Updates to Montgomery County thoroughfare plan expected in 2021

As road bond projects finish up in Montgomery County Precinct 3, officials said new needs will be determined in 2021. (Courtesy Fotolia)
As road bond projects finish up in Montgomery County Precinct 3, officials said new needs will be determined in 2021. (Courtesy Fotolia)

As road bond projects finish up in Montgomery County Precinct 3, officials said new needs will be determined in 2021. (Courtesy Fotolia)

With the last Montgomery County mobility projects funded by a 2015 road bond underway, area officials are looking to shape a new set of transportation priorities in 2021.

The Montgomery County Major Thoroughfare Plan, last updated in 2016 and originally scheduled for revision in 2020, was pushed back to the summer of 2021 as a result of COVID-19-related delays. However, officials said before that gets off the ground, the county’s four precincts will need to hold several community meetings this spring.

According to Brown and Gay Engineers, the company updating the thoroughfare plan through a $125,000 contract, the plan will include an analysis of major roadways; east-west and north-south connectivity; and accessibility on highways, such as the Grand Parkway, Hwy. 249, I-45 and Hwy. 59.

Andrew DuBois, project manager for Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack, said in a Dec. 31 email the county will consider projects that meet its needs for growth as well as providing safety and mobility. An initial stakeholder meeting with a diverse group representing communities and interests in Precinct 3 was held Nov. 18, he said.

Although he did not specify projects Noack hopes to see included in the plan, DuBois identified several he said the commissioner believes do not have resident support.

“Specifically, Commissioner Noack already has pushed for the removal of the Woodlands Parkway, Gosling Road and Branch Crossing extensions from the Major Thoroughfare Plan,” DuBois said in the email.

Gordy Bunch, chair of The Woodlands Township board of directors, said in an email the township also has objected in writing to those projects: extending the Woodlands Parkway to Hwy. 249, extending Branch Crossing to FM 1488 and Gosling Road to FM 1488.

The township does not fund or contract for those projects.

Bunch also said the I-45 area from the Grand Parkway to South Loop 336 is in need of attention, and Bruce Rieser, vice chair of The Woodlands Township board, also identified some needs on I-45, a state highway.

Rieser said access ramps at FM 1488 and at Hwy. 242 where the roads meet I-45, and congestion relief at Research Forest Drive and I-45 would benefit the community.

Officials said they are also looking at whether remote working has changed commuting patterns.

“We will need to re-evaluate needs post COVID to see if pre-pandemic traffic returns or if the new remote working environment shifts traffic patterns materially,” Bunch said.

Editor's note: This story was updated to clarify that The Woodlands does not fund regional transportation project.
By Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of that paper in March 2017 and editor of The Woodlands edition in January 2019.


Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced the opening of a COVID-19 vaccine waitlist at a Jan. 25 press conference. (Screenshot courtesy Facebook)
Harris County to open waitlist for COVID-19 vaccines Jan. 26

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo warned that vaccine supply remains "extremely limited," and it will still take time for those waitlisted to get an appointment.

Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 filed a counterclaim against Cypress Creek EMS on Jan. 22. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County ESD No. 11 issues counterclaim against Cypress Creek EMS for $20 million

According to the counterclaim, the district is suing Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services for about $20 million in “missing and stolen taxpayer funds.”

The Woodlands Christian Academy theater program, pictured here performing "The Diary of Anne Frank," is part of its fine arts department under new leadership. (Courtesy The Woodlands Christian Academy)
The Woodlands Christian Academy welcomes first fine arts director

In the 2020-21 school year, The Woodlands Christian Academy has brought its fine arts programs together under its first director of fine arts, Phil Sweger, to coordinate creative programs.

Montgomery County's two COVID-19 vaccine hubs received allocations of around 2,000 doses each this week. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County's 2nd vaccine hub set in The Woodlands; Conroe hub, public health district to get more doses

The Woodlands hospital hub now offers vaccines on an invitation-only basis, and those interested in future vaccination may join the hospital's waitlist.

Preregistration does not guarantee an appointment. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
UPDATED: Montgomery County COVID-19 vaccination preregistration full in 30 minutes; Conroe hub plans Jan. 25 registration

The Montgomery County Public Health District's initial preregistration for COVID-19 vaccinations filled in less than 30 minutes after the program's launch Jan. 25.

The John Cooper School is located in The Woodlands. (Courtesy The John Cooper School)
A guide to private schools in The Woodlands area in 2021

Our annual guide includes a number of schools in The Woodlands area serving elementary through high school grades.

The Woodlands Township board meetings returned to a videoconference format Jan. 21. (Screenshot courtesy The Woodlands Township)
The Woodlands approves contract changes with Shenandoah for policing in mall, Market Street area

The Woodlands Township board of directors returned to a video conference format for its January meetings.

Retail locations began to open at Metropark Square in 2020. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Second phase announced for Metropark Square development focusing on 324-unit apartment complex

The Sam Moon Group has announced plans for moving its Metropark Square development, located off of I-45 in Shenandoah, into its second phase later this year.

Less than 7,000 COVID-19 cases remained active in Montgomery County as of Jan. 22. (Community Impact staff)
Montgomery County's active COVID-19 case count falls below 7K, 7 new deaths reported Jan. 20-22

Active cases in the county fell by several hundred this week, while COVID-19 hospitalizations among residents reached a new high.

Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 met Jan. 21 at its new administrative offices. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 lays groundwork for 911 dispatching plans

Cypress Creek EMS currently serves as a dispatch facility for 17 emergency agencies.

“Hope is on the horizon,” Fort Bend County Judge KP George said at a press conference Jan. 4. “The vaccine is here.”
Vaccine distribution starts in Fort Bend County and more top Houston-area news

Read the most popular news from the past week from the Houston area.