GALVESTON, Texas – The Texas Department of Transportation approved a plan Thursday to complete the construction of the Grand Parkway, according to Galveston County Judge Mark Henry.
Henry said in a letter to residents that was shared with KPRC 2 that the agency voted to adopt a plan that included the completion of the parkway, which is also known as State Highway 99.
Several segments of the project were on the chopping block in a draft of the plan that was released in July, including segments in Galveston, Brazoria, Fort Bend and Liberty counties.
According to Henry, the plan approved Thursday includes segments that connect SH 99 to Interstate 45 in Galveston County and the segment that connects SH 99 to Interstate 69 in Fort Bend County.
Henry said he and other local leaders made pleas to the Transportation Department to reconsider the plan.
“We led an effort to make it known to TxDOT that completing SH 99 as planned is vital to the safety and continued economic growth of Galveston County and the region,” Henry wrote in the letter.
Henry said that once the parkway is completed, it will serve as an evacuation route, reduce daily congestion and connect industries and businesses.
KPRC 2 has reached out to TxDOT for more information about what was approved Thursday.
Henry's entire letter
The entire letter from Henry follows:
"The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) voted on the final version of the 2020 Unified Transportation Program (UTP) this morning, laying out their priorities for the next ten years. Draft versions of the UTP had cut the completion of SH99 (Grand Parkway) from the list of future projects. We led an effort to make it known to TxDOT that completing SH99 as planned is vital to the safety and continued economic growth of Galveston County and the region. Other local leaders and I travelled to Austin earlier this month to provide public testimony on the fundamental need for the quick and efficient completion of this long-planned project.
"I am happy to announce that the final UTP adopted today included the completion of SH99, including the sections connecting I-45 in Galveston County to IH 69 in Fort Bend County. Once completed, this stretch of road will serve as a lifesaving hurricane evacuation route, reduce daily congestion, and further connect industry and business in Galveston County to the western parts of the greater Houston area.
"I want to thank everyone who heeded the call to action and provided public comment to the TxDOT commissioners. Without your efforts, the Grand Parkway may very well have been removed from TxDOT’s plans. Galveston County will continue to work with TxDOT to bring this project to completion."