Montgomery County receives 255-acre donation for future Hwy. 249 as construction start date nears

Construction began in February on the Tomball Tollway extension from FM 2920 to Spring Creek.

Construction began in February on the Tomball Tollway extension from FM 2920 to Spring Creek.

Montgomery County officials announced Friday that Varde Partners—owners of the Woodard Tract located near FM 1486—donated 255 acres of right of way for the construction of Hwy. 249, a gift that is expected to allow the Texas Department of Transportation to begin construction on the route in Montgomery County.

The land donation, stretching from east of FM 1486 to the Grimes County line, is valued at $5.1 million, according to a statement from the county.

“This major donation was made possible in part because of the county’s commitment to complete a project that has been on the county’s major thoroughfare plan for decades,” County Judge Craig Doyal said in a statement. “That long-term planning encourages proper coordination with owners of large tracts of land and helps facilitate right of way donations that help reduce the cost of these projects. If we had not planned this roadway for decades, development would have occurred in these roadway corridors, ultimately driving up the cost of the project when roadways are built.”

Harris County Toll Road Authority, Montgomery County Toll Road Authority and TxDOT are working to extend the Tomball Tollway—the tolled portion of Hwy. 249—from north of FM 2920 in Tomball to Hwy. 105 in Navasota. HCTRA began work on Phase 2 of the Tomball Tollway extension in February, which will extend the tollway from FM 2920 to Spring Creek at the county line.

Construction on the route north of Spring Creek is expected to begin later this fall, according to a statement. Williams Brothers Construction was awarded the contract for the TxDOT portion of the project earlier this year and is expected to break ground in the next 45 days.

Montgomery County Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley has previously said the four-phase project, which will stretch through Montgomery and Grimes counties, is slated for completion in 2020.

According to a statement, Montgomery County will donate the 255-acre area from Varde Partners to TxDOT for the project, which is expected to decrease the cost of the project and allow TxDOT to begin construction. The county is pursuing other land donations to decrease the cost of the project as well.

Upon completion, Hwy. 249 is expected to improve mobility and increase economic development in Magnolia and the surrounding area of Montgomery County, Doyal said.

“The [Hwy.] 249 extension will ease traffic congestion in southwest Montgomery County, and by opening up access, [the project] will generate high-value commercial development that will expand our tax base and help provide relief to residential property taxpayers,” Doyal said.
By Anna Lotz

Editor, Tomball/Magnolia & Conroe/Montgomery

Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor for the Tomball/Magnolia edition. She began covering the communities of Conroe and Montgomery as well in 2020. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.