Thank you very much for the opportunity to comment. As the President and CEO of the Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council, the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan is hugely important to the future planning of regional mobility, congestion mitigation, quality of life, safety and efficient movement of goods. We appreciate the effort.
Two projects we do not see on the list of projects in the 2045 RTP, which we believe should be included, relate to the continuation of an efficient and expanded transportation and freight route from Port Freeport to US 290. They involve a route from the Rosenberg\Needville\I69 area in Fort Bend County to Interstate 10 in Waller County (36A Southern Route) and a continuing piece from Interstate 10 to US 290 (36A Norther Route) in Waller County.
These routes are necessary for enhanced evacuation capacity given State Highway 36 is a primary evacuation route for Southern Brazoria County and for efficient freight movement as a means of current and future need identified by HGAC in their freight mobility efforts to route traffic outside the metropolitan core.
TXDOT is currently underway with a 2 to 4 lane expansion from Port Freeport to Rosenberg. This route needs to continue in an efficient path to Interstate 10 and to US 290 to provide maximum benefit of evacuation safety and efficient freight mobility movement.
HGAC knows well that planning is the key to ensuring the most effective routes at the most reasonable costs to achieve their goals. Doing so before development occurs expands options and reduces cost. For this reason, we have particular concern that the Southern Route be incorporated this year at minimum. The pace of development in Fort Bend County poses great risk to the future location of such a route and threatens to increase cost, should they not be undertaken now. 36a Southern Route provides the key connection from Port Freeport and Brazoria County to Interstate 10 and provides enhanced evacuation, safety, freight mobility and commerce throughout the region.
We highly encourage the inclusion of both 36A Southern Route and 36A Northern Route into the plan with particular emphasis on the Southern Route to extend mobility effort along State Highway 36 already underway from Port Freeport to Interstate 10.
With the groundbreaking today of Port Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project, ensuring that Port Freeport will be the deepest Port on the Gulf Coast and throughout the region, we need to have foresight to ensure transportation mobility is there as the Port grows among other benefits delivered by the two projects.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
Jeffrey C. Wiley
President \ CEO, Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council
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