A year and a half ago, the idea of completing a toll road from Spring Cypress Road in Tomball to FM 1774 in Magnolia was considered a dream. Thanks largely to the petitioning of a group of citizens and elected officials in Harris, Montgomery and Grimes counties, the project is moving forward at an unprecedented rate.
"We've had tremendous progress on this project very quickly," said Craig Doyal, commissioner of Precinct 2 in Montgomery County. "It's encouraging to see what we can do when three counties commit to working together."
Construction on segment 1 of the toll road—from Spring Cypress Road to FM 2920—is expected to begin in the fall of 2013. Segment 2—from FM 2920 to FM 1774—will follow. Toll road authorities in Harris and Montgomery counties agreed to a memorandum of understanding in December, which states Harris County will help with initial costs for Montgomery County's part of the project. Montgomery County will pay back the money with interest after securing bond money.
"It doesn't do us any good to build a road to a border that doesn't have something on the other side to match it," said Jack Cagle, Precinct 2 commissioner in Harris County.
Russell Zapalac, chief planning and project officer with the Texas Department of Transportation, said plans are in the works to continue the road through to Hwy. 6 in Navasota. This part of the project would come years down the line, he said.
"Over the next three months, we will be looking into getting an environmental team working on the portion north of FM 1774," he said. "Once we get the planning and environmental clearances done, we can start talking about construction. We'd like to make this a reality in the next five to six years."