With the last Montgomery County mobility projects funded by a 2015 road bond underway and updates still pending for the county’s Major Thoroughfare Plan, area officials are looking to shape a new set of transportation priorities in 2021.

The Montgomery County Major Thoroughfare Plan, last updated in 2016 and originally scheduled for revision in 2020, was pushed back to the summer of 2021 as a result of COVID-19-related delays. However, officials said before that gets off the ground, the county’s four precincts will need to hold a series of community meetings this spring.

According to Brown and Gay Engineers, the company updating the thoroughfare plan through a $125,000 contract with the county, the update to the 2016 plan will include an analysis of major roadways, east-west and north-south connectivity, and highway accessibility. Roads in Conroe, Montgomery and Willis that were highlighted in the 2016 plan include Hwy. 105, FM 1097 and Hwy. 75.

Projects may be submitted for funding consideration through the Houston-Galveston Area Council, which will be soliciting items for its Transportation Improvement Program in September. The TIP is a financial plan of transportation projects approved to receive federal funding over the next four years.

Megan Siercks, senior project manager at BGE, said at an Oct. 13 Commissioners Court meeting that stakeholder meetings would need to be held in each precinct with 10-15 members from each community, followed by additional community meetings in early 2021. Community Impact Newspaper did not receive information and meeting details as of publication from Robert Walker, commissioner for Precinct 1, which covers most of the Lake Conroe area.

In a statement from Precinct 3 officials, they did not speculate on whether a road bond will be forthcoming in 2021 but said the precinct works within its budget to complete as many projects as possible.

“There always will be discussion regarding how to best fund road and bridge projects. The most pressing needs are projects that improve safety and mobility within the precinct and our communities,” said Andrew DuBois, the project manager for Montgomery County Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack.

Looking big picture, state funding for transportation projects will likely be limited as the state faces a $950 million budget shortfall this legislative session.