Let the State Build It
by: Pat Hernandez, January 11, 2011 10:01:00 pm
Harris County handed over responsibility to TxDot for building a segment of the Grand Parkway. It is a proposed 180-mile scenic highway that will cross seven counties around Houston. Harris County Commissioners challenged TxDot to build a 15-mile segment from Interstate -10 to Highway 290 after the state said it has 425-million dollars to spend on the project. County Judge Ed Emmett says it means the Grand Parkway could be built sooner.
"It will also then let us focus on other parts of our own toll road system. For example widening South Belt, looking at new projects, like Hempstead, and it'll allow us to focus on other transportation projects. And let the state build State Highway 99, which is the Grand Parkway."
The Grand Parkway will be a segmented state highway shared by Harris and six other counties, and will service a need for connections between suburban areas beyond Beltway-8 and the Sam Houston Tollway. Judge Emmett:
"I-10 to 290 is Segment-E, and then they're also keenly aware that segments F-1 and F-2, which go from 290 all the way to I-45, need to be under construction pretty quickly also."
Emmett says they have an advanced funding agreement with TxDot, which includes reimbursement for the design and money spent on the project. The Grand Parkway is expected to cost in excess of $5-billion dollars when completed.