The existing two-lane roadway is being widened to a four-lane divided highway, TxDOT Public Information Officer Emily Black said in an email.
TxDOT does not have an official start date for the $14.35 million project, but once it begins, construction is projected to take a little more than two years, Black said.
In addition to relocating utilities within the construction area along Loop 494, TxDOT is also waiting on an agreement with Union Pacific Corp., which it must receive because railroad tracks run along the road. In addition to widening Loop 494, TxDOT is building sidewalks along the new roadway.
“We are widening the road to increase capacity to improve traffic flow as well as improve pedestrian movement by constructing sidewalks,” Black said.
Black said it is necessary for TxDOT to complete projects such as widening Loop 494 in areas like Kingwood where the population is growing and congestion is worsening.
The transportation project is located in ZIP code 77339, which includes much of Kingwood. The ZIP code’s population increased from 37,917 in 2011 to 41,403 in 2017, which is an increase of about 9.2 percent, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
“Mobility and safety [are] our top [priorities] at TxDOT, so we are widening the road to ensure it is able to keep up with the growing population in the [Kingwood] area and increasing pedestrian safety with sidewalks,” Black said.