Will Paved Roads In The Eagle Ford Be Converted To Gravel?

Paved Roads Cost $500,000 To Maintain - Gravel Roads Cost $10,000
I-37 Gravel Road Frontage in Live Oak County - TxDOT

I-37 Frontage in Live Oak County – TxDOT | Click to Enlarge

Near the end of July, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced plans to convert 83 miles of road to gravel in South and West Texas. Roads have been damaged by higher traffic and can be converted to gravel much more quickly than they can be repaired.

The conversion will affect roads in four South Texas counties: Dimmit, La Salle, Live Oak, and Zavala.

Three miles of I-37 frontage in Live Oak County and a portion of FM 1916 in Dimmit County have already been converted.

The department cited a funding shortfall for the reasoning. A typical paved road can cost $500,000 to maintain, while the cost falls to $10,000 for a gravel road. Speed limits will likely be lowered to 30 mph on gravel roads.

John Barton, TTxDOT Deputy Executive Director, stated “Affected roads have been heavily damaged by truck activity related to oil & natural gas exploration that they have become safety hazards.”

TxDOT Delaying Some Road Converstions

Lawmakers have raised concerns and TxDOT has indicated that some road conversions have been delayed by 60 days. On a case-by-case basis, counties can ask the state to reconsider.

A transportation department official said counties will be allowed to assume control of the gravel roads.

Is your area affected by the gravel road conversions? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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R.T. Dukes

R.T. Dukes

Managing Editor at EagleFordShale.com
R.T. is the managing editor of EagleFordShale.com. In prior roles, he advised major oil companies on strategy, the macro business environment, and opportunity screening. 2503 Robinhood, Houston, TX, 77005, U.S.A. | Telephone: 832.429.4790


  1. I agree. The oil companies NEED to build, maintain, and repair the roads. The town of Pleasanton is a nightmare. Traffic is horrible. Accidents are more frequent. Not to mention all the ecological damage inflicted. When the oil runs out, we’ll be left with the mess and Big Oil will just fold ip it’s circus tents an move to the next site. It’s bad enough they use chop seal to repave roads. TxDot needs to make oil companies build routes that don’t go through town. Oil industry trucks must be forced to use these roads or pay STIFF penalties for the drivers and the company responsible for that truck. But as usual, no one will do the right thing due to the cost. It is all pretty disgusting.

  2. Julian Reyes says:

    Instead of sending tax proceeds to the rainy day fund we need to invest in the infrastructure/ roads that will keep the money flowing. Thought this was already decided.

  3. Until the high traffic of eighteen wheelers slows down due to the drilling in the area it makes perfect sense.

  4. Sounds like something BHO would dream up! The millions of dollars being generated in the EFS ought to finance road repair.

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