Representatives Gene Green and Ted Poe today announced that $50 million dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be sent to the Harris County Toll Road Authority to begin construction on the final 13-mile segment of the Sam Houston Tollway - Beltway 8 (BW 8) Northeast project. The direct connectors from BW 8 to U.S. 59 will serve approximately 2.5 million residents in northern Harris and southern Montgomery counties.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was designed to invest in infrastructure and create jobs, and I am proud to say that thousands of jobs will be created by this project in a region that suffers not only for the effects of the current economic downturn, but that is still reeling from Hurricane Ike, said Rep. Green.

While I opposed wasteful spending in the stimulus bill, I am glad to see that worthwhile projects such as this direct connectors project received the funding it has long deserved, said Poe. I would like to thank Congressman Green for his collaboration and hard work on this important project. This is vital transportation project to our area and a major benefit to both the quality of life for area residents and our economy.

While the project calls for the construction of four direct connectors and a budget of $100 million, the funds will be used to begin construction on two of the four connectors of the project. This funding will curtail the lag time between the completion of the main lines of the Tollway and the direct connectors that will allow access to and from U.S. 59.

These direct connectors are a vital component to easing traffic congestion in the northern part of the region. Congressman Poe and I have collaborated to make this important project a priority, said Green. The Port of Houston will also benefit from decreased congestion and increased highway access that will allow shippers to economically transport their goods from the Port and expand business activity in the area.