By Elsa Maxey
On the 18 miles of the Grand Parkway connecting U.S. 59 to IH 10, the Fort Bend County Grand Parkway Toll Road Authority reports the opening of three of seven toll plazas on the nearly completed nine overpasses.
This is “the section of Segment D from US-59 to just north of US-90A/FM-1464,” toll road authority spokesman Mike Stone told the Star. The toll for each of these sections is 35 cents for a two axle vehicle such as a car or a pickup. These three are the southern overpasses, West Riverpark, New Territory and Sandhill/US90A/FM1464, which opened on Feb. 27, said the toll road authority’s Executive Director David W. Gornet, P.E.
Gornet also said that the northern overpasses, West Airport, Harlem, Mason, Bellfort, Bellaire and Westpark, are planned for opening in the very near future. In particular, the next section, West Airport and Harlem Road, will open in about a week. “That section will have one plaza,” advises Stone. He also said that by the end of March the Mason Road and West Bellfort overpasses will become operational as well, also with one toll plaza.
The last two overpass sections are for Bellaire and Westpark, which are expected to open by mid-April. There will be a toll plaza just south of Bellaire and another on the north side of Westpark.
Although nine overpasses will ultimately comprise the constructed toll road segment from Sugar Land to Katy, there will only be seven toll plazas. They are intended as a direct connection to both highways and for relieving traffic on the feeder roads. According to the toll road authority, the trip cost from US-59 to I-10 using the overpasses will be $2.45. It further advises that there is no cash or pay by mail option on the tolled road with the overpasses.
For this mobility alternative, motorists will need a valid electronic toll tag from an issuing agency such as HCTRA, TxTAG, or Toll-Tag. The feeder roads with traffic light signals will remain as an option for motorists wishing the same directional thoroughfare between Sugar Land and Katy without having to pay a toll.
Segment D of the Grand Parkway, maintained and operated by Fort Bend County through the toll road authority, opened in 1994 allowing for improved mobility and economic and master planned community growth in areas such as Cinco Ranch, Grand Lakes and Seven Meadows in the north part of Fort Bend County and Katy.