Stories to follow in 2019: Hwy. 146 construction begins in March, will take five years and four phases to complete

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WHAT WE REPORTED The Texas Department of Transportation plans in early 2019 to widen Hwy. 146 between Red Bluff Road and Hwy. 96 from four lanes with a shared center turn lane to at least six lanes. TxDOT also plans to build two two-lane express bridges that will run between Kenneth Royal Drive and Bel Road on the west side of the existing bridge so commuters can circumvent traffic heading to the Kemah Boardwalk and other local destinations.

The $201 million project will at least double the capacity of a major thoroughfare that has seen rapidly increasing traffic counts over the years. The project is expected to take five years to finish.

Dozens of businesses along Hwy. 146 have had to close or relocate to accommodate the widening project.

THE LATEST After a 180-day delay due to right of way acquisitions and relocations, construction is set to begin in March, TxDOT Public Information Officer Deidrea George said in an email to Community Impact Newspaper.

The average daily traffic count along the project is 46,200 vehicles. The project is necessary because that amount is expected to nearly double to 82,900 by 2048, George said.

Phase 1 of the project, which will take 18 months, will include widening the northbound side of the existing bridge, adding a 14-foot-wide protected bikeway and constructing a new two-lane northbound frontage road. Phase 2 will take two years and includes widening the southbound side of the bridge, constructing a new two-lane southbound frontage road and starting the construction of the express lane bridges, she said.

Phase 3, which lasts a year, includes widening the main lanes leading up to the bridge, constructing the Repsdorph Road overpass and more work on the express-lane bridges. The project will end with Phase 4, a six-month project to finish the express-lane bridges and miscellaneous work, George said.

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  1. Concerned Citizen

    The real issue that needs to be made public by investigative reporters is why the FM 646 conversion to Grand Parkway Segment A (from Hwy 146 to Alvin) is now termed “no longer viable” (without any explanation) on the Grand Parkway Alliance website when for years it was on their plans in detail. Could this have something to do with the developers of that massive new project west of the 45 between FM517 and FM646 and their relationships with LC government and Grand Parkway developers? There seems to be a major shift southward being forced on residents. Where…we don’t know. Somebody is going to profit hugely, while many people are going to suffer huge losses and disruptions.

    The Grand Parkway has a dubious history, from destroying 14,000 year old burial mounds to wetlands destruction to increasing flood dangers. Citizens need a full accounting and explanation of this latest move. Why is FM646 no longer Segment A?

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Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for a few years, covering topics such as 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 an editor with Community Impact. In his free time, Magee enjoys playing video games, jamming on the drums and bass, longboarding and petting his cat.
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