Voters turn down $350 million Montgomery County road bond

Updated at 9:35 p.m. CST

With 31 of 32 precincts reporting, Montgomery County voters have turned down the $350 million county road bond. Of those voting, 16,054, or 57.59 percent, opposed the measure, while 11,822, or 42.41, percent favored it.

The proposal asked voters to approve $350 million in road bonds that would have financed 77 road improvement projects in each of the four precincts in Montgomery County.

The bond was met with disapproval among some local officials and organizations who claim a six-mile extension of Woodlands Parkway between FM 2978 and Hwy. 249 was not needed, and was not included as a needed project in a recent mobility study of the area conducted by the Houston-Galveston Area Council. Opponents also believe the extension would result in increased traffic along Woodlands Parkway between FM 2978 and Kuykendahl Road.

“I think the vote against [the bond] was pretty much what I anticipated in The Woodlands, but the vote against [the bond] outside of The Woodlands in other parts of the county was a little more than I expected,” said Gordy Bunch, director of The Woodlands Township and opponent of the bond.

Bunch served on the Montgomery County Road Bond Committee but resigned after the committee proposed a plan the included the six-mile Woodlands Parkway extension.

Bunch said he believed the proposal had “countywide issues” and did not appeal to voters outside of The Woodlands. He recommended the county propose a new bond in November, one that does not include the Woodlands Parkway extension and addresses other areas such as Hwy. 242, the Rayford Road corridor and FM 1488 in Magnolia.

“I hope that we can transition to a unifying moment where we set the narrative, and we set it to listen to our neighbors and put a bond package together that will pass in November,” Bunch said.

Montgomery County Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley, who included the Woodlands Parkway extension on his list of projects for the precinct, said he would not support a November bond election.
“I think we just keep moving forward and try the best we can with what we’ve got,” Riley said. “We can put another bond issue together, but it won’t be in November. Someone could come up with three votes, but it won’t be mine.”

Riley said voter apathy within the county was a reason the bond proposal did not pass. He also said he did not regret including the Woodlands Parkway extension on the proposal.

“Woodlands Parkway is not the only reason it was defeated,” he said. “People in Montgomery County do not want a road bond.”

All results are unofficial until canvassed.


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