A road project in Montgomery County Precinct 2 aims to add an east-west thoroughfare to alleviate congestion on FM 1488 and Hardin Store Road, Commissioner Charlie Riley said.

Previously pitched as Mansions Way, the new Woodtrace Boulevard extension would extend Woodtrace Boulevard from Hwy. 249 to FM 2978. Traffic volume on FM 1488 is expected to increase with more than 5,000 new homes planned or under construction for the area, according to the Westwood Magnolia Parkway Improvement District, which will fund the first portion of the road from FM 2978 to Dobbin-Huffsmith Road, according to an April release from the WMPID.

The cost for the construction of the 3-mile extension is expected to be about $8 million, and it will take two years, according to the WMPID. Riley said developers will continue the project to Hwy. 249. Right of way clearing has begun, and the county handled preliminary design and engineering, he said.

“It will get people off of a lot of these little roads around here, which will help the movement of traffic tremendously,” Riley said.

Riley said the new road will feature two lanes with adequate right of way to expand the road.

“Once those are on the ground and we see the need, then the other two lanes, we plan on doing that with the proceeds from the [Hwy. 249] toll road as a connector to the toll road,” Riley said.

Magnolia resident Glen Herzog, who lives just north of the proposed route, said he questions how useful the new east-west route will be as it is slated so far south of FM 1488.

“They made it very parallel to Hardin Store Road, which I think it would not be as useful as if the Woodtrace end of it was another mile north,” Herzog said.

Officials in The Woodlands have previously opposed extending Woodlands Parkway to achieve similar ends.

“The renaming of The Woodlands Parkway extension to Woodtrace and shifting its connection to FM 2978 a quarter-mile south of Woodlands Parkway does not materially change the project,” board of directors Chair Gordy Bunch wrote in an email.