Missouri City City Council on June 17 authorized City Manager Anthony Snipes to enter into an interlocal agreement with Fort Bend County for the construction of Sienna Parkway intersection improvements.
The project scope includes strategic improvements at four intersection locations along Sienna Parkway to enhance mobility and reduce congestion, according to the city. Sienna Parkway is the main thoroughfare for the Sienna Plantation master-planned community.
Intersection improvements are proposed at Trammel Fresno Road, Sienna Springs Boulevard, Watts Plantation Road and Sienna Ranch Road. This is necessary to alleviate high traffic volume along the major north and south corridor attributed to the general growth in the Sienna area, the city said.
The interlocal agreement initiates design of the improvements no later than Dec. 1, and the city agrees to begin construction by April 1, 2020.
The total cost of the project, located within city limits and Missouri City's extraterritorial jurisdiction, is estimated at $5.24 million. Fort Bend County committed $2.02 million.
Growth in Sienna
The project is one of four mobility projects authorized by the county on behalf of the city, said Shashi Kumar, Public Works director and city engineer, at the City Council meeting. The first was the Beltway 8 connector approved May 20 by council.
“There is a lot of traffic there so we are looking at improvements, including enhancements to signals and lane improvements,” Kumar said.
Missouri City’s traffic counts for the area show 8,000 cars moving both northbound and southbound every day as of 2004.
Since then, Sienna Plantation’s population has grown significantly. Residential real estate data company Metrostudy shows 560 home starts in the first quarter of 2019, making it the top subdivision in the Houston market in terms of absorption. Future growth plans include the building of 5,000 additional homes through 2027, according to Population and Survey Analysts data.
Funding the project
None of the four mobility projects are funded by the city, however, it was looking into places to leverage city funds, Kumar said. In this case, the city is partnering with the Sienna Plantation Management District, which will front Missouri City the $2 million project cost; the interlocal agreement would lock those funds in place, he said.
“Last year we talked about mobility projects and the moneys we did not have to bring this to fruition,” Snipes said. “The city has creatively been able to partner outside the walls of City Hall to make these things happen.”
The management district, alongside LJA Engineering, is fine-tuning the improvements identified in the 2017 Sienna Parkway Improvements Mobility Bond Project, according to the agreement. It will also take the lead to construct the improvements on behalf of the city.