At its Sept. 18 meeting, Tomball City Council took no action on approving a resolution that stipulated the city would pay for the design and engineering costs for the FM 2920 reconstruction project, therefore allowing a second option—the Texas Department of Transportation shouldering those costs—to take effect.

Construction on this project is set to begin in 2027, said Catherine McCreight, a senior transportation planner with TxDOT who attended the Sept. 18 meeting.

“We continue kicking the can down the road because we haven’t started design,” McCreight said. “It is paramount that we move forward so that the public can benefit from the funds that have been tied up into this project.”

How we got here

In March, City Council chose its preference for the design of the downtown portion of FM 2920, selecting Alternative 2, for which preliminary design plans feature a raised median near the railroad crossing at Elm and Sycamore streets instead of medians from Pine to Elm streets.

Spearheaded by TxDOT, the FM 2920 reconstruction project—spanning from Business 249 to Willow Street—was first identified as a need through the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s access management study from 2007-08 and Livable Centers Study in 2009, Community Impact previously reported. The goal of this project is better mobility and crash reduction.

The details

With TxDOT taking on the costs of design and engineering, the city of Tomball estimates spending $7.8 million on this project instead of $10.4 million, according to the Sept. 18 agenda packet.

  • Landscaping: $1 million
  • Upgraded aesthetics: $1 million
  • Utility relocations: $5.8 million

What else?

During the meeting, McCreight also said:

  • Before construction begins, the project must undergo the following:
    • The design process
    • Being environmentally cleared
    • Purchasing any right-of-way
    • Adjusting any utilities
  • Once it begins, construction on FM 2920 is expected to take around two years to complete.

Quote of note

“Acceleration of a project is very easy,” McCreight said during the Sept. 18 meeting.