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Hctra Agenda Item

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This appears on the agenda for Tuesday's Harris County Commissioners Court

1. Recommendation that the County Judge be authorized to execute agreements or

amendments, and for appropriate officials to take necessary actions to complete the

transactions with:

c. Wilbur Smith Associates, Inc., for supplemental services in the amount of

$192,295 for a preliminary traffic and revenue study for five potential new

tollway facilities and a comprehensive finance-grade traffic and revenue study

of the existing and expanded tollway system.


My first impulse is that the "five potential new tollway facilities" are projects that are already well-known: Fort Bend Parkway to Loop 610, Sam Houston tollway NE section, Grand Parkway (multiple sections), and Hempstead.

But notice the word "preliminary". I know that most or all of the projects listed above are way beyond preliminary analysis. The Grand Parkway has been studied for years, and Hempstead has been studied already. Those projects probably fall into the latter category of "comprehensive finance-grade traffic and revenue study

of the existing and expanded tollway system" since they are at the point of finance-grade studies.

Is there anything new here? Maybe routes like SH 288 express lanes or SH 35 Alvin Freeway/Tollway?

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Maybe the SH 35 Alvin corridor, considering that Alvin, Pearland, League City and Friendswood are all experiencing significant growth. For example, traffic on FM 518 from SH 288 east to about FM 528 can be pretty brutal especiall between SH 288 and SH 35.

I can also see Hobby Airport officials pushing for this as well... sort of an express route for people traveling in on the South Sam Houston or what have you. Some not so great areas along Telephone Road south of Hobby to about the Beltway that people from other areas might want to avoid on their way to the airport.

Hasn't SH 35 always been envisioned as a another limited access freeway into town? I believe your website mentions this.

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I vote for a tollway on FM 529 from 290 past 6 out to the future Grand Parkway.

That area is booming and needs better freeway access. This was originally proposed in the excellent "Houston Freeways" book, which of course you are familiar with, Max.

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is the hardy toll road to downtown extension past preliminary stages?

That project is well beyond preliminary. It has had ROW acquisition in progress for years and the current agenda even has an item for additional engineering funds.

The project was planned to be free, not tolled. I don't know if that is still true. If it will still be free, toll finance studies probably don't apply.

Agenda item

"Dannebaum Engineering Corporation for engineering services for the Hardy

Toll Road extension into downtown, allowing for new maximum rates for

services performed after July 1."

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