Following community opposition to the proposed widening of Research Forest Drive in a transportation plan, The Woodlands Township board of directors accepted a letter on April 25 from Montgomery County Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack, requesting the removal of the project from a number of regional planning documents.

How we got here

The Houston-Galveston Area Council released the 2025-2028 Transportation Improvement Plan on April 3, and it provided a two-week comment period for individuals and public entities to add comments regarding certain projects.

The new TIP draft included a project listing to widen Research Forest Drive from four to six lanes between Kuykendahl Road and Shadowbend Place with an estimated local funding need of $5 million.

Quotes of note

“This project was not proposed or supported by the Precinct 3 Commissioner’s Office, which manages most of Research Forest Drive, including the portion involving this proposed widening,” the letter said. “There is no want or need for this project at this time.”

“Every time they ask for comments, we should respond, because we don't have direct authority, but we have indirect authority already as taxpayers,” board member Shelley Sekula-Gibbs said. “This was a bad idea from the get-go. It has been lingering on the TIP for a long time, and now, finally, if it all goes well, it’ll be removed.”

What's next?

The widening project was opposed by the entirety of the township board and county commissioners. The final TIP document will be compiled in May, following the closing of the comment period by H-GAC on April 24, H-GAC officials said.