At-grade construction solution at Research Forest, Grogan's Mill presented to Shenandoah City Council

An at-grade solution to traffic and safety concerns at the intersection of Research Forest Drive and Grogan's Mill Road were presented at a Shenandoah City Council meeting Nov. 17. (Courtesy Fotolia)
An at-grade solution to traffic and safety concerns at the intersection of Research Forest Drive and Grogan's Mill Road were presented at a Shenandoah City Council meeting Nov. 17. (Courtesy Fotolia)

An at-grade solution to traffic and safety concerns at the intersection of Research Forest Drive and Grogan's Mill Road were presented at a Shenandoah City Council meeting Nov. 17. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Image description
The solution presented shows some road widening and multiple dedicated turn lanes at the intersection. (Courtesy city of Shenadoah, Bleyl Engineering)
Montgomery County Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley and John Bleyl, president and CEO of Bleyl Engineering, presented an at-grade solution to traffic and safety concerns at the intersection of Research Forest Drive and Grogan's Mill Road at a Shenandoah City Council meeting Nov. 17.

The proposed project shows some road widening and multiple dedicated turn lanes at the intersection, located in The Woodlands just outside Shenandoah city limits.

"We've talked about it and studied it, ... and we need to get something on the ground that's going to give us some relief," Riley said.

The presentation was shown as part of discussion on a resolution for City Council supporting an at-grade solution and opposing an overpass at the intersection. The resolution presented at the meeting stated an overpass would "cause both noise and sight pollution for the residents of The Woodlands and Shenandoah," and could cost millions of dollars more than an at-grade solution.

It is unknown how much the proposed project could cost or where funding for it would come from, but Riley said he would like to see the project break ground by the end of next year. He admitted it "may be pushing it a bit."


"But I know we can make it happen, and I look forward to making it happen and making some improvements around here so we can move forward and make life a little easier for all of us," he said.

Past and future

The intersection of Research Forest Drive and Grogan's Milll Road is rated among the intersections with the highest frequency of accidents in Montgomery County, officials said at the meeting.

Riley said the intersection has been an issue since he came into office in 2015. The last study on possible solutions, released by Strand Associates in April, suggested a diverging-diamond, above-grade solution could be the best option for the intersection.

However, following the discussion in April, Riley said he requested Bleyl Engineering conduct a traffic study to model the intersection for at-grade improvements instead.

Although Bleyl and Riley both said the at-grade solution presented Nov. 17 still needs some "tweaking," Bleyl said the solution could improve levels of service and maintain them for decades. He said they continue to work with Montgomery County traffic managers on signalization for the project, but the solution already factors in traffic counts and levels of service.

"We think we're getting close to a final at-grade solution that will work for everybody and improve levels of service, and we believe maintain those levels of service through 2040," Bleyl said.

Next steps

The presentation on the intersection comes after some discussion about possible solutions at a meeting of The Woodlands Township board of directors in October.

Meanwhile, Precinct 3 officials issued a news release Nov. 16 stating there are no construction plans for an overpass or underpass at the intersection, or any funding available for such a project. In the release, Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack stated "there are no plans to construct a grade separation of any kind at either of the two major intersections in question without residents' approval."

Several residents spoke out in opposition to a grade separation at the intersection Nov. 17 as well as a meeting of The Woodlands Township board on Nov. 12.

Shenandoah Mayor Ritch Wheeler encouraged residents to provide feedback on the project ahead of a vote on the resolution at a future City Council meeting in December or January. Wheeler said there will also be a town hall to discuss the project further on Dec. 9.
By Matt Stephens
Matt Stephens joined Community Impact Newspaper in December 2012. A Tomball native and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Matt joined as a reporter for The Woodlands team before being promoted to help launch the Spring | Klein edition in spring of 2014 and later to North Houston managing editor in late 2015. He has served as managing editor to the Phoenix and Nashville papers since August 2020.


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