In 2018, the township’s board of directors denied a request for a letter of support for an underpass there, citing that it would cost $24 million and that an overpass was not the only solution. The proposal at that time was for a a six-lane, two-way road running east to west on Research Forest below Grogans Mill. The project had been proposed for funding from the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Transportation Improvement Program in that year.
A total of eight alternate solutions for the intersection were developed in 2018 by Brown & Gay Engineers. At that time, the Houston-Galveston Area Council projected the traffic volume at the intersection would increase from an average daily traffic count of 62,450 vehicles to 78,300 vehicles by 2022, and to 117,500 in 2040. The township does not have jurisdiction over its roads as a special-purpose district.
Board Chair Gordy Bunch said at the Oct. 21 meeting the project was meant to involve multiple entities, including the city of Shenandoah and Montgomery County Precinct 3. Montgomery County Precinct 2 also borders the intersection.
Shenandoah Mayor Ritch Wheeler spoke at the meeting, stating his residents seemed to still be opposed to the idea of an overpass.
“We think an at-grade intersection will provide very good service levels until 2045,” Wheeler said.
He said businesses in Shenandoah appeared to be of the same mind as the residents.
“I haven’t spoken to a single business in favor of an overpass there,” he said.
Community Impact Newspaper previously reported that Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack said at-grade improvements would be a short-term fix, and he cited a need for safety improvements at the intersection.
Officials said some progress on determining a path forward is expected within the next several weeks, and more information will be brought before the board for discussion in the future.
Hannah Zedaker contributed to this report.