Regional Transportation public meeting answers city questions

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Karina Garcia/ISLAND WAVES – Projected Five year Financial plan for the Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority.

The Corpus Christi Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) held a public meeting on Nov. 14 to discuss the 2020-2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). The MTP is a transportation plan that will identify how the region of Corpus Christi will invest in the future of transportation.

The meeting allowed citizens the opportunity to give their input on the plan, as well as discuss the city’s pre-approved funded projects. Upon the opening of the event, a majority of the  attendees showed concerns for the harbor bridge project, and for the hopeful expansion of the bus system.

“Our plan is fiscally constrained through 2045, so that means we can’t plan for projects we don’t actually have the money to implement,” says MPO Senior Transportation Planner Craig T. Casper when talking about the bus system. “The bus system, we don’t have the funds to do an expansion of the routes as they currently sit now. There is some funding to look at adjusting the routes, to maximize ridership.”

As for the harbor bridge, “Last time I talked to TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) it was looking at 2023, they had some issues with the scheduling. …the good news is that the contract they have, it looks like if the project does go overcost it won’t all be cost on TxDOT,” said Casper.

Life-cycle Cost, a transportation plan that was originally focused on building roads, has also seen some setbacks. “The problem we are running into is, this area has expansive soils. The type of clay that’s here expands and contracts by nine percent,” said Casper. “When it rains it swells up, and when there’s a drought it shrinks, so that wears our roads out.”

Because expansive soil is the root cause for the cracks, potholes and other damages on the road, the city wants to shift some focus on maintenance. Casper mentioned that they plan to fix the savable roads with a few maintenance repairs, while the really bad roads will cost the city double to repair, meaning it might take some time before those roads are fully repaired.

Talk of turning Corpus Christi into a “smart city” was a new idea that many were eager to jump on. With the advancement of 5G, and other technology, the city could potentially be able to have traffic lights that would calculate when, and where traffic is most prominent. Meaning the amount of time you take at a stop light would be calculated by the amount of traffic on that street during that specific time.

“A real time adjustment of traffic signals, to match the traffic that’s out there, so right now we can’t do that, we don’t have the capability,” says Casper. “These are things that we’d like to get done in the next four to ten years.”

For anyone with any questions on the city’s new MTP, call (361) 884-0687  “We really do listen to what people have to say, so please come and take a look at what we got, it does matter,” adds Casper.