Residents in western Harris County will have a new traffic artery from which to choose by the end of 2013, as construction is continuing this year on Segment E of the Grand Parkway, a portion of Houston’s third outer loop.

Construction began in September 2011 on Segment E, which will stretch from I-10 at Franz Road in Katy to Hwy. 290 near the master-planned community of Fairfield in Cypress.

The Grand Parkway, which will be a four-lane toll road, will consist of 10 segments when completed. At this time, segments D and I-2 are the only portions of the Grand Parkway open to the public. Construction is expected to begin on the three remaining segments in northern Harris County by 2013, with an estimated completion date of 2015. Segment F-1 will run from Hwy. 290 to Hwy. 249; Segment F-2 will connect Hwy. 249 with I-45, and Segment G will stretch from I-45 to Hwy. 59.

Funding issues

Although the majority of funding has been identified for Segment E, which will cost $320 million to build, more is needed to begin construction on the next segments, which will connect Hwy. 290, Hwy. 249, I-45 and Hwy. 59.

Last July, the Texas Department of Transportation announced it would consider the idea of a public-private partnership to help fund segments E, F-1, F-2, G, H, and I-1 of the Grand Parkway. A public-private partnership became a possibility last spring, after state legislators passed House Bill 2255, which gave TxDOT the authority to partner with the private sector to deliver a project.

Twenty-three companies submitted Requests for Information to TxDOT, and the Request for Qualification process ended in mid-January. If TxDOT wishes to go through with a public-private partnership, a contract could be issued in late 2012.


 
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