Tomball City Council approved a number of preliminary enhancements to FM 2920 with an eye toward improving the chances of acquiring federal funding as part of a larger transportation project.
Tomball Community Development Director Craig Meyers presented the council with plans for the estimated $30 million FM 2920 improvement project, a continuation of the city's access management study first conducted in June 2009. To carry out the entirety of the project, the city of Tomball is seeking grant funding from the Houston-Galveston Area Council and the Texas Department of Transportation for improvements in accordance with the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan, Meyers said.
During the next five to 10 years, the regional transportation plan will provide a guide for maintaining and improving transportation systems within the Greater Houston area with a focus on implementing roadway, transit, pedestrian, bicycle and air quality projects.
Meyers said the grant would consist of 80 percent federal funds, with the remaining 20 percent coming from the TxDOT. The grant application is due by Jan. 12 at 7 p.m.
In addition to applying for grant funding from the H-GAC and TxDOT, City Council members approved the allocation of $3 million at the Dec. 15 meeting to cover the cost of several preliminary road improvements to better position Tomball to receive additional grant funding.
Meyers explained the city plans to improve mobility in the near future through roadwork on Pine to Elm streets, adding a right turn lane from Business 249 to FM 2920 and upgrading of stretches of sidewalk. In addition, there are plans to add a center turn lane from Baker Drive to Willow Street and reduce corner clippings at various intersections along FM 2920 to improve visibility.
"A lot of the newer businesses feel that it's dangerous for their customers to be getting out [on FM 2920] with an 18-wheeler passing," Tomball Mayor Gretchen Fagan said.
The city of Tomball plans to complete the entire FM 2920 improvement project by 2017, Meyers said, pending grant approval from the H-GAC and TxDOT.