The first stage of work in extending David Memorial Drive to Hwy. 242 began the week of Sept. 18, according to a news release from the city of Shenandoah.

The backstory

The $5.3 million contract for the city's portion of work on the extension was awarded to Brice Constructors in August, according to the news release. David Memorial Drive will be extended north through Shenandoah and through Montgomery County's jurisdiction, and it will end at the south property line at Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital. A portion that will cross the hospital campus through the city of Conroe city limits will be completed when funding is secured, according to the release.

According to the news release:
  • The project has been in the planning stages for at least 15 years.
  • The city of Shenandoah did some work extending the road in 2018.
  • This portion of construction will take about a year to complete.
What's being done

The project is intended to help relief traffic on the north-south corridor that has been backing up the I-45 service road, according to the release. The extension will serve businesses and new development east of I-45 as well as residential areas, according to the city.

The five-year process leading up to the project launch included:
  • Securing wetland permits
  • Acquiring right of way
  • Securing funding from various entities
Community Impact previously reported the total amount of funding needed for the project includes $5 million from Montgomery County along with $2 million each from the cities of Conroe and Shenandoah. Conroe has yet to put its share of the funding in place.

What they're saying

“Everyone from the hospital to commercial businesses, nearby residents, first responders, and [Conroe] ISD wants this project, so it has regional support,” Shenandoah Mayor John Escoto said in a news release. “We look forward to completion of this important roadway that has been years in the making."

"A lot of people have put in work over the years and it’s finally paying off,” Shenandoah City Engineer John Bleyl said in the release. “It has taken a lot of perseverance and collaboration to get to this point.”