Although the Texas Department of Transportation has begun collecting bids for the construction contract of the project to install medians along 5.8 miles of FM 1092, several Missouri City City Council members still have concerns about the project moving forward.
Construction on the project to install medians on FM 1092—also known as Murphy Road—is expected to begin in the winter and last for seven months, according to officials with TxDOT.
TxDOT said the purpose of the $4 million project—which is funded as part of its Road Zero initiative to stop traffic deaths—is to increase safety and reduce the number of crashes on the road.
Over the last several months, Missouri City elected officials and staff have worked with TxDOT to address several intersections where access to residential neighborhoods and businesses was a concern.
While council members Floyd Emery and Anthony Maroulis thanked TxDOT for accommodating proposed changes to the project’s schematics, they both spoke out about installing medians along the road during a Sept. 7 City Council meeting.
“I don’t think [FM] 1092 in its current state is conducive to medians only because of the requirement for U-turns at some of our major intersections,” Emery said. “To me, if you’re trying to promote safety, you’re not. You’re going to be creating additional safety issues.”
Furthermore, Missouri City Police Chief Mike Berezin said he does not see how medians will help address collisions on FM 1092.
“Most of our collisions on Murphy Road are rear-end collisions,” Berezin said. “Medians aren’t going to help this at all. We need more lanes. Congestion is our problem. Medians are going to be a nightmare for us.”
Carlos Zepeda, TxDOT’s area engineer for Fort Bend and Waller counties, said he understands council’s concerns, but has seen other access management projects promote safe driving conditions, citing a recent example from Pearland.
“[Pearland] had the same exact concerns, but I can tell you that it definitely has increased the safety of the roadway,” Zepeda said.
Maroulis called for TxDOT to focus on the issue of congestion instead of installing medians.
“I truly think TxDOT should be solving for the congestion that we have,” Maroulis said. “I know we’ve done signaling, I know we’ve done striping, I know we’ve done a lot. At the end of the day we have a congestion problem and that’s what you guys should be solving for. We need capacity, not roadblocks.”
Despite the push back, Shashi Kumar, Missouri City’s public works director, indicated that the project will progress as planned.
“This is a TxDOT corridor; TxDOT is moving with the project, [and] as we’ve shared with you a majority of concerns have been addressed,” Kumar said.