Houston Community Newspapers 6/17/14 7:29 am By Alex Endress
Travelers driving east on Katy Freeway received two new direct connectors to the north and southbound routes of Grand Parkway Monday after the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot) met with U.S. Rep. John Culberson, state Rep. Bill Callegari and state Rep. Dwayne Bohac — among others — to open the ramps.
In total, the connectors are two of the four that will link the Katy Freeway to Grand Parkway. The first connector — SH 99 north to I-10 west — became available in December 2013 when Segment E of Grand Parkway opened, which joins I-10 with U.S. 290. The I-10/SH 99 interchange will be complete later this month when TxDot opens the final connector — SH 99 north to I-10 west.
“The Katy Freeway and the Grand Parkway are tributes to the vision of county leaders and state leaders working together with our great transportation department, and it’s just been my privilege to be a cog in the wheel,” Culberson said.
The congressman compared the construction of SH 99 to that of a coronary bypass, providing an arterial highway through West Houston.
“Transportation is a driver of the economy,” said Lt. Gen. Joe Weber, TxDot executive director. “You move goods, people and services quicker — it’s good for the economy.”
Weber said he expects the mobility improvement to increase quality of life for citizens of Katy and West Houston. “That’s what we owe as elected officials and as heads of agencies to the people of our communities,” he said.
Bohac said he was proud to be “spending the taxpayers’ money wisely” with the addition of the connectors, which he referred to as a “dream come true”. He said that besides adding better connectivity around Houston, the Grand Parkway has relieved traffic on other major highways, including the Sam Houston Parkway.
“This is what government should be doing,” Bohac said. “This is its purpose — to
City of Katy Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Brawner said the Grand Parkway connectors would “help [Katy’s] transportation and mobility plans in the future.”
“It’s going to enhance the traffic flow — it’s going to make it easier for the people that are interested in going out to the city of Katy to visit our merchants,” Brawner said.
The Texas Transportation Commission awarded the project’s $31.2 million contract to Lone Star Road Construction.
Drivers could access the new overpasses via I-10 just minutes after officials cut the ribbon on the connectors.
Photo – TxDOT Houston District Executive Director Mike Alford delivers remarks Monday at the grand opening of the eastbound I-10/Grand Parkway connector. From left are John Barton, TXDoT deputy executive director; Chuck Brawner, Katy mayor pro tem; U.S. Rep. John Culberson; state Rep. Bill Callegari; state Rep. Dwayne Bohac; TXDoT executive director Lt. Gen. Joe Weber; and Jeff Moseley, transportation commissioner.
See More Photos