The project, which is intended to improve mobility along the corridor between Cutten Road and Centerfield Drive in the Willowbrook area, is expected to take two years to complete once construction begins. While the project was originally anticipated to go out for bid in 2018, as of January 2019, the project had been pushed to February 2020.
Now, the project is not slated to go out for bid until June 2021, Perez said.
“The plans for the FM 1960 project are 90% complete,” he said. “We have acquired 17 of 19 right of way parcels. We have been working on an agreement with [Burlington Santa Fe Railway], which has been the main reason for delaying the project.”
According to a Texas A&M Transportation Institute report released Dec. 10, the 8.26-mile segment of FM 1960 between Hwy. 249 and I-45 was ranked as the 27th-most congested roadway in Texas in 2019. The roadway was ranked 32nd in 2018 and 73rd in 2012—the first year the road was listed among the 100 most congested roads statewide.
“The purpose of the proposed project is to improve mobility by alleviating traffic congestion, improving safety and accommodating future traffic associated with the anticipated growth in [and] around the Willowbrook Mall and adjacent commercial development,” Perez said.
The project will add dual left-turn lanes at Cutten Road and the Willowbrook Mall entrances, and all turning bays will be lengthened to provide additional storage capacity, Perez said. Additionally, pedestrian and bicycle accommodations will be added to the corridor, existing pavement will be completely removed and replaced and all existing span wire signals will be replaced with mast arm signals.
The project is being funded 80% by federal funds and 20% by state funds.
During project construction, Perez added that detours and lane closures will be communicated to the public by signage as well as through the Houston TranStar website and TxDOT’s social media.