LEAGUE CITY, Texas – A hearing to discuss plans to complete the Grand Parkway is scheduled Tuesday at 10 a.m. in Austin.
More than $1.3 billion of roadway, connectors and interchanges could be de-funded and the sections that connect Brazoria, Fort Bend and Galveston counties could be canceled because of a recent push by some TxDOT administrators and Texas Transportation Committee members to move away from new state-funded toll roads.
Galveston County Judge Mark Henry released a statement to his residents that said it would be "damaging" to scrap plans.
His statement said in part:
Grand Parkway segments B and C would connect I-45 in League City to IH-69 in Fort Bend County … Construction of these segments will create a critical hurricane evacuation route for our county, provide an additional corridor to improve mobility in the region, reduce daily traffic congestion, and increase economic development and growth in the region. If delayed or sidelined, the impacts on Galveston County and surrounding areas would be damaging. Our county is at greater risk than other counties in the region during an evacuation due to our main evacuation route being I-45 and being at the mercy of Harris County in giving us an opportunity to evacuate first. There are more than 4 million people located just north of the county line and if an evacuation order is ever issued, our existing evacuation routes could easily become overwhelmed, trapping much of our residents trying to evacuate. A fully constructed Grand Parkway would provide and additional and crucial lifesaving hurricane evacuation route for all Galveston County residents. For this reason alone, we need TxDOT to reconsider removing this project from their plans.
Henry concluded by asking people to reach out to TxDOT showing their support for the project.
The Texas Transportation Commission is expected to vote on it in late August. The deadline to give input is Aug. 12.