Facing energy and transportation demands driven by population and business growth, southern Texas and the Houston area in particular have dozens of projects in the pipeline, such as the completion of the Grand Parkway and freight rail improvements. Among them are a major electricity transmission line, which supporters say is needed to meet demand in the Houston area; a new tollway from Tomball to Navasota to ease traffic between Houston and College Station; and a private, high-speed rail line between Houston and Dallas.
All three would cut through Grimes County, and local residents say the projects threaten to diminish their quality of life without providing them any benefit. Among other concerns, landowners worry that rural property prized for its scenery will be devalued.
“They won’t do a single, solitary thing for Grimes County,” Perry said. “We’ll just be looking at them for the rest of our lives.”
The projects serve different purposes, but officials supporting them say they are necessary to handle explosive growth and maintain prosperity.