Conroe, Houston, and Austin, April 12 – State Senator Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe), Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack (R-The Woodlands), and Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark (R-New Caney) lobbied the Texas Department of Transportation today to take back the 3-mile Montgomery County portion of the TX 249 Extension and not toll it, particularly in light of the recent overwhelming vote by Montgomery County and Texas citizens not to construct or finance tollroads without voter approval. Additionally, it’s clear that County Judge Craig Doyal lost his re-election in the March 6, 2018, Republican Primary Election at least in part because of Doyal’s insistence that Montgomery County take the primary role in the construction of the TX 249 Tollway, so that he could control the direction of money flow to his favored engineers and contractors.
Creighton told The Golden Hammer that he has been “working for more than 3 months behind the scenes to get funding from the state rather than building tollroads. Creighton explained that he met with Noack Wednesday morning and then called Quincy Allen, the Regional Director of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in Houston. Allen was attending a TxDOT meeting in Austin this week but spoke with Creighton by telephone.
“I’ve been pushing TxDOT for to provide better funding formulas so that money that should be going to this region won’t go to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex instead. I prefer every avenue to be exhausted before the TX 249 road is built as a tollroad,” Creighton said.
Creighton, his staff, and the staff of the Senate Transportation Committee all reached out to TxDOT over the past twenty-four hours to find a method of funding the TX 249 tollroad other than by tolling the road.
Clark, the Precinct 4 County Commissioner, also spoke with TxDOT’s Allen today. “Mr. Allen told me, when he returns to Houston, that he would make it his first priority this request for TxDOT to take over the Montgomery County section of 249 and constructing it through some other source of funds other than tolls.” Clark said that he discussed with Allen the possibility of constructing the TX 249 Extension using pass-thru toll money that is already available.
Noack also spoke with The Golden Hammer late this evening: “I called Regional TxDOT Director Quincy Allen this morning. I’ve proposed the possibility of using pass-through toll funds as a potential funding option to avoid tolls. I told Allen that the citizens have said they don’t want any more tollroads. He agreed to review the project, examine their budget, and see what options there are for funding the TX 249 project some way other than for the Montgomery County government to build it.”
This newspaper asked Noack why he is taking these actions and his response was “Because it’s the right thing to do.”