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.