6 transportation updates to know in the Bay Area this December

1) I-45 widening

The Texas Department of Transportation is widening I-45 from six to eight lanes all the way to Galveston. Two segments of the project stretch through League City and include improvements to several intersections, including the addition of extra lanes and sidewalks. It is expected the contractor will demolish the FM 646 bridge, which currently goes over the I-45, early next year to begin rebuilding it beneath the interstate. The contractor will have six months from demolition to reopen FM 646 to east- and westbound traffic.

Timeline: November 2016-2021
Cost: $222 million
Funding source: TxDOT ($142 million), federal government ($80 million)

2) Calder Drive improvements

This stretch between Turner Street and Ervin Avenue is being converted from a rural, open-ditch roadway to a two-way street with a center turn lane and curb and gutter. Due to an unusually wet September and October, restoration of two-way traffic has been moved back from January to mid-February 2019. A new roundabout at the intersection of Calder and Turner opened in mid-September.

Timeline: April 2017-February 2019
Cost: $10.9 million
Funding sources: city of League City ($6.9 million), Galveston County ($4 million)

3) FM 270 widening

This project will widen a 2.7-mile stretch of FM 270 from south of FM 518 through the Hwy. 96 intersection to the south from a two-lane road to a four-lane, divided, curb-and-gutter street. All construction will be within the existing TxDOT right of way. Once design is complete, staff will partner with the Houston-Galveston Area Council and TxDOT for funding. This project is part of Phase 1 of League City’s Master Mobility Plan.

Timeline: construction starts 2021 at the earliest
Cost: $22.8 million
Funding sources: Houston-Galveston Area Council ($18.24 million), city of League City ($4.56 million)

4) Dickinson Avenue reconstruction

About 2 miles of Dickinson Avenue from Walker Street to FM 646 will be reconstructed to better accommodate drainage. When complete the road will be a two-lane concrete street with curb and gutter, underground storm sewers from Walker Street to League City Parkway and open ditches from League City Parkway to FM 646.

Timeline: January 2019-early 2020
Cost: $7 million
Funding sources: Galveston County ($6 million), city of League City ($1 million)

5) Ervin connector construction

This new arterial roadway will connect Calder Drive to the new Hobbs Road extension to the south. The street will provide better accessibility for Sedona subdivision residents, other neighboring communities and future development in the area. City staff has completed the project’s design and is now acquiring the right of way.

Timeline: construction starts May 2019
Cost: $5.83 million
Funding sources: city of League City

6) El Dorado Boulevard

This 1.7-mile stretch of road from Clear Lake City Boulevard to Horsepen Bayou will be expanded from a two-lane street to a four-lane street with a median in between. A 10-foot-wide bike trail will be built on the road’s west side.

Timeline: fall 2019-fall 2020
Cost: $7 million
Funding sources: city of Houston ($3.9 million), Harris County ($3.1 million)

By Jake Magee

Editor, Bay Area & Pearland/Friendswood

Jake has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper. Today, he covers everything from aerospace to transportation to flood mitigation.