Richmond November Transportation Update

Richmond Transportation1. Plantation Drive drainage improvements

Crews are installing new pipelines along Plantation Drive. Roadway demolition and pipe installation will cause temporary delays and detours. The project is expected to be complete around November 15.

Timeline: September 2015-November 2016
Funding sources: Pecan Grove Municipal Utility District

2. Sansbury Boulevard extension

A new four-lane concrete boulevard will be built to connect the east end of Sansbury Boulevard at Grand Estates Drive to Williams Way Boulevard.  A second segment will further extend Sansbury from Williams Way to FM 762. The project includes a new storm sewer system, ditch culvert crossing and a bridge over Rabbs Bayou.

Timeline: summer 2017-fall 2018
Cost: $21 million
Funding sources: Fort Bend County, private developers

3. Owens Road widening and realignment project

Formerly a private prison road, Owens Road has been transferred to the county for public use and will be converted into a four-lane concrete road with shoulders from Harlem Road to FM 1464. The project will realign the east end of the road so it lines up with Plantation Drive.

Timeline: April-September 2017
Cost: $2.8 million
Funding sources: Fort Bend County, private developers

4. Westpark Tollway extension

Westpark Tollway extension Westpark Tollway extension[/caption]

Crews are expanding the Westpark Tollway 2.3 miles west from its current endpoint at Gaston Road. FM 1093 will be become a two-lane, concrete frontage road on either side of the tollway. An overpass over the Katy-Gaston Road intersection will be built.

Timeline: February 2016-February 2018
Cost: $63.9 million
Funding sources: Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority, Texas Department of Transportation

How it works:
Why are we paying tolls after toll road construction is paid for?

Tolls pay for more than just building toll roads. Though tolls do go toward repaying the bonds sold to fund constructing new roads, they also pay for operating and maintaining the existing roadways and funding expansions and improvements.

Essentially, a toll road is never completely paid for.

The state’s population is projected to increase to more than 30 million people by 2020, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. As the population increases, toll roads may undergo improvement projects to accommodate for the increased traffic congestion in the area.

Regularly scheduled increases of toll rates also help pay for future projects. Toll rates are adjusted every odd numbered year.

Gas taxes and vehicle registration fees do not fund the toll roads. That revenue is used to fund non-tolled projects by the Texas Department of Transportation. Toll roads, on the other hand, are largely funded through the sale of bonds that are repaid through tolls.