HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire -02/21/12)- State Representative Dwayne Bohac (Houston-District 138) is pleased to announce the creation of the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway Fund, a nonprofit organization formed to raise money needed to complete the U.S. Highway 290 Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway project recently approved by the Texas Legislature.
The organization officially launched this month in honor of what would have been President Reagan's 101st birthday.
"I am honored to launch this collaborative effort to complete the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway project," said Bohac.
"During what have been challenging times for our country, it is fitting to pay tribute to one of our strongest leaders, who inspired true hope. By funding this project, we help Texans remember how great America can be and encourage them to always travel down the road of liberty, opportunity and prosperity," added Bohac.
State Senator Dan Patrick echoed Bohac's praise for Ronald Reagan and the project saying,"Years before I was elected to office, legislation was passed to designate that a major portion of U.S. Highway 290 be named for one of our greatest presidents, Ronald Reagan."
"I'm proud to be a part of a group that has raised private funds to pay for the signage so that this project can be completed," Patrick added.
In 2005, the Texas Legislature unanimously passed House Bill 540, authored by Rep. Bohac, which designated a substantial portion of U.S. Highway 290 inside Harris County as the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway.
The bill was signed into law on June 16, 2005 by Governor Rick Perry -- and officially went into effect on September 1, 2005. Seven years have passed and the majority of Texans driving on U.S. Highway 290 remain unaware that their daily commute is on the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway.
Bohac and the group state that in the spirit of President Reagan's belief in the private sector, the Texas Legislature trusted that patriotic citizens would come together to make this a reality. The bill requires the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to construct and erect the new highway signs reflecting the name change only when they receive enough private donations, not taxpayer dollars, to cover the costs.
The goal of the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway Fund is to see the vision completed by raising private funds needed to purchase the signage reflecting the official designation and proper name of U.S. Highway 290. The initial TxDOT estimate for the signs marking each end of the highway is approximately $24,000. The group has already started raising money, and additional projects will be announced in the future once these primary objectives are accomplished.
Members of the Harris County delegation in the 79th Texas Legislature, who signed on with Rep. Bohac to get this measure passed, include former State Senator Jon Lindsay, State Representative Bill Callegari, State Representative Gary Elkins, State Senator Glenn Hegar, former State Representative Corbin Van Arsdale, former State Representative Joe Crabb, State Representative John Davis, former State Representative Joe Nixon, State Representative Debbie Riddle, State Representative Wayne Smith and State Representative Beverly Woolley.
Joining in active support of the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway project are State Senator Dan Patrick, State Representatives Sarah Davis, Allen Fletcher, Dan Huberty, Jim Murphy, former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels and former Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt.
Representative Bohac serves on the Board of Directors of the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway Fund, along with longtime Houston political activist Linda Dewhurst and his former chief of staff Travis Griffin, who helped pass the original bill. For more information about the fund, visit ReaganHighway.org.