Toll road planned along Highway 249 in NW Houston as part of expansion project

January 10, 2013 4:22:05 PM PST
If you live on the northwest side, plans are in motion that could ultimately make your life a lot easier. County officials are one step closer to possibly creating a new toll way along Highway 249 from Spring Cypress all the way to FM 1488.

Along Highway 249, the signs are up, even if the project to turn this stretch of Tomball Parkway into a toll road has not yet begun.

"It's whatever the government tells us to do," said local flower shop worker Cyndi Sharp. "Do we really have a choice?"

Sharp may not be sold on the toll road idea. But Commissioner Jack Cagle is a big supporter of the 249 toll road. To get it done, Harris County commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding to lend Montgomery County up to $20 million to help study the toll project.

"Without Montgomery County, we won't be able to service our constituents who live in Harris County," Cagle said.

The toll road will eventually go through Harris and Montgomery counties, so if and when expansion occurs, both counties can continue at the same pace.

"Six or eight years ago, people didn't want to hear the word toll road," said Bruce Hillegeist with the Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce.

Hillegeist says his organization knows the reality is they won't get any expanded Highway 249 if there is no toll. So the first phase of the project is set to start this fall, with two more phases planned for years ahead.

"The Texas Department of Transportation really laid it on the line for us -- no toll, no road," Hillegeist said.

A commissioner with Montgomery County tells Eyewitness News he also supports the toll road project.

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