Commission refutes main arguments against toll road
CONROE, TX – July 3, 2017 — County Judge Craig Doyal applauded the Texas Transportation Commission for moving ahead with plans to extend State Highway 249 in Montgomery and Grimes counties, but criticized Commissioner James Noack for his false statements and hypocrisy on the project.
The Texas Transportation Commission on Thursday approved designating the project between Pinehurst and Todd Mission as a design-build toll project.
“We are very grateful the commission acted unanimously to approve this segment of 249 so we can begin moving forward with this vital project,” Judge Doyal said.
“The 249 extension will ease traffic congestion in southwest Montgomery County, and by opening up access, will generate high-value commercial development that will expand our tax base and help provide relief to residential property taxpayers,” he said.
Judge Doyal said transportation commissioners rebutted false arguments that were made about the project by Commissioner James Noack and his allies – in particular that the state could build the road without tolls.
“I’m glad the commissioners saw past the attempts at political manipulation by Commissioner Noack and his allies,” Judge Doyal said. “After voting numerous times in support of this project, including a resolution passed by this court, Commissioner Noack decided it was somehow politically advantageous to him to flip flop and falsely argue the state would build this road without tolls.
“It showed he could care less about the mobility issues, economic success and prosperity of southwest Montgomery County and the rest of the county.”
Members of the commission made it clear that if the project isn’t funded by tolls, it won’t have any funding at all.
“The high likelihood is this project would not be funded for years,” said Commissioner Victor T. Vandergriff.
Around a dozen southwest Montgomery County community leaders and elected officials attended Thursday’s meeting of the Transportation Commission, including representative of Magnolia, chambers, economic development organizations and the city of Tomball.
To demonstrate support for the project, Judge Doyal also handed the commission resolutions and letters of support from Montgomery County Commissioners Court, the Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce, the city of Magnolia, the city of Todd Mission, the city of Navasota, and the Texas Renaissance Festival.
Paul Mendes, city administrator for Magnolia, told the commissioners “(State Highway) 249 is a must for us. Many of the people who have spoken to you (against the project) don’t live in the Magnolia area. They live in The Woodlands or elsewhere. They don’t sit in traffic trying to get to Tomball like we do on a two-lane road between Magnolia and Tomball.
“Now it’s time to stand up and look the eagle in the eye, and make 249 a reality.”