Chronicle: Completion of long-awaited highway to provide new transportation options

New highway to offer new commuter routesThe ring road Houston's city planners envisioned as long ago as 1952 is finally complete, according to the Chronicle, as the last stretch of the Sam Houston Tollway opened last weekend.

The director of the Harris County Toll Road Authority, Peter Key, told the newspaper the project is primed to be an example of a successful infrastructure project.

"Public infrastructure projects in this country, in urban areas in particular, tend to be very expensive, and they tend to take a lot of time to bring to completion. Here's something that's actually coming to a conclusion," he said.

The $400 million spent to build the road will be paid for by EZ Tag fees, and the newspaper says that the growing population in the northeastern part of Harris County will travel on it frequently.

The area's new highway could have a number of effects on Houston property values nearby. Easier transit could reduce traffic congestion, but properties from which road noise is audible could see their sale prices sink, experts say.

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