AASHTO Journal, 7 September 2012
The Texas Transportation Commission last week approved a measure that allows select veterans to pass through some of the state’s toll roads without having to pay. Those included in the fee exemption include disabled vets or recipients of the Purple Heart and/or Congressional Medal of Honor.
“We are able to celebrate our freedom each and every day due to the unwavering sacrifice of our military’s brave men and women, so making it a bit easier for them to move through our great state is the least we can do,” said TxDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson in a statement. “We thank Texas veterans for their service and hope the free use of our toll roads recognizes the price they paid for our freedom.”
Qualified veterans will be able to bypass fees at Loop 1, SH 45 North, SH 45 Southeast, SH 130 (segments 1-4), and the Camino Colombia (or SH 255 near Laredo and Loop 49 in Tyler).
Texas reports that more than 7,300 specialty license plates in use through Travis, Williamson, and Hays counties (which are closest to the state’s central toll roads) indicate drivers are either disabled veterans or Purple Heart and Medal of Honor recipients. That number jumps to 106,666 for vehicles statewide.
Estimates show that the program costs less than $1 million each year to manage. TxDOT will be implementing the program for qualified veterans by Jan. 1.
Additional information on Texas’s toll road system is available at bit.ly/TxTolls.