AUSTIN - The Texas Legislature approved a bill this week to name a section of U.S. Highway 290 within Harris County in memory of former President Ronald Reagan. House Bill 540, authored by State Representative Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) and sponsored by State Senator Jon Lindsay (R-Houston), designates the section between Beltway 8 and the Waller County line as the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway. The bill now heads to the Governor to be signed into law.
“I am proud that the Legislature has chosen to honor President Reagan in this very special way,” Bohac said. “This is the road that leads to our state Capitol from Houston, and I thought it would be very fitting to honor someone who changed America and the world by changing the name of the road that leads to our government.”
The bill was joint-authored by State Representatives Bill Callegari, Gary Elkins, Glenn Hegar and Corbin Van Arsdale. Each of them represents a section of the new Reagan Highway. Other Houston-area Representatives who signed on to the bill as co-authors were Joe Crabb, John Davis, Joe Nixon, Debbie Riddle, Wayne Smith and Beverly Woolley.
After HB 540 was passed by the Texas House of Representatives, State Senator Jon Lindsay (R-Houston) sponsored the bill in the Texas Senate. The bill passed with unanimous support on the Senate floor.
“The transportation of Texas has assured the rapid, safe and dependable movement of people across this great state,” Sen. Lindsay said. “In recognition of transportation’s importance, and to honor one of our most memorable Presidents, we named this much used section of Highway 290 after President Ronald Reagan.”
Private donations will pay for the Reagan Highway project. The bill specifically states that the Texas Department of Transportation is not required to design, construct, or erect new highway signs until they receive grants or donations to cover the costs.
At least four other states without a direct connection to President Reagan - Alabama, Colorado, Florida, and Louisiana - have named state highways for him. Bohac believes there is no reason why Texas should not do the same.
“I think he’s probably the greatest leader of the 20th century,” Bohac said of Reagan. “President Reagan’s ideas, optimism, and strength of purpose restored America’s spirit and helped to spread freedom and democracy around the globe. He was a hero to many of us.”
One of President Reagan’s last public speeches took place in Houston during the 1992 Republican National Convention. During his address, he reminded America of the optimistic and inspirational vision he had for our country and the road ahead.
“Whatever else history may say about me when I’m gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears; to your confidence rather than your doubts,” Reagan said. “My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty’s lamp guiding your steps and opportunity’s arm steadying your way.”
President Ronald Wilson Reagan served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981 through 1988. He passed away at the age of 93 at his home in California on June 5, 2004.
For more information about President Reagan, please visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library website.