No special election for Rosenberg’s One Way Pairs after county steps in
By Betsy Dolan
Rosenberg residents will not have to decide after all whether the city should donate the land needed for a controversial Texas Department of Transportation road project called One-Way Pairs.
Fort Bend County Commissioners Court has approved a $1.5M advanced funding agreement with TxDOT that will eliminate the need for Rosenberg residents to have the special election in May.
The agreement stipulates that TxDOT will pay the City of Rosenberg fair market value for the land required for the project, which would turn Avenues H and I into one-way streets in order to alleviate congestion and reduce accidents.
The property, near Highway 36 and US 90A, north of Rudy’s Stop and Shop, is an essential part of the one-way pairs conversion in Rosenberg, explained Fort Bend County Commissioner Richard Morrison.
“With this agreement, TxDOT has agreed to purchase this property eliminating citizen concerns regarding a City of Rosenberg donation”, Morrison said. “An independent appraiser will assess the fair market value of the property, and TxDOT will pay that amount to the City of Rosenberg. Commissioners Court will provide advance contribution to TxDOT to compensate the City of Rosenberg for this essential piece of property.”
The $1.5M is allocated from the approved 2006 Fort Bend County Mobility Bond approved by voters toward the One Way Pairs project.
The special election scheduled for May 10, 2014 was called by Rosenberg City Council at their February 18th meeting in response to a petition signed by over 560 Rosenberg citizens who disagreed with donating the property to the project.
“With this agreement in place, the city has responded positively to the concerns of our citizens, will be compensated for the property and will enjoy improved mobility and safety”, said Rosenberg Mayor Vincent Morales, Jr.
According to TxDOT statistics, crashes on Avenue H are two to five times higher than the state average.
TxDOT will host a public hearing in April 2014 to obtain environmental clearance from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Once the necessary FHWA approvals are received, the department will proceed with the right of way acquisitions process, which includes securing a fair market value appraise and purchase of the essential property from the City of Rosenberg.
TxDOT anticipates accepting bids for the construction contract for the project later this year.
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