Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack announced Thursday that he expects Montgomery County will have a clear path to removal of the Texas 242 flyover tolls by early next week - without any confusion over future maintenance responsibilities or the ability to use pass-through toll revenue.
On Thursday afternoon, Noack spoke with Quincy Allen, Houston District engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation, who verified that the county does not need TxDOT approval to remove the tolls. Allen also said that removal of the two Texas 242 flyover tolls would not affect the construction of a third flyover from Interstate 45 northbound lanes to Texas 242 eastbound lanes, assuming TxDOT and the county agree on the project. He did recommend that Montgomery County inform the Federal Highway Administration of any plans to remove the tolls.
Noack said he does not believe the issue over flyover maintenance responsibilities will hinder the removal of the tolls in the very near future and expects to have a final answer from TxDOT next week before court. Montgomery County has received $116,776,720 out of a total of $118 million of the original pass-through toll program revenue stemming from the 2005 road bond referendum passed by voters.
In November 2019, Montgomery County will receive $17,443,300, which accounts for the final $1,223,280 of the original $118 million in the pass-through toll program, plus another $16,220,020 as the initial installment of the second phase of the program, which totals $56,473,000 to be paid by TxDOT over the next few years.
These pass-through dollars must be used for mobility projects that are mutually agreed upon and beneficial to TxDOT and Montgomery County. That money can be used at any point or saved for a larger project.
Noack is the only member of Commissioners Court to consistently vote for both the removal of Texas 242 tolls and against tolling roads in general. He hopes to work with current court members toward the permanent removal of these tolls.