The study, launched this summer, is expected to take about one year to complete. However, county officials said they plan to make some funding recommendations in February based on early findings to allow county commissioners to set their budgets before the start of the new budget year in March.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle, who voted against the study in July, said he fears it could be used as a “power play” to divert funds from Precincts 3 and 4 under the guise of improving efficiency.
Several road projects are being studied in Precinct 4, such as the Gosling Road Segment 3 expansion, and previous goals for the design and construction timelines for those projects have been put in question as precinct officials wait to see how the mobility study could affect funding, Cagle said.
“We’ll have to wait and see what occurs with regard to the raw grab of money,” Cagle said. “If the raw grab of money occurs, then we’re going to have problems in terms of how we take care of the responsibilities that we need to take care of.”
Based on the previous funding formula, in 2019 precincts 3 and 4 combined to make up 52% of the population, 65% of the lane miles and 62% of the thoroughfare miles, which resulted in those two precincts getting about 59% of mobility funds.
The study will include new data obtained through an analysis of every road maintained by Harris County, which will be included in the county’s new formula going forward.