DALLAS — A new section of the 180-mile, $6 billion toll road that loops around the outer Houston metro area known as the Grand Parkway could break ground this fall after winning approval from the Texas Transportation Commission.

The project, also known as State Highway 99, has been under consideration for more than three decades and is considered controversial because some critics see it as promoting growth in an area that is now sparsely settled. But advocates see it as a solution to future congestion and a corridor for cargo from the Port of Houston.

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