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Formal Inclusion of 36A Amendments to RTP Set Mid-2022

SUGAR LAND, TX — Craig Raborn, Director of Transportation for the Houston Galveston Area Council of Government, recently told the audience at a Highway 36A Coalition breakfast that the two segments of a proposed 36A will be formally added to the HGAC Regional Transportation Plan by mid-year 2022. The two segments were approved for addition to the plan last year by HGAC’s Transportation Policy Council, Raborn said, but some minor final steps are needed before they can be formally included in the plan.

“What I can tell you is both of those projects were included and recommended or approved by our Transportation Policy Council to be added to our Regional Transportation Plan. They are not technically in the plan yet due to some air quality requirements we have to go through. But we think that will be wrapped up end of Spring, early Summer, and then they will be formally in the plan,” Raborn said.

“The southern leg will be in the plan as to be funded in 2037; and the north segment would be in by 2040, but that may change. That timing will be a little more precise as we move forward.” The HGAC currently estimates both projects together will cost about $2.4 billion.

Raborn stated that the project continues to be committed to avoiding any impacts to the Katy Prairie Conservancy, as has been TPC policy since 2014.

“There was a condition relating to the 36A North piece that as TxDOT [Texas Department of Transportation] developed the project it should avoid impacts to the KPC. That was the TPC position, and with the approval that occurred by the TPC in June, that condition has continued with the project.”

Raborn said that the 36A projects were among a number of amendments to the RTP that were considered by the TPC. HGAC Executive Director Chuck Wemple added that the organization will increasingly be working to identify projects that align with current and future government funding priorities, and moving freight, and improving road safety by segregating freight and passenger traffic, are among the topics that could be competitive.

The event also featured updates on Port Freeport’s ongoing projects by Port Commissioner Shane Pirtle.
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