The Houston-Galveston Area Council Transportation Policy Council on Friday voted unanimously to receive public comments about projects proposed for inclusion in $2 billion in statewide funding announced last week by the Texas Transportation Commission. Listen
Texas Department of Transportation Houston District Engineer Mike Alford reviewed a list of projects in the H-GAC region.
“Our number one priority is obviously going to be the U.S. 290 Corridor, from Interstate 610 to State Highway 99 in a re-configured format to integrate toll, HOV and general purpose lanes within the ultimate footprint of the U.S. 290 Corridor,” Alford said. “As part of that we also wish to complete the construction of the Hempstead Corridor.”
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County President and CEO George Greanias questioned the plans for the 290 Corridor.
“As you know, we operate HOV lanes on 290,” Greanias said. “We are currently in the process of converting that into an HOT lane and that involves some federal funds. I would like to get clear that you are going to be talking with us about this? ( And) we can coordinate this so that we manage this transition - because we were not aware of this until it became a public matter.”
“We will work to coordinate with you,” Alford promised.
Alford said the funding also will address the SH 288 Corridor, including a direct connector bridge from the proposed toll lanes on SH 288 via MacGregor Way and a frontage road connection from IH 610 at Cambridge.
Alan Clark of the H-GAC staff noted that the TxDOT Beaumont District has been designated $4 million in funding for projects in Southeast Texas.
Two people addressed the council on transportation issues.
“Central Houston is very much in support of anything that can be done on U.S. 290 and SH 288,” said Emily Braswell of Central Houston. “We are also in support of the IH 45 Hardy Toll Road project to reconstruct the Elysian Viaduct." Listen
Janis Scott, describing herself as “the bus lady” addressed issues related to bus schedules. Listen
The TPC voted unanimously to approve a resolution supporting the Draft 2013-2016 Transportation Improvement Program, which was reviewed by David Wurdlow. Listen
All other agenda items were approved. All votes were unanimous. Agenda
Baytown Council Member Terry Sain, Conroe Downtown Development Manager Larry Calhoun, Galveston Council Member Dianna Puccetti, Chambers County Engineering Project Manager Tommy Bridwell and Montgomery County Commissioner Craig Doyal were absent and not represented by alternate members.
Several members were absent but were represented by alternate members. Houston City Council Member Steve Costello was represented by Council Member Jerry Davis, Sugar Land Council Member Jacqueline Baly-Chaumette was represented by Council Member Harish Jajoo, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett was represented by Richard Zientek, Gulf Coast Rail District Chair Mark Ellis was represented by Executive Director Maureen Crocker and Joseph Adams of Union Pacific Railroad was represented by Hugh McCulley of BNSF Railroad. H-GAC Executive Director Jack Steele attended the meeting as the alternate designated for Steve Howard, who retired last week. Texas State Representative Allen Fletcher, who is an ex-officio member, was absent.
The next meeting of the Houston-Galveston Area Council Transportation Policy Council will be on May 25.
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