The following letter was sent in as a public comment on TxDOT’s 2020 Unified Transportation Program.

Dear Sirs:
 
I am writing today regarding TxDOT’s proposed de-authorization and removal of segments B and C of the Grand Parkway from the 2020 UTP. I urge you to continue their development.
 
Construction of the Grand Parkway’s Segments B and C is essential to the on-going and future economic prosperity of Galveston County. Any delay will hamper the freedom of our businesses to compete in the global market, slow job and wage growth for our citizens, and stifle commerce and economic development throughout the region.
 
Galveston County benefits from I-45 running north to south, from the Texas coast to the central core of Greater Houston. Due to this corridor, our industry and residents are primarily concentrated in the central and eastern parts of the county. The county’s great swathes of western land are generally unconnected from the rest of the county and Greater Houston and therefore undeveloped and underutilized.
 
Future projects and economic growth in the county hinge on the Parkway’s expansion through this area. To link these portions via the Grand Parkway Segments B and C and open them up for development, would allow for the expansion of residents and industry into a region directly connected to north-south movement on I-45, and the worldwide-reach of the ports of Houston, Texas City, and Galveston.
   
The development would allow for the collection of increased industrial and commercial property taxes, offsetting the residential property tax burden of the county’s taxpayers. With access via the Grand Parkway, this region would prosper and the county’s taxpayers would benefit.
 
Greater Houston is growing at the boundaries. Increasing land costs in the central core of the metro area are pushing development further and further to the edges, and the cities of Galveston County are projected to soon grow dramatically. Any delay in the construction of the Grand Parkway through Galveston County will negatively impact this growth and the economic freedom of our citizens.
 
Also, delaying construction of Segments B and C of the Grand Parkway will make it more difficult for the residents and employees of Galveston County to evacuate from future hurricanes on the Texas Gulf Coast, potentially disqualifying productive sites in our region from competitive site selection opportunities.
 
Segments B and C will directly benefit the citizens of Galveston County, and the residents of southern Greater Houston. Completing the Grand Parkway through our region would be the right thing to do.
 
I urge you to take immediate and appropriate action to ensure that the Grand Parkway’s Segments B and C are completed.
 
Sincerely,
 
Dane Carlson
Economic Development Director
Galveston County