With a trio of new residential developments growing on both sides of I-10 in western Katy, officials are working on several mobility projects to improve traffic flow and provide residents easy access to I-10.
Cane Island—the city of Katy’s first master-planned residential community—held its official grand opening March 4 and 5. The development is expected to grow rapidly as families move into new homes at the 1,100-acre development north of I-10 off Hwy. 90.
South of the interstate several new residential communities are being planned or have been built, including the Trails of Katy—with an estimated 320 single-family homes—and Anserra Preserve and Estates, with about 300 new homes.
With all the new residential development, a need for improved traffic flow and easier access to I-10 was critical, officials said.
“If you look at the map, you see all of these subdivisions, thousands of rooftops. The majority of these people are working in the Energy Corridor on I-10,” said Stacy Slawinski, assistant county engineer with Fort Bend County. “The only way for them to get from their front door to I-10 is FM 1463—a two-lane asphalt road.”
Slawinski said dozens of citizens call and send emails to the county engineering offices each week asking about roadway improvement projects and complaining about traffic congestion.
“[They ask] why aren’t we moving quicker? What are we doing? When will it be finished?” Slawinski said. “The traffic on [FM] 1463, as anyone who lives there knows … it’s bad. It’s horrendous.”
Cane Island is the largest of the three new developments and already has several dozen families residing in the neighborhood, said Cane Island Lifestyle Coordinator Olivia Montagna.
An estimated 5,000 to 6,000 residents are expected to reside in the 2,100-home development when it is completely full, she said.
The master-planned community is filled with a variety of amenities, including a fitness center with a separate yoga and Pilates studio, a conservatory, a swimming pool and splash pad, a community center, several miles of walking trails, and a lake.
The development features homes from several different builders ranging in size from 1,800 square feet to more than 6,000 square feet and costing between $260,000 and $1 million.
Paul Grover, vice president of Ventana Development Corp.—the developer building the Trails of Katy—said about 60 families reside in homes in the development now.
“We’ve already got about 100 homes [built] out there,” Grover said.
Grover said the development features single-family homes ranging from 2,500 square feet to 4,000 square feet with a price range of $280,000 to $800,000.
KB Homes is building Anserra Preserve and Anserra Estates south of I-10. The developments features homes ranging in size from 1,800 square feet to 4,800 square feet, and ranging in price from $194,000 to $330,000, said Kara Cane, KB Homes spokeswoman.
Neighborhood amenities include a recreation area with a swimming pool, splash pad and a playground as well as fire pits and a picnic area with grilling stations.
“We believe the addition of the Cane Island interchange will also improve the traffic flow and reduce commute times for residents,” Cane said.
With the three new developments combined with several other neighborhoods in the FM 1463 corridor, Fort Bend County officials have decided to build a new road—Cane Island Boulevard—connecting FM 1463 near Willow Glen to the new Cane Island Parkway overpass at I-10.
In addition, officials with the Texas Department of Transportation are planning to widen FM 1463 to four lanes—two in each direction—from I-10 to FM 1093.
Deidrea George, a public information officer with Texas Department of Transportation, said the widening of FM 1463 is set to begin in January 2019 and be completed by January 2021.
Cane Island Boulevard will initially be two lanes, but will eventually be widened to four lanes. There will also be a bridge built over Willow Fork. The road will connect to the I-10 Frontage Road.
“In the future, it will be four lanes,” Slawinski said. “We need the four lanes right now, but we don’t have the funds in order to build all four lanes. We are securing all the land to widen it.”
The project is tentatively slated to begin in July; however it has hit a temporary road block as the county acquires land needed for the project, Slawinski said.
“We have [five] right now. They’ve been negotiated voluntarily [for sale],” Slawinski said.
The county is negotiating with one landowner. Two other property owners have not agreed on a price yet, but the county has not filed condemnation lawsuits as of March 15, Fort Bend County Attorney Roy Cordes said.
On the north side of I-10, one of the main goals for city officials was to shift the flow of traffic from Cane Island away from downtown Katy and directly onto I-10 via Cane Island Parkway, Katy City Administrator Byron Hebert said.
The city is partnering with TxDOT to build a railroad crossing and intersection at Hwy 90 and Cane Island Parkway.
The bridge over Snake Creek will also be widened.
Residents will have easy access to I-10 via the freeway overpass that includes on- and off-ramps for both east- and westbound traffic on I-10. The overpass was scheduled to open March 22 as of press time on March 18.
The new intersection at Cane Island Parkway and Hwy 90 will give residents a direct route to I-10, Hebert said.
“We’re hoping for a start in construction in August,” Hebert said. “I think it takes a year [to complete].”
Montagna said residents are excited about the easy access to I-10 the mobility projects will provide.
“You’re on I-10, and you exit right onto Cane Island Parkway,” Montagna said. “It takes so much time off your commute.”