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.
CHAMBERS COUNTY, TEXAS – Chambers County Commissioners Court voted to increase the value of property tax exemption provided to senior citizens, effectively lowering the total amount that these residents pay each year.
The initiative, spearheaded by Chambers County residents and presented to Court by Commissioners Billy Combs and Tommy Hammond, increases the taxation threshold from the current rate of 20 percent plus $60 thousand. The 20 percent rate discount rate is set by the state and cannot be adjusted, so Commissioners Court elected to increase the reduction set by the County to $200 thousand.
To simplify, property owners who are over the age of 65 are taxed only on the value of their property that exceeds the threshold set by Commissioners Court. This means that at the new discount, seniors who own property valued at $250 thousand or less would pay zero dollars in taxes to the County. Those seniors whose property is valued at greater than $250 thousand will be taxed only on the value exceeding that threshold. A $250K home would be evaluated in the following manner: $250,000 – (20 percent of $250,000 – in this case $50,000) – $200,000 = 0. In this scenario, Chambers County would assess $0 tax.
“I think this is a wonderful idea and I support it completely,” said Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia. “This is a great way to put money back in the pockets of Chambers County residents and will help increase the financial security of senior citizens.”
Mont Belvieu City Council has approved McGrath Real Estate Group’s proposal to begin developing a 1,400- acre piece of land on the corner of Eagle Drive and FM 565. What’s currently being used as farmland, will become a new master-planned community called Riceland.
Scott Swigert, Interim City Manager, says “The City of Mont Belvieu is excited to partner with McGrath Real Estate Partners to bring the Riceland master-planned community into Mont Belvieu. The vision for Riceland underscores what people love about living in Mont Belvieu; a high-quality high-amenity lifestyle that maintains our hometown feel. This is evident in the priority the developers have placed on working with the City to bring our vision of an authentic downtown, anchored by our new City Hall, into reality.”
The agreement with the Riceland developers will drive major City infrastructure improvements as it begins that will benefit all of our residents. The developer, in partnership with the city, will be building new roads and improving existing roads. Developers are also working closely with Barbers Hill Independent School District to hold out land for them to accommodate any necessary schools.
Chambers County Indigent Healthcare is now accepting applications from Chambers County residents who wish to participate in the Brazos Valley Community Action Program (BVCAP).
This is a first come, first served program that provides assistance for food, utility, rent and mortgage payments. It is open to residents whose income level does not exceed 125 percent of poverty level. Specific household size to monthly income ratios are provided in the attachments.
Applications are accepted by appointment only. Please call Chambers County Indigent Healthcare at 409-267- 2770 to schedule your visit.
Beginning September 7, Chambers County Indigent Healthcare will begin accepting applications from Chambers County Residents who wish to participate in the Brazos Valley Community Action Program (BVCAP).
BVCAP is a first come, first served program that provides assistance for food, utility, rent and mortgage payments.
As the number of COVID-19 cases increases, Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia, Chambers County Local Health Authority Dr. William Clay Brown, Chambers County Public Health Director Mary Beth Bess and Chambers County Emergency Services Director Ron Nichols urgently appeal to Chambers County residents to take personal responsibility for their own health and actions and take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.
The COVID-19 Pandemic is wreaking havoc on the local, regional and state healthcare system, restricting the level of and speed at which emergent care can be delivered. As of the issuance of this statement, the Chambers County EMS call volume has increased 73 percent over this time last year and 67 percent of calls are to either COVID-19 positive or suspected positive patients.
Many regional hospitals have declared Internal Disasters or are unable to take patients due to lack of available beds or staff. Patients are spending an average of 96 hours in the Emergency Room before they are moved to a bed. Many are being treated in hallways and medics are being left with patients who are waiting to be admitted so that ambulances are able to return to service.