Days of Free Roads Behind Us

Another step in the Grand Parkway project is approved. Harris County Commissioners vote to authorize spending nearly 10-million dollars on the segment that will connect Interstate-10 to Highway 290. Pat Hernandez has the story.

Commissioners heard from more speakers in favor of the controversial outer loop as they did from those against it. In the end, the court gave its blessing to approximately 10-million dollars in engineering contracts for Segment-E. It also approved the process of commissioning a traffic and revenue study for the 15-mile segment. Commissioner Steve Radack had some concerns about the viability.

"The county attorney has been involved in it to put us in a better position to protect our investment. So, it is a positive step I think, to move forward."

Radack was also concerned that the segment would not pay for itself as a toll road.

"I think we're going to be in excellent shape to pay, and an oustanding position, particularly if we get this stimulus money, which I think we will."

In accepting 181 million in stimulus funding means construction must be completed within three years.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett says the days of new roads being free are behind us:

"Seems to be, unfortunately. I mean, everybody would rather drive on a free road like we used to, but the one thing everybody's committed to is we won't go in and put tolls on an existing free road."

Pat Hernandez, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

image of Grand Parkway Segment E
Map image from http://www.grandpky.com/segments/e/.
Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...