Eagle Ford Boom Bad News for County Roads – KENS-TV – Video

Less than 1% of Right of Way Royalties Returned to Local County Governments for Road Maintenance

The Eagle Ford oil boom has been a boon on the Texas economy, injecting billions of dollars in revenue from oil & gas companies into the state’s budget. By contrast, local county governments have not seen parallel increases for their coffers, although money derived from local tax revenues and drilling fees, in some instances, have padded local county budgets.

Read more: Riches from the Eagle Ford Boom – Video

One of the most serious problems for local county governments is a direct result of the increased traffic on their roads. According to a recent KENS-TV story, it takes 1,200 18-wheelers  to set up a rig, and another 350 trucks during the life of the rig for maintenance. Karnes County and DeWitt County, which are both in the heart of the oil window of the play, have consistently had active rig counts between 20 – 30, since the beginning of the year, which has equated to a lot of traffic on roads not designed for such heavy loads.

In the past 3 ½ years, $28,000,000 has gone directly to the state through right of way royalties, but less than 1% has been returned for road maintenance. Karnes and DeWitt County have forked over $16-million during the same time frame, according to the report.

Local county officials are fed up with not receiving what they feel is more adequate funding from the state for road maintenance in their areas. Now, there is talk about a coalition of county governments being formed to demand more money from Austin.

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Kirk Eggleston

Kirk Eggleston

Contributor at EagleFordShale.com
Kirk Eggleston writes on significant news developments in the Eagle Ford and Bakken Shale plays. He is a former broadcast journalist, and has experience covering news and politics in the Texas and Louisiana markets.


  1. I can attest to the fact that roads in those counties are in shambles. Worked as a gate guard for months at a time in both counties, and have personally seen the terrible erosion of road not designed for such large trucks and equipment. DeWitt county in particular, has a large number of rigs spudding in and pulling out, and after that the coiling/tubing, fracking, and again coiling. Cheapside Road and Cemetary Bellevue Road look like the battlefields of the Somme in World War I France. Half arce measures are done by the county in patching up some of the roads, but the majority are nothing but road hazards – pot holes as big as moon craters, shoulders falling off to about 2 to 3 inches off the road, and roadway that used to be able to carry two vehicles coming and going has been reduced to one very thin layer of crumbling asphalt. Some roadway so badly damaged has been purposely neglected to allow it to become gravel road. The dust blown from these dilapidated lanes are so severe you would think it was the Oklahoma dust bowl of the 1930’s. It poses a health risk when you breath the dust particles in your lungs. I wish I knew how much each county is receiving in tax revenue from those oil companies. But from what I am seeing, it is clearly not enough.

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