TxDOT has been hosting a virtual public meeting since late August to gauge public feedback on the ongoing FM 1960 Access Management Study. The $750,000 study, which will be completed in October, studies an 11-mile segment of FM 1960 between just east of I-45 at E. Gatewick to east of Hwy. 59 in Humble at FM 1960 Business.
Proposed improvements outlined in the preliminary study include short-, medium- and long-range improvements for the corridor, which, if all approved, could cost $88.8 million.
TxDOT Public Information Officer Danny Perez said via email the proposed improvements will be refined based on public comments from the meeting, which closes Sept. 8.
"After [the study is complete], funding will be identified for the implementation of the short-range improvements, which usually are the projects with low-cost and high impacts; and expected to be completed within five years," he said. "Further studies will be required for the medium/long-range improvements."
Some short-range improvements outlined in the preliminary study include upgrading traffic signal timing, installing continuous lighting, and adding bike lanes, sidewalks and additional drainage along the corridor.
Another short-range project could transform the corridor's continuous center-turn lane into a raised median with access points to businesses and side streets, according to the study. The project could cost more than $6.2 million to complete.
Medium- and long-range improvements could include consolidating business driveways, improving side street approaches and constructing innovative intersection interchanges, per the study. Specifically in the Humble area, TxDOT has proposed adding an echelon exchange at FM 1960 and Hwy. 59 and extending Upwood Drive to Townsen Boulevard.
An echelon exchange would essentially create three levels of traffic at the intersection—with Level 2 allowing traffic from the Hwy. 59 northbound frontage road to travel east and west on FM 1960, and Level 3 allowing traffic from the southbound frontage road to travel east and west. Level 1 would be the existing Hwy. 59 overpass, Perez said.
Perez said the proposed echelon exchange project could potentially handle the growing traffic demand, but the project would have to be comprehensively analyzed further to see if it is feasible. The project is estimated to cost $40.8 million.
In addition to proposed projects—which have not been funded and do not have a timeline associated with them—the study also included planned projects for the corridor that have already been approved and funded by TxDOT.
Planned projects for FM 1960 include improving the traffic signals at Hwy. 59 and Treaschwig Road, implementing access management improvements along the corridor and adding two-way high-occupancy vehicle lanes along Hwy. 59, according to the preliminary study.
Community members can visit the virtual public meeting link through Sept. 8 to watch the presentation and provide feedback on the study and proposed projects.