Plans for a toll road have hit a public opinion fork in the road in Grimes County. Some see it as badly needed revenue for their money-strapped county. Others view it as an intrusion into their way of life.
TX-DOT engineer Brian Woods says there is a good reason a new toll road needs to be built in Grimes County.
"We've experienced a huge growth in population and vehicle use in Texas in the last 25 years and we haven't kept pace with that growth in terms of highway capacity," said Woods.
TX-DOT is proposing extending State Highway 249, which starts in Tomball, into Grimes County and making the entire highway a toll road. The toll road would run roughly parallel to Highway 105 and FM 1774, 16 miles into Grimes County.
Woods says the toll road would be built about 20 years faster than a normal highway and would generate funds for future road projects in Grimes County.
TX-DOT says the project will not affect local traffic flow and that it would make it easier for residents to get to Houston. Many Grimes County residents say that's something they're willing to pay for.
Navasota councilman Bert Miller says he's heard mixed reactions from the community.
"There have been concerns about land acquisitions near the city limits . Others have been very positive about the economic impact that it would have in brining folks to our town," said Miller.
City and county leaders will hear residents out before they make any decisions on the proposal.
If approved, construction on the toll road would start in 2013 and be complete by 2016.
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