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The Grand Parkway ain’t dead yet

It may not receive stimulus funds, but don’t go presiding over Last Rites for the Grand Parkway.

Commissioners Court on Tuesday delayed a planned request to reallocate $181 million in federal stimulus funds for part of the 180-mile Grand Parkway project, after the Harris County Attorney’s Office said that any court order should be worded to ensure the county does not lose money paid out for acquiring right of way.

Art Storey, who heads the county’s Public Infrastructure Department, notified the court last week that the Feb. 15 deadline for securing wetland permits for a 15-mile tolled segment of the parkway could not be met.


In his letter to the court, Storey noted that a permit to fill wetlands from the U.S. Court of Engineers cannot not be obtained by the February deadline, adding that because of conflicts over environmental impacts and mitigation, it may never be issued.

However, after Tuesday’s court meeting, Storey said the environmental mitigation issue could be worked out eventually.

I don’t know if that’s wishful thinking or a warning to the rest of us to not get complacent, but be warned. This thing won’t go away on its own. The Court will revisit the matter Tuesday of next week, so stay tuned.

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