Texas Department of Transportation officials unveiled a new design plan for Hwy. 242 from FM 1488 to I-45 at a public meeting on March 9, including the potential for wider turn lanes at intersections, curbed medians and 10.74 acres of land for detention ponds.

The hearing, which was held at College Park High School in The Woodlands, explained the scope of the project as well as offered in-person and virtual public comment options.

The revised proposal no longer requires additional right-of-way for lane expansion. Instead, it relies on the existing right-of-way along Hwy. 242 to make room for slight widening and restriping of intersections.

TxDOT would need to purchase 10.74 acres of new right-of-way adjacent to Hwy. 242 for the proposed project, according to meeting officials. The land would be used for three detention ponds, and no commercial or residential properties would be displaced as a result of the pond construction, according to meeting materials.

Additional shared-use paths connecting the Windvale and Harper’s Preserve neighborhoods are no longer in the proposal due to concerns from residents regarding the overall structure of the paths and expansion of Hwy 242. However, The Woodlands Township is working on designs for sidewalks and shared-use paths in partnership with TxDOT, according to information at the meeting.

The public comment period for this public hearing ends on March 24, at which point TxDOT will finalize the project and move forward.

Construction is expected to begin in October, according to officials, but it is subject to change depending on any final design changes and weather conditions. The project is fully funded by the state for $29 million, and the projected timeframe for completion is 18 months once construction begins, according to TxDOT officials.