Inside the small blue tents, shielding dignitaries from the morning sun, a major milestone was being marked. Completion of Will Clayton Parkway, between Wilson Road and Highway 59 in north Houston, turned the major artery from a two-lane asphalt road to five lanes.
"It brings a lot of traffic in here that moves a lot faster, because we got three more lanes, and this was a bottleneck till now."
That's Humble Mayor Don McMannes. He says the 2-mile project that includes a bridge over the rail corridor will have a direct impact on traffic.
"It's great. Great for Humble, it's great for this part of town. It shoots right straight into the airport, goes all the way to the Beltway. So, it's a great project."
George Greanias is Metro CEO. He says the project was made possible by Humble's sales tax dollars.
"Metro receives a penny of sales tax throughout our service area, that includes the city of Humble, Harris County, 13 other smaller cities and the city of Houston. One quarter of that tax is currently dedicated to basically, mobility projects, like this bridge. And today, we're celebrating the completion of this particular project, which was funded largely with Metropolitan Transit Authority sales tax, plus some county funds."
The project has been in the making since 1997, and Greanias says the elimination of traffic congestion will be good for business.
"This area is growing, and we want to encourage growth throughout the community. And these kinds of projects, these infrastructure projects, just like our transit projects, help develop the economy of the community by building the infrastructure of the community. We provide access to different parts of the city and the region, then we help the economy and the community grow."
He says Metro's service area is close to 1300 square miles and the transit agency is currently involved in a number of projects with Humble, Houston and Harris County. Harris County Commissioner Jack Cagle says, Humble residents are able to co-exist with neighbors that you might not find in Houston.
"We have all kinds of things that are in this region, and next to that because we have preserved that, we are able to bring in people. And that's really one of the thrills of a project like this is because, instead of having either or we're able to do the both and. So that, at the end of the day, we can come home, we can get home quickly. When we're working, we can do our business quickly, and then we can enjoy the creation that's around us along the way."