Grand Parkway Segment E opening nears

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The projected completion of Segment E of the Grand Parkway is fast approaching but the weather is still too variable to set an exact date, according to experts close to the project.

“The weather could impact the ability to complete the connectors up at US 290 and the ability to get power in place for safety lighting at ramps, under bridges and to toll equipment,” said David Gornet, executive director of the Grand Parkway Association by email Nov. 18.

Under ideal circumstances the road could be open as early as the week of Dec. 16 but there are many variables at play, said Gornet.

Meanwhile work crews plan to close I-10 westbound at the Grand Parkway nightly from 9 p.m.–5 a.m. from Nov. 18–21. Traffic is being detoured to the frontage road, according a statement from TxDOT.

Segment E will feature two main-lane toll plazas and multiple tolled on and off ramps, with an average toll price of $1.40 on main lanes and a variable rate from 35 cents to 71 cents on ramps, TxDOT spokeswoman Raquelle Lewis said. Those prices also apply to Segments F1 and F2. Drivers on the Grand Parkway will pass through main lane toll plazas every four to seven miles. The currently established rates will go into effect in October 2013. Toll rates are subject to change and will be re-evaluated every October.

Regardless of the exact opening date of Segment E, the West Houston Association and the Grand Parkway Association are planning a “Party on the Parkway” for Dec. 13 and 14 celebrating the opening of the 15-mile stretch. The festivities will begin with a business sponsor luncheon on Dec. 13 at 11:30 a.m. at the Westin Memorial City to honor the individuals who helped bring the project about. The groups will then host a fun run, which the public can register for, and party benefiting HEART on Dec. 14. More details are available by calling HEART at 713-692-4278.

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