The completion of the 38-mile stretch of the Grand Parkway from Hwy. 290 to Hwy. 59 may be two-and-a-half years away, but the July 23 groundbreaking for segments F-1, F-2 and G was a landmark moment for a project that has been in the planning stages for decades.
"This is an extraordinary day for our state," said Phil Wilson, executive director with the Texas Department of Transportation, who spoke at the ceremony. "We have to keep the magic flowing in the state of Texas, and this project is a part of that magic."
Construction of the three segments was awarded to Zachry-Odebrecht Parkway Builders and is expected to create more than 1,200 jobs. The project consists of more than 120 bridges, frontage roads and comprehensive utility infrastructure. The total cost for the portion of the road from Hwy. 290 to Hwy. 59 is estimated at $1.1 billion.
Direct connect flyovers will be constructed at the intersections of the Grand Parkway and major highways, such as Hwy. 290, I-45 and Hwy. 59. David Gornet, executive director of the Grand Parkway Association, said once the interchanges are built, construction on the rest of the roadway would progress relatively quickly.
The three segments from Hwy. 290 to Hwy. 59 represent roughly 38 miles of the 184-mile loop. When completed, the highway will loop all the way around Houston, similar to the Sam Houston Tollway, but larger.
Signage will be posted on major roadways informing drivers of construction activity. Project updates and expected lane closures can be found on the project's website,www.grandparkway99.com, where users can also submit comments or questions.
Additional reporting by Brian Walzel