Public hearing for Rosenberg’s One-Way Pairs project set for April 8

By Betsy Dolan

The Texas Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing on April 8 to give Rosenberg residents their chance to discuss the social, economic and environmental impacts of the controversial One-Way Pairs project .

The project would turn portions of Avenues H (U.S. 90A) and I (F.M. 1640) into one-way streets to alleviate congestion and reduce accidents. The land in question is on Damon and Louise streets and would be used as a crossover in the project.

TxDOT also plans an elevated intersection to ease congestion at the intersections of U.S. 90A, State Highway 36 and FM 1640 on Rosenberg’s west end.

Cities must pay 10 percent of the right-of-way costs for any farm-to-market or state highway project. Rosenberg has discussed donating the land to pay for the 10 percent cost.

A special election will be held May 10 to decide whether the land should be donated.

In an email to the “Star”, Councilman Billy Benton said the citizens who petitioned for the special election have two goals: to prohibit the city from donating the land to the Texas Department of Transportation and to urge TxDOT to look at other alternatives.

“This election is the closest thing to a referendum that the people have been afforded to this date”, said Benton. “The City Attorney threw out the first petition by citizens that asked for a referendum to see what the public’s view was regarding the entire project”.

Benton said after the first petition was rejected, citizens had to narrow their focus to opposing just the land donation instead of the entire project.

On February 25, Fort Bend County Commissioners Court intervened, approving a $1.5M advanced funding agreement that would allow TxDOT to buy the land from Rosenberg, eliminating the need to donate the property.

But Benton says the special election will occur before the property sale and he hopes TxDOT and city leaders hear what voters have to say.

“If the majority of the citizens vote not to donate the property in May, I hope that TXDOT, and our leaders, will get the message that the majority of the citizens in Rosenberg really do not want the project”, said Benton. “It would be our duty to resist the transfer of such property to anyone for the purpose of the One Way Pairs Project.”

The public hearing is scheduled for April 8 at Lamar Consolidated High School from 5:30 to 7:30. An open house will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 to allow citizens to speak one-on-one with TxDOT employees. The formal public hearing will begin at 6:30.

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