Image: Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner Charlie Riley lies awake every night fearing a barge crash into the State Highway 242 at Interstate 45 flyovers, in the event the Montgomery County government were recklessly to remove the flyover tolls. This photograph depicts Riley’s worst nightmare scenario.
Conroe, April 10 – Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner Charlie Riley made what was easily the most stupid comment ever made in the history of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court when he expressed a concern that a barge might hit the flyovers at the intersection of State Highway 242 with Interstate 45 to cause an extraordinary high maintenance expense to Montgomery County’s government, in the event that the Texas Department of Transportation did not assume the cost of the flyover maintenance.
The discussion arose during the Commissioners Court’s consideration of County Judge Mark Keough’s proposal to remove the flyover tolls.
The taxpayers of Montgomery County finished paying the bond debt for the flyovers in January, 2018. In year since the taxpayers paid that bond debt through tolls, Riley and other members of the Commissioners Court failed to determine whether the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) would take over the SH 242 flyover maintenance, if the County government chose to end the tolling of the flyovers. Now, we sit over a year later, and Riley and his cohorts have failed to take any action.
Riley desperately wants to continue the tolls forever. In previous Commissioners Court discussions, Riley has made clear that he wants the “revenue” from tolls to pay for other road projects for Montgomery County forever. Therefore, Riley, who had the primary responsibility to determine whether TxDOT would take over the maintenance expense for the flyovers which connect a state highway to a federal highway, seems to have failed purposefully to determine who would assume the maintenance expenses, if Montgomery County ended the flyover tolls.
During the discussion in the Commissioners Court, Precinct 4 County Commissioner James Metts began the expression of fear over the potential cost of flyover maintenance. Metts said, “If you get something that is an oversize load that destroys that flyover…”
Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador continued with the disaster-mongering, “Then we’re on the hook.”
Metts continued, “…then Precinct 4 is the one that’s going to be out for the major amount of money…I don’t want to be stuck with a huge something that we cannot pay over here in Precinct 4. It’s my duty to look after them, not only Precinct 4, but the rest of the County. I want some simple answers from the state and I don’t think it’s too much to ask.”
Riley then said, “We have county roads that we maintain. We do not maintain state-built highways. I’m sure that I-10 wasn’t expecting a barge to hit that bridge down there either, and it’s been shut down for two months…You cannot afford to maintain that.”
The Most Stupid Comment In The History of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court: In discussing maintenance costs for the flyovers at State Highway 242 and Interstate 45 in Conroe, Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner said, “”We have county roads that we maintain. We do not maintain state-built highways. I’m sure that I-10 wasn’t expecting a barge to hit that bridge down there either, and it’s been shut down for two months…You cannot afford to maintain that.”
The flyovers are approximately one hundred (100) feet in the air. Barge traffic along Interstate 45 would seem likely to be rare.
Riley’s latest argument to continue to toll the SH 242 flyovers, a tax which Riley obviously enjoys collecting, seems to be his concern about barge traffic at the intersection of Interstate 45 and State Highway 242.
Undoubtedly, the continuation of the SH 242 flyover tolls would also defray the cost of maintenance, if a truck carrying jackalopes were to knock down the flyover pylons after swerving to avoid hitting a sasquatch and a bag of snipe.