Friday, August 10, 2007

"TTC-69 is alive and well. TxDOT is hoping that folks are asleep...when they show up with bulldozers.”

For Immediate Release

Waller County still targeted by TxDOT for TTC-69


Don Garrett
Citizens for a Better Waller County
Copyright 2007

Waller County Commissioners announced at Commissioner’s Court last Thursday, August 2, 2007, that they had been approached by Texas Department of Transportation officials and Gary Bushell, a lobbyist for the Alliance for I-69 and the Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Coalition, with a plan to route the Trans Texas Corridor along the proposed path of the Prairie Parkway, which has been recently discussed as a thoroughfare from 290 between Waller and Prairie View (James Muse Road), to I-10 and Woods Road.

Waller County Commissioners rejected the proposal. “For folks that think that the Trans Texas Corridor is not going to happen - this is a major wake up call. Not only does it show that TxDot and Governor Perry are going forward with the plans for the TTC-69, but that they still have Waller County dead in their sights for the path of this 1200 ft wide mobility monster,” said Don Garrett, President of Citizens for a Better Waller County. “Although there is a two year moratorium that prevents TxDot from signing a contract with a private company to build the TTC-69 under Senate Bill 792, that doesn’t mean that they can’t proceed forward with selecting a pathway for it.”

Citizens for a Better Waller County (CBWC) encourages citizens living in Waller County to remain vigilant in regards to TxDOT’s plans for the TTC through this area. “An express toll road that is a ¼ of a mile wide going through the dead center of Waller County would devastate it. It will change life as we know it in Waller County for generations to come,” Garrett warned. “This move by TxDOT shows that they are still trying to route this thing through the middle of our county, despite the fact that nobody in Waller County wants it here. We are not opposed to a rational approach to solving our future transportation needs, but are adamantly opposed to a system that primarily benefits Wall Street and foreign investors. CBWC has also confirmed that TxDOT representatives have also met with Fort Bend County officials in regards to routing the TTC-69 through Fort Bend County towards Waller County.

The Prairie Parkway has been on Waller County’s thoroughfare plan since 1985, but Waller County officials have recently updated it because of the development of the Houston Executive airport, expansion plans for Interstate 10, Hwy 290, and the possibility of tying the southern portion of the Prairie Parkway into the Westpark Toll Road, which currently runs west out of Houston into Fort Bend County, and will eventually extend towards Fulshear. According to elected officials, it would also provide an additional hurricane evacuation route for coastal counties. Waller County Commissioners have recently conducted meetings to answer citizens’ questions about the Parkway and have assured them that the Prairie Parkway will not have anything to do with the Trans Texas Corridor. “TxDOT saw an opportunity with the proposed Prairie Parkway to piggyback the TTC on top of it. It’s now up to the citizens of Waller County to let TxDOT know what they think about that.” Garrett stated.

Garrett also added that he also expects that TxDOT may release their Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the TTC-69 route within the next few months. The DEIS will narrow the path of the TTC-69 from the current 10 mile wide study area to a 4 mile wide potential pathway. After the release of the DEIS, additional hearings will be conducted in various counties along the proposed pathway, and additional studies will be conducted before TxDOT selects a final route for the TTC-69. Garrett continued, “It is more important now than ever that people pay attention to what is going on around here. The TTC is alive and well, and TxDOT is hoping that folks are asleep at the wheel when they show up with bulldozers.”

© 2007 Citizens for a Better Waller County:

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