(Aug. 2) Massachusetts’ “Big Dig,” the most expensive highway project to be built in America at $14.6 billion, is a bargain compared to the Trans Texas Corridor.

The corridor, proposed in 2002, is a nearly 600-mile long toll highway, rail and pipeline system that would span the Lone Star State at a projected cost of more than $180 billion — if proponents can get around strong opposition from local and state officials and the agriculture community.

For agriculture, it comes down to square footage, said Gene Hall, director of public relations for the Texas Farm Bureau, Waco.

“The final proposal is still pending, however, if you consider it’s a 1,200-foot wide path through some of the best farmland in Texas, some of it (the best) in the nation, it’s significant,” Hall said. “That comes down to about 146 acres per mile.”

The Farm Bureau has adopted an official stance against the project, Hall said.

The organization is not alone. Texas is in the midst of a heated gubernatorial campaign and all three of incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Perry’s opponents are using the issue as a campaign platform. Perry supports the proposed highway plan.

Carol Keeton Strayhorn, a candidate for the independent party, has called it the “Trans Texas Catastrophe” and a “$184 billion Boondoggle,” according to an Associated Press report.

The project’s effect, however, on fresh market growers could be minimal. Hall said most of the farmland that would be affected by the project is used for cotton, corn and cattle grazing.

The latest proposed path for the road system roughly follows Interstate 35 through the state from Oklahoma to Laredo, Texas, according to the project’s Web site, www.keeptexasmoving.org.

Most of the fresh produce growing areas are east of its projected path.

For distributors and wholesalers, the project doesn’t seem too promising, either. Ted Scribner, general manager of Harrington Produce Co., Dallas, said he’s not encouraged.

“We’ll never see it,” he said. “All of the people they’ve got to displace, I don’t think they’ll ever get it through.”

The project does not have a scheduled start date. It is in the environmental study phase. Routes are being considered, according to the Web site.

A better road system, though not necessarily the Trans Texas Corridor, is long overdue for Texas grower-shippers, said John McClung, president of the Texas Produce Association, Mission. The association does not have an official stance on the project, he said.