TxDOT to begin construction on Willowbrook-area FM 1960 improvement project this summer

The FM 1960 improvement project in the Spring and Klein area will begin this year.
The FM 1960 improvement project in the Spring and Klein area will begin this year.

The FM 1960 improvement project in the Spring and Klein area will begin this year.

After several years of delays, the Texas Department of Transportation will begin construction in June on a nearly $20 million project to alleviate traffic in the Willowbrook area.

The project, which will take an estimated 28 months to complete, will add dual left-turn lanes at Cutten Road, Breton Ridge Street and the Willowbrook Mall entrances as well as lengthen all turning lanes on FM 1960 between Centerfield Drive and Cutten Road to provide additional space for vehicles, TxDOT officials said. The project will also add a dedicated right-turn lane at Willow Center Drive and at Cutten Road and add a thru-lane east- and westbound from the Willowbrook Mall center entrance to Cutten Road.

The $19.9 million project will also add pedestrian and bicycle accommodations, replace existing pavement and upgrade traffic signals.

Originally scheduled to go out for bid in January 2018, the project has since been pushed back twice due to challenges associated with right of way acquisition. As of Jan. 11, TxDOT Public Information Officer Danny Perez said all parcels needed for the project have been acquired, but several utility relocations and adjustments still need to be made.

Previously estimated at $16.4 million, Perez said the project design has since been refined to incorporate fast-track concrete, which will expedite the project, drainage enhancements and additional traffic control during construction, contributing to the higher cost.

Bobby Lieb, the president and CEO of the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce, said while the improvements are needed, he is concerned that two years of construction could be detrimental to the corridor’s businesses—some of which will be displaced.

“Retail is already feeling the pinch from the pandemic; it would be unfortunate to have it then compounded by difficulty accessing [businesses],” Lieb said.
By Hannah Zedaker

Editor, Spring/Klein & Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood

Hannah joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor of the Spring/Klein edition and later became the editor of both the Spring/Klein and Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood editions in June 2021. Hannah covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Hannah served as associate editor of The Houstonian, interned with Community Impact Newspaper and spent time writing for the Sam Houston State University College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication and The Huntsville Item.