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Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
H-GAC Transportation Policy Council
by Jim Guidry
Friday, December 16, 2011

Representatives of the Texas Department of Transportation today updated the Houston-Galveston Area Council Transportation Policy Council on the Houston-Austin Intercity Rail Study. Listen: MP3   RealPlayer

“When we modeled the route options, we essentially had four basic alignments that we looked at,” said Joe Lileikis.  “Austin to Houston directly was the shortest one.  The second was Austin to Hempstead with connecting service to Bryan-College Station, then back to Hempstead, then to Houston.  The third alignment was Austin to Giddings to College Station to Hempstead to Houston.  And the last alignment we looked at was Austin to Brenham and then Brenham to College Station and then back to Hempstead  and then to Houston.”

Jennifer Moczygemba of TxDOT said that the proposed routes come with varying price tags.

“Option one is the direct route, that’s without stopping in Bryan-College Station, about $936 million,” she said.  “Then the best option for including Bryan-College Station is Option 3, which is approximately $200 million more.”

The TPC voted unanimously to accept recommendations on the Colorado Valley Transit District Plan and an overview of the updated Regionally Coordinated Transportation Plan which was presented by Kari Hackett. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer

Ashby Johnson provided a report on the draft highway re-authorization bill, which is titled “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century.  Listen: MP3 RealPlayer

The TPC voted unanimously to approve resolutions for years of service to Sue Lovell and Brenda Stardig who are leaving Houston City Council.  Listen: MP3 RealPlayer

All other action items on the agenda were approved.  All votes were unanimous.

Galveston City Council Member Dianna Puccetti, Texas City City Engineer Doug Kneupper and Chambers County Engineering Project Manager Tommy Bridwell were absent and not represented by alternate members.  Fort Bend County Commissioner James Patterson, who chairs the TPC, was absent but was represented by Paulette Shelton and Gulf Coast Rail District Chair Mark Ellis was absent, but was represented by Executive Director Maureen Crocker.

The meeting was chaired by Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.

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