Transportation Updates

Transportation UpdatesRecent updates

1. Birnham Woods Drive improvements

This Montgomery County Precinct 3 project will be built in two phases. Phase 1 will widen Birnham Woods Drive from two to four lanes between Fuller Bluff Drive and the Grand Parkway. Phase 2 will continue the widening process of Birnham Woods Drive between the Grand Parkway and Waterbend Cove, creating a four-lane road with a center-turn lane. A traffic signal will also be installed at the intersection of Birnham Woods Drive and Waterbend Cove.

Timeline: February-March (Phase 1), early summer-August (Phase 2)
Cost: $1.2 million
Funding sources: Montgomery County Precinct 3

2. Kuykendahl Road bridge project

A dual bridge will be built on Kuykendahl Road over Spring Creek in an effort to mitigate traffic congestion between Montgomery and Harris counties. The right of way clearing activity has been completed on both sides of Spring Creek, and bridge bents have been installed. The contractor installed bridge support for the project during scheduled nightly construction
Jan. 31-Feb. 3 and will complete the installation Feb. 16.

Timeline: October 2016-May 17, 2017
Cost: $6 million
Funding sources: The Woodlands Road Utility District No. 1, Montgomery County Precinct 3, Harris County Precinct 4

3. David Memorial Drive extension

The Shenandoah Municipal Development District project will extend David Memorial Drive from Shenandoah Park Drive to Hwy. 242 in a series of four phases. Underground utilities have been installed for the first phase of the project, which begins at Shenandoah Park Drive and ends south of the Sam Moon Center, and the paving process will take place in February. Phase 1 is still on track for completion by March, weather permitting, City Administrator Greg Smith said. However, the remaining three phases have no set timeline yet.

Timeline: October 2016-March 2017 (Phase 1), TBA (phases 2-4)
Cost: $2.3 million
Funding sources: Shenandoah Municipal Development District

4. Rayford Road widening

This Montgomery County Precinct 3 road bond project will widen Rayford Road from four to six lanes between Lazy Lane and the Grand Parkway. In addition, a six-lane bridge will be built over the Union Pacific Corp. railroad tracks, new traffic signals and street signage will be installed, and a raised median will be added to enhance the safety of left-turning motorists. The project contract will be awarded Feb. 14, and a construction schedule will be established shortly thereafter, said Matt Beasley, Montgomery County Precinct 3 chief of staff.

Timeline: early 2017-late 2019
Cost: $60 million
Funding sources: Montgomery County Precinct 3

5. Gosling Road bridge project

Similar to the Kuykendahl Road bridge project, a dual bridge will likewise be constructed on Gosling Road over Spring Creek. The project is a future joint participation effort between Harris County Precinct 4, Montgomery County Precinct 3 and the Texas Department of Transportation. Discussions between Harris and Montgomery counties for the project initiation are in progress, said Pamela Rocchi, director of Harris County Precinct 4’s Capital Improvement Projects Division.

Timeline: TBA
Cost: $7 million
Funding sources: Harris County Precinct 4, Montgomery County Precinct 3, TxDOT

Transportation Updates Why does it take so long to build a state-operated road?[/caption]

How it works

Why does it take so long to build a state-operated road?

Before any dirt is turned on a road project, the Texas Department of Transportation undergoes a rigorous process to determine whether to build a state roadway and how it would look.

TxDOT begins with a concept and develops the scope of the project. This includes identifying the roadway location and receiving feedback from the region’s long-range transportation plan completed by a metropolitan planning organization.

TxDOT staffers then gather travel time information, analyze crash and safety data, review population and employment growth, and assess environmental constraints. Community input regarding mobility problems and environmental issues are also incorporated in this process.

TxDOT will then create several concepts and ask the public to review them. Based on input and further data analysis, TxDOT will refine the concepts.

Once a preferred alternative has emerged, TxDOT will identify any environmental issues and collect additional data on constructability.

TxDOT will then make an environmental decision indicating not to build the roadway or the project can proceed.

TxDOT then completes the design of the roadway, acquires any right of way and relocates utilities, if necessary. Before construction can begin, the agency must have a funding source identified.

The project is then placed on TxDOT’s 24-month letting schedule in which contractors can bid on projects. Typically the lowest bidder is awarded the contract, which is approved by the state’s transportation commission.

After all these steps are completed, TxDOT will issue a notice to begin construction.


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