League City Mayor Pat Hallisey spoke May 18 during a webinar with Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership officials about roadwork, the widening of the Houston Ship Channel and the Coastal Texas Study—three types of projects a stimulus package could help fund. Hallisey spoke at length about transportation projects, which is one of the priorities for League City residents besides flood mitigation, he said.
Hallisey said he has been watching I-45 undergo construction, widening, repairs and other work since he moved to the city at 5 years old.
“I’ve been watching work on the Gulf Freeway for 65 years," he said.
He commended Texas Department of Transportation workers for moving the widening project so quickly from the Sam Houston Tollway farther south into the Clear Lake and League City region. Hallisey said in a year or 18 months the widening in the League City will be done, and workers will begin widening farther south.
I-45's widening is important to League City residents because so many use the road to commute to work, Hallisey said.
"Sixty-five percent of our working population goes out to the northwest corridor of Harris County," he said.
The Grand Parkway is a project that, at one point last year, officials thought would be removed from TxDOT's master plan. After pushback, the project was reinstated.
The Grand Parkway, or the third loop in the Greater Houston area, is partially completed. Two final sections are planned to come from the west through League City to hook up with Hwy. 146, which travels north to connect to the parkway to complete the loop, Hallisey said.
The project is important from a safety perspective, he said.
"[It] gives us options to escape incoming storms," Hallisey said.
Galveston County residents trying to evacuate during hurricanes must use I-45, Hwy. 6, or Hwy. 146. The completion of the Grand Parkway would give another avenue to escape, he said.
Safety is a reason the widening and improvements to Hwy. 146 are important as well. The highway is being widened in Seabrook and Kemah, and the bridge between both cities is being upgraded. When complete, the highway will offer evacuees a route to the north and east, Hallisey said.
"We’re all feeling the pinch of growth," he said of Bay Area communities. "We know we have to move people throughout the region. It’s not just moving people in town anymore, even though that’s equally important to us.”
Hallisey said the city is still in the planning stages for an extension of Landing Boulevard between FM 517 and FM 528. The extended road will go north over Clear Creek to hook up to I-45, giving motorists an alternative north-south connection besides I-45, Hallisey said.
Grissom Road is under design for a reconstruction project that will bring it up to four lanes. League City officials have discussed extending Palomino Lane to the south north over Clear Creek to hook up to Grissom Road to give residents additional north-south travel routes.
"It’ll do a lot of things," Hallisey said of the Grissom Road project.