Butler Road, Turner Street closed through summer as League City improves mobility, drainage

League City is in the midst of several traffic improvement projects that aim to provide benefits not only to the immediate area but to those who use I-45 to travel through the Bay Area. (Community Impact staff)
League City is in the midst of several traffic improvement projects that aim to provide benefits not only to the immediate area but to those who use I-45 to travel through the Bay Area. (Community Impact staff)

League City is in the midst of several traffic improvement projects that aim to provide benefits not only to the immediate area but to those who use I-45 to travel through the Bay Area. (Community Impact staff)

League City is in the midst of several traffic improvement projects that aim to provide benefits not only to the immediate area but to those who use I-45 to travel through the Bay Area.

Butler Road between League City Parkway and Turner Street in League City will be closed until mid-August, and Turner Street between Butler and Calder roads will closed until at least October as contractors work to widen the roads and convert them from asphalt to concrete. Nearby, other roads are also being improved in similar ways.

League City Parkway, which western residents use to access I-45 to get farther north and south of League City, has been a "chronic bottleneck" for years, City Manager John Baumgartner said.

Late last year, the Texas Department of Transportation began work to improve the intersection of League City Parkway and I-45, a project that is still underway. Around December 2019, League City proposed closing Butler and Turner, motorists' only way around the League City Parkway work.

As such, residents vocalized opposition to closing Butler and Turner during TxDOT's project, and the city heard their concerns, Baumgartner said.


“We postponed the closing," he said.

While remaining open, contractors have done drainage and other preliminary work for Butler and Turner, waiting for the opportunity to close to repave and widen the roads, Baugartner said.

At the same time in late 2019, a contractor had closed Ervin Street south of Butler and Turner for a project to expand it further east to connect to Calder Road and provide another alternative besides Butler and Turner for motorists seeking to avoid traffic along League City Parkway. After speaking with the contractor, League City agreed to pay $150,000 to have the contractor phase the project differently so that two lanes of what would become a four-lane Ervin Street would open by April 15, which the contractor met.

As soon as Ervin opened, Butler and Turner closed. By opening Ervin Street early, the city gave motorists a way around League City Parkway while Butler and Turner are under construction, Baumgartner said.

Motorists will have to endure only a few more months before the roads will open up and provide even more relief to all traveling in the area, Baumgartner said.

After the road opens, those traveling north on Calder who want to go west on League City Parkway will not have to wait at the stop sign-controlled intersection of Calder and League City Parkway, which is the site of many backups. Instead, they will be able to go through a roundabout on Calder west onto Turner, hit another roundabout on Turner to go north on Butler and then, reach a four-way, traffic signal-controlled intersection at League City Parkway, Baumgartner said.

Additionally, Butler and Turner will be widened to three lanes, which will allow more vehicles to travel simultaneously. Curbs and gutters are being installed to improve drainage, another significant concern for League City residents, Baumgartner said.

Even if Butler and Turner had not been widened, they needed work, he said.

"Turner and Butler are old, ... rural county road sections," Baumgartner said. "They’re [functionally] obsolete.”

By the end of the year, all three projects—the Butler and Turner widening, the Ervin extension, and the League City Parkway and I-45 intersection work—will be complete, working in tandem to offer respite to the increasing number of residents who drive on them daily, Baumgartner said.

"We can’t get them under design and construction fast enough," he said of the city's road projects.
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.