Updated 9:05 p.m. Sept. 22

The Texas Department of Transportation will not move forward with its plans to widen Hwy. 242 in The Woodlands between FM 1488 and I-45, township officials said after a Sept. 22 regular board meeting.

Following the Sept. 22 meeting of The Woodlands Township board of directors, Vice Chair Bruce Rieser announced the successful efforts of Director Shelley Sekula-Gibbs in leading communications with TxDOT to alter its plans for a road-widening project on Hwy. 242.

TxDOT was not available after business hours to respond to a request for additional information.

As initially proposed by TxDOT, the $40 million project would have resulted in Hwy. 242 expanding between FM 1488 and I-45 North by adding an additional lane in each direction, increasing the total number of lanes from four to six as well as adding three detention ponds and sound walls alongside the highway.

Rieser said in a phone call after the Sept. 22 meeting the township had learned about the change after a Sept. 19 TxDOT meeting.

"It's a huge win for everybody," he said. "The biggest issue was the idea of building sound walls. It would have been amazingly out of place."

He said township officials had suggested a longer left-turn lane on Green Bridge Drive for traffic going west on Hwy. 242 toward FM 1488.

Sekula-Gibbs as well as residents in the Windvale community and Village of Alden Bridge had expressed concern in recent months that the project would have a negative effect on pedestrians, wildlife and other quality-of-life issues.

"It was excellent, and I look forward to working with them on the other aspects of the project," Sekula-Gibbs said regarding communications with TxDOT at the Sept. 22 meeting.

TxDOT had previously stated that the project would address congestion and travel delays as well as crash rates and overall safety.

Following the meeting, Sekula-Gibbs said in a phone interview the township awaits the next move from TxDOT to address the issues in that area.

"The main goal for me has always been not to divert more cut-through traffic into The Woodlands, and that was achieved," she said. "We're all waiting to see whatever they put forth once they finalize [their plans], but the [township] message was conveyed very clearly."

Andrew Christman contributed to this report.