Surging Economic Development Poses Challenge to Texas Infrastructure

January 8, 2015 by wilsonneelynyc

While the state of Texas has experienced a surge of economic development in recent years, this rapid growth has posed challenges for residents and local governments alike. From 2010 to 2013, Texas grew faster than any other state, welcoming 1.3 million new residents. Over the past decade, its rate of population growth has increased to more than double the rate of the nation as a whole, and with a current population exceeding 26 million, the US Census Bureau estimates that Texas’ will reach 40 million residents by the year 2050.

Many state lawmakers attribute this economic growth to a political climate rooted in the ideals of low taxes and limited government, a concept proudly termed the “Texas Miracle” by politicians such as Governor Rick Perry. However, this political philosophy has resulted in limited resources for infrastructure development. The influx of new residents and businesses has put a strain on Texas’ infrastructure, leading to overcrowded highways and dwindling water supplies in the state’s most populated cities. For example, growing oil drilling operations in both West and South Texas have resulted in increased truck traffic, more frequent traffic accidents, and worn down roads. However, state legislators continue to contend with the prospect of improving state-wide infrastructure while avoiding significant tax increases.

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