- Associated Press - Monday, June 23, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The largest city in Texas will be getting a fourth area code.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas on Monday announced Houston will add the 346 telephone area code on July 1.

The new number involves an overlay of existing area codes 713, 281 and 832 in Harris, Fort Bend, Waller, Austin, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Liberty, Chambers, Galveston and Brazoria counties.

The North American Number Planning Administrator assigned 346 to Houston after projecting that the three existing area codes will run out of numbers by the end of September.

PUC officials say the new area code does not require reprogramming of equipment. An area code overlay with 10-digit dialing for local calls already exists in the affected Houston area.

Census figures show Houston has a population of nearly 2.2 million.

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