CHAMBERS COUNTY, Texas – A man has been arrested after investigators say he threatened the lives of more than one judge this week.
On Sept. 8, Chambers County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch say they received a suspicious phone call from an unknown man. During the call, the suspect reportedly threatened the lives of both Chambers County District Judges.
Deputies were said to have been immediately sent to the homes of the judges and remained on site to provide security.
During the course of the investigation, deputies reportedly began to track down information on who originally called 911 with the threats. Officials say it appears that the man attempted to use calling apps and virtual private networks to prevent being tracked.
Chambers County has been awarded a $6.2 million grant through the Texas Water Development Board Flood Infrastructure Fund. This is a 75/25 match grant and the County is partnering with the Cities of Mont Belvieu, Dayton, Liberty and Beach City, as well as WCID #5 to fund the match.
The purpose of this is to study all of the water that flows “to and through” Chambers County. The end product will be twofold: a comprehensive drainage plan of the entire County and a list of “shovel ready” projects that the County can use for future grant applications and budget planning.
We have been working on this grant for more than two years (the initial application was submitted in March 2020) and have gathered a substantial amount of information… but we are now turning to our public and asking that you share your knowledge with us.
Mont Belvieu, TX – The Chambers County Children’s Museum is excited to celebrate our Ground Breaking ceremony Monday, June 20th at 10:30 a.m. at 10955 Eagle Drive in Mont Belvieu TX. The Museum will be created in the old Thrif-Tee grocery store building which has been donated to the Museum by the facility owner with a 15 year free lease. The Museum has raised $3.4 million towards a campaign goal of $4 million to fund the renovations that will begin later this month.
CHAMBERS COUNTY, TEXAS- On April 12, 2022, Chambers County Commissioner’s Court voted to move forward with the procurement of the Chambers County Justice Center through a public-private partnership.
The County will solicit qualified applicants through a request for qualifications. The most qualified development team will contract with the County to design, build, finance, and maintain a 200,000-square-foot facility, including a 300-bed jail, law enforcement center, courthouse, and emergency operations center. By procuring the Justice Center through a public-private partnership, the County will be able to construct the new facility without a tax rate increase, meet the Texas Commission on Jail Standards requirement that a new jail is constructed within 3 years, and deliver the project cheaper and more efficiently than under a traditional design-bid-build procurement program.
Construction of the Grand Parkway/SH 99 – a major traffic artery for the Greater Houston Area – will wrap up next week with the opening of the final segments of the project, which will connect US 59 in New Caney to I10 in Baytown. The official date to open is Thursday, May 19.
Motorists traveling on the Grand Parkway can enjoy a two-day grace period before tolls begin at midnight on Saturday, May 21.
In Liberty County, the Grand Parkway can be accessed along US 90 and FM 1960 west of Dayton, and in the Colony Ridge communities south of Plum Grove.
The segments from New Caney, through Dayton, and to Baytown represent 52.8 miles of the 184-mile Grand Parkway loop that traverses seven counties in the Greater Houston Area. The Grand Parkway is the third circumferential highway around the Houston metro area – the others being the 610 Loop and Beltway 8.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the Grand Parkway is the longest highway loop in the entire United States. The first section – Segment D in Fort Bend County – opened in 1994.
While the tollway is expected to spur residential and commercial growth along its path, its purpose is to provide yet another means of traveling around Houston metro area. The Texas Department of Transportation spent $855 million on the Grand Parkway construction.
Mont Belvieu – The Langston Blvd. project added 1 mile of roadway extending west from Eagle Dr. and connects the city to the soon-to-open SH 99/Grand Parkway.
The $8 million, 18-month project, constructed by Angel Brothers, included not only the roadway, but trail-width pathway connecting nearby neighborhoods to the developing Hackberry Park and an amenity bridge that serves as a gateway into Mont Belvieu from the Grand Parkway. The bridge features oil derrick-style spires that are a nod to Mont Belvieu’s history and the city’s continuing importance in the oil and natural gas industries.
While the ribbon cutting does officially mark the completion of the Langston Blvd. project, the road will not be open to traffic until TXDOT and the Grand Parkway Initiative (GPI) complete and open SH 99.
MONT BELVIEU (April 22, 2022-The City of Mont Belvieu took yet another step in the city’s continued growth with a double-shot event on Thursday afternoon; officials cut the ribbon marking the end of construction on the extension of Langston Boulevard while also conducting a groundbreaking to open construction on Phase 1 of Hackberry Park. While the projects are separate, they are physically connected with Langston Blvd. running through the expansive Hackberry Park. This provided the perfect opportunity for a unique combination event.
