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Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
H-GAC Transportation Policy Council
by Jim Guidry
Sunday, January 30, 2011

John Barton, assistant executive director for the Texas Department of Transportation’s engineering operations, on Friday updated the Houston-Galveston Area Council Transportation Policy Council on the Texas Transportation Commission’s consideration of projects in the Houston-Galveston region.
MP3 RealPlayer


“Following action by the Harris County Commissioners Court earlier this month, the Texas Transportation Commission voted yesterday to accept primacy for the portions of State Highway 99, commonly referred to as the Grand Parkway, in Harris County,” Barton said, explaining that TxDOT now can move forward on the project.


Barton thanked Harris County Judge Ed Emmett for his support on the primacy issue in a hearing before the state commission on Thursday.


“Only with the continued support and partnership with Harris County will all of us be successful,” Barton said.


Gerald Roberts, chair of the H-GAC Transportation Improvement Program Subcommittee reported on the difficulty of ranking candidate projects for future TIPs. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer


“Obviously getting $900 million in projects committed with only about $70 million to spend has put the committee in a real dilemma in how we resolve this,” he said.  The TPC discussion of the rankings was at times contentious, but the group eventually accepted the report as presented.


Several advocates for candidate projects addressed the council. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer


Christie Willhite of the H-GAC staff, assisted by Manvel Mayor Delores Martin and Jack Searcy of the Northwest Harris County Chamber of Commerce, reported on State Highway 6 North and South Access Management Studies.  Listen: MP3 RealPlayer


The council deferred action on a resolution amending the highway functional classification of FM 655 because the initial posting of the item referred to FM 646, which was not correct. Thus the item will be included in the agenda for the next meeting of the TPC on February 25.


Pearland Mayor Tom Reid, secretary to the council, in a discussion of the minutes of the December 17 meeting, referred to the Pearland Oilers victory in the Texas 5A championship.
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“I keep getting emails from people around the country saying ‘What do you put in the water down there?’,” Reid said.

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