Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Galveston County Judge Mark Henry met Oct. 2 at the Bay Oaks Country Club to discuss various issues facing both counties. Hidalgo said Harris County’s No. 1 priority is flood control, particularly after Tropical Storm Imelda. The county has hired an independent firm to figure out how to get drainage projects done faster. Projects originally expected to take 10-15 years are now firmly set at 10, she said. “We’re moving forward as quickly as we can,” Hidalgo said. “Speed is of the essence here.” As a county that borders the Gulf of Mexico, Henry said he was concerned about evacuation routes during hurricanes. During Hurricane Rita, more people died trying to evacuate than to the actual storm, Henry said. To evacuate, Henry said, residents use Hwy. 146, which is under major construction; I-45, which is also under major construction; or Hwy. 6, which has stoplights and results in congestion. The Grand Parkway project would add a much-needed alternative evacuation route, so Henry said he was happy to see the road project back on the Texas Department of Transportation Unified Transportation—a 10-year plan that guides transportation projects—after it was temporarily removed. Click to read more at www.communityimpact.com.