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March 19, 2016

1,000 bikers ride on yet-unopened Grand Parkway

Zachry-Odebrecht Parkway Builders was one of the sponsors for the Road is Yours event. More than 1,000 bicyclists take to the latest segment of route before it opens to motorists.

Morris Matthis, pedaling steadily, could hardly believe the scene around him.

Cyclists whizzed up and down a roadway where no cars crowded the lanes -- and, for that matter, where drivers hadn't yet been permitted to maneuver at all.

More than 1,000 people, born by two-spoked wheels and the power of their own legs, scaled on-ramps, passed under toll scanners, and flew by traffic signs on a 12.5-mile segment of the much-awaited Grand Parkway, a new passageway being constructed bit by bit to circle the greater Houston area, carving through suburban areas beyond the 610 Loop and Beltway 8.

The participants traversed what roadway officials have dubbed "segment G," which stretches from Interstate 45 on the west to Highway 59 on the east. It is expected to be open by the end of this month to connect with two other segments of the Grand Parkway, from U.S. 290 to Interstate 45, that already opened last month.

"It's been beyond my wildest expectations," Matthis said, out of breath as he paused along the two lanes of traffic headed west. "One thousand-plus riders. That's no small thing."

For Matthis, the day marked what seemed a crazy idea of his that had come to fruition, thanks to what he described as a unique union of church, government and business coming together behind a single event.

Click here to continue to Houston Chronicle article .

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