Officials in the city of Shenandoah announced the expected successful funding of a long-planned project to extend David Memorial Drive to Hwy. 242 with cooperation from other governmental bodies in the area.

City Administrator Kathie Reyer said at the Oct. 26 City Council meeting that the city of Conroe has included funds in its capital improvement budget; The Woodlands Township authorized $500,000 through a regional partnership agreement; and the next Montgomery County Commissioners Court meeting is expected to include its share of the funds in its agenda. The total among all entities, including $2 million from the 2015 Montgomery County road bond, has been estimated at $8 million, but it will probably be closer to $10 million, because of rising construction costs, said engineer John Bleyl of Bleyl Engineering in a phone interview.

"This would put us where we need to be to get this project done," Reyer said of the recent agreements, adding she was optimistic about the commissioners court item. "This is very exciting news; it's been a long time coming. We've overcome a lot of obstacles, [and] it's been a constant effort," she said.

A bid to clear the way for the David Memorial Drive project was awarded by Shenandoah in September.

The clearing for David Memorial Drive should be complete by Feb. 1, Bleyl said, and construction will take about 12 months. If construction begins in the spring, it should be complete in spring 2024, he said.

In addition to the David Memorial Drive project, Reyer said other transportation improvements coming to the area include improvements to traffic flow at Research Forest Drive and I-45 that received $5 million from commissioners court at an Oct. 11 meeting. Bleyl said in a phone interview that project will include adding a lane in each direction under the I-45 overpass, and it could see construction next summer. Montgomery County Precinct 2 is managing that project.

At the Oct. 11 commissioners court meeting, officials agreed to allocate up to $5 million of $56 million available in pass-through funding for the project. Pass-through financing was a tool developed by Texas Department of Transportation to fund work on state highway projects.

Reyer said a Precinct 2 project will also launch in early November to begin turn lane improvements at Research Forest Drive and Grogans Mill Road.

The first phase of that project will involve extending the right-turn lane going from Grogans Mill to westbound Research Forest to create a longer acceleration lane, Bleyl said. That project could start in November, he said.

"It's all very good news on big projects we've been working toward," Reyer said.