Sen. Larry Taylor: Grand Parkway segments will be funded

Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, said in a July 31 Facebook post he is confident funding for Segments B-D of the Grand Parkway is back on.

Community leaders all over the Bay Area were surprised earlier this month to learn the Texas Department of Transportation proposed removing the $1.28 billion worth of work associated with Segments B-D of the Grand Parkway, or Hwy. 99, from TxDOT's draft 2020 Unified Transportation Program, a 10-year plan to guide transportation projects.

Segments B and C—which would run from I-45 to Hwy. 288 and Hwy. 288 to Hwy. 59, respectively—have yet to be constructed, and Segment D, which runs from Hwy. 59 to I-10, was proposed for widening, intersection work and other projects. TxDOT has not considered Segment A, which would run from Hwy. 146 to I-45, "viable" for some time.

The proposal to remove the segments from the UTP upset community leaders because removal would mean the projects would be delayed or outright canceled. Officials have said the segments are necessary for the area, especially considering how congested traffic gets when residents evacuate during hurricanes and other storms.

However, Taylor said he is sure the segments will be added back to the UTP.

"I am proud to report I've been working with the Texas Transportation Commission, and I am confident that Segments B and C of the Grand Parkway will remain in the 2020 UTP," he wrote on Facebook. "This is a victory for District 11 and could not have been done without overwhelming community support!"

Residents can submit comments about the UTP at www.txdot.gov; in person at TxDOT’s local district offices; by email at tpp_utp@txdot.gov; by phone at 800-687-8108; or by mailing Texas Department of Transportation, attn: Peter Smith, P.O. Box 149217, Austin, TX, 78714. Residents can also attend or watch online a public hearing for the UTP on Aug. 6 at 10 a.m. at the Environmental Affairs Division, 118 E. Riverside Drive, Austin.

Residents have until Aug. 12 to submit public comments.
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.

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