7 Sugar Land-area transportation projects recommended for federal funding

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Seven Fort Bend County transportation projects that could impact Sugar Land and Missouri City are among 193 applications across the Greater Houston area vying for federal funding.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council released a draft ranking Jan. 16 of projects that could be funded with about $920 million—including federal funding and state and local matches—through 2028.

The H-GAC rankings span eight counties: Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller. The group considered a variety of factors when ranking projects, including how much the project would enhance mobility, economic competitiveness, planning coordination and environmental factors.

Public comments will also weigh into the final rankings. Comments can be submitted online, by mail or by phone through Feb. 28. Public comments for the longer-term 2045 Regional Transportation Plan will be accepted from March 19 through April 16.

Following the public review period, H-GAC will make the final selection of projects for federal funding for the 2019-22 Transportation Improvement Program, the 10-year plan and the 2045 RTP at its transportation policy council March 22.

A series of public meetings will also be hosted around Houston, starting with a Jan. 24 meeting at Friendswood City Hall.

A list of the projects for the Sugar Land and Missouri City areas are below, and a draft list of all ranked projects and details can be found here.

Expansion projects: Adding capacity, completing new streets

Project: Purchase new buses for new service line along Hwy. 59 SW
Project scope: Hwy. 59 SW from First Colony AMC Theatre in Sugar Land to downtown Houston
Federal funding requested: $4.1 million by 2020
Details: Purchase 28 new buses to establish a new Fort Bend County Transit commuter route connecting Fort Bend County to downtown Houston. Funding would also support operating expenses for an initial three-year period. FBCT has proposed ordering the buses in late 2020.

Project: New Park and Ride at the University of Houston-Sugar Land
Project scope: University Boulevard
Federal funding requested: $37.7 million by 2026
Details: Construct a parking garage with 2,500 spaces along with bus and passenger accommodations for a permanent Park and Ride, including dedicated bus bays with passenger platforms, passenger waiting shelters and transit information systems.

Project: Williams Trace Boulevard reconstruction
Project scope: Hwy. 6 to Lexington Boulevard
Federal funding requested: $5.4 million by 2024
Details: Reconstruct the four-lane divided roadway, including curb and gutter, left turn lanes, inlets and manholes.

Management projects: Access management, safety, transit

Project: FM 1092 access management improvements
Project scope: Hwy. 6 to Hwy. 59
Federal funding requested: $1.5 million by 2022
Details: A variety of improvements, including expanding FM 1092 south from Avenue E in Stafford from four to six lanes, constructing a 13-foot raised median, installing sidewalks and bicycle lanes at various points, and installing crosswalks and pedestrian signals at various points.

Project: ITS communications rehab
Project scope: About 65 signalized intersections within Sugar Land city limits
Federal funding requested: $1.6 million by 2020
Details: Upgrade microwave wireless antennas and related equipment in Fort Bend County.

Project: FM 518/Broadway overpass at FM 521/UPRR
Project scope: FM 521/West Broadway/Lake Olympia Parkway
Federal funding requested: $11.1 million by 2022
Details: The proposed project is construction of a four-lane overpass, approach roadways and loop ramps connecting FM 521, which will provide a separated crossing of FM 521 and the Union Pacific Corp. railroad line.

Maintain: Rehabilitation, reconstruction, resiliency

Project: Sweetwater Boulevard reconstruction
Project scope: South Town Center Boulevard to Colony Park Drive (up to the bridge)
Federal funding requested: $9 million by 2023
Details: Replace about two miles of roadway and water main, upgrade traffic signals and add pedestrian/bicycle capacity, as well as enhanced access.

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Christine Hall
Christine Hall joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2018, and covers Missouri City and Fort Bend ISD. She previously reported on health care innovation for the Texas Medical Center and held various news roles at the Houston Business Journal.
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