SH 146 Roadway Expansion

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is moving forward with its $200 million project to expand Texas Highway 146 in Harris County and Galveston County in order to alleviate daily traffic congestion.

TxDOT and city officials held progress meetings on November 8, 2016 and November 22, 2016. As of November 22, 2016, the Texas Department of Transportation had made initial offers on at least 45 parcels of land, and had closed on at least 4 of those parcels. Seabrook City Manager Gayle Cook stated that TxDOT is, “looking at next summer to finish those negotiations and to close on a big chunk of the remaining parcels.”

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This project will widen and restructure the road to a six to twelve lane freeway, add grade separations at major intersections, and add access roads in selected locations. A new expressway bridge will be built west of and parallel to the Seabrook-Kemah Bridge.

There are concerns that the Right-of-Way Acquisition process will displace businesses and lead them to close their doors entirely or relocate to other areas. The Seabrook Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) is working with the City of Seabrook to identify suitable property within Seabrook and accommodate business relocation.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2018 and will take three to four years to complete. More details concerning the physical logistics of the project will be released closer to the construction phase.

The City of Seabrook has devoted a portion of its website to giving information about and updates on this project, available at:

http://seabrooktx.gov/index.aspx?NID=369

Please contact Luke Ellis with Johns Marrs Ellis & Hodge LLP at lellis@jmehlaw.com or (512) 215-4078 if you have any questions or would like to receive periodic updates on this project.

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High Speed Rail Update – Dallas to Houston

The Dallas to Houston High Speed Rail project being developed by Texas Central Partners is currently being reviewed by federal regulators. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is currently working to prepare the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This publication once completed will use evaluative guidelines to determine possible routing alternatives. This evaluation is based on such criteria like environmental constraints, social impact, and safety.

This controversial project has had strong opposition throughout its history. Currently, Texas Central Partners states that it is in the early stages of land acquisition, including preliminary surveying and discussions with affected landowner, and filing lawsuits against property owners for survey rights. Below, please find the most updated routing maps produced by Texas Central Partners.

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If you have any questions on this project or would like to receive periodic updates, please contact Luke Ellis at lellis@jmehlaw.com or (512) 215-4078.

Texas Central Railway

The Texas Central Railway project has recently begun to schedule informational open-house meetings throughout affected regions of the expected construction corridor. Progress has been made in recent months on the project, which is still in the design and planning stage. Substantive roadblocks remain for the project prior to it proceeding to the construction phase, with issues such as securing funding and acquiring necessary Right-of-Way from private landowners.

For more information on the Open House meetings, see below.

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