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Rep. Bell, Cecil

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Texas 249 and the Montgomery County Toll Road Authority  print page

by: Rep. Bell, Cecil
05/11/2018

To my fellow citizens of Montgomery county:

The 3.6-mile segment of Texas 249 set to be built by the Montgomery County Toll Road Authority (MCTRA), has been highly debated. The necessity of this critical transportation project has been discussed for years.

My directive to TxDOT regarding roads has always been to construct freeways if possible. TxDOT has consistently responded that this segment required alternative funding to be constructed at this time. While tolls are not ideal, they do provide an immediate funding source. Ensuring that the entire road, including this segment, gets built now is vital to Montgomery county and its citizens.

A recent news article suggested a workshop to discuss alternative funding to tolls. If the funding can be identified to construct this as a freeway and keep the current construction schedule, then build the segment as a freeway. However if this segment is going to be tolled, keep MCTRA as the toll authority.

Having that local control assures that Montgomery County officials set the toll rate, direct the use of the toll revenue, and retain the authority to end the toll when the bond debt is fully repaid. I strongly oppose shifting control of Montgomery county tax payer dollars to Harris County or to the state.

I contacted Quincy Allen, TxDOT Houston District Engineer, and requested that TxDOT construct the segment as a freeway. His answer was that this segment of 249 required alternative funding to be constructed at this time.

I also asked Mr. Allen about using the $66.6 million in pass-through toll revenue as funding. His reply was “TxDOT cannot begin construction without the funds in place and the pass through revenue will not be available until 2021.” He went on to say that waiting for that revenue would delay the completion of the project eight to ten years.

Mr. Allen added that changing the signed agreements with Harris county and with TxDOT will have a high financial cost for Montgomery County and for us as taxpayers.

Every resident of Montgomery county will benefit from the increased mobility, from the job creation, and from the growth in tax base associated with constructing Texas 249.

Build this segment as a free road if possible. With that said do not fail to construct it now. If a toll is the funding source then keep local control and end the toll when the road debt is fully repaid.

Montgomery county residents and businesses need the mobility of a completed Texas 249.

Contact Info

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Capitol Address:
District Address:

Room E2.708

P.O. Box 2910

Austin, TX 78768

(512) 463-0650

(512) 463-0575 Fax

18230 FM 1488, Ste. 302

Magnolia, TX 77354

(281) 259-3700

(281) 259-3706 Fax