Updated: Cy-Fair groups seek to connect Greenhouse and Skinner roads under Hwy. 290

A proposed road project in Cypress involves extending Greenhouse Road under Union Pacific Corp. railroad tracks and Hwy. 290 to connect with Skinner Road.

A proposed road project in Cypress involves extending Greenhouse Road under Union Pacific Corp. railroad tracks and Hwy. 290 to connect with Skinner Road.

This story was updated Jan. 23 with additional comments from Harris County ESD No. 9.

Several Cy-Fair area entities are looking to create a new connection to Hwy. 290 that would provide more direct access to the highway in Cypress.

The project, which calls for connecting Greenhouse and Skinner roads with an underpass under Hwy. 290, was submitted to the Houston-Galveston Area Council last fall for consideration for federal funding. H-GAC helps secure federal grants for road projects in the Greater Houston area and has identified a possible $920 million for projects over the next 10 years.

The proposal involves extending Greenhouse Road northbound, under the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and Hwy. 290, and then connecting it to Skinner Road while also providing access to Hwy. 290 frontage roads. The project's application was sponsored by Harris County MUD No. 500, but other partners include Harris County Emergency Services District No. 9—which has an interest in improving mobility for fire and EMS vehicles—and the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, which operates the Cypress Park & Ride at Skinner Road and Hwy. 290.

Caldwell Companies, the developer behind the nearby Towne Lake master-planned community, is also working to make the project a reality. Peter Barnhart, an executive vice president with Caldwell, said the new connection to Hwy. 290 would ease worsening congestion on other north-south Cypress corridors.

"The current crossings at Fry Road and Barker Cypress [Road] can become very congested at peak times, and the proposed crossing at Greenhouse [and] Skinner would be a great relief to traffic in this area," he said. "In addition to reducing congestion in the area it would help our first responders to improve their response times in our area."

The proposed extension would be a six-lane roadway with 10-inch-wide hike and bike lanes for pedestrian and cyclists along both sides of Greenhouse, according to the application submitted to H-GAC. It has been a part of the city of Houston's Major Thoroughfare Plan since the 1970s, and the application asks for $22.5 million in federal funding in 2021. If approved for federal grant funding, MUD No. 500 has agreed to sell debt to accelerate work on the underpass and be reimbursed later on, according to the application. The underpass would be designed in coordination with Harris County and Union Pacific.

To build the road underneath Hwy. 290, the eastbound frontage road of Hwy. 290 would be lowered to meet the elevation of the underpass, according to the application. The U-turns would remain at existing elevation. The project also calls for building a stormwater pump station to mitigate flooding during heavy rains.

"The underpass also provides connectivity between the existing 2,000-acre Towne Lake community and the METRO Cypress Park & Ride," officials wrote in the application. "When this project is approved, it will provide a 16-mile continuously constructed north-south thoroughfare connecting Huffmeister Road north of Hwy. 290 to two miles south of the Katy Freeway."

In a draft ranking of projects released by H-GAC on Jan. 16, the Greenhouse project fell short of H-GAC's rating for projects that "appear to be fundable" in the 10-year plan. However, the council is accepting public feedback on projects through Feb. 28, which will factor into a final ranking. Feedback can be submitted on H-GAC's website, where more details on all 193 submitted projects can be found. The project also remains in consideration as a part of the council's 2045 Regional Transportation Plan.

If the project does end up in the final 10-year plan, officials suggest construction could begin around the first quarter of 2021.

Tommy Balez, a commissioner with Harris County ESD No. 9, said the connection would provide fire and EMS vehicles another corridor to cross Hwy. 290 without having to travel over railroad tracks, an issue that can cause delays if a train is crossing at the time of an emergency. He said the ESD was looking into purchasing land in the north side of Towne Lake for a new station, an agreement that would see the money they pay for the land going toward the road project.

"We’re hoping that by placing a station on the north side of Towne Lake near Hwy. 290 with access under the railroad tracks, that will help us greatly improve not only our response times but reduce the number of stations we'll need in the future," Balez said.
SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

TxDOT has announced several Hwy. 290 lane closures this weekend. (Courtesy Texas Department of Transportation)
14 Hwy. 290 lane closures affecting Cy-Fair drivers this weekend, Dec. 13-15

The Texas Department of Transportation has announced the following lane closures planned along Hwy. 290 this weekend.

Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee
Houston vying to become host city for 2026 FIFA World Cup

Houston is among 17 U.S. cities in the race to host the World Cup and is competing against other major cities, such as New York City, Los Angeles and Dallas, for the nod.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner addresses the Texas General Land Office at a Dec. 11 public hearing. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston area leaders call for more federal flood dollars at public meeting

Officials expressed concerns about proposed limitations for how federal funds will be allocated throughout the state.

Check out the annual Tomball German Christmas Market this weekend, Dec. 13-15, in Old Town Tomball. (Courtesy city of Tomball)
German Christmas Market: A guide to the Tomball event this weekend, Dec. 13-15

Take a look at our guide for attending the Tomball German Christmas Market this weekend.

Renovations are underway at Cy-Fair FCU. (Rendering courtesy Cy-Fair FCU)
Cy-Fair FCU’s Jones Road location to be remodeled

The modernization project will include a covered plaza entrance to the administrative and tenant spaces as well as a new two-and-a-half story tower entrance for financial center members.

Hwy. 290 was among the roads to see congestion decrease between 2018 and 2019. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper.
REPORT: Multiple Cy-Fair roads see drops in congestion between 2018 and 2019

The report, produced each year by the Texas Transportation Institute, analyzes the most congested roadways in the state.

Velma Perez competes on the Food Network's "Christmas Cookie Challenge" featuring host Eddie Jackson. (Courtesy Food Network)
Cy-Fair baker to be featured on Food Network’s ‘Christmas Cookie Challenge’

Velma Perez, the owner of CookieGram in Cy-Fair, will be featured on the show Dec. 16.

Tina's Permanent Makeup & Eyelash expands with new wholesale supplies shop on Barker Cypress Road

Officials with Tina's Permanent Makeup & Eyelash recently expanded the business, opening Houston Lash & …

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
See who is running to represent Cy-Fair in the 2020 election

Find out who filed to represent Cy-Fair in 2020 at the state, local and federal levels.

Licensed registered nurses can earn the Bachelor of Science in nursing degree to be better prepared for leadership and management roles. (Courtesy Lone Star College)
Lone Star College approved to offer bachelor’s degree programs in 2020

Starting in fall 2020, Lone Star College will be one of the first community colleges in the state where students can work toward certain four-year degrees.

Back to top