The $4.9 million project will widen Wilson Road from two to four lanes between Plantation Drive and Hwy. 75. The project will also improve drainage and the median at the Hwy. 75 intersection as well as add new sidewalks, upgraded traffic lights and bus stop shelters, said Tommy Woolley, Conroe assistant director of projects and transportation.
The project will benefit residents, businesses and possible future developments as well as improve mobility issues that stem from traffic headed to Conroe High School, he said. The roadway also experiences drainage issues during periods of heavy rain—such as April and May of last year—when heavy rainfall caused many areas around the Greater Houston area to flood.
“It is an existing issue, but if these vacant pieces of land [along the road]develop, we are going to see a lot more traffic on this road,” Woolley said. “We don’t know what could develop, but they just can’t do anything right now because of the capacity of the drainage system.”
Additionally, the project addresses safety concerns for traffic turning on to the roadway from Hwy. 75. The city will adjust the roadway to align with the east side of the road as best as possible and install a new traffic signal at the intersection. Motorists turning on to the roadway will also have dedicated lanes to travel on, in contrast to the existing traffic flow where commuters turn into a single lane—forcing
southbound traffic to make an awkward stop before merging in to the road, Woolley said.
“Safety is going to improve it a whole lot,” he said. “Not only are we going to have the new traffic signal there, but it is going to have a radar system [to detect traffic]. It will pick things up a little quicker, so it will be a more efficient signal there.”
The city will also use about $449,000 left from the bus livability grant provided by the Federal Transit Administration that it has been using for the bus system.
The project could start this year, however, the city cannot sell water and sewer revenue bonds because of an ongoing lawsuit with the San Jacinto River Authority. Woolley said the city has acquired the necessary right of way for the project, which could take about nine months to complete after breaking ground.