League City City Council has publicly supported state legislators’ efforts to rename a portion of FM 517 as the Ken Clark Memorial Highway in honor of the Galveston County commissioner who died last year.

The gist

On May 9, council unanimously voted in favor of a resolution supporting renaming FM 517 between I-45 and Hwy. 35 to honor Clark, who died May 8, 2022, at 58 years old.

Mayor Nick Long said Sen. Mayes Middleton, R-Galveston, and Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood, have a vote related to the road name change in the Texas Senate on May 12, which is why they needed council to rush to pass the resolution May 9.

There are two bills that would honor Clark:
  • House Bill 3045, authored by Bonnen, would rename a portion of FM 517.
  • Senate Bill 1339, authored by Middleton, would rename the bridge connecting Galveston Island to Pelican Island as the Ken Clark Memorial Bridge.
Long said those who have businesses along FM 517 would not need to change their addresses if the name change happens. Additionally, the state would pay for new road signs if the name change happens, he said.

A closer look

According to city documents, Clark was the Precinct 4 commissioner from 1998 until his death and one of Galveston County’s longest-serving elected officials. Clark “worked tirelessly” on crucial issues, including lowering taxes, improving transportation and reducing flooding, the documents read.

Clark’s work led to seven consecutive tax cuts while still supporting transportation and drainage improvements, including I-45, Hwy. 146, the Grand Parkway and the Pelican Island Bridge.

Quote of note

Long said Middleton and Bonnen desired local support before moving forward with HB 3045, hence the resolution.

“They will not rename it without local support,” he said.