H-GAC targets Hwy. 249, FM 2920 in updated Transportation Improvement Plan

The Transportation Improvement Plan includes several projects that go through the Tomball and Magnolia areas, including widening lanes, improved traffic signals and roadway reconstruction.

The Transportation Improvement Plan includes several projects that go through the Tomball and Magnolia areas, including widening lanes, improved traffic signals and roadway reconstruction.

Correction: H-GAC serves 13 counties in the Greater Houston region, but H-GAC's transportation department serving as a metropolitan planning organization covers only eight counties.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council approved its 2019-22 Transportation Improvement Plan in May, and several Northwest Houston-area projects have been prioritized.

The TIP, which is updated every two years, includes 309 planned projects, said H-GAC Senior Transportation Planner Jim Dickinson at a May meeting of the H-GAC Transportation Policy Council. He said $7.2 billion has been prioritized for 47 funding entities.

TIP projects generally have regional significance within the eight-county region that H-GAC's transportation department covers, Dickinson said. H-GAC's transportation department serves as a metropolitan planning organization spanning Waller, Harris, Montgomery, Chambers, Liberty, Galveston, Brazoria and Fort Bend counties.

“[The TIP is] a four-year program of transportation projects, which require federal action, funding and/or environmental permits,” Dickinson said. “It’s the implementation device for the long-range Regional Transportation Plan.”

Projects are prioritized to receive funding at the federal, state and local levels, Dickinson said. H-GAC does not fund projects itself.

In the greater Tomball and Magnolia areas, projects target Hwy. 249, FM 2920 and several other local roads. Improvements range from adding lanes to relieving congestion to reconstructing bridges as well as roadways. However, H-GAC information does not include proposed timelines for the projects.

“It is essentially the same as the first draft that was previewed [in May],” Dickinson said.

The next step for TIP projects entails awaiting approval from the Texas Department of Transportation, which was sent a copy of the plan June 19. TxDOT is the entity that would fund portions of many of the projects in the plan or fund the matches necessary to obtain federal funding.

H-GAC will also soon begin the process of seeking proposals from local governmental entities and project sponsors for projects to include the next update in 2021. However, at its July meeting, H-GAC pushed back the date to submit projects to later this summer.
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.



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