At the Kingwood Service Association (KSA) Public Safety Committee meeting Feb. 13, Dee Price of Sand Creek advised the committee that Phase One of the North Park Drive Expansion Project is on track to start in 2020 or soon thereafter. However, she explained, Phase Two, which includes the overpass over Highway 494 and the Union Pacific railroad tracks, is in serious jeopardy.

“On Phase Two, we are running into an issue. The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC), who we are looking to help fund Phase 2, has done its preliminary ranking of the project. It ended up number 29 of 60, which is not a good thing because they only expect 10 of the projects to be funded,” she said. The funding request is for $28 million and is a substantial portion of the entire project.

Price said the H-GAC established a comment period that began shortly after the ranking came out in mid-January to receive public input on the rankings of the projects. The deadline to receive comments at the H-GAC was Thursday, Feb. 28. She noted comments had been submitted from most of the many organizations involved in the project’s development. City of Houston Councilman Dave Martin and Houston’s Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 10 (TIRZ) collected letters of support from all City of Houston councilmembers, City of Houston Mayor Turner, State Representative Dan Huberty, Harris County Commissioner Jack Cagle, Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal, Humble ISD, Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce, and nearly all the area homeowner associations and KSA. She strongly encouraged the Public Safety Committee representatives to contact their homeowners to submit their own comments as concerned citizens of the community.

“The more comments received from the community, the better chance we have that this project will be moved up in the ranking,” said Price.

Price also provided a handout of Councilman Dave Martin’s Feb. 11 news release that included suggested reasons to include in comments. Reasons include but are not limited to:

- Northpark Drive is one of the most heavily traveled roadways in Kingwood and the goal of the project is to improve traffic flow and safety along Northpark Drive.

-The Northpark Drive Expansion Project would provide Kingwood residents with an all-weather evacuation route, elevating Northpark Drive above the 500-year flood plain at Ben’s Branch.

- The project includes flood mitigation and stormwater detention improvements.

- A bridge will be built over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks perpendicular to Northpark Drive, addressing traffic delays due to passing trains.

The next KSA Public Safety Committee Meeting will be Wednesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. at the South Woodland Hills Community Room, 2038 Shadow Rock. The public is invited to attend.

Bruce Olson
Author: Bruce OlsonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
I have been married since 1970 to Kerry, my best friend and a great Australian woman. I served and survived Vietnam in the U.S. Air Force. I fought forest fires in the summer while in college, where I earned a B.A. in economics from Oklahoma State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas. I retired from Continental Airlines. I have a son and two granddaughters in Kingwood, and a daughter and two grandsons on a farm near Mazabuka, Zambia. I am now enjoying life as a grandfather, Tribune correspondent and Humble ISD guest teacher when not traveling to Zambia or Australia.