Reduced tolls for truck drivers could help ease I-35 congestion

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Getting big rigs off of I-35 and onto SH 130 has been a topic of discussion for years. Whenever backups or deadly crashes involving large truck happen on the major interstate, the debate comes back to the surface.

Friday morning a big rig plowed into a pickup truck that was stopped for some reason on I-35 near Rundberg according to authorities. Police said the crash killed two women from Oklahoma City: 46-year-old Telesfora Fuentes and 23-year-old Yesenia Resendiz. Five others were taken to the hospital including three children.

Investigators are still determining what exactly happened in the crash, but there are plans in place to help ease congestion on I-35 and move 18-wheelers to SH 130.

During the 84th Legislative session State Rep. Celia Israel along with State Sen. Kirk Watson sponsored House Bill 594 and Senate Bill 270. The legislation would direct the Texas Department of Transportation to give a discount toll to big trucks on state-owned portions of SH 130.

The bill didn’t make it through the session, but The Texas Department of Transportation said it did receive $18.6 million in the budget to apply toward discounted rates for truck drivers starting Sept. 1. TxDOT said any additional funding that is needed would come from selling real estate properties the agency owns to compensate for the discounted rates.

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