Fort Bend County, TxDOT to break ground on Grand Parkway frontage roads in 2020

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In a few years, traffic might be a little less congested on two portions of the Grand Parkway in the Cinco Ranch area.

Fort Bend County and the Texas Department of Transportation plan to break ground in 2020 on southbound frontage roads on the west side of the Grand Parkway between Cinco Ranch Boulevard and Westheimer Parkway, or Segment 1, and between South Fry Road and FM 1093, or Segment 2. Northbound frontage roads on the highway already exist.

The two entities held a public meeting May 21 at Cinco Ranch Junior High School to solicit feedback from residents regarding the $24 million project, funded by a 2017 Fort Bend County voter-approved bond.

“The project is needed to address increased traffic and congestion from residential and commercial growth in the project area,” Fort Bend County Engineer Stacy Slawinski said.

About 55 people attended within the first of two hours. Some attendees expressed worries about noise or how their property may be affected by the project, but most came to learn how the entities are relieving congestion on the traffic-heavy Grand Parkway.

Public comments can be submitted to TxDOT until June 5 via email to HOU-piowebmail@txdot.gov or mailed to TxDOT Houston District, Attn: Director of Project Development, P.O. Box 1386, Houston, TX 77251-1386.

If there are no major concerns from the public, then the project can move forward, said Andy Meyers, Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Commissioner.

Project details

Both segments of the project do not involve adjusting the main lanes of the Grand Parkway. A separate TxDOT project to widen the state highway from four lanes to six lanes is not likely to start until 2025, Meyers said, though he said he is working to expedite the design process.

Segment 1 and Segment 2—designed by TEDSI Infrastructure Group and Dannenbaum Engineering Corp., respectively—of this project involve constructing:

  • a 15-foot-wide outside lane;
  • a 12-foot-wide inside lane;
  • a 13-foot-wide auxiliary lane;
  • a curb and gutter system;
  • ramp reversals;
  • right turn deceleration lanes; and
  • connecting driveways to existing and future east-west streets.

In total, the project requires acquiring about 9 acres on the west side of the Grand Parkway, but no residential and commercial disruptions are anticipated, according to meeting materials.

Meyers recognized the project’s $24 million cost is pricey.

“It’s a very expensive road,” he said and explained one reason the price tag is high is because of installing new drainage systems.

The new frontage roads will be placed on top of existing drainage ditches. To help convey stormwater, the project involves installing 12-foot by 12-foot box culverts under the road.

“I have to duplicate the open ditch underground,” Meyers said. “It doubles the cost.”

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4 comments
COMMENT
  1. I would like to see the northbound frontage lanes that according to this article exist. If you get on Grand Parkway from South Fry going North, immediately you have get on the main lanes. This is another half-a** project. We need FULL real frontage lanes, driving around after 3:30 pm on weekdays is horrible and Saturdays is even worse.

  2. F.y.i …there are NO northbound service road lanes from Westheimer Pkwy. to Cinco Ranch Blvd. as stated in the article. (But they’re needed – maybe that’ll be section 3?)

    Why in the world are they waiting until at least 2025 to widen 99 Grand Pkwy. / 99 Lanier Pkwy. (or whatever they’re calling it now ?) By that time this “thing” will need to be 5 main lanes on each side!

  3. Valdemar Duarte

    I will have to oppose to the construction of the subject project based on the following:
    Reportedly just 55 people attended to a public hearing for a couple of project valued at $24M+ impacting a much larger population
    Project arguably will not improve traffic condition of TX-99 in that area. The actual improvement will eventually come from the expansion of lanes in the segment from I-10 all the way south to the intersection with 1093. I will certainly sign up for that project and NOT for the subject ones.
    I personally see the construction of segment of frontage/service road with taxpayer funds benefiting more the existing or future businesses in the commercial zones next to it. Multiple projected ramps on the frontage road in BOTH segments certainly help build my point.
    The Public (tax payers funding directly or indirectly the project) should be given a better opportunity to have full visibility in detail on:
    How the value of the tract of land required for the construction was assessed
    Property owner of the tract of land that needs to be purchased to implement the road construction and it relation with the project developers
    How the traffic will be managed during construction
    And most importantly, how the travel time from I10 to the area will improve based on the construction of the subject projects

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Jen Para
Jen joined Community Impact Newspaper in fall 2018. A graduate of the University of Missouri, Jen has written about business, politics and education since 2013. Prior to CI, Jen was the web producer at Houston Business Journal.
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