 12th District – have the tools they need to perform their duties and help all of us reach our destinations.