Montgomery County has begun design work and construction on a project to extend Woodtrace Boulevard to FM 2978, Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley said in a Jan. 9 interview.

The project, which is a new four-lane road spanning from Hwy. 249 to FM 2978, will likely be completed in three sections, Riley said.

“The first will be [from] FM 2978 to Dobbin-Huffsmith [Road],” he said. “The second section will be from Dobbin-Huffsmith through Shea Homes’ development [just south of Dobbin-Huffsmith]. ... And then it’ll go from Shea Homes over to Hwy. 249.”

Both Riley and Rob Eissler—president of the Westwood Magnolia Parkway Improvement District, which is donating around $8 million toward the first phase of the project—said they believe the first segment of this project will be completed by the end of the year.

Riley said he estimates the project could cost anywhere between $70 million-$100 million.

“We don’t know the true number on that until we get all these designs and everything,” Riley said.

Riley said the Woodtrace Boulevard extension is needed because there is so much traffic heading east and west from Hwy. 249 to FM 2978.

“This is the simplest, easiest, most safe way to get from Hwy. 249 to FM 2978,” Riley said.

However, Riley stressed the project is subject to change.

“There’s so many moving parts, so many variables to what we’e doing right now,” Riley said. “This thing is changing every day. This is the simplest, easiest, most safe way to get from Hwy. 249 to FM 2978."