Legislators, community members gather to dedicate portion of I-45 to The Woodlands founder George P. Mitchell

J.J. Hollie, The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce president (center) is flanked by Montgomery County officials, representatives and community members at the dedication of a portion of I-45 on Jan. 17. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
J.J. Hollie, The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce president (center) is flanked by Montgomery County officials, representatives and community members at the dedication of a portion of I-45 on Jan. 17. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)

J.J. Hollie, The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce president (center) is flanked by Montgomery County officials, representatives and community members at the dedication of a portion of I-45 on Jan. 17. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)

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U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady spoke at the Jan. 17 dedication of a portion of I-45 in Montgomery County. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Woodlands Development Company Co-president Alex Sutton spoke at the dedication of a portion of I-45 as the George P. Mitchell Memorial Highway on Jan. 17. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
Following state legislation passed in 2019 and a dedication ceremony held Jan. 17, a portion of I-45 in Montgomery County has been designated the George P. Mitchell Memorial Highway in honor of the local entrepreneur who founded The Woodlands in 1974.

Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 2571 into law in 2019, a piece of legislation written by state Rep. Steve Toth, R-Woodlands, and Rep. Will Metcalf, R-Conroe, and sponsored by state Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe. The bill designated the portion of I-45 between Hwy. 242 and the Montgomery-Harris county line as the George P. Mitchell Memorial Highway in recognition of his contributions to the area, according to legislation.

A dedication ceremony Jan. 17 at the lobby of Toth's office on I-45 brought together some of those legislators as well as people who had worked with George Mitchell in The Woodlands and other local officials such as The Woodlands board of directors members.

"This was one of the easier things we could all agree on, honoring our founder with this small token of appreciation and acknowledgement," board Chair Gordy Bunch said. "We're all standing on his shoulders."

U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, thanked the state legislators for advancing the legislation.


"This is exactly the right thing to do," Brady said. "Mr. Mitchell's legacy is in all those whose lives he changed for the better ... including me. ... I had a chance early on to meet with Mr. Mitchell and ... what he told me was he believed they could create a community where people, and business sand the environment could not just exist together, but they could grow and prosper together."

Brady said Mitchell's vision included providing access for all residents to the amenities and opportunities in the community.

"That's exactly what lives today in The Woodlands," he said.
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By Vanessa Holt

A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of the paper in March 2017.


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