May 1, 2004
First Phase of New Westpark Tollway Opens May 1, 2004
The Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA), Commissioners Court, the Uptown Houston District, West Houston Association and the Westchase District were co-hosts for a Ribbon Cutting and Soap Box Derby event scheduled for Saturday, May 1, 2004 to celebrate the opening of the first eight miles of the new, all-electronic Westpark Tollway. This new facility, which is the first all-electronic (EZ TAG only) toll road system in the nation to open as such, opened its mainlanes from the Galleria area at S. Post Oak and Rice Blvd. to Old Westheimer Road following the festivities.
"We are extremely proud that our new all-electronic Westpark Tollway will be the first facility in the nation designed exclusively for EZ TAG transactions," said HCTRA's Director Mike Strech. "Our advertising campaign stresses 'No cash, no coins, no exceptions!' and based on the tremendous acceptance that our EZ TAG program has experienced on our existing facilities," Mr. Strech continued, "we believe that presenting a new toll facility to the public in this totally electronic format will not only serve our patrons well, but also serve as a model for other agencies with similar transportation issues nationwide."
In conjunction with the opening of the first section of the Westpark Tollway, a new EZ TAG Store also opened on May 1 to provide another convenience for new and existing EZ TAG patrons. "The new TAG Store, which promises to be one of our busiest locations, is located at 4012 S. Dairy Ashford, Houston, TX 77082, just one block north of the Westpark Tollway," Mr. Strech said. "The new Dairy Ashford store is our fourth in the Houston area, in addition to our 24-hour on-line EZ TAG Store at www.hctra.org."
The remaining five miles of the Westpark Tollway extending to the Ft. Bend County line at FM-1464, including some direct connectors on the mainline which are still under construction, is expected to open in 2005.
For additional information, please contact HCTRA�s Public Relations office at 832-601-7802 or 7803.