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As State Population Booms, SH 99/Grand Parkway Construction Breaks Ground to Address Congestion
Contact: Media Relations
Phone: (512) 463-8700
Date: July 23, 2013

Transportation dignitaries and elected officials celebrate long-awaited project

HOUSTON – As more than 1,000 newcomers move to Texas each day adding more cars to state highways, the Texas Department of Transportation today broke ground on the latest segments of the Houston-area SH 99/Grand Parkway. With ceremonial shovels in hand, state and local leaders along with transportation officials were joined by design-build contractor Zachry-Odebrecht Parkway Builders (ZOPB) to turn dirt at the future SH 99 expansion.

“This latest phase of construction represents a continuation of the forward thinking and planning that will expedite mobility and provide the infrastructure this area will need as Texas welcomes more drivers and business traffic,” said TxDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson. “We are proud of the partnerships that share our vision of addressing congestion and helping motorists move freely and safely on Texas highways.”

Construction on the new 38-mile segment is expected to take two-and-a-half years to complete. Upon completion, motorists will be able to drive SH 99 from US 290 directly to US 59 North. The outer loop system will provide motorists more direct travel options for the movement of goods, people and services to, through and around the region.

The SH 99/Grand Parkway has been in the planning stage since the early 1960s and was made possible through coordinated working relationships with Harris and Montgomery counties. Improvements to these important roadways are critical to the region’s continued mobility and economic vitality. 

Additionally, transportation leaders also noted the recent announcement of the sale of the Grand Parkway System Toll Revenue Bonds. The proceeds of the $2.92 billion bond sale will go to finance this project; reimburse the Harris County Toll Road Authority and TxDOT for earlier Grand Parkway expenses; and $300 million of preliminary work for Segments H and I of the Grand Parkway.

For ongoing updates on the SH 99/Grand Parkway project, visit www.grandparkway99.com or call 1-855-99Grand.

For media inquiries, contact TxDOT Media Relations at MediaRelations@txdot.gov or (512) 463-8700.

Quotes from local and state leaders regarding SH 99/Grand Parkway Segments F-1, F-2 and G Groundbreaking on July 23, 2013

“Every hour a truck idles in traffic, every minute a family is delayed in traffic and every second a first responder is kept from providing vital services, costs our state. The Grand Parkway is an essential investment in the future of our state’s economy, our quality of life and public safety. It simply makes Texas stronger.” – Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst

“Every day motorists sit in congestion is time and money lost, so construction on this billion dollar project will be fast-paced with an aggressive schedule to complete the work -- 845 days to be exact. When it’s open to traffic by the end of 2015, north Houston will enjoy improved mobility between US 59 and I-69, and more options for hurricane evacuations. There’s no doubt the Grand Parkway will benefit the region’s and the state’s infrastructure network.” – Texas Transportation Commission Chair Ted Houghton

“These 38 miles of Grand Parkway will dramatically change the way our residents will move to their jobs without having to go through the center of Houston. In 25 years, we will marvel at the power of this powerful, new, economic engine we start today.” – Texas Transportation Commissioner Jeff Moseley

“The path that brought us here today has had some challenges, but it was perseverance and vision of early supporters that deserve a pat on back. When we allocated the $350 million for the Segment E projects, we knew it was the start of something huge. Now we have Zachry-Odebrecht building the largest construction project under a single contract in Houston highway construction history. I am proud to have had a role in helping TxDOT to forge partnerships in both the public and private sectors that have been critical in moving the project forward.” – Ned Holmes, Former Texas Transportation Commissioner

“For me, the Grand Parkway is really about to come full circle. As a legislator, I sponsored its creation and now, as county judge, I get to see it develop into the driving force that will keep our region growing and prospering. Congratulations to everyone who helped make this day a reality.” – Harris County Judge Ed Emmett

“The Grand Parkway has been a dream for many years … finally, today, we are breaking ground on this project, which exemplifies its reality.” – Montgomery County Judge Alan Sadler

“Within weeks of the long-anticipated and celebrated groundbreaking of the Grand Parkway by The Texas Department of Transportation, our own Harris County Toll Road Authority will break ground on SH249. How exciting to witness the transportation needs of our region met by multiple hands at multiple levels of government working together for our community. Harris County will continue to be known as a place where we plan well for our families and get things done to sustain our thriving business climate.” – Harris County Commissioner Precinct 4 Jack Cagle

“Zachry-Odebrecht Parkway Builders has brought together a highly experienced and dedicated team to deliver the greater Houston region’s first design-build roadway project. We are working with area residents, businesses and school districts to ensure the project is delivered safely, on schedule and with the least amount of impact possible to routine traffic and daily activity.” – Zachry-Odebrecht Parkway Builders Chief Operating Officer Jean Abiassi

“In 1983, we started the groundbreaking on the Sam Houston Parkway. The construction of the Sam Houston Parkway assisted in creating economic development all over Harris County.  Now, 30 years later we are breaking ground on the Grand Parkway that will prove to be the impetus for continued economic vitality in the entire region.” – North Houston Association President and former Texas Senator and Harris County Judge Jon Lindsay

“A strong advocate for this project, the NHA supports TxDOT in addressing congestion and connecting communities. This will have a positive impact on future economic development for the entire region and improve quality of life.” – North Houston Association Executive Director Paula Lenz

“Scores of people worked hard to bring this day to fruition. It is a great day for the Harris County region as a whole and the great state of Texas. CH2M Hill congratulates TxDOT on this significant achievement.” – Phil Yerby, Vice President CH2M Hill

“We developed a public/private partnership with TxDOT and the Grand Parkway Association several years ago to coordinate the parkway alignment through Springwoods Village. The Grand Parkway will be a major factor in improving east-west mobility from Kingwood to Sugarland and it will provide easy access into and out of Springwoods Village for the thousands of employees, resident and visitors who will work, live and play there.” – Keith Simon, Executive Vice President of Coventry Development Corporation Houston, the developer of Springwoods Village

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The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 12,000 employees are committed to working with others to provide safe and reliable transportation solutions for Texas by maintaining a safe system, addressing congestion, connecting Texas communities, and being a Best in Class state agency. Find out more at TxDOT.gov. Fan us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.