Officials rode on horseback to make their grand entrance to the area that marks the expansion of Highway 249 into the Tomball Tollway. Congressman Michael McCaul says regional mobility is critical to meeting the needs of the explosive growth of the area:
"I'm so proud to represent Tomball. We live in the fastest growing area in the state of Texas. And I would argue it's the fastest growing area in the nation. And with the great economic vibrancy that we're seeing in Tomball, we have Baker Hughes expansion, we've got ExxonMobil. But with all that great. The Tomball Parkway is all about."
Harris County Pct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle remembers a conversation he had with Harris County Judge Ed Emmett:
"I was told that 249 would never happen in my lifetime. That's what I was told coming into office, shortly after Judge Emmett had appointed me. And when I talked about this with Ed, he said 'Well, there are always the naysayers, then there are those that try to figure out a way to get around the naysaying, and he pegged me to be one of those."
Cagle says establishing Highway 249 as a major thoroughfare is expected to help northwest Houston keep up with the unprecedented growth. The project will include instead of traditional toll plazas, toll trusses, which will be built using sensors and photographic equipment. The Tomball Tollway is expected to take 16 months to complete.