Sugar Land and Missouri City residents could see one of the largest county investments in local transportation projects, including the widening and reconstruction of major thoroughfares, should the county’s mobility bond pass Nov. 7.

On Aug. 8, Fort Bend County commissioners voted to call the largest bond referendum in the county’s history. The bond with a $712.6 million mobility proposition and a $153 million parks and facilities proposition will appear on ballots.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Dexter McCoy said the bond’s historic size is reflective of the county’s rapid growth. The U.S. Census Bureau’s annual Population Estimates Program data shows the county had a population of over 889,000 last year, with County Judge KP George projecting the county will hit 1 million in the next few years.

“Our needs are much greater than they’ve ever been before,” said McCoy, who represents the central and southern Fort Bend County area. “In the past, the county had a position that all we do is maintain roadways, we don’t build new ones. That shifted over the last two decades.”

The details

Precinct 3—which encompasses the Sugar Land, Missouri City and Stafford areas—will receive $144.5 million should the bond pass this November. This is $85 million more than it received in the 2017 voter-approved bond.

County documents show $13 million would go toward local mobility projects from past voter-approved bonds. McCoy said the projects need additional funding due to increases in construction cost, among other factors.

“There are things that we did design and right-of-way acquisition for that now we need construction funds for,” McCoy said.

If the bond passes, countywide projects include:
  • Smart Signal Technology initiative: $10 million to implement signal enhancements aimed at monitoring inbound traffic and continually adjusting signal timing to optimize traffic flow
  • Pedestrian mobility study: $3 million study of pedestrian traffic and mobility
Missouri City Public Works Director Shashi Kumar highlighted the importance of the ongoing Watts Plantation extension and widening project, which would receive $10.7 million from the bond. He said in a statement that this project would “help promote economic development in undeveloped areas” and reduce congestion in the area.

Additionally, some of the other major projects that will affect the Sugar Land and Missouri City area if the bond passes include:
  • West Airport Boulevard: $3.86 million for an additional lane and a right-turn lane from the Grand Parkway to FM 1464
  • Old Richmond Road: $15.75 million to upgrade the two-lane road with roadside ditches to a three-lane curb-and-gutter road
By the numbers

The $712.6 million mobility package is the largest in the county’s history but will have no impact on the county’s debt service tax rate, McCoy said.

The bond will bring:
  • 0% tax rate increase
  • Funding for previously approved mobility projects
  • An additional $85 million more towards Sugar Land- and Missouri City-area projects compared to previous bond
Going forward

Many projects on the list will be only partially funded by the bond. The rest will come from matching funds from local entities or future action from the county.

Kumar said some of the existing projects in Missouri City will have half of construction costs covered by the city. Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers said the city of Sugar Land will also pay for 50% of many of the proposed bond projects in the city limits. However, he said at an Aug. 7. meeting that other entities may not able to cover this cost.

“We have several cities in the past that have contributed some portion of the cost who are telling me now that they have no available funds and they are looking to the county to fund it,” Meyers said.