DALLAS -- Harris County officials plan to ask a state court judge to validate the proposed $320 million buyout of the troubled Houston Ship Channel Bridge now that the Texas attorney general's office has refused to issue an opinion on the sale's legality.

County officials could file papers as early as this week seeking a declaratory judgment that would enable the county-created Beltway 8 Transportation Corp. to issue bonds to buy the bridge from the Texas Turnpike Authority.

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