The Harris County Commissioners Court voted unanimously Sept. 29 to halt plans for a toll road extension on or along South Post Oak. The motion, from Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis, gives the court the ability to resume plans if it desires at a later date.
The motion was seconded by Commissioner Steve Radack of Precinct 3, where the proposed extension would largely lie.
“In my humble opinion, there is absolutely no reason for that project to proceed,” Radack said. “It’s never become a project; it was frankly just a line on a piece of paper, and it’s been that way for a long long time, and it’ll probably stay there, but I see no reason for any construction to proceed.”
The vote halts any future study, the first of which was approved in February 2018 by the Commissioners Court for $870,000 through a contract with Brown & Gay Engineers Inc. The scope included collecting traffic data to determine benefits and impacts to the area.
A proposed route for the extension would have brought the tollway through the Westbury neighborhood, drawing concerns during the meeting from neighborhood leadership.
“This road will negatively impact residents who live along the South Post Oak Road corridor from West Bellfort all the way to Beltway 8,” said Becky Edmondson, president of the Westbury Area Improvement Corp. and co-president of the Westbury Super Neighborhood. “Air quality will decline; noise pollution will go up; there will be blight, litter, prostitution, vagrancy, and more that will plague our neighborhoods.”
The proposed extension would have also gone over the Willow Waterhole detention site.
“These trails are well used, and the basins and fragile wetlands are home to 200-plus species of birds,” said Howard Sacks, Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy's past president. “The extension would bring untold noise, air, and water pollution to the greenway.”