TxDOT shows interest in Aggie Highway

The dedication shown by Harris and Montgomery counties to complete the Hwy. 249 toll road project from Spring Cypress Road to FM 1774 has led the Texas Department of Transportation to get involved with another aspect of the project. The department has begun conducting preliminary studies on a long-awaited Aggie Highway.

The Aggie Highway would connect from the Houston suburbs all the way to the Bryan–College Station area. It would specifically branch off from the end of the Hwy. 249 toll road and run through Todd Mission and Navasota to Hwy. 6, which takes drivers right about up to Texas A&M University.

The concept of the Aggie Highway has been on the discussion table for years, but no action has even been taken on it, said Craig Doyal, commissioner of Montgomery County's Precinct 2, where the project would begin.

"It's something that we in Montgomery County have always advocated, but it's something that requires participation from a number of organizations," he said. "With Hwy. 249 moving forward, we were able to get that conversation back on the table."

Russell Zapalac, TxDOT's chief planning and project officer, first made the announcement last December at the 249 Partnership's annual meeting. At that meeting, he said environmental studies would begin in early 2013 on two planned segments, one in the Houston district and another in the Bryan district.

"There are limited investments to do these things and it takes a lot longer than we would like to get started because of the financial constraints, but the first step is getting the planning and environmental clearances done," Zapalac said. "Then we can start talking about construction. We consider this one of our strategic projects and we'd like to make this a reality in the next five to six years."

The highway would create more opportunities for the many businesses that transport goods between the Port of Houston, the City of Houston and College Station, said David Ellis, researcher with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The cities along the way stand to benefit as well, he said.

"The opportunities here are huge," he said. "The development that will occur in Navasota, Magnolia, Tomball and the points in between is incredibly significant. A lot of it has to do with whether these places are connected in a way that facilitates commerce."

Ellis also commented on how such a project would make both of the areas being connected more attractive to businesses looking to relocate.

"If we can increase mobility, the speed at which people can travel, we can increase both the employee pool and the customer base for the business," he said. "That's what this will ultimately provide for this community."

By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.


MOST RECENT

Amazon is hiring for thousands of seasonal jobs statewide across its operations department. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon hiring for thousands of seasonal jobs throughout Texas

It is that time of year when people look for seasonal jobs as the holidays approach. Amazon aims to meet that demand by hiring for thousands of seasonal positions throughout Texas.

The first-ever Williamson County Fair and Rodeo opens its gates to guests Oct. 21 with live music, carnival rides, food vendors, rodeo events and more. (Courtesy Pexels)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo underway; delivery drones coming to Friso and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 22.

The FM 1488 corridor through the city of Magnolia is slated to be under construction for the next 2-3 years, widening FM 1488 from two to four lanes through downtown, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. New residential and commercial development has yielded increased traffic. While the project is poised to improve mobility, the TxDOT project has already brought challenges for business owners who have forfeited parking spaces, for example, ahead of the corridor expansion. (Chandler France/Community Impact Newspaper)
FM 1488 widening east of city of Magnolia to begin

The long-discussed widening of FM 1488 eastward through the heart of Magnolia is nearing its start, and while the project is expected to improve mobility, it has been met with concerns from businesses owners losing their parking and signage.

Data from the 2020 decennial census released in September by the U.S. Census Bureau shows how residential populations within cities, school district boundaries and counties have changed over the last two decades. Local demographics have also changed as more residents have moved to the Tomball and Magnolia areas. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Data by the decade: Here's how demographics have changed in Tomball, Magnolia since 2000

The number of residents in Montgomery County and the city of Magnolia have more than doubled since 2000 with the populations of every other locality growing at least 15% from 2010-20.

From left: Laura Ryan, Eliza Paul and Craig Raborn discuss the future of the Texas Department of Transportation. (Sierra Rozen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Department of Transportation discusses I-45 expansion, vehicle fatalities at annual event

The Texas Department of Transportation held its fifth annual State of TxDOT event Oct. 21 to discuss the I-45 expansion, plans for the future and safety issues facing Texans.

The Montgomery County Animal Shelter closed down several services for two months to deal with a distemper outbreak. (Jishnu Nair/Community Impact Newspaper)
Montgomery County Animal Shelter reopens stray animal intake

The county shelter closed down several services for two months to deal with a distemper outbreak.

Taco Palenque is now open as drive-thru only in Round Rock. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Taco Palenque opens in Round Rock; Plano ISD considering two draft calendars for 2022-23 school year and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 21.

The ACLU of Texas filed a lawsuit against Magnolia ISD Oct. 21 over the district's gender-based hair policy. (Community Impact staff)
American Civil Liberties Union of Texas sues Magnolia ISD over gender-based hair policy

The lawsuit alleges the district's policy violates the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX.

The Big Show will take place Oct. 23 in Tomball. It was previously scheduled to be in Montgomery. (Courtesy Woodforest)
The Big Show, high school football: 6 events to attend in Tomball, Magnolia on Oct. 22-24

Other events this weekend include three different fall festivals and a concert featuring student bands.

Tomball City Council approved resolutions concerning Pine Woods and Pine Trails subdivisions Oct 18. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Tomball City Council approves resolutions affecting two neighborhoods

Pine Woods and Pine Trails were both the subjects of City Council resolutions Oct. 18.

The Big Show will take place on Oct. 23 in Tomball. It was previously scheduled to be in Montgomery. (Courtesy Woodforest)
The Big Show relocates from Woodforest to Tomball for Oct. 23 concert

Previously reported as canceled, The Big Show is relocating to the Tomball Historic Depot Plaza on Oct. 23.