Crash rates, traffic congestion prompt proposal to widen FM 529 in Katy area

Locals attended a public meeting on April 30 to learn about alternatives to widen FM 529.

Locals attended a public meeting on April 30 to learn about alternatives to widen FM 529.

Image description
FM 529
Image description
FM 529
Image description
FM 529
Image description
FM 529
Image description
FM 529
Image description
FM 529
Twelve miles of FM 529 between the Grand Parkway to FM 362 in the northwest Katy area may be widened in the future.

The Texas Department of Transportation is considering public comments received during the spring about the FM 529 widening project to develop and propose a recommended alternative. TxDOT will hold a second public meeting this fall, will refine the recommended alternative through spring 2020 and will finalize environmental assessments by winter 2020.

The project would widen the existing FM 529 from a two-lane roadway to a six-lane roadway with a raised median between the Grand Parkway and Katy Hockley Cut Off Road, according to an April 30 TxDOT public meeting. It would also widen FM 529 to a four-lane roadway with a raised median between Katy Hockley Cut Off Road and FM 362. Sidewalks are proposed for both sides of the roadway.

The proposed project to widen FM 529 has three alternative plans:

  • Alternative 1 would widen the north side of FM 529, which would impact 56.4 acres of floodplains, 64.5 acres of floodways and would displace four structures, including one residential;

  • Alternative 2 proposes widening the center of FM 529, which would impact 59.3 acres of floodways, 59.5 acres of floodways and would displaces six structures including three businesses; and

  • Alternative 3 would widen the south side of FM 529, which would impact 62.3 acres of floodplains, 54.4 acres of floodways and would displace 12 structures, including three residential and seven businesses.


The project is not funded and a definitive construction timeline has not been determined, TxDOT representative Deidra George said. The project is located within Harris and Waller counties, and construction costs are estimated to be about $120 million. Construction start dates will be determined only if the project receives funding.

The existing FM 529 is a two-lane undivided roadway with one lane in each direction, 4-foot outside shoulders and open ditches within an approximate 120-foot right of way, according to TxDOT. The roadway has one signalized intersection at the Grand Parkway, and it has two four-way stop intersections at Katy Hockley Cut Off Road and Katy Hockley Road. Meanwhile, the FM 529 intersection with FM 362 is a two-way stop intersection. There are no existing sidewalks on FM 529 or the intersecting roadways, and the posted speed limit is 60 miles per hour.

Crash rates and traffic congestion

Crash rates on FM 529 from the years 2014 to 2017 were higher than the Texas annual averages, and the existing capacity is inadequate to meet projected traffic volumes in 2045, which would result in congestion, according to an evaluation by TxDOT.

The average daily traffic from the Grand Parkway to Katy Hockley Cut Off Road is at 15,800, which is approaching an unstable flow, according to TxDOT. By 2045, it is projected to reach capacity at 25,000. The daily count from Katy Hockley Cut Off Road to FM 362 is slightly lower at 8,000 and expected to be at a stable flow by 2045 at 12,600.

A local business owner located off FM 529 said at the April 30 meeting he has witnessed many accidents over the years, including one involving an elderly couple and another with a family with three children. He said he has collected videos of crashes into his business and put up a fence to try and prevent the crashes.



MOST RECENT

The rate of new cases being confirmed is still up compared to the end of April and early May. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: Weekly total of new cases falls after two weeks of increases

The rate of new cases being confirmed is still up compared to the end of April and early May.

Texas Medical Center continued to see week-over-week decreases in the total number of active COVID-19 hospitalizations but also saw a significant increase in patient deaths, the medical center reported May 29. (Community Impact staff)
Texas Medical Center sees another week-over-week decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations

Texas Medical Center continued to see week-over-week decreases in the total number of active COVID-19 hospitalizations but also saw a significant increase in patient deaths, the medical center reported May 29.

Fire Station No. 1 in Katy has temporarily closed due to mold. (Nola Z. Valente/Community Impact Newspaper)
Katy Fire Station to be remediated after mold infestation

Fire Station No. 1 in Katy has temporarily closed due to mold.

Here are the latest coronavirus updates for Katy-area readers. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
Katy area's daily COVID-19 case count increases by 4 on May 29

The total number of confirmed positive coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic increased to 1,013 on May 29.

The Willie's Grill & Icehouse restaurant in Copperfield is temporarily closed after reopening in mid-May. (Courtesy Willie's Grill & Icehouse Copperfield)
Study predicts coronavirus spike and other top Houston-area stories

Read some of the most popular Houston-area content on Community Impact Newspaper’s website from this week.

The syrup drums being repurposed into rain barrels were donated from Coca-Cola. (Courtesy Galveston Bay Foundation)
Galveston Bay Foundation to host virtual, drive-thru rain barrel workshop

The Kemah-based nature conservation nonprofit is hosting a rain barrel workshop this weekend for Houstonians thirsting for a way to help conserve the community’s water supply.

Studio 6 opened to guests May 7 at 1332 Katy Fort Bend Road, Katy. (Courtesy Studio 6)
Studio 6 opened in early May in Katy

The new hotel has 63 rooms.

Fort Bend County Judge KP hosted a discussion on Facebook Live with officials from the Kinder Institute and Fort Bend County Health and Human Services about how the results of the COVID-19 Registry will be used. (Courtesy Fort Bend County)
Fort Bend County officials to use COVID-19 Registry to guide coronavirus response

Here is how you can join the COVID-19 Registry and shape Fort Bend County's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Texas Renaissance Festival is set to resume Oct. 3 with safety guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. (Courtesy Texas Renaissance Festival)
Texas Renaissance Festival announces tentative modifications for 2020 season

In a May 28 statement, General Manager Joseph Bailey said new safety measures are in the works to comply with governmental recommendations, and an operating plan is expected to be reviewed with officials in June.

Kona Reserve Coffee is now open. (Courtesy of Kona Reserve Coffee)
Kona Reserve Coffee opens in Katy area

Kona Reserve Coffee, located at 4020 FM 1463, Ste. 100, Fulshear, opened May 21.

Green Trails was built out in 1998. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
May 2020 featured neighborhood: Learn more about Green Trails in the Katy area

Home values in Green Trails range from $235,000-$529,000.

Katy ISD Chief Financial Officer Christopher J. Smith provided an update on next year's budget at the May 26 school board meeting. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
Tax rate, salaries and COVID-19: 3 things to know about the 2020-21 Katy ISD budget

The district's chief financial officer provided an update on next year's budget at the May 26 school board meeting.