Transportation

Controversial Toll Road Project Moves Closer To Construction

TxDOT has given the go-ahead for the extension of the SH 249 toll road into Grimes County. The agency wants to start acquiring property for the road but not everyone is happy about it.

Officials say the 249 Toll Road Extension will serve growing communities northwest of Houston. It will be an entirely new road that starts north of Magnolia, in Todd Mission. It extends a Montgomery County segment that’s now under development.

The length is about ten miles. The project ends just east of Navasota. Plans call for a two-lane electronic toll road with four direct connectors, along with five miles of frontage road requested by local officials.

The specific route was chosen after public hearing and comment. Chad Bohne is with TxDOT’s Bryan District:

 “There are no homes, businesses, schools, churches, anything like that, that this route now would take in that we would have to relocate,” says Bohne.

But the project has received a lot of opposition. Residents worry the toll road will slice across ranchlands that have been in their families for decades. Bohne says they’ll have to acquire over 600 acres of right-of-way.

“So we’ll have to be sensitive to everyone that we need to then work with on acquiring property or have any impact to,” adds Bohne.

The 249 extension is expected to cost about $200 million. Design work could start as early as next year.

And some are already calling it the “Aggie Highway.” Long-range plans would extend the road to the College Station area. The only part of the 249 toll road that’s open right now is near Tomball.

 

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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