Officials to continue advocating for Grand Parkway expansion, hope to hear scheduled plans soon

Grand Parkway segment map

Bay Area officials are continuing to talk to Texas Department of Transportation officials about the planned expansion of Grand Parkway through League City, and they hope to hear more concrete plans in the next several weeks.

The Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership on Aug. 3 hosted a webinar about the project. Rep. Ed Thompson, R-Pearland; League City City Manager John Baumgartner; and Larry Buehler, director of economic development and government relations in Alvin, all spoke about the project's importance to the Bay Area and its progress.

Grand Parkway is the "third loop" around Houston. Today, several segments of the project are complete, including sections that run through Fort Bend, Harris and Montgomery counties. Demand for the Grand Parkway is high; already, officials are looking to widen segment D.

Segments C, B and A—which run from I-69 in Fort Bend County to Hwy. 288 in Brazoria County, Hwy. 288 to I-45 in Galveston County, and I-45 to Hwy. 146, respectively—are all not constructed.

Buehler said he and other officials in the area are in regular talks with TxDOT and hoping to nail down scheduled plans to progress the project, particularly segment B. Specifically, TxDOT is looking closely at a subsection of segment B that runs from Hwy. 35 on the south side of Alvin to I-45 in League City, and it seems like the project will soon get the green light because TxDOT is considering a traffic and revenue study for the segment, Buehler said.


"We think the numbers there are able to support that," he said.

Buehler said he hopes TxDOT will release more details in a few weeks.

"We hope to have some answers sooner than later," he said.

Baumgartner said League City is anxious to see scheduled, secured plans. City officials wonder if they can begin acquiring right of way or start design knowing residents are looking for traffic congestion relief as soon as possible, he said.

About $5 million of the $72 million bond League City voters approved in May 2019 is going toward the expansion of the Grand Parkway, giving League City residents a vested interest in its construction, Baumgartner said.

"There’s a tremendous demand and expectation from this community on what the roadway does," he said. "...When it comes time to build it, we're ready to go."

Additionally, officials said the Grand Parkway would provide an extra evacuation route in the event of a hurricane or other disaster, making the project important not only for mobility but safety, officials said.

BayTran President Theresa Rodriguez said a decade ago, people said no one would use the south or east side of the Grand Parkway. However, the area has since seen tremendous growth, and people recognize the need, she said.

Last summer, TxDOT considered removing segments B and C from its 10-year plan to guide transportation projects, which would have at least delayed the project. Bay Area officials and residents reached out to TxDOT, and TxDOT decided to not remove the segments from the plan after all.

“TxDOT said it was the largest outpouring for support for a project that they had ever seen," Thompson said.

That kind of advocacy must continue to make the southeast segments of the Grand Parkway a reality, he said.

Grand Parkway's segment A—which would connect to Hwy. 146, which is now being widened—is not in TxDOT's 10-year plan. BayTran board Chairman Carl Joiner said officials and residents should push for all three segments A, B and C to be done simultaneously so segment A is not left behind.
By Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper.

<

MOST RECENT

Face coverings are now required for those entering polling places in Texas during the general election. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Citing racial discrimination, district court judge voids exemption to face covering order for voters, poll workers

A district judge's decision sided with arguments that an exemption to the statewide face covering order violated the Voting Rights Act due to disproportionate effects of COVID-19 for Black and Latino Americans.

A new $40 million COVID-19 relief fund is opening to Harris County residents from Nov. 2-6. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Harris County to provide $40 million in new needs-based COVID-19 relief funding starting Nov. 2

A new $40 million COVID-19 relief fund is opening to Harris County residents from Nov. 2-6.

Roads and parks around League City, Pearland, Clear Lake and Friendswood floooded recently due to Tropical Storm Beta. (Courtesy city of League City)
League City residents to save 25% on flood insurance with city's increased FEMA rating

League City is the fourth city in Texas to achieve a Class 5 Federal Emergency Management Agency designation, joining Houston, Dallas and Grand Prairie.

With League City City Council’s approval Oct. 27, the underutilized west side of League City will likely soon see some development. (Courtesy city of League City)
League City City Council approves first readings to establish two new MUDs

With League City City Council’s approval Oct. 27, the underutilized west side of League City will likely soon see some development.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo also spearheaded an effort to establish a $10 million Early Childhood Impact Fund, which was approved in a split 3-2 vote Oct. 27. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harris County establishes $10M Early Childhood Impact Fund, selects organizations to administer additional $7.3M in assistance

Approximately $17.3 million in assistance programs will soon be available to Harris County residents in need, thanks to three programs recently established by the Harris County Commissioners Court.

vote here sign on side of the road
Galveston County has processed two thirds of mail-in ballots so far

More than 18,000 Galveston County residents who applied for mail-in ballots for this election, and about 12,000 ballots have been received so far.

The newly approved rate of $0.59920 per $100 valuation is a decrease of $0.01250 from the FY 2019-20 tax rate of $0.61170 per $100 valuation; it is intended to mitigate rising property values across the county, officials said. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Harris County Commissioners Court unanimously approves tax rate decrease for FY 2020-21

The newly approved rate of $0.59920 per $100 valuation is a decrease of $0.01250 from the FY 2019-20 tax rate of $0.61170 per $100 valuation.

Representatives from Houston’s chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America joined the Houston Young Republicans and several other groups across the political spectrum Oct. 26 to announce a campaign to alter power structure at City Hall. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston political groups across the aisle push for charter election to weaken mayoral power

Democratic socialists and conservatives teamed up to push a new ballot initiative.

Harris County residents line up outside of Big Stone Lodge in Spring to cast their votes early. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County polling locations operating with extended hours in final three days of early voting

More than 1.2 million county residents have already voted in the Nov. 3 general election.

Judge Roberto Delagarza
Houston creates new system for low-income residents to address late court fees

The system was among the recommendations made by the mayor's police reform task force in their report.

(Courtesy NewQuest Properties)
Shogun Japanese Grill and Sushi Bar opens in Spring and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.