In the first step of what will likely be a very long process, Liberty County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, Aug. 24, approved a resolution asking the Texas Department of Transportation to make Plum Grove Road a farm-to-market highway. The section of Plum Grove Road mentioned in the resolution is from FM 1010 to FM 1485 through the heart of the City of Plum Grove.
The County’s resolution now will be forwarded to Senator Robert Nichols (Texas Senate District 3) who represents Liberty County and 18 other Southeast Texas counties. Nichols also is the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.
Following Tuesday’s meeting, Liberty County Judge Jay Knight explained that the County’s resolution will be shared with the City of Plum Grove, City of Cleveland and Cleveland ISD to be used as a guide for other resolutions should those entities decide to back the plan.
“I think that Senator Nichols will want resolutions from all of us. What that does is show our support for this project and what we want to transpire,” said Knight.
Knight said Segments H and I-1 of the Grand Parkway, a 35-mile, two-lane toll road from US 59 North at New Caney to US 90 near Dayton and on to I-10 East near Mont Belvieu, will be finished long before any work begins on the proposed farm-to-market highway. Those segments of Grand Parkway have a projected completion date of Spring 2022. The Grand Parkway segments will alleviate some, but not all, of the traffic currently on Plum Grove Road as a result of the Colony Ridge communities.
These fast-growth communities have added thousands of new residents to that area within a few short years and tens of thousands of lots are still under development or are being sold.
“My assessment is that we are looking at a three to five-year project for a new farm-to-market road. TxDOT will have to find funding for it and then there will be the process of surveys and land acquisitions for right-of-ways. I have confidence in Senator Nichols that he can make things happen for Liberty County,” Knight said.
Pct. 3 Commissioner David Whitmire voted in favor of the resolution as did the three other county commissioners.
“We’ve done our part now. It will be a long, drawn-out process but I think it will be better for all involved,” he said.
The poor condition of Plum Grove Road was brought up by resident Mildred Sowell during public comments at the meeting. She complained that the City of Plum Grove has barricaded parts of Plum Grove Road slated for repairs and future repairs. Sowell suggested that the City has received funding from FEMA and state grants, and from property taxes collected from residents, but has not used the funds wisely. She complained that they used City funds instead to install speed bumps that are causing damage to people’s vehicles.
“They have spent all of our money on other things,” she said.
The City of Plum Grove was contacted for comment; however, at the time this story was posted, calls were not returned and emails were unanswered.