League City staff members will soon ask the council’s permission to apply for a grant that would help fund a controversial bridge, but Mayor Pat Hallisey said he doesn’t think it’s a good idea to move forward with the project.
“As far as I’m concerned, the Palomino Bridge is out,” Hallisey said. “They don’t want it over there and there are other options.”
Residents in the Clear Creek Shores neighborhood have long opposed a proposed bridge that would go over Clear Creek at Palomino Lane. The group in 2005 and 2009 helped scuttle plans for the project when the city broached the concept.
League City officials want to develop the bridge as part of their plans to alleviate traffic congestion along FM 518 west of Interstate 45.
The city’s population in January was just shy of 105,000, up from about 102,634 at the same time in 2017, officials said. Only about 52 percent of League City is developed and projections show that, once fully developed, the population could rise above 200,000, officials said.
But residents said the bridge would change the neighborhood, ruin views and hurt property values.
The city in August convened a public meeting with residents to discuss the potential bridge and what benefits it could bring, but residents still seem concerned about the possibility, Hallisey said.
“The bridge itself probably costs $15 million,” Hallisey said. “With drainage issues No. 1 on the agenda this year, I think it would be wise to scale back and do what we can afford. Then we can regroup as time goes on.”
But city officials are readying a proposal to apply for state and federal transportation improvement grants the Houston-Galveston Area Council administers.
The city has a chance to fund 80 percent of the Palomino Lane project with state and federal funds, rather than the city paying 100 percent of the cost, officials said.
City officials instead complete a similar extension of Landing Boulevard and see whether that does enough to make the traffic flow better, Hallisey said.
That proposed project would cost about $35.1 million for construction, according to city documents.