Texas Transportation Commission Takes Steps
to Advance Portion of Grand Parkway
AUSTIN - In a unanimous vote Thursday, the Texas Transportation Commission came one step closer to breaking ground on Harris County’s segments of the Grand Parkway, or SH 99. Harris County officials rescinded their right to primacy on the project last month and urged the Transportation Commission to move forward with construction of segment E, a 14.1-mile stretch between I-10 and US 290, before the end of the year.
The Commission’s decision gives Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) staff construct authority on the project, which allows staff to prepare paperwork and enter into agreements with the county necessary to go to contract on the project once funding is identified and allocated by the Commission.
“Development of the Grand Parkway is a priority for the Houston area and for the state of Texas,” said Ned Holmes, member of the Texas Transportation Commission. “Development of the Grand Parkway will alleviate congestion on multiple roadway segments on the state’s list of the 100 most congested, including six segments ranked in the 20 most congested.”
Through hearings held for the 2012 Unified Transportation Plan, TxDOT will gather and analyze public comments over the coming months before recommending the Commission allocate approximately $350 million remaining in the Texas Mobility Fund to construct segment E of the Grand Parkway. The Texas Mobility Fund is comprised of fees related to driver licenses, driver records, certificates of title and vehicle inspections. Construction costs for segment E are an estimated $355 million, with an additional estimated $64 million for engineering and right of way.
“The Grand Parkway has been a top priority for our region for some time, and I’m pleased to see TxDOT and the Transportation Commission move so swiftly to advance portions of this roadway to construction,” said Senator Tommy Williams.
With the exception of Chambers County, the other counties in the region exercised their right to primacy on their portions of the Grand Parkway in 2010, and have two years to advance those projects to contract under current state law.