Contractor named to construct first segment of 249 tollway

The long awaited Hwy. 249 tollway construction is near, as a bid has been awarded to a contractor and a groundbreaking date set.

At its Aug. 13 meeting, the Harris County Commissioners Court approved the bid for Webber, LLC to man the construction of the first segment of Phase I of the Hwy. 249 tollway. The $27.5 million contract will cover the construction of the 3.79-mile stretch from south of Spring Cypress Road to south of Willow Creek.

Construction is set to break ground Sept. 25 and will take about 16 months to complete, according to Tomball City Manager George Shackelford.

Plans have been finalized for the first segment of Phase I, which is comprised of two segments.

The second segment, the construction of the 2.9-mile stretch from Willow Creek to Alice Road, will be awarded to a contractor on Aug. 27, and also has a 16-month time frame for completion, Shackelford said.

The EZ-Tag only tollway will have three lanes in either direction and will be built on the median between the existing service roads. The service roads will remain even after the tollway is completed as free access roads.

"You will still have an option to drive for free," Shackelford said.

The Harris County Toll Road Authority will foot the bill for the construction of Phase I and will be reimbursed from the tolls collected once it is completed, according to Shackelford.

Phase II of the tollway, which will run from FM 2920 to FM 1774 is scheduled for design in 2015 and construction in 2018, and includes a partnership between Harris and Montgomery counties.