Officials call for 2nd TTC meeting
Waller County officials are calling
for the Texas Department of Transportation to hold
another public meeting in their county on a proposed
“superhighway,” after a Jan. 22 meeting was so packed
that some people couldn’t squeeze into the meeting hall.
TxDOT held a public meeting in Hempstead to gather
public input on the Trans Texas Corridor’s proposed I-69
leg which could bring it through Waller and Austin
counties, and small portion of Washington County.
More than 800 people surged into
the Knights of Columbus Hall in Hempstead. Officials
said the hall is located on a narrow, dead end road that
was choked with vehicles that had no place to park.
Police were forced to block off access to Mack
Washington Street, resulting in some attendees having to
park and walk over a quarter mile. Many others went
home, unable to find parking on the rain saturated
shoulders of FM 1488.
Among those witnessing the crowded conditions was state
Sen. Glenn Hegar, whose district includes Washington,
Austin and Waller counties.
“I was coming back through Hempstead from Brenham that
evening after attending a chamber banquet and I
personally realized the overcrowding and the inability
of citizens to attend the meeting at the KC Hall,” Hegar
was among those calling on TxDOT to hold an additional
“town hall” meeting, along with state Rep. John Zerwas
and Waller County Judge Owen Ralston. They were urged to
seek an additional hearing by Citizens for a Better
All three officials submitted written requests to TxDoT.
In addition, officials also requested that one of the
two environmental public meetings on the project
scheduled for Feb. 27 be rescheduled to accommodate
citizens who many not be able to attend either one.
Both are scheduled on the same day but in different
Gov. Rick Perry first proposed the TTC six years ago. If
completed as much as 50 years from now, it would roughly
parallel interstate highways with up to a
quarter-mile-wide stretch of toll roads, rail lines,
pipelines and utility lines. Cost of the project has
been estimated at approaching $200 billion, and at 4,000
miles or so it would be the biggest construction project
ever in Texas.
Thousands of people have turned out for a series of
public meetings, including a large crowd last Monday in
The Texas Transportation Commission’s plan outlines
4,000 miles of superhighway corridors that crisscross
the state. Four of those corridors have been identified
as “priority corridors” to be constructed first,
including the I-69 portion.