Residents in East Montgomery County will finally see their tax dollars at work on a list of road projects thanks to newly elected Commissioner James Metts.

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The former justice of the peace inherited the more than $60 million in projects from former Commissioner Jim Clark who made little progress on the projects voters approved in 2015 as part of a $280 million road bond referendum.

Clark received $68 million of the bond money — the second-largest allocation behind Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack, who received $84 million. Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Meador and Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley each received $64 million.

For Metts, getting the projects underway is critical to mobility for the precinct.

“Getting from point A to point B is crucial for police, it’s critical for EMS and the more convenient it is for us to get from schools, grocery stores, hospitals and those things are very important,” he said adding he also has numerous drainage projects and a mobility study in the works for the precinct.

Metts praised his staff for the work they have done since he took office.

“I’m pleased with their effort, I’m pushing upper management hard,” he said. “Everybody is working hard at a pretty good pace to accomplish some of the goals I have set with drainage and these projects.”

State partnerships

Of the bond projects, four were to be partnerships with the Texas Department of Transportation. However, according to information from Precinct 4, the construction of a new bridge at FM 1314 and Texas 242 will not require any local funding and a project to widen FM 1485 was not needed after Walmart constructed a road in the area helping with traffic flow.

A project not on the original bond list to widen Texas 242 from FM 1314 to US 59 has been split into two projects with the first portion from FM 1314 to FM 1485 to be let this August. A total of about $4.7 million from the county funded the design work and preliminary work for the project.

Finally, Precinct 4 is funding $10 million, a 10 percent local match, to widen Texas 105 from Loop 336 to the Liberty County line. The county match will help with some construction and the purchase of rights of way for the project.

Local projects

1. Gene Campbell Road: Overlay with ditches. Cost: $1.5 million. Construction on the road is expected to begin in July and will take about 12 months to complete. The project will add a left turn lane through the industrial park section of the road.

2. Old Houston Road, from Texas 242 to FM 3083. Original cost: $1.9 million. This project is slightly over budget according to Precinct 4 but funds from the state projects the county is not participating in will cover the overage. Acquisition of rights of way is underway.

3. Sorters Road, from FM 1314 to Kingwood Drive: Widen to four lanes. Cost: $17.8 million. Design work on the project is about 60 percent done.

4. Community Drive from I-69 to Loop 494: Widening to four lanes. Cost: $2.5 million. This project on hold until the extension of the Grand Parkway is complete. The design work is about 90 percent complete.

5. David Memorial from Shenandoah Park Drive to Texas 242: Improvements. Cost: $400,000. This project is a partnership with Shenandoah. County is in talks with Houston Methodist Hospital for participation in the project near Texas 242 to help provide additional access to the facility.

6. Tamina Road: Widen to four lanes from David Memorial to Main Street. Cost: $4.2 million. The project will widen the road to three lanes with a major focus on improving drainage for the community.

7. Ford Road: US 59 to Harris County line, improvements. Cost: $2 million. The preliminary engineering is complete with design work to begin in the next couple months.

8. Various Intersections and small mobility projects: $1.5 million has been allocated for several projects including Firehouse Road south of Texas 242 to Harper School Road to provide better access to Suchma Elementary which is currently under construction. Cost is $822,000 with Conroe Independent School District providing about $168,000 toward the project.

About $198,000 has been allocated for the widening of Loop 494 from Sorters Road to north of Kingwood. This is state project with the county providing a 10 percent match for the purchase of rights of way.

Lastly, the county is funding about $250,00 for a new signal at Grey Oaks Drive at Texas 242. According to Precinct 4, the state is closing the median at Donwick Drive to reduce the number of vehicle accidents in the area.