Galveston County officials are calling for the Texas Department of Transportation to look at the traffic and revenue study for Segment B of the Grand Parkway.
Segment B would run from Hwy. 288 to I-45 through Brazoria and Galveston counties and through League City.
“The better transportation access we have in Brazoria County will benefit Pearland and the whole county,” said Matt Buchanan, president of the Pearland Economic Development Corp.
The discussion over Grand Parkway Segment B is starting up again as the deadline for the county to decide who has primacy for the project passed in January, said Galveston County Commissioner Ken Clark, who requested the county’s resolution. The governing body with primacy over the project would design, construct and operate the toll road.
Clark said he does not believe the county will be held to the original deadline because TxDOT has not completed the traffic and revenue study.
“The county was waiting to see what the revenue study said before deciding if we wanted to move ahead with primacy or relinquish primacy,” Clark said. “Nobody builds a road without understanding the cost and revenue. I mean, that’s just basic business sense.”
Segment B is expected to be completed before Segment C, which would connect Segment B to the rest of the existing Grand Parkway. However, this could change, TxDOT Public Information Officer Danny Perez said.
On one hand, the county and TxDOT need the population to support the project being built, which Segment B can already provide, Perez said.
“The growth is going to come, but it’s a matter of prioritizing money now or later,” he said.
On the other hand, it might not be as useful to build a toll segment that does not connect to the majority of the toll road, Perez said. This might make a difference in whether or not Galveston County asks for primacy, Clark said.
“TxDOT is generating some excess funds from the Grand Parkway system, and they can probably absorb lower ridership longer than the Galveston County taxpayers can,” Clark said.
While Segment B would run roughly 10 miles south of Pearland, the city would benefit from the addition, Buchanan said.
“On the economic side, you will get even more growth, and a lot of that growth will be primarily residential,” Buchanan said.
The Grand Parkway will lead to long-term residential growth, followed by industrial and commercial growth for the area as well, Buchanan said.
“It’s quite a bit south of Pearland, but it will give our residents in the northern part of county much greater access to other areas in our region,” Buchanan said.