Construction on the expansion of FM 1093 is still about a year away, said Jonathan Schumann, chief of staff for Fort Bend County Commissioner Andy Meyers.
Before construction can begin, Fort Bend County has to receive environmental clearance from the Federal Highway Administration.
The county has already submitted the necessary materials to the FWHA. Because it is purchasing METRO's right of way parallel to FM 1093, however, the original submission had to be modified. It will take about six months for the modified plan to receive FWHA clearance, Schumann said.
Though no construction can be done without FWHA clearance, the county still hopes to work on the design for the new roadway while it waits for approval.
"Our hope is that the design and environmental parts will be done by the first quarter of 2015," Schumann said.
If the design work and environmental clearance progress on schedule, Schumann said the county would be positioned to begin construction in about a year.
Phase I of the expansion will bring Westpark Tollway from its current endpoint at the Grand Parkway to Spring Green. Frontage roads will run alongside the toll road all the way to FM 1463. Phase II would continue the expanded frontage road from FM 1463 into Fulshear. Phase II is currently awaiting environmental approval as well.
"We hope it will piggyback on Phase I and that it will begin in 2015 as well," Schumann said.