Thursday, December 27, 2007

"I do not believe a 1,200-foot-wide corridor is necessary...I know that many of my constituents agree."

TxDOT sets local TTC hearings


The Waller County News-Citizen
Copyright 2007

WALLER COUNTY - In response to calls from the public for an expanded role in the shaping of state transportation policy, the Texas Department of Transportation will hold a series of 11 town hall meetings and 46 public hearings in January, February and March.

State Sen. Glenn Hegar of Katy said the meetings will provide interested Texans with the opportunity to pose questions to a panel of TxDOT representatives on topics such as the Trans-Texas Corridor, comprehensive development agreements, I-69, and related topics.

"As Texas grows from 23 million to 40 million residents over the next several decades, large scale expansion of our highway system will be needed to ensure a healthy business climate and the continued flow of jobs to Texas," said Hegar. "With this tremendous growth we must take great care in planning to protect our natural resources and quality of life. I do not believe a 1,200-foot-wide corridor is necessary in Senate District 18, and I know that many of my constituents agree. That is why I strongly encourage attendance at these extremely important meetings."

While Senate District 18 is protected by the two-year moratorium prohibiting TxDOT from entering into new comprehensive development agreements for the construction of tolled roadway projects, much work remains.

A legislative study committee will begin meeting in January to address concerns that members of the legislature and the public have regarding the financing mechanism for I-69 and the Trans-Texas Corridor (comprehensive development agreements), according to the senator. He said TxDOT will conduct the 11 town hall meetings and 46 public hearings, members of the legislature and public interest groups will continue to study Texas' current and future transportation infrastructure needs and search for innovative ways to meet those needs, and finally, legislators will begin drafting bills for filing in January of 2009.

"In traveling throughout Senate District 18, questions about toll roads are some of the most frequent I encounter so I am extremely encouraged that concerned Texans will be able to voice their ideas and objections in a formal setting. The input of local residents is of the highest value and must be given the weight it deserves," said Hegar.

Seven meetings have been scheduled in this area. Each meeting will have an Open House from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and the meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m. The dates and locations include:
  • Feb. 25, Rosenberg Civic and Convention Center, 3825 Highway 36 South;
  • Feb. 26, Katy High School, 6331 Highway Boulevard;
  • Feb. 26, Sealy High School, 2372 Championship Drive;
  • Feb. 27, Waller High School, 20950 Fields Store Road;
  • Feb. 27, Knights of Columbus Hall, 22892 Mack Washington, Hempstead;
  • Feb. 28, Grimes County Expo Center, 5220 FM 3455, Navasota; and
  • March 3, Bryan Civic Auditorium, 800 So. Coulter Drive, Bryan.
To prepare for the upcoming meetings, interested parties can reference the recently released I-69 Draft Environmental Impact Statement by visiting:

Learn about the hearings in their area at:

Submit their written commentary (at which point it will become a part of the materials submitted to the federal government, who must ultimately approve the route for any new highway) at:

Senator Hegar is currently serving his first term in the Texas Senate after serving two terms in the House of Representatives. He is a sixth generation Texan, and earns a living farming rice and corn on land that has been in his family since the mid 1800s.

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