League City, TxDOT officials review Bay Area transportation projects

TxDOT, League City transportation projects, Let's Talk Traffic town hall
TxDOT engineer Jamal Elahi speaks before League City residents Nov. 12 about area transportation projects. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)

TxDOT engineer Jamal Elahi speaks before League City residents Nov. 12 about area transportation projects. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)

A slew of area transportation projects are in the works or pending, and League City and Texas Department of Transportation officials teamed up Nov. 12 to inform residents of the construction they can expect over the next several years.

TxDOT engineer Jamal Elahi spoke mostly about the widening of I-45 that bisects League City and runs all the way to Galveston, and Hwy. 146 that moves through Seabrook and Kemah.

Widening I-45 between NASA Parkway and FM 518 is a $99 million project that will complete in spring 2022. Work from Hwy. 96 to FM 517 will cost $122 million and be complete in late 2021. Widening I-45 between FM 517 and FM 1764 will complete in fall 2023 and will cost $231 million, Elahi said.

In January, crews will begin widening I-45 from FM 1764 to FM 519. The work will take nearly five years and cost $142 million. When complete, I-45 will be widened from six to eight lanes from Houston to Galveston, Elahi said.

Hwy. 146 work will widen the road from four to up to 12 main lanes, including a 2.4-mile express bridge that will run along the west side of the existing bridge over Clear Creek. When complete, the widened road will improve traffic flow for emergency evacuation, freight and tourism and become a connection to the Grand Parkway, Elahi said.

So far, crews have completed about 20% of the work to create new bridge foundations. The Hwy. 146 northbound lane widening is about halfway done, and southbound widening and express bridge construction started earlier than expected, Elahi said.

Other TxDOT projects include widening FM 517 between I-45 and Hwy. 35 to a four-lane divided road. In 2022, TxDOT will also extend Landing Boulevard north of FM 518 to connect to I-45, Elahi said.

TxDOT is also pushing for an initiative to reduce the number of deaths on Texas highways. Nov. 7, 2000, was the last day without any fatalities on Texas highways. Since that day, at least one person has died every day driving on state highways for a total of 67,000 deaths in 19 years, Elahi said.

“So we want to end the streak,” he said. “We are on the road to zero ... by 2050.”

League City specifically has several projects in the works. In May, voters overwhelmingly approved a $72 million bond to work on traffic issues.

The city has planned several improvements along Hwy. 96, or League City Parkway, through 2021, including new traffic signals, constructing additional turn lanes, intersection redesigns and more. The highway is one of League City’s most-traveled east-west corridors, said Angie Steelman, budget and project management director.

According to Steelman, city projects include:

  • widening Grissom Road between Abigail Lane and NASA Parkway in 2021

  • constructing a new I-45 frontage road to Hobbs Road in 2024

  • widening and improving Butler and Turner roads next year

  • constructing Ervin Street where the new Bay Colony Park will be

  • reconstructing Calder Road from Ervin Street to Cross Colony Drive next year

  • improving Walker Street

  • improving the intersection of Hwy. 3 and FM 518 in 2021

About 40% of residents indicated in a survey last year that fixing traffic problems should be the city’s top priority. No other concern, including addressing flooding, came near that percentage.

“Traffic is our No. 1 issue,” City Manager John Baumgartner said.

The League City Transportation Committee will begin hosting quarterly public meetings next year to hear from residents about potential traffic projects. The committee’s first meeting is Jan. 26, said Sarah Greer Osborne, director of communications and media relations.
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.



The home-style seafood restaurant is inspired by New Orleans cuisine and offers seafood boils, featuring crab, lobster, shrimp, crawfish, clams and mussels. (Courtesy Crafty Crab)
IMPACTS ROUNDUP: Crafty Crab coming soon to League City and more

Here is a roundup of business-related news from around Clear Lake and League City.

From left: Laura Ryan, Eliza Paul and Craig Raborn discuss the future of the Texas Department of Transportation. (Sierra Rozen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Department of Transportation discusses I-45 expansion, vehicle fatalities at annual event

The Texas Department of Transportation held its fifth annual State of TxDOT event Oct. 21 to discuss the I-45 expansion, plans for the future and safety issues facing Texans.

Taco Palenque is now open as drive-thru only in Round Rock. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Taco Palenque opens in Round Rock; Plano ISD considering two draft calendars for 2022-23 school year and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 21.

Renderings of the conceptual tower were shown depicting a roughly 100-foot tower, but the intent is to build a smaller tower. A total of $2.43 million was given as an estimated cost for a 100-foot gravity tower, but presenters said the cost would scale down with a smaller tower. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Early concept for Frisco’s Northwest Community Park includes biking tower for ‘gravity riding’; Perky Beans Cafe now open in Leander, and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 20.

Heather Lagrone, Adrienne Holloway, Luis Guajardo, Maya Ford and Charleen Jones sit onstage while Holloway introduces the audience to the Harris County Housing Needs Assessment study on Oct. 19. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kinder Institute housing survey results reveal Harris County's needs

To meet the need for additional, more affordable housing for only 20% of the 500,000 cost-burdened residents, 8,174 housing units would need to be added annually through 2031, according to the study.

The superintendent's target, as approved by the board, is to have 90% of student exclusions fall within district parameters, which are aligned with Texas Education Agency and Texas Department of State Health Services guidelines. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Clear Creek ISD approves 2021-22 superintendent targets, including COVID-19 exclusion audit

Clear Creek ISD trustees approved a number of 2021-22 targets for Superintendent Eric Williams during an Oct. 11 board of trustees workshop, including one regarding ongoing audits of COVID-19-related exclusions.

Want to know more about new businesses coming to the Katy area? Below you can find details on the five latest commercial projects filed in Katy. (Courtesy Canva)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Read the latest top news about restaurants, businesses and other commercial projects that are coming soon or now open

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 19.

Mountain bikers and the city are working together to create a short course near Lynn Gripon Park at Countryside. Here, a couple of those bikers test out the course. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
League City, mountain bikers work to create off-road trails

After months of communication, League City officials and residents who are passionate about mountain biking are now working in tandem to create and expand bike courses citywide.

Harris County Commissioners Court's revised redistricting map as of Aug. 31. (Screenshot courtesy Harris County Commissioners Court)
Harris County Commissioners Court to take public comments on redistricting Oct. 21

The meeting will be held at the Harris County Commissioners Court, located at 1001 Preston St., Ste. 934, Houston, at 4 p.m.

A model home is anticipated to open later this year. (Courtesy of McGuyer Homebuilders)
Coventry Homes begins sales in Webster

The community along NASA Parkway features a playground, dog park and open green space with 25 acres of protected wetlands; it is located within Clear Creek ISD boundaries.

The new H-E-B store is located on Ronald Reagan Boulevard in north Leander. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: New H-E-B in Leander opening soon; Texas Supreme Court grants rehearing for high-speed rail eminent domain case and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 18.