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Texas Roadway a Threat to Prairie Preserve, Say Environmentalists

Part of the Houston-area Grand Parkway would pass through a tallgrass prairie reserve, and opponents say it would destroy the grasslands and bird habitat.
September 4, 2019, 9am PDT | Camille Fink
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Steve Miller

Angie Schmitt writes about a segment of the Grand Parkway project that would cut through the Katy Prairie, a 1,000 square-mile natural area west of Houston, and bring with it traffic and sprawl.

"Development of this pristine land isn’t just collateral damage — it’s the point of the project. Project sponsors make no bones about it: The 15.2-mile Grand Parkway segment through Katy Prairie is a $462 million development project as much as it is a transportation project," says Schmitt.

Environmental groups are trying to stop the project and protect the prairie land. They argue that, in addition to the threat to wildlife, destroying the area’s wetlands would increase flooding risks. 

"The Sierra Club and other local environmental groups have proposed a series of alternatives. The Sierra Club, for example, would support making the whole structure a bridge or widening existing arterial roads that connect I-10 and US-290," notes Schmitt.

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Published on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 in Streetsblog USA
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