While construction has yet to begin on the raised medians, TxDOT is currently working on truck loons, which add pavement to help trucks make U-turns, Public Information Officer Leo Flores said. The medians are set to vary in width from 1 foot to 14 feet.
The project, which has been in the works since 2019, aims to reduce crashes, improve mobility, and support existing and future development, Flores said.
Spanning 12.44 miles, the project is anticipated to cost $10.23 million, according to documents from TxDOT.
What they're saying
- “I just went through this process on [Hwy.] 105, and it was a mess. ... I do believe it’s going to be a hassle—I do believe people are going to drive up the road and go somewhere else, so I’m not a fan of [the median]," said Mike Kelton, owner of Treehouse Cafe on FM 1488 and Hunger Crush Cafe on Hwy. 105.
- “You may have to go down and then make a turn and come back around, but ... I would easily trade inconvenience for safety; that is not even an issue," said Jeanine Weber, resident of Woodland Landings, an apartment complex off FM 1488.
The project will be completed from west to east, Flores said.
Alongside the median, TxDOT is anticipated to create five new signalized intersections along FM 1488, according to maps of the proposed improvements:
- At Forest West Street
- At Thousand Oaks Boulevard
- At Sweetgum Lane
- On both sides of I-45
Although the project is intended to improve mobility along FM 1488, Kelton said he believes adding a raised median will make traffic congestion worse by lessening the amount of space available for drivers to turn left, causing traffic to back up in the main lanes.
As the project seeks to improve mobility, the number of vehicles traveling on FM 1488 has increased. For example, the annual average daily traffic count on FM 1488 just west of I-45 totaled 40,523 vehicles in 2013, jumping 20.8% to 48,952 vehicles in 2022.Construction is anticipated to wrap up in the fourth quarter of 2025, according to a November update from TxDOT.
During construction, drivers can expect one lane in either direction to close between 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Flores said.