ABILENE, Texas - The Texas Department of Transportation is turning to the private sector for additional funding of roadside maintenance projects.
The Texas Transportation Commission approved a rule change January 31 to allow TxDOT to accept private donations for the projects that include litter pick-up, mowing services, vegetation management and maintenance of information centers and rest areas.
TxDOT Information Specialist Mark Cross said the maintenance budget ranges between $2 billion and $5 billion dollars each year, but that still is not nearly enough to fund all projects. Officials hope to raise up to $3.5 million annually through the sponsorship program.
Cross said the state will accept monetary donations of any amount from private businesses and organizations. Each entity that donates will be acknowledged by a sign in their sponsored area.
Travelers at the rest stop off of Interstate 20 near Abilene said the area seems to be one of the cleaner ones, but they welcome the possibility of extra funding.
"You get tired and you need to use the restroom and so that's why you want to get a clean place to stop," Norma White said.
TxDOT oversees 78 safety rest areas and 12 information centers that could benefit from the program.
To donate, contact TxDOT at (512) 463-8700 for more information.