More that 50 potential projects were identified by a mobility needs assessment the county conducted in 2023, and from that study, the county then placed some two dozen high-priority projects in a bond for $258 million, which voters approved in November, Waller County Engineer Ross McCall said.
County officials used the mobility needs assessment to better understand where they would need to expand the capacity of the county roads in anticipation of projected population increases over the next decade.
According to the population projections by the Houston-Galveston Area Council, the population of Waller County will increase from the 2020 figure of 57,452 to 72,952 by 2030, and 99,100 by 2040.
“The [mobility] projects in the north Katy area, those are all capacity projects, road widening projects, to add more capacity,” McCall said. “And those were identified because we have a lot of new development and new subdivisions going in.”
McCall cited Cane Island, Sunterra and “dozens” of other master-planned communities along I-10 as contributors to the area’s growth.
McCall explained Waller County has specific mobility needs in different areas.
- North Waller County primarily has maintenance project needs, so the county needs to resurface roads that have deteriorated over time.
- The middle portion of the county between Hempstead and Katy is in need of some road safety projects in partnership with Texas Department of Transportation and area municipalities.
- Southeast Waller County in the north part of Katy needs greater capacity through road expansion to add additional lanes to ease traffic congestion, McCall said.
- Morton Road from FM 2855 to Pitts Road, cost of $40.62 million
- Schlipf Road from Morton Road to Hwy. 90, cost $29.82 million
- Clay Road from FM 2855 to Waller County line, cost $34.95 million
- Bartlett Road from Franz Road to Clay Road, cost $26.8 million
- Stockdick School Road from FM 2855 to Schlipf Road, cost $12.5 million
The county is in the beginning stages of a hiring process for a program manager to oversee the approved mobility projects.
“We're going through that process right now. And that process takes several months to get someone on board, and we've got to go through a vetting process and interview process, and get a qualified program manager on board,” McCall said. “Then we'll kick off the design.”
McCall said some of the maintenance projects are going to be completed more quickly, and he anticipates those to be done by mid-2026.
However, due to the land acquisition and right-of-way contracts needed to add lanes to roadways, the timeline is more likely five years to complete those projects, he said.
“It makes it challenging to plan and keep everything in order. But we think we have a good plan [and] we're in a good position to lay out some good projects and at least try to be in front of that growth curve,” McCall said.