Mont Belvieu Mayor Nick Dixon stated, “Things never seem to slow down here in Mont Belvieu and today is a perfect example. We’re breaking ground to start one project while we are cutting the ribbon to wrap up another. I’m excited about the access this extension of Langston Boulevard will give to our residents and visitors. And, it’s amazing to think about all of the fun that will be had here in Hackberry Park.”
Mayor Dixon also had the unique distinction of pulling the lever for a ceremonial fish dump into the park’s vast pond system. 2000 bluegill and 400 catfish were introduced into the ponds to start growing the ecosystem and allow the fish to thrive before Phase 1 of Hackberry Park opens to the public in late 2022.
(Baytown, TX) – Walmart today announced plans to expand its Baytown, TX supply chain campus with a new 1,000,000+ square-foot distribution center to support the retailer’s growing supply chain network. The new facility, located at 4633 Borusan Road, is the retailer’s fourth in Baytown and is set to open in the Fall of 2022, bringing the total square-footage of the campus to over 5,000,000 square-feet. The expansion will create an additional 300 full-time jobs due to growth across multiple shifts.
“Walmart is excited to expand our Baytown campus and another step in Walmart’s continued investment in the state.” said Mike Gray, SVP Supply Chain Operations, Walmart. “The Baytown campus and our other regional facilities continue to bring exciting new career opportunities within Walmart’s modern supply chain to hundreds of residents of the Houston area—all while helping us provide our local customers their everyday necessities with more variety and efficiency than ever before.”
“Southeast Texas is booming, and I am happy to see Walmart make significant investments in Baytown. The campus expansion will bring jobs and opportunity to the already diverse and strong Chambers County economy,” said Senator Brandon Creighton.
NORTH CHANNEL – The GP/JC CIP group (Community-Industry-Partnership) met last Thursday evening by Zoom, to hear industry reports and an progress report from HCTRA (Harris County Toll Road Authority) on the construction of the new replacement bridge that carries Beltway 8 over the ship channel.
The presentation was made by John Tyler, HCTRA Deputy Director for Engineering. Using slides, he detailed the problems the bridge construction has faced, and the status of building the new design.
The original contract for the bridge was let in 2018 to a consortium of Traylor Brothers and Zachry Construction, two contractors with extensive experience in this type of highway bridge. The design engineer was FIGG Engineering. The original contract was for $962 million dollars, for the bridge and connecting roads from Highway 225 to Interstate 10. However, after one of FIGG’s bridges collapsed in Florida, an analysis of this design was ordered, and determined that it was flawed and unstable. Work was halted in August 2019 to allow a redesign.
A new foundation design was engineered by COWI engineers, and the new plans added $291 million dollars to the cost, including $50 to demolish work already in place. This mainly involved the piers at the base of the pylons, which were redesigned with new reinforcing. Tyler noted that construction of the new bridge is the largest single project in county history. He said that the cost of the bridge will be paid for by tolls, and no tax money or federal subsidy will be used to pay for it. The current toll to cross the existing bridge is $1.50, and Tyler said that HCTRA does not anticipate any increase to pay for the bridge. Currently the toll road authority is financially very strong, with $1.32 billion in uncommitted reserves.
The bridge will be built in two stages, with the southbound lanes now under construction. When complete, it will have four traffic lanes which will temporarily be converted to two-way traffic so that the older bridge next to it can be demolished. This is expected to happen by 2025. After the older bridge is gone, the new northbound lanes will be constructed in its place, and be complete by 2028 Tyler said.
The new Beltway 8 configuration will have flatter grades, only 3 to 4 percent, and smoother curves going into the bridge.
Currently 60,000 vehicles a day cross the bridge, and this is expected to increase to 2 or 3 times the volume.
A website shows live construction: shipchannelbridge.org.
MONT BELVIEU – Brian Winningham has been selected as the new city manager for the City of Mont Belvieu. Winningham was one of three finalists resulting from a six-month long nationwide search conducted by Strategic Government Resources (SGR) and the Mont Belvieu City Council; he was chosen for the position after final interviews that were held on February 18 and 19.
“We are excited to add Mr. Winningham’s experiences and vision to our city. We feel he is the right person to lead our staff during this time of unprecedented growth in Mont Belvieu,” said Mayor Nick Dixon.
Winningham’s contract with the City of Mont Belvieu was approved by the City Council during their regular meeting on Monday, February 28; his first day with the City of Mont Belvieu will be Monday, April 11.