Doyal, Riley Say Woodlands Parkway Extension Will Be Built - Texas Scorecard
Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal says that the Woodlands Parkway extension is going to be built, as long as he has anything to say about it. Speaking at a recent candidate forum, he restated his support for the controversial road, noting that it could be built in as little as two years.
“Do I think Woodlands Parkway will be built at some point?” Said Doyal. “Yes. two years, five years, Woodlands Parkway will be extended to 249.”
The Woodlands Parkway extension remains deeply unpopular. Residents and officials in The Woodlands worry that the large increase in traffic it would cause on the existing parkway would be detrimental to the community’s quality of life.
Voters spoke loud and clear in 2015 when they rejected a road bond put together by Doyal that included the parkway extension. Opposition to the bond was fiercest in The Woodlands, where over 90 percent of voters opposed it, largely because of the extension.
Despite this, Doyal believes that the parkway extension should not be taken off the county’s thoroughfare plan, and that it will be built eventually. “At some point we will need to continue east-west mobility to that side of Montgomery County from where Woodlands Parkway goes to 2978,” he said.
That Doyal would remain so ardent in his support of such an unpopular project right before an election has raised eyebrows. However, developers who own the land the extension would pass through, and stand to benefit from it, have been major donors to Doyal’s campaign in the past. The extension would also be needed to feed more traffic into the proposed SH 249 toll road extension in order to make the toll profitable.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley also remains unfazed in his support of the extension.
“No, I don’t believe it should be removed from the Thoroughfare Plan, because the developers on the west side need it,” Riley stated. “It needs to stay on there!”
In contrast, both Riley’s primary challengers, Brian Dawson and Greg Parker, are opposed to the extension. Doyal’s opponent, State Rep. Mark Keough, also stated his opposition to the extension at the same forum:
“Regardless of how you feel about the road, the people of Montgomery County said no.”