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Posts published in “Day: July 25, 2013

Grand Parkway breaks ground for North Segment

38 mile road from US290 to US59 ready in 2016

NORTH HOUSTON – As more than 1,000 newcomers move to Texas each day adding more cars to state highways, the Texas Department of Transportation today broke ground on the latest segments of the Houston-area SH 99/Grand Parkway. With ceremonial shovels in hand, state and local leaders along with transportation officials were joined by design-build contractor Zachry- Odebrecht Parkway Builders (ZOPB) to turn dirt at the future SH 99 expansion.

“This latest phase of construction represents a continuation of the forward thinking and planning that will expedite mobility and provide the infrastructure this area will need as Texas welcomes more drivers and business traffic,” said TxDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson. “We are proud of the partnerships that share our vision of addressing congestion and helping motorists move freely and safely on Texas highways.”

Construction on the new 38-mile segment is expected to take two-and-a-half years to complete. Upon completion, motorists will be able to drive SH 99 from US 290 directly to US 59 North. The outer loop system will provide motorists more direct travel options for the movement of goods, people and services to, through and around the region.

The SH 99/Grand Parkway has been in the planning stage since the early 1960s and was made possible through coordinated working relationships with Harris and Montgomery counties. Improvements to these important roadways are critical to the region’s continued mobility and economic vitality.

Additionally, transportation leaders also noted the recent announcement of the sale of the Grand Parkway System Toll Revenue Bonds. The proceeds of the $2.92 billion bond sale will go to finance this project; reimburse the Harris County Toll Road Authority and TxDOT for earlier Grand Parkway expenses; and $300 million of preliminary work for Segments H and I of the Grand Parkway.

For ongoing updates on the SH 99/Grand Parkway project, visit www.grandparkway or call 1-855-99Grand.

Grand Texas Theme Park to be developed on US59 north

NORTHEAST – Developers are hard at work on two separate projects in the New Caney area, north of Humble on US59. The latest project to be announced is a theme park named Grand Texas. The Developers announced last week that they had purchased a 600 acre tract of land at the corner of US59 and Highway 242.

Principal of the developer group is Monty Galland, and operator of the park will be Chuck Hendrix of Innovative Leisure Partners. Hendrix was previously an executive with Six Flags who managed AstroWorld in the period before it was closed and torn down. He is said to be a well respected and experienced manager in the amusement park business nationally, and adds credence to the proposal and the development team.

Envisioned for the new park is a Texas- themed park with amusement rides, a water park, an equestrian center, retail shopping and parking, amphitheater, paintball arena, and an RV resort.

When completed in 2015, it is expected that it will create 300 to 400 permanent jobs, and attract up to a million tourists and visitors to the parks. Although no construction or land figures were released, industry experts say that it will cost upwards of $120 million for the park, and another $95 million for ancillary features such as hotels, restaurants, retail, and parking. Others in the industry have said that it may take as much as $400 million to build a first class facility equivalent to theme parks in other parts of the country.

This is the second proposal for a theme park and public development in the East Montgomery County area. Last year a development named Earth Quest was announced, to be a major dinosaur-themed science park, with an adjacent amusement park, and research center. This project has received State of Texas Enterprise Fund backing, and also local funding from sales tax revenue bonds.

According to Frank McCrady, president and CEO of the East Montgomery County Improvement District, this project is still on schedule and when built will not be a competitor but a complement to the Grand Texas project. The site for this project is on the east side of US59, only about three miles from the Grand Texas project.