Link to story here. Of note, this Hardy toll road extension is significant in that it connects with highway 59 which is slated to become the Trans Texas Corridor 69 privatized and tolled trade corridor. The BIG GOVERNMENT and BIG BUSINESS interests are mapping out their takeover of our FREEway system and turning it into a cash cow toll road system extorting money from motorists just to drive to make their daily bread.
Hardy extension gets the go ahead
Thursday, December 6, 2007
By Lee McGuire / 11 News
The Hardy Toll Road extension should be open within four years.
On Wednesday, the Houston City Council made possible the extension of the Hardy Toll road from where it ends now, at 610 North, to State Highway 59.
The expansion will also affect three nearby freeways.
The new, 3 1⁄2 mile extension of the Hardy Toll Road has everything to do with railroads.
“Virtually the whole right of way is on railroad property,” said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.
Meaning, not much except rail lines and some industrial freight businesses stand in the way of downtown Houston and a much quicker trip to the big airport and the Woodlands.
“Anything they can do to make it better they should do,” said motorist John Defoen.
Right now, Defoen totally avoids the interchange at the North Freeway and Loop 610; it’s where the Hardy dumps out now, and at rush hour.
The Hardy extension will replace some north/south rail lines and the tracks themselves will move. On surface roads, crews will build rail overpasses at Lorraine, Quitman and Collingsworth.
Ending the temptation to play chicken with a train.
There are some houses in the way, probably fewer than a dozen, but the maps aren’t finished yet.
In the big picture, the Hardy extension would expand beyond Loop 610, reach beyond I-10 and connect with State Highway 59 in both directions.
That would ease traffic pressure on Loop 610, Highway 59 and the North Freeway, moving 35,000 cars a day on to the Hardy extension.
“It certainly can’t hurt there are enough problems right now with traffic, anything they can do to help would help,” said driver Mike Kurzy.
It’s an extension that’s been in the works for 20 years. Now, drivers have four more years to wait.
The target completion date for the Hardy Toll Road extension is December 2011. It’ll cost about $200 million, and toll road officials aren’t ready to say just what it’ll cost to drive it.