Tolls Not Included: Toll Proposals Keep Ending Up in the Dustbin in Texas
"A long-planned tollway along Hempstead Road has new life, albeit without the tolls, as Texas Department of Transportation planners pitch an elevated system that could cater to carpools and transit," reports Dug Begley.
The updated plans are included in the ten-year transportation plan updated annually by the Houston-Galveston Area Council, calling for most of Hempstead Road from Loop 610 to Jones Road in northwest Harris County to be rebuilt, with a new transit-only lane in each direction as a bonus.
"The biggest change, however, hovers above Hempstead, where officials are proposing two managed lanes in each direction along an elevated structure atop or alongside the road," according to Begley.
As Begley reports, the decision to remove tolls from the new road's funding equation means the $1.3 billion estimated cost for the project will have to be paid for completely by federal, state, and local funds. The Texas Department of Transportation made a similar decision to remove tolls from a $7 billion plan to add managed lanes along Interstate 45 north of downtown Houston.