“In terms of congestion relief, [the Grand Parkway] has accomplished exactly what everyone hoped that it would,” said Marlissa Briggs, executive director of the North Houston Association.
The new tollway segments have also brought in significantly more toll revenue to the state. The Grand Parkway received $53.4 million more in toll revenue during fiscal year 2015-16 than the previous fiscal year—largely due to the opening of segments F-1, F-2 and G—according to an annual report from the Grand Parkway Transportation Corporation, a corporation within the Texas Department of Transportation.
In addition to Harris County Precinct 4 road projects scheduled for construction, direct connectors at Hwy. 249 are also on the horizon, officials said.
Myeshi Briley, president of the Spring Klein Chamber of Commerce, said she uses the road daily and has heard positive feedback from businesses and homeowners associations.
“We are one of the fastestgrowing areas,” Briley said. “We still have congestion, but it helps to alleviate some of the issues that we experienced for many years.”
Barbara Thomason, president of the Northwest Houston Chamber of Commerce, said local response has been mostly favorable.
“The only complaint is the high price of the tolls,” Thomason said. “Improved movement through the community is usually good for business.”
Mark Seegers, communications director for Harris County Precinct 4, said travel times have decreased heading east from Hwy. 249 toward I-45 since the Grand Parkway opened, shedding 10-15 minutes off a trip that was 30-45-minutes previously.
As the growth that spurred the construction of the Grand Parkway continues, several roads close to the Grand Parkway are undergoing improvements to keep ahead of the growth in Harris County.
“Growth within Precinct 4 has necessitated the need to upgrade Precinct 4’s two-lane asphalt rural roadways to improve mobility and mitigate congestion,” said Pamela Rocchi, Precinct 4 capital improvement projects director.
Several roadway improvements are planned in the Grand Parkway area in Spring and Klein in the next year.
Gosling Road will be widened to five lanes between Spring Stuebner Road and the Grand Parkway, and it will be widened to four lanes with a median between the Grand Parkway and West Mossy Oaks Road. Two additional segments will widen the road from West Mossy Oaks to West Rayford roads and to Creek Forest Drive. The construction cost for all three segments is estimated at $22.6 million and the first phase of the project is scheduled for completion in September.
Hufsmith-Kohrville Road will be widened between Ezekiel and Holderrieth roads in several phases over the next year with additional widening planned as far north as FM 2920.
“It’s good for busines,” Briley said. “We are starting to see people who wouldn’t have come to Spring because the commute was a nightmare at times.